Mars on Earth – Planetary Mashup

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Mars-Like

Places

on Earth

Will humans ever be able to live on Mars? That’s the big question that a lot of people wonder about. Nicknamed the Red Planet because of its bright rust color, it is the fourth planet from the sun and Earth’s neighbor.

Despite being much colder than Earth with an average temperature of around -80 degrees Fahrenheit, there are many other obstacles in the way of humans colonizing there right now, such as the fact that there isn’t any oxygen to breathe. Scientists, however, are searching for new ways to make it possible for humans to eventually move to Mars, such as potentially heating up the planet to create an atmosphere in which people can breathe in oxygen.

The progress that scientists are making is amazing and it may be very possible for humans to inhabit our planetary neighbor in the not-so-distant future. Having locations on Earth that are similar to the conditions on the Red Planet are extremely helpful for researchers… like these six Mars-like locations right here on our planet.

Lake Vostok, Antarctica

Lake Vostok, Antarctica is one of the biggest subglacial lakes on Earth. The lake, which is located near the South Pole in East Antarctica, is 143 miles long, 31 miles wide, and over 2,600 feet deep. It is buried beneath more than two miles of ice and is located close to Russia’s Vostok research station. It is estimated that the lake has been covered with ice for at least 15 million years, with no access to light, and is sealed from the atmosphere which makes it one of the most extreme environments on the planet.

A Russian geographer/pilot first noticed the buried lake in the 1960s when he spotted from the air a smooth patch of ice on top of it. In 1996, British and Russian researchers then confirmed that there was indeed a lake buried there. Despite the age of the lake being unknown, scientists believe it is only thousands of years old.

Although the location has an average temperature of around minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the lake itself is believed to be around 27 degrees Fahrenheit because of the huge weight of the ice on top. Scientists also believe that the freshwater lake could have creatures living in the darkness and the extreme cold. In fact, they did find that the lake contains microbes and multi-cellular organisms. And this gives hope that life can be found in the similarly extreme environment of Mars.

Dry Valleys, Antarctica

The Dry Valleys are a row of valleys located west of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. The valleys, which are subjected to cold permafrost, are said to be the closest terrestrial environment similar to the very north of Mars. Researchers have found bacteria that live in freezing temperatures where the water has turned to ice and where nutrients are scarce. Oligotrophs are slow-growing organisms that live in environments where nutrients are hard to find and they could help scientists figure out how life could possibly exist on Mars.

Researchers believe that Mars’ polar north may have supported life at one time because it received a lot more sunlight millions of years ago, which means the possibility of water and, of course, life. So researchers began drilling at this location in Antarctica to decide which machinery would be best to use on the northern locations of Mars. Scientists have found a patch of soil covering a layer of ice at the polar north of the Red Planet, and the environment is very similar at Dry Valleys, so that’s why this drilling research is being conducted there.

Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama Desert in Chile is a plateau approximately 1,000 kilometers long and is so extremely dry that it’s one of the most Mars-like locations on the planet. In fact, it can take decades of time between rainfalls, which ranks it among the driest locations on Earth. That is why, in 2004, scientists that were NASA-funded spent four weeks in the desert doing research on how life could possibly survive on Mars. And what they found is definitely mind-blowing.

In the dry core of the desert, scientists have found microbial life. And if they can find it on an immensely dry location like the Atacama Desert, where many people believe that nothing is able to survive, there’s a very real possibility that they could also find life on Mars. A planetary scientist from Washington State University was quoted saying “If life can persist in Earth’s driest environment, there is a good chance it could be hanging in there on Mars in a similar fashion.”

Pico de Orizaba, Mexico

Pico de Orizaba is a volcano located in south-central Mexico. It rises on the south edge of the Mexican Plateau and is located about 60 miles east of Puebla. The volcano, which has been dormant since 1687, is the third highest peak in North America, registering at 18,406 feet tall.

One big question in regards to the possible colonization on Mars is how would humans make it habitable? That is why scientists are so interested in Pico de Orizaba. It has one of Earth’s highest tree line elevations at over 13,000 feet and researchers are using this location to try to figure out how they could begin life on Mars.

