Mars Challenger
The Creed

Logo with Columba (Dove) constellation

Special Thanks to:
Scobee, Smith, Onizuka, Resnik, McNair, Jarvis, McAuliffe (28 January 1986)
Husband, McCool, Clark, Chalwa, Ramon, Anderson, Brown (1 February 2003)
Homer the Cat (21 June 2007)
Welcome to After Columbia
On 1 February 2009 (happened to be the sixth anniversary of Columbia's unfortunate end), Terry Wilson, the only active member of After Columbia at the time, received a waking vision launching his new project, Featherwing Love.  This drew his resources away from After Columbia, leading to an idle phase which has persisted ever since.  He considers After Columbia Project successful in that it contributed to the general body of knowledge in the interested public and certain private space foundations.  After Columbia Project had originally aimed to influence the direction of NASA's efforts after the Columbia accident.  Later, it sought to influence the direction of private non-profit foundations.  We succeeded in identifying what that direction should be, in the forms of the Sprint Program, Mars Challenger, Ascent Roadmap and After Columbia Mars Direction, (most significantly in the use of smaller "within our means" landers to get from interplanetary space to the surface of Mars), however, we did not succeed in influencing NASA or private foundations to consider these approaches.
Ascent Roadmap Blog
Check out the Ascent Roadmap blog at
OpenLuna is a private foundation seeking to use a novel low-cost means to reach the Moon: landing the crew member in his suit.  The idea is extended somewhat from old ideas from Langley Research Center in that it uses a direct approach to the Moon, where the orbiting "mothership" is reduced to nothing, or at most a maneuver stage.  The crew member spends his entire mission in his suit, with later phases of the overall program calling for the use of inflatable habitats or "tents".  Check it out at:
After Columbia Mars Direction
This mission uses tiny 12 tonne entry mass fixed geometry gumdrop landers assisted by Viking type parachutes operating at their current theoretical limits, and more of them.  Called the Stampede Lander.  ACMD's booster is a 40 tonnes LEO booster, but actually launches 14 tonnes to a high orbit suggested by 4 Frontiers engineer Grant Bonin.  Minimum crew size is 3.
Mars Challenger
Mars Challenger was the contest entry in the MarsDrive Consortium's Mars Sample Return Design Contest, calling for spacecraft and mission concept studies.  Originally completed in February of 2007, it was extended to November of 2007, with contestants allowed to rework their projects.  Mars Challenger II won second prize, behind Kent Nebergall's entry.
Mars Challenger II files:
The report:
The presentation file at Canadian Space Summit


Anyone wishing to rekindle (or perhaps even take over) the After Columbia effort can begin by posting to the idle forums still online:

http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit (After Columbia Project near the bottom of the page)


Report Library:
Sprint Report:
SCIIT Response
This was meant for After Columbia's internal use and as a reference for visitors, not our "official" advice to NASA.  The SCIIT was an NASA investigation into the Columbia crew's survival prospects during the accident.


Biggest reference: http://www.astronautix.com