Author Archives: julien

Is there life on Mars? Was there life on Mars?

Is there life on Mars? Was there life on Mars? We may have the answer to that very fundamental question within a few years, but regardless of what the answer is, we will need to have astronauts...

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The Pangaea flex-ops concept

The space agencies of our planet are building new spaceships that will bring astronauts deeper into that vast sea of space that surrounds Earth. NASA’s Orion, the Russian Федерация and new Chinese and commercial capsules will open...

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Another space

Sit back and relax to this video highlighting the most beautiful underground shots  

Credits: ESA–S. Sechi

Deserts and voids

This blog entry translated from Italian original written by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano. Scroll down for the Italian. Deserts are not always visible. And they do not have to be located geographically. You can be in a...

Credits: ESA–L. Ricci

Lanzarote planetary analogue: a geological museum and a...

http://wpc.50e6.edgecastcdn.net/8050E6/mmedia-http/download/public/videos/2016/05/032/1605_032_AR_EN.mp4 Mars flyby timelapse taken by ESA's Mars Express satellite. Mars has always captivated us, in particular in regards to the existence of life. Today, Mars is a scientific, technological and cultural reality for humankind in our...

We are working together…again!

By the end of the Apollo programme, astronauts had started to work less with geologists. A geologist's hammer might not be much use on the International Space Station but can be fundamental for sampling rocks on planetary...

Side view of Ceraunius Tholus from HRSC stereo DTM. Credits: ESA, DLR, FU-Berlin (G. Neukum)

Changing dimensions – A tour of the Solar System

For astronauts, understanding Earth geology is a change of perspective. It starts from the ground, learning to recognise rocks, interpreting geological features from outcrops and reading the history of geological events and stratification. A key part of...

Curiosity rover panorama of sedimentary deposits at Gale crater, Mars. Credits: NASA/JPL/MSSS

Teaching Mars geology

Mars has triggered many dreams of space exploration, from Burroughs and Bradbury novels to Sci-Fi movies. “After the Moon, Mars will be the next step, no doubt about that!” – I remember this phrase from my youth, thirty...

Credits: ESA–M. Bernabei

Creating a geological Babel fish

“Basin-related tectonism is due to lava infilling and load induced lithospheric inflection” “Shock deformation of quartz crystals is a clear indication of an impact. Earth processes cannot produce such products” Geologists speak gibberish, or at least you...

Taking Astronauts to other Planets. On Earth.

ESA is doing it again. Taking Astronauts to other worlds. On Earth. You all know ESA CAVES. Well, this time we are changing focus (planetary analogue geological field training), but not direction (planetary analogue exploration). The training...