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A beautiful day on Pluto with clear blue skies. NASA

Blue skies over Pluto and a lakeside home on Mars

This week, NASA has discovered great similarities between the Earth and Mars and Pluto. But when it comes to the potential for life, Mars is an increasingly hot favourite.
Unlike science fiction films featuring grotesque aliens and faraway galaxies, Ridley Scott’s The Martian depicts a sci-fi space mission that could soon be science fact. 20th Century Fox

How close are we to actually becoming Martians?

NASA has set a target date of 2030 for a manned mission to Mars. With no real scientific breakthroughs needed, success depends on developing the proper technology.
Humans didn’t evolve to deal with the unique conditions of space travel. Bluedharma/Flickr

What medicines would we pack for a trip to Mars?

Hollywood may already have done it but when we eventually send real astronauts to Mars, what medicines should we arm them with? And will they work the same way as they do on Earth?
This digital false-colour image shows the dark, narrow streaks on Martian slopes inferred to be formed by seasonal flow of water on the planet. The streaks are roughly the length of a football field. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

There is water on Mars, but what does this mean for life?

Now that we have discovered liquid water on the surface of Mars, what does this mean for the prospects of finding life there, past or present?
Jean Paul Santos with the finished 4x4 sub-array antenna assembly that may help rovers talk directly with Earth. Matthew Chin

Talking to Mars: new antenna design could aid interplanetary communication

New research provides a compact but powerful way for Mars rovers to communicate directly with Earth via an array of smaller antenna elements, bypassing the need for an intermediary.

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