Cover Story

Swarm Smarts m

Eric Bonabeau and Guy Theraulaz

Taking ants and other social insects as models, computer scientists are designing software agents that cooperate to solve extraordinarily complex problems, such as finding an efficient way to reroute traffic through a busy telecom network.

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Sending Astronauts to Mars

Why Go to Mars? 40

The main goal will be to look for life, writes GlennZorpette.

How to Go to Mars 44

Take your pick of technologies, say George Musserand MarkAlpert.

The Mars Direct Plan 52

A relatively inexpensive plan could put humans there in a decade, explains advocate RobertZubrin.

To Mars by Way of Its Moons 56

Phobos and Deimos would be ideal staging areas, argues S. Fred Singer.

A Bus between the Planets 58

Gravity-assist trajectories would reduce the costs, propose James Oberg and Buzz Aldrin.

Staying Sane in Space 61

The "right stuff" may not be enough, notes Sarah Simpson.

Invaders from Hollywood 62

Films look to science for inspiration, reports Philip Yam.

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