to be a new Space Race heating up. The Europeans have recently launched a probe
to Venus. Russia has been almost single-handedly supporting the International Space Station
while the shuttle stays in the shop. China has successfully launched
taikonauts into space and has its sights set on the moon. Even Japan has
launched its own satellites.
The United States hasn't
been spending all of its time applying chewing gum and duct tape to the
space shuttles however. President Bush's recent realignment of NASA's goals
have focused it on the moon as well. Beyond that, in a "Been There, Done
That" stretch goal, NASA is hoping to use the moon as a jumping off pointto ultimately land a man on Mars.
NASA is getting a lot of practice sending missions to Mars. With rovers
crawling over Mars for over 2 years now and new orbiters and landers in theworks, we're learning more about the planet every day. Now's your turn.
previously put planet Earth at your fingertips with Google Earth, Google
has recently opened up Google Mars.
While not yet quite as sophisticated as Google Earth, Google Mars takes
advantage of mapping satellites that have flown over Mars and merged their datawith the power of Google Maps.
get in return is a fascinating view of our next door neighbor. You can
view the location
of the Viking Landers, the Sprit rover, the Opportunity Rover, and where
Britian's Beagle 2 crashed. You can even view major geographic locations such
as Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system, and the famous Happy
Face Crater. Finally, if you're a true Trekkie, you can even view the
future location of the StarFleet shipyards at UtopiaPlanitia.
this point Google Mars isnt as practical as Google Earth, it still makes forsome interesting browsing. Its also a good way to see whats on Mars before you buy land there.