Future Mars

In keeping with the Martian theme as a lead up to MAVEN’s launch to Mars on 18 November 2013 we travel a few years into the future when people will be exploring the Red Planet in person. On display in the Robot Scouts exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a realistic mock-up of a Mars habitation unit that the first astronaut explorers might live in on Mars. It’s all here, plants to generate oxygen and eat up carbon dioxide plus provide fresh greens for meals along with a picture window looking out onto the Martian surface at sunrise. Then there is a neat-looking control panel and a ladder going to another, unseen level. It all makes for a pleasingly functional, futuristic-looking glimpse into a possible future that might, to paraphrase Captain Nemo, someday come to pass. As for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission slated for blastoff this coming Monday? Bad weather is predicted for launch time. Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go MAVEN!

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