Scientists believe that if they could warm up the Red Planet by using heat-trapping gases, raising the air pressure, and beginning photosynthesis, that they could possibly create and maintain an atmosphere that would support humans and other life forms that need oxygen to breathe. If they could use these gases to heat Mars to 41 degrees Fahrenheit, that would equal the temperature of the tree line on the Pico de Orizaba volcano.

Death Valley, California

Scientists have done extensive research and testing for decades at Death Valley because of the location’s ancient rock layers. Even NASA’s Curiosity was tested there to see how it would handle to harsh terrain on Mars. Death Valley is located in the southeast of California and is the lowest, driest, and hottest part of North America. The valley is approximately 140 miles long by 5 to 15 miles wide. Although the valley is excessively hotter than Mars, the harsh rocky terrain is said to be quite similar.

Since 2012, Death Valley holds a yearly event called MarsFest where engineers and scientists discuss with the public the similar relationship between that location and Mars. People can visit Mars Hill, which is covered with volcanic rubble and rocks, as well as take a walk to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, the Ubehebe Crater volcanic field, and the Little Hebe Crater.

Devon Island

Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on the planet. Of all the islands on Earth – habited and uninhabited – it is the 27th largest. It is part of an archipelago (a group of islands) called the Parry Islands in Nunavut, Canada. It is located in the Arctic Ocean, south of Ellesmere Island and west of Baffin Bay. Devon Island is approximately 320 miles long and 80-100 miles wide with an area of just over 21,000 square miles.

The island, which was discovered in 1616 by William Baffin, has a huge 14-mile wide crater called the “Haughton Crater.” It is estimated that the crater was created around 39 million years ago when a comet two kilometers in diameter hit the area. Described as a polar desert, the impact zone is cold, dry, windy and dusty which makes it quite similar to the many craters on Mars, especially with all the loose rock in this earthly crater. Although Devon Island has an average temperature of 1 degree Fahrenheit and Mars averages -76 degrees Fahrenheit weather, the island is one of the closest comparisons to our planetary neighbor.

Pascal Lee is a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute and is leading the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) where the Haughton Crater is being used for research of new technologies and strategies which will hopefully help prepare humans and robots for the exploration of the Red Planet. Every summer since 1997, Lee has led missions to the isolated island where they have tested many things that will help them for a trip to Mars, such as spacesuits and robots, as well as drills.


Mars on Earth –

Planetary Mashup

The NULL Solution = Episode 194

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The NULL Solution = Episode 194

…Of all the civilizations that      digests, the concepts developed by the people of the Third Planet most closely captures the meaning of life…

Works of fiction and nonfiction are produced, many of which come from the Milky Way galaxy, a hotbed of advanced development. Farther from the galloping point of Creation, the stars are more stable, conducive to sentient life.

Particular attention is paid to binary system near a supernova AND the third planet orbiting one particular star. The former has developed the means to explore other worlds, including the latter. The latter does not. There is no crime in the inequity, but possible interaction poses a new set of problems.

Such attention may not be warranted had not     witness to the first of similar interaction between intelligent life, on the outer boundary of Creation. One particular species takes undo advantage of its superiority. The result upsets the natural order. That is not to be repeated.

It is not good for one to have great advantage over another.

⃝     puts an end to an expedition to the Third Planet, on the Fourth Planet, in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy. Problem solved.

⃝     has become fascinated with the Third Planet. No more interesting a race exists among the galaxies. The literature produced there is uncommon. The depth of human understanding, the passion put into words is without parallel. Of all that ⃝     digests, the concepts developed by these people most closely captures the meaning of life.

A man called Jesus walks the Third Planet and captures the essence of the Creator. He is writing His own Library of Life. He courts certain and all would-be followers. Those and many other followers are devoted to this man of great wisdom. Jesus is terminated by people who fear his claims of parental connection to the Creator. His legacy does not die. His closest confidants produce literature named The Holy Bible.      does treasure this historical record of the people the Creator calls his children. Children of the Creator are to be cultivated.

