Imagining Mars

Mar 25, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/JPL

(PhysOrg.com) -- This composite of three artists' renderings from 1975 was only wish fulfillment for an unnamed JPL artist; however, the landscape and the rendered shapes took into account what was known about Mars that year.

Compared to Earth, Mars is further away from the light of the sun, very cold and very arid, and had a thin atmosphere rich in but little , an environment distinctly inhospitable to complex, Earth-like, carbon-based life forms.

"Life on Mars" was envisioned as low to the ground, symmetrical and simple.

The artist drew silicon-based life forms, probably coached by others, perhaps scientists, who had thought about such possibilities.

Peculiar saucer-like shapes stood only slightly above ground level, root-like structures reached outward for growth resources; a bundle of cones faced many directions for heat, light or food.

Instead of reality, the embodied the artist's hope and anticipation of what future Martian exploration would find.

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Texas A&M prof to predict weather on Mars

Nov 04, 2009

Is there such a thing as "weather" on Mars? There are some doubts, considering the planet's atmosphere is only 1 percent as dense as that of the Earth. Mars, however, definitely has clouds, drastically low temperatures and ...

Important role of groundwater springs in shaping Mars

Dec 11, 2008

Data and images from Mars Express suggest that several Light Toned Deposits, some of the least understood features on Mars, were formed when large amounts of groundwater burst on to the surface. Scientists ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

11 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

16 hours ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LKD
not rated yet Apr 01, 2011
Why is Europa, Enceladus, and Titan not treated as this? It's almost sad how the magic of the sci-fi future has changed for the worse.
yyz
4 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2011
"Why is Europa, Enceladus, and Titan not treated as this? It's almost sad how the magic of the sci-fi future has changed for the worse."

How so?

I've seen plenty of digital images and videos of possible forms of life throughout the universe over the past several years (including the 3 moons you've mentioned).

Google Image found this from "hypothetical life on Europa": http://exoplanet....ropa.gif

Though I'll confess I like this one as well: http://scienceblo...mars.jpg
LKD
not rated yet Apr 01, 2011
I have never seen that kind of imagery before. Thanks for the one link, the other I can't get to.

I usually read up on the news weekly and I have seen nothing on this topic in regards to the moons as they did for Mars and our moon. Forgive me if I missed something somewhere.

I can't understand why they wouldn't have school contests to imagine what life might be like in these water worlds to build interest. The last one was the Shuttle patch wasn't it?