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Red Planet Day
"We are all … children of this universe. Not just Earth, or Mars, or this system, but the whole grand fireworks. And if we are interested in Mars at all, it is only because we wonder over our past and worry terribly about our possible future.”
~ Ray Bradbury, Mars and the Mind of Man, 1973
Do you have a favourite Martian? Someday, it might be you! Named by the Romans after their god of war, Mars gets its bloody red-rust color from the iron-rich minerals in its loose dust and rock covering its surface. Red Planet Day commemorates the 1964 launch of the Mariner 4, NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory's robotic interplanetary probe. The Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to successfully fly by Mars and send back the first close-up images of Mars. The search for evidence of life on Mars began in the 19th century and continues today. But some have even greater ambitions. SpaceX has as its key mission plans for a manned mission to Mars by 2029, with plans for both terraforming and long term colonization! This tartan's colours represent Mars' past, present, and future: red for the surface of Mars; blue for its water-rich past and its presence of water, mainly as ice, on the planet today; 4 green lines representing its position in the solar system as the fourth planet and for the presence of habitable conditions and possible future presence of life in the form of human settlement; and white forthe Martian poles, visible from the Earth, a conspicuous and important feature of the planet and its long-term climatic cycles. 🚀 🔭 👾
Red Planet Day commemorates the day in 1964 when Mariner 4, a robotic interplanetary probe was launched by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
In the 8 months it was on its mission, the Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to successfully fly by Mars. It also gave the world the first close-up images of Mars. Since then several exploratory missions have been sent to Mars to gather data about the planet.
Today, 5 spacecrafts orbit Mars and 2 spacecrafts - the Curiosity Rover and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity - are on the planet's surface.
New discoveries by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity add to a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that microscopic organisms once lived on the red planet — and have some scientists considering the possibility that microbial life lives there still.
Curiosity detected carbon-containing compounds in ancient sediments on Mars and shifting levels of the organic molecule methane in the planet's atmosphere.
Designed on behalf of Charles Cockell, Professor of Astrobiology, Edinburgh University, this tartan is intended to be worn during Mars science, exploration and outreach activities.
For the latest discoveries, click the red planet!