Newsletter, July 6, 2016

(Archival version of original email version)

Hello and good day everyone,

Welcome to the fourth edition of Two Planet Post, the newsletter from Two Planet Steel. Here are the postings:

Steel Seeds Plan for the Human Settlement of Mars:

Two Planet Steel has written and made available the first draft of its "Steel Seeds Plan for the Human Settlement of Mars." It has also placed its mission statements (one for Mars, one for Earth) on the updated home page of its website. The Mars future of Two Planet Steel is to become an instrumental partner in carrying out aspects of this plan that are highlighted in its Mars mission statement. These aspects could fit within other plans to settle Mars. Flexibility to fit within a rapidly changing funding, technological, political and social environment will be important for Two Planet Steel's success in playing a part implementing the human settlement of Mars.

Seasonal Mars Landscape:

In March 2016 glimmering moments of Martian beauty were photographed. With this beauty, Two Planet Post has prepared a gift item for you , a pdf file you can download. On the first page is an enlarged version of the above photo. On the second page is an explanation of what you are looking at. You might just look at the first page to focus on the aesthetic experience.

NASA goes to Jupiter and Hollywood with Juno:

After a five year voyage NASA's Juno spacecraft went into orbit around Jupiter on July 4th 2016. NASA folks tweaked the mission so that Juno entered orbit around Jupiter on the US Independence Day holiday and then went "Hollywood" creating a mission "trailer," called "Jupiter: Into the Unknown," filled with the tongue-in-cheek space drama cliches you would expect in a summer mega-movie like "Independence Day: Resurgence" which opened in theaters a few days ago ... this is one way to sell science I suppose. But back to actual space exploration, it will be the first time since 1973 and 1974 that a spacecraft has flown very close to Jupiter when Pioneer I and Pioneer II did fly-bys (although, Voyager I and Voyager II also got fairly close in 1979, as did Ulysses in 1992). Jupiter is a giant planet, and it's a bit star-like. With this, it has very strong magnetic fields and it gives out a lot of radiation. Little Juno will be measuring both of these and it will also be taking fine gravity measurements to get clues about the planet's interior.

Thar's Rust in Them Thar Dunes?

Two Planet Steel (TPS) has undertaken its own preliminary study of satellite images of large Martian sand dunes. TPS is looking for locations which are both close to the equator of Mars (with desirable climates) and which also have large sand dunes with a high iron oxide content good for steel production. On Mars, the colors of sand dunes are effected by their iron oxide content. There are different iron oxides, with different colors and some are common commercial pigments. Hematite, the most common iron oxide, has the classic rust color, while magnetite is also common and is almost black in color. Magnetite is a favored raw ore for steel making, both because it is easy to enrich from raw ore and because it has a relatively low oxygen content. Magnetite was also almost magical in the Middle Ages when some pieces of magnetite, called "lodestones," were used in primitive compasses. The small accompanying picture shows one dune among many in a large field of dunes. It is quite long (500 m) and appears to have high concentrations of hematite and magnetite.

If a friend of yours is interested in settling Mars then forward this edition to them. They can subscribe by emailing, its free and helps the Mars buzz grow.


Rif Miles Olsen, PhD,
Founder, Two Planet Steel

Mars buzz is growing.

More is coming in the next edition of Two Planet Post.

The Two Planet Post is published every other week to point you to notable Mars and Earth happenings. The Two Planet Post will give you news strictly about Two Planet Steel, also news from around the solar system that is either especially important to Two Planet Steel or important or entertaining and about Mars or the Earth's environment and energy. The Two Planet Post will sometimes branch out to bring your attention to beyond-Mars planetary exploration news as well as science and technology news, comments, anecdotes, cartoons, videos and jokes that you might enjoy.

Image credits: Mars Plan icon created by Two Planet Steel. Satellite still of Mars landscape taken by MRO/HiRise a NASA funded project; (with cropping and an overlay); still video image from a NASA video; Satellite still of Mars landscape taken by MRO/HiRise a NASA funded project. Since NASA is a US federal government agency, NASA images, without recognizable humans within frame, do not have any copyright rights at all. Also, the Two Planet Post logo in the banner head uses two well known images of Earth and Mars from NASA's media archives.