Perseverance Mars rover figures out how devils and winds fill the Red Planet's skies with dust
Large amounts of dust that help give the Red Planet Mars its butterscotch-pink sky is being blown into the atmosphere by whirling dust devils and occasional but powerful gusts of wind, NASA's Perseverspace.com
US, China consulted on safety as their crafts headed to Mars
A visitor to an exhibition looks at a display with a replica of the Chinese Mars Rover of the Tianwen-1 spacecraft in Beijing on March 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING – As their respective spacecrafts headed to Mars, China and the U.S. held consultations earlier this year in a somewhat unusual series of exchanges between the rivals. China's National Space Agency confirmed Wednesday that it had working-level meetings and communications with NASA from January to March “to ensure the flight safety" of their crafts. U.S. law bans almost all contacts between NASA and China over concerns about technology theft and the secretive, military-backed nature of China’s space program. China's Tianwen-1 is orbiting Mars in preparation for a landing in May or June.
Long-term space travelers will need high-intensity exercise to protect heart health
The work the heart does to keep blood flowing as it counters Earth’s gravity helps it maintain its size and function. AdResearchers examined data from retired astronaut Scott Kelly’s stint aboard the International Space Station from 2015 to 2016 and elite endurance swimmer Benoît Lecomte’s swim across the Pacific Ocean in 2018. In this new study, researchers evaluated the effects of long-term weightlessness on the structure of the heart to help understand whether extensive periods of low-intensity exercise can prevent the effects of weightlessness. AdThe research team examined the health data of Kelly’s year in space aboard the International Space Station and Lecomte’s swim across the Pacific Ocean to investigate the impact of long-term weightlessness on the heart. Even the most sustained periods of low-intensity exercise were not enough to counteract the effects of prolonged weightlessness.
Mars findings cataloged in Navajo language
FILE - This photo made available by NASA was taken during the first drive of the Perseverance rover on Mars on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The Perseverance rover has been on Mars for a month, collecting data and making discoveries with each passing day. A number of the findings, through a collaboration with NASA, have been catalogued in Diné Bizaad, the Navajo language. The Perseverance team started with a list of 50 words and will expand the list as needed. Aaron Yazzie, Diné, added suggestions like bidziil (strength) and hoł nilį́ (respect) to the list.
Mars rover sends back grinding, squealing sounds of driving
7, 2021 photo provided by NASA shows tire tracks left by the Mars Perseverance rover. The rover has sent back the first-ever sounds of driving on the red planet. “If I heard these sounds driving my car, I’d pull over and call for a tow,” Dave Gruel, an engineer on the rover team, said in a written NASA statement. This second mike didn't pick up any sounds of the rover's arrival at Mars, but managed to record the first test drive March 4. The driving audio contains a unexpected high-pitched scratching noise, according to NASA.
China, Russia agree to build lunar research station
China and Russia said they will build a lunar research station, possibly on the moon's surface, marking the start of a new era in space cooperation between the two countries. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)BEIJING – China and Russia said they will build a lunar research station, possibly on the moon’s surface, marking the start of a new era in space cooperation between the two countries. A statement posted on the website of the China National Space Administration Wednesday said the International Lunar Research Station would also be open to use by other countries, but gave no timeline for its construction. Russia is a participant in the International Space Station but its space program has been somewhat eclipsed by those of China, the U.S., India and others. AdChina has planned four crewed missions this year to work on its first permanent orbiting space station, the core module of which could be launched as soon as next month.
NASA's new Mars rover hits dusty red road, 1st trip 21 feet
This photo made available by NASA was taken during the first drive of the Perseverance rover on Mars on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, putting 21 feet on the odometer in its first test drive. The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position Thursday, two weeks after setting down on the red planet to seek signs of past life. AdPerseverance — NASA's biggest and most elaborate rover yet — became the ninth U.S. spacecraft to successfully land on Mars on Feb. 18. China hopes to land its smaller rover — currently orbiting the red planet — in another few months.
Biden signals support to replace war power authority
The U.S. has blamed the militia for numerous attacks targeting U.S. personnel and interests in Iraq in the past. But several leading members of Congress, including members in Biden’s own party, denounced the strikes — the first military action he has authorized. Kaine and others argued offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances. A U.S. contractor died after at least 10 rockets slammed into the base early Wednesday. “If we assess further response is warranted, we will take action again in a manner and time of our choosing,” Psaki said.
Biden lauds NASA team for giving US 'dose of confidence'
President Joe Biden congratulates NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars 2020 Perseverance team for successfully landing on Mars during a virtual call in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Thursday, March 4, 2021. Biden speaking in video conference call with the leadership of space agency’s jet propulsion laboratory team expressed awe over the Feb. 18 landing of Perseverance. Ad“It’s so much bigger than landing Perseverance on Mars," Biden told members of the NASA team. Ad“We can land a rover on Mars, we can beat a pandemic," Biden said. The NASA team landing on Feb. 18 marked the third visit to Mars in just over a week.
