Newsletter, May 23, 2016

(Archival version of original email version)

Hello and good day everyone,

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

Hubble's Close-Up of Mars & Extreme Seasonal Events:

The Earth and Mars are especially close to each other right now. On May 12th 2016 the Hubble Space Telescope was pointed at Mars to get a fine detail photo of the Red Planet. Click here to see a larger view of this Mars image and similar ones illustrating extreme seasonal climate events on Mars.

Food for Mars and Moon:

Last year the Food for Mars and Moon group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands successfully grew several food crops in a simulant of Mars soil. This year the group, led by Dr Wieger Wamelink, have planted seeds harvested from last year's plants to see if these germinate and grow well. You can follow this years progress through this blog. While, Dr Wamelink provides us with a lot of knowledge and insight about how settling Mars can be done in a two part Q&A where he answers questions from insightful Mars settlement enthusiasts. If you are really interested in settling Mars and want a not-so-hard way to lend a helping hand then go to the Food for Mars crowd-funding page.

Zubrin at Humans to Mars 2016:

Early advocate for Mars settlement, founder of The Mars Society and author of "The Case for Mars," Robert Zubrin gave the main session speech on the last day of the Humans to Mars Summit 2016 on May 19th. Dr Zubrin delivered a speech with the intense passion he is known for while calling for the rapid settlement of Mars and criticizing the slow schedule of the current benchmark plan from NASA (presented last year, 2015, at the same conference).

Spectacular Mercury Transit of the Sun:

On May 9th, 2016, Mercury transited the Sun. In a planetary transit we on Earth can see a planet pass right in front of the Sun. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) took spectacular time-lapse video of Mercury's May 9th transit. The planet appears as a moving dot silhouette but the Sun is seen with awe inspiring fiery details. In the 2 minute SDO video you see giant swirls of dynamic ionic plasma and gas on the solar surface as little Mercury (with a diameter 38% that of Earth's) makes its transit.

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: Hubble telescope image of Mars taken May 12th 2016 by NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STSci/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolf (Space Science Institute); (with cropping and overlays) Still from Mars for Food crowdfunding video (courtesy of Food for Mars and Moon); picture of Robert Zubrin speaking at Humans to Mars 2016 by Rif Miles Olsen; (with cropping and overlays) Still of Mercury transit video made by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (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.