We have watched these children with keen interest. The propagation of ideas multiplies with the population. Ideas beget philosophies. Differing philosophies cause strife, which produce clashes. Clashes are resolved. Boundaries are established. Boundaries are useful.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 194


page 189

The NULL Solution = Episode 193

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The NULL Solution = Episode 193

…Like a doting parent,      observes nurtures and guides…

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

They Call Me Lorgan

There is chaos in disorder. Chaos breeds contempt. Contempt leads to conflict. Conflict destroys order. Order is good. Our purpose is to restore order. – The Mission Statement of ⃝   .

Stardate 11 billion B.C.E.

Right after the dawn of creation, there came an enforcer, the purpose of which was to maintain a reasonable structure for life that may form out of the molecular ingredients that will be spreading to infinity.

As eon-after-eon passes, life from nonlife comes to be, the complexity of which increases steadily. As the stars gather in galactic groups of millions, masses of debris coagulate and coalesce. These planets orbit each according to gravitational serendipity.

     oversees the Great Expanse, vigilant to its assigned task of order out of chaos, compiling notes along the way. Like a sponge it soaks in every aspect of what it means to be alive. From the infinitesimal to the intellectual,      sees all, thereby knows about all. It will be called the Library of Life.

Like a doting parent, ⃝     observes nurtures and guides. True to its directive,      tracks the progress of every single hotspot pocket of burgeoning civilization. Indiscriminately placed and varied in progress, such distances between these is a natural barrier to interaction. Each believes they are alone among the many stars.

Intelligent life develops ways to communicate. Ideas are molded and recorded. Records are compiled.      categorizes and takes in every shred. It is the task      is assigned.

Still more eons come and go. Interaction on individual worlds increases. Rules are made. Populations grow. Technologies advance at varying rates. Levels of communication rise. The thirst for knowledge is insatiable.

     is witness to it all. We do not interfere with the natural progression of life.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 193


page 188

The NULL Solution = Episode 50

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The NULL Solution = Episode 50

…When your life expectancy is immaterial, keeping track of time’s passing is left to the astronomers…

Image: REUTERS/Mike Blake

Sand of Time created by Gadion

Ekcello, the Supreme Elder of the High Council on Eridanus, has certainly seen it all. From the unfortunate vulcanization of the original home world and subsequent relocation of his people, to the puzzling loss of an exploratory expedition to a neighboring star, to the unexpected arrival of the McKinneys and now, the mass neutralization of the Gifted.

The passage of time is subjective. One Eridanian cycle is an extrapolation of several factors at work in the Epsilon Eridani binary star cluster. On the planet of the McKinneys, they keep time by its revolutions, whereas here, a cycle is numbered when the dominant of the two stars appears on the Gifted side of the planet. When your life expectancy is immaterial, keeping track of time’s passing is left to the astronomers. It is not a matter of concern.

It has been several cycles since the collective cessation in Eridanian function. Ekcello is aware of the reason for it. He alone is able to overcome the self-defense mechanism that causes their society to shutdown, whenever something unknown appears on the scene.

⃝    is such an occurrence. The shining orb that Skaldic had spied in wonder turns out to be the switch that extinguished the brightness of Eridanian society. Unable to grasp the scope of its being, the whole of them retreat to within, from the mystery without.

Notwithstanding, it is Ekcello’s responsibility to rise above the indefinite and map a course to go forward. ⃝    has come and gone. Whether he or anyone else fathoms its intentions is secondary to the resumption of normal activities, so he comes down out of his tower.

**Immediately a psychic connection between father and daughter is reestablished.**

“Ekcello is back among us,” Alerts Cerella to the Earthlings and Nulls, as matter-of-fact-ly as only an Eridanian can. From one mind to another, he has apprised himself of the current situation, at least as far as the Gifted go. By Cerella’s uninterrupted reality, he is taken aback. Has her human husband diluted her Giftedness? She seems to be otherwise unaffected.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 50


page 53

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 135

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 135

…Braden King recalls Roy’s turn-of-the-century (21st) brushes with death and matrimony…

“Hot dogs, pizza puffs, mac & cheese, and Kool-Aid, that’s pretty much it, but I managed to talk my way onto an adult menu.”

