Stuff I see, which you might not.

Greetings from Mars

In honour of the amazing landing on Mars by NASA’s rover, Curiosity, which has brought space geeks from all across the universe so much joy, this post is dedicated to some Martian wares. Please be assured that I’m not mocking this incredible event – with my geeky tendencies, I can’t read or see enough about it. The dedication, planning and sheer brainpower that has gone into this triumph is truly mind-blowing. And of course, the rover is on Twitter (@MarsCuriosity) sending back pics of its adventures. Hopefully the reality tv show is only a few months away. Anyways, in case it’s still a while ’til we all get to visit, these can help us keep a little bit of Mars with us on Earth.

Olga Voloshchenko is a designer from Russia and she has hand made this unique felt handbag, entitled Whether there is a life on Mars. According to Olga, “the problem of cats and mice is actual always – whenever they were, even on Mars”. Let’s hope that Curiosity’s mission isn’t thrown by getting caught up in a game of cat and mouse. This bag is dynamic – you can move the creatures around the bag’s ‘craters’ for a slightly different look every day. I also love this image because of the cat burglar styling of the model displaying the bag. I definitely believe Olga’s promise: You will be unique with this bag! You can check out Olga’s bag on etsy here.

Or if you want to impress your mates with happy snaps from Mars, you might like this Mars Travel poster collection from Ron Guyatt in Canada. Of course, they’re not really happy snaps – although that Curiosity rover is so clever that photo postcards from Mars are surely only a matter of time.  These prints are a collection of the presumed highlights of Mars – the must-see tourist attractions, if you will. You know, at least until Mars Disneyland has been built.  The posters are on sale in Ron’s etsy shop here.

Perhaps a coffee table book is your way of showing that you’re in touch with what’s going on in the world. Maybe you have a pile of books, casually arranged to impress visitors – covering a range of topics from Alfafa to Zippers. If you’re on the lookout for a new book, this 1989 story might be just the thing. Hello, Mars! by Geoffrey T. Williams is the tale of a 13 year old boy who gets a pretty special birthday present – news of a move to Mars (with his parents, of course) to be among the first humans to colonise the planet. I’ve not read it, but presumably it could now be a sort of Lonely Planet guide for future travellers to Mars. There’s more info on Goodreads here if you’re interested.

And if you would like to start getting comfortable with those who will soon be your friends and colleagues, you can buy these wall decals from Christy at Graphicspaces in the USA. Pop them up around your (Earthly) home, so that by the time you relocate to Mars, it will seem like you’ve known the locals for years. You can buy these decals (and many other cool designs) from the Graphicspaces shop on etsy here.

So, now we’re ready.


Ticket to Mars

I first heard about this ambitious plan on werd.com. The short post was accompanied by this picture. So I did some more research for us, because I knew that you would want to know about it too. Behold, the Mars One mission. What’s it all about, I hear you cry? Oh, nothing much – only a plan to establish THE FIRST HUMAN SETTLEMENT ON MARS IN 2023. Yes, that’s right – according to the website, a habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land. The settlement will support them while they live and work on Mars the rest of their lives. Every two years after 2023 an additional crew will arrive, such that there is a real living, growing community on Mars.

Apparently, the good people at Mars One have a “technical plan” for the mission and have “identified at least one supplier” for every part of the process between now (empty Mars, as far as we know) and 2023 (thriving metropolis Mars). There is even a section on the website for anyone who might be sceptical – it’s called: Is this really possible? (The answer is basically ‘yes, sure, why not’ in case you don’t want to read it yourself.) Another FAQ is, understandably: Is this for real? To which the answer is: Yes it is! Mars One has been working on this project in secret since January of 2011. It has taken us ’til now to expose it publically because we are now certain of its feasibility and means of finance.

Alrighty then, friends, let’s start packing! Oh, hang on, I have now read the FAQ entitled: Can I apply to become an astronaut? Sadly, the answer seems to be NO. Or at least, NOT YET. Apparently the team at Mars One have received lots of emails from people asking to be part of the mission, but they’re not yet in a position to start selecting the first astronauts. I guess they’ll have to be pretty picky, since these people will be the founders of the settlement up there. You don’t want people who are going to give dumb names to the towns and streets and national parks.

I include this image from NASA/Wikipedia to help inform your decision on emigrating to Mars, when that option becomes available. It’s clearly a lot smaller than good ol’ Earth, but according to Wikipedia, Mars has surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. So, you know, great if you like hiking, nature, extreme adventure and that sort of thing. Oh, and Mars can be seen from Earth without a telescope, so your old friends and neighbours will still be able to keep an eye on you.

Anyways, now you know a little more, you are probably keen to read more of the fine print and perhaps even sign up for the Mars One Monthly Newsmail. You can do so on the Mars One website here.