London Lite Thursday, 6 August 2009 13 Enjoy a genuine taste of Ireland from 3.99* At ONeills, we source quality Irish ingredients for our Taste of Ireland menu. Why not try the 6oz Irish beef burger or grilled Irish sausage and colcannon from just 3.99. Naturally, wed recommend a crisp, refreshing Magners Irish cider as the perfect accompaniment. But while the Magners may be ice cold, the welcome is anything but. Regional pricing applies. All central London ONeills offer the Taste of Ireland Menu at 3.99, excluding Carnaby Street which is priced at 4.85. This offer is not available at ONeills Drury Lane or ONeills Stansted Airport. LL4 Shuttle programme is due to end next year, but Nasas replacement is not yet ready -- soon American astronauts will go to space in Russian rockets. Since George Bushs decision, the US space agency has been designing a new craft capable of three tasks -- achieving orbit, landing on the moon and a Mars mission. That is a big challenge because the requirements of each mission are different. Its hard to imagine one craft that could do all three. Nasa is solving the problem by returning to rocketry with the Ares/ Orion programme. Huge Ares rockets will lift various Orion modules into space, with the fuel and supplies needed for a Mars mission provided separately. This return to a model based on rockets might be familiar to the Apollo astronauts, but it doesnt seem to have reassured them. Stagedmissions BUZZ ALDRIN has made it clear that he disagrees with the proposed staged approach -- the plan to use the moon and other missions to gain experience for the much longer flight to Mars. Why go to the most difficult place to gain experience? Why not do it on the International Space Station? he asks. Scheduled to be completed in 2011, the station is being assembled in low orbit and provides a safe testing location for the spacecraft systems required for missions to the moon and Mars. Aldrin seems to fear that unless we immediately commit to a perma- nent settlement on Mars, the step-by- step method will be vulnerable to delays and cost-cutting exercises. Marsorthemoon? SO, IS Mars really that much more important than the moon? Is the moon just a big, dusty rock with no redeem- ing features? Lunar exploration is certainly far from complete -- weve been there just a handful of times and even counting unmanned missions there are huge areas of the moon that warrant further study. But that situation applies even more to Mars and the Red Planet holds more tantalising possibilities -- liquid water, microbial life and so on. Snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the newly discovered monolith is being talked up by space junkies as a possible sign of life. Its resemblance to the black monolith in Stanley Kubricks iconic movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, has served only to increase the hype. But scientists are pouring cold water on the theory. Yisrael Spinoza, of the University of Arizona, which captured the images, says: It would be unwise to refer to it as a monolith or structure because that implies something artifi- cial, like it was put there by someone for example. In reality, its more likely that the boulder has been created by breaking away from the bedrock to create a rectangular-shaped feature. The possibility of water on Mars is just as controversial. Water, even if its in the form of ice, always excites planetary scientists because it is believed to be a requirement of life. While nobody seriously expects to find life on the far side of the moon, that possibility is much more likely on Mars. It is widely agreed that the Phoenix lander that arrived on Mars in May last year discovered water ice. Some scientists have even claimed that pictures showing droplets on the landing struts of the craft suggest that, under certain conditions, water may be liquid on Mars. Nilton Renno, a professor at the University of Michigan who proposed the hypothe- sis, said: I think the evidence is overwhelming. Its not circumstantial evidence. There is certainly no doubt that the droplets reduced in size and disap- peared over time, suggesting a process like evaporation of water, but other scientists disagree. Michael Hecht, a scientist at Nasas own Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a member of the Phoenix mission team, suggested that the droplet shape was just a trick of low-resolution images and lighting. His simpler explanation is that these droplets were small clumps of frost. Thenextgiantleap? THE comments from the Apollo astro- nauts have raised the profile of the proposed missions to Mars but have also muddied the waters around the question of what is the best way of achieving those missions. They have perhaps not considered the practicalities of a mission to Mars and dont seem to have thought about the psychological impact of such a long journey. To investigate those effects, the final phase of a ground- based isolation experiment, called Mars500, is due to begin at the end of the year. Six volunteers will live in a simulated spaceship for more than 500 days to discover how they react to the close confines of a mission. Scientists and engineers are a more cautious bunch than astronauts, but their consensus seems strong, as Andy Phipps, head of interplanetary engi- neering at Surrey Satellite Technology, makes clear. The cost of the next generation of manned space missions is going to be huge -- hundreds of billions of pounds, he says. As of today were not quite ready to launch for Mars. We need the knowledge and experience of a successful mission to the moon before we can head there. We can reach Mars by 2030, but we must collaborate to achieve that success. SUN EARTH MARS MOON 1. The Orion crew module spacecraft is launched by the Ares I rocket. 2. The Ares V rocket launches the cargo and Mars landing craft. 3. In space, the Orion crew module will dock with the cargo and lander launched by Ares V and together they will blast off for the Red Planet. Life on Mars: a Nasa graphic of mans landing 21 3 HOW THE PROPOSED TRIP TO MARS MIGHT PAN OUT JOURNEY TIM E 3DAYS JOURNEY TIME 9 MONTHS ABOUT THE RED PLANET. BUT IS A MANNED MISSION THERE IN 2030 POSSIBLE? index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html