“That’s the food, now what about the drugs and do they make them strong enough to tame you down?”

“Tame me or tie me down? When the boys went missing, I guessed that pushed me over the edge,” the stricken man admits. “Don’t you have a real job to go to Francine?”

“Naw, I trashed that gig when I agreed to fly off to Jamaica with you-know-who.”

 

“Yeah? Wow! I didn’t see that coming.”

“Do you think I was expecting this? I have been a big fan of Roy for a while now, but that man has got into my head and I don’t think that there is a cure for what ails me.”

“You got the Creeping Crippen! You can’t get it out of your clothes and that stain it leaves on your heart does not wash out.”

“You are his best friend Braden, so tell me the truth: Why has he never married?”

He takes her aside, “Well there he was, got his first big break after becoming an astronaut, pegged to test-pilot out a nuclear powered shuttle prototype. He was engaged to a Florida socialite at the time and she didn’t like him leaving the atmosphere, especially when she learned the nickname for test pilots, it starts
with an “L”.”

“Lunar-tics?”

“That’s a good one, but no–Lab Rats,” he recalls Roy’s turn-of-the-century (21st) brushes with death and matrimony. “When he came back to Earth, she had gone with her parents to Europe and he never heard from her again. Six months later she made headlines by marrying a 70 yr. old Greek winemaker…wasn’t right for him anyhow, but he never got over losing.”

“Was he heartbroken?” Francine loves to guess.

No. She never gave him his diamond ring back. That’s what he hated losing!”

Image result for mean nurse“Out, out, out,” the floor supervisor whispers loudly, “it is past midnight and Master King has tests scheduled first thing.”

“Never mind “Nurse No-Fun”; that’s what the other kids call her.”

“Other kids?” She gives a one-armed hug, careful not to disturb all the tubes and machines. “We will see you tomorrow, Braden. Come on boys, this filly needs to pick out a bunk.”

It is Braden’s home but, “Roy’s room at the ranch is the last door on the left. It has its own bath and I told the cleaning gal you would be coming.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 135


page 166

 

Contents TRT

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

…“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”…

 

“I have a million credits stored up in my account and it’s burning a hole in my purse. I believe that you need new swim/tennis shorts and my bikini has a strap that is about to let loose.”

“You don’t have to buy me stuff, I can get by.”

“Not with me! And I’ve always wanted to have a guy to buy things for.”

“What about Larry?” He dares to go down that road.

“Let’s not go there. I am not in a good spot on that subject.”

“As long as you deal with him straight-up, after all you did agree to marry him somewhere along the line.”

“He knows where I stand Roy. I walked out on the station, violated my contract, and told him I was leaving the country with you. I think he gets the hint. If that makes me a coldhearted bitch, then so be it.”Related image

“Hey, I’m not trying to push my luck and I certainly do not want you to change your mind. If you are a coldhearted bitch, then I guess that I have taken a liking to coldhearted bitches.”

“C-H-B is harsh, but I’m not that same cutthroat TV reporter who called NASA out of the blue. It appears that you’ve made an honest woman out of me.”

“Speaking of acronyms, c-h-b you’re not, F-blank-B stands for what?”

“Nothing.”

“Francine Nothing Bouchette… boy your parents had low expectations.”

“I didn’t get a middle name; in fact I changed my name for television. In my high school yearbook, Francesca Boucheletta was voted “Most Likely to Be Famous”, but no way that was going to happen with an Italian name like that; sounds more like a wine & appetizer.”

“An Italian with a French name?”

“How about you Roy?” He wasn’t to get off that easy.

“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”

Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen

Francine immediately does an Internet search for the name, “I do not see the family resemblance.”

“I don’t know about that, but my parents did not want me to go to medical school… and I get queasy at the sight of blood, but I do like a bloody Mary from time to time and it is noon somewhere… want to join me F blank B?”

“The best place to find out about a new town is to talk with the bartender. We need to see what’s happening around here.”


 

THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 116


page 144

 

Contents TRT

Pastimes That Make You Smarter

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Pastimes That Will Actually

Make You Smarter