Chinese astronauts training for space station crewed flights
China says a cohort of astronauts have been selected and are in training to carry out four crewed missions this year as the country works to complete its first permanent orbiting space station. (CNSA via AP)BEIJING – China said Thursday a cohort of astronauts is training for four crewed missions this year as the country works to complete its first permanent orbiting space station. Two other modules will be launched later, along with four Tianzhou cargo supply mission and the four Shenzhou crewed missions. CNSA listed 12 astronauts training for the crewed missions, including veterans of previous Shenzhou flights, newcomers and women, though it wasn't clear if there were others selected. Once completed, the permanent space station will allow for stays of up to six months, similar to the International Space Station.
These photos on Mars are the best we’ve ever seen
The landing is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort to explore the Red Planet. (2021 NASA)This is the first 360-degree panorama taken by Mastcam-Z, a zoomable pair of cameras aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSSThis shows the rim of Jezero Crater as seen in the first 360-degree panorama taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover (Feb. 24, 2021). AdNASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Rover Down-Look Camera. The Perseverance Mars rover landed on Mars Feb. 18, 2021.
China's Mars craft enters parking orbit before landing rover
China says its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING – China says its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months. A successful bid to land Tianwen-1 would make China only the second country after the U.S. to place a spacecraft on Mars. AdTianwen, the title of an ancient poem, means “Quest for Heavenly Truth.”Landing a spacecraft on Mars is notoriously tricky. In 2011, a Mars-bound Chinese orbiter that was part of a Russian mission didn’t make it out of Earth orbit.
NASA releases Mars landing video: 'Stuff of our dreams'
This combination of images from video made available by NASA shows steps in the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. “It gives me goose bumps every time I see it, just amazing,” said Dave Gruel, head of the entry and descent camera team. After spending the weekend binge-watching the descent and landing video, the team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shared the video at a news conference. “These videos and these images are the stuff of our dreams," said Al Chen, who was in charge of the landing team. AdSix off-the-shelf color cameras were devoted to entry, descent and landing, looking up and down from different perspectives.
Mars landing team 'awestruck' by photo of descending rover
This Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 photo provided by NASA shows the Perseverance rover lowered towards the surface of Mars during its powered descent. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The world got its first close-up look at a Mars landing on Friday, as NASA released a stunning picture of its newest rover being lowered onto the dusty red surface. NASA equipped the spacecraft with a record 25 cameras and two microphones, many of which were turned on during Thursday’s descent. It's the ninth time that NASA has successfully landed on Mars __ and the fifth rover. As it did with 2012's Curiosity rover — still roaming 2,300 miles (3,750 kilometers) away — NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter photographed Perseverance descending beneath its massive parachute.
Here’s how to be part of today’s Mars landing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After hurtling through space for the better part of six months, NASA’s rover Perseverance will finally make a historic landing on Mars. Perseverance also is carrying a technology experiment – the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter – that will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. “If there’s one thing we know, it’s that landing on Mars is never easy,” said NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Marc Etkind. “But as NASA’s fifth Mars rover, Perseverance has an extraordinary engineering pedigree and mission team.”AdA key science objective of Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. Anyone who missed the chance to send their name on Perseverance can sign up to send their name on a future Mars mission by clicking here.
United Arab Emirates publishes first photo from Mars probe
This Feb. 10, 2021 image taken by the United Arab Emirates' "Amal," or "Hope," probe was released Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, shows Mars . The Hope space probe now circles the red planet. (Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center/UAE Space Agency, via AP)DUBAI – The United Arab Emirates on Sunday published the first image for its Mars probe now circling the red planet. It shows Mars' north pole, as well as Mars' largest volcano, Olympus Mons. The probe swung into orbit around Mars on Tuesday in a triumph for the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
Coming soon to Mars: a new weather station
The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) collects atmospheric measurements that will provide a regular weather report from Jezero Crater on Mars. While it may be some time before we know whether life exists there, we will be able to check the weather soon using a new weather station called the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer, or MEDA. Dust dominates Mars’ weather the way that water dominates Earth’s weather. Perseverance rover mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. AdThe page doesn’t update as quickly as your backyard weather station and the temperature is missing but, a space weather fan can make the most of it while waiting for the new weather station on Perseverance.
Clear skies and chilly temperatures tonight for viewing the Great Conjunction
Tonight will be chilly and good for viewing the once in a lifetime Great Conjunction- when the two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will nearly overlap from our view and form a brighter sight, also being referred to as the “Christmas Star.” Unfortunately, it won’t be incredibly bright- Mars and Venus are often brighter to us in the night sky than this will be, but enjoy it because the next time these two planets will be this close will be on March 15th of 2080. Temperatures should be around 50° at 9pm with mostly clear skies. Tuesday we wake up in the chilly low 40s and warm up into the mid 60s under mostly sunny skies. Wednesday starts out in the chilly low 40s but warms up into the mild low 70s as warm, moist air from south of us moves across our area. We could see dense sea fog forming and creeping on land Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
There’s more than 1 way to send a spacecraft to Venus
AdIt used to be -- in the U.S.-- NASA was the only way to fund and send a robotic mission to another world, but not anymore. The company wants to send the first robotic mission to Venus in 2023. (Image credit: Rocket Lab) (Rocket Lab)Meanwhile, NASA is considering funding its own missions to the planet considered Earth’s twin. Currently there are two Venus missions under consideration and two more equally fascinating missions, one designed to study Jupiter’s moon Io and another to Neptune’s moon Triton. AdHere’s what launching a robotic mission to another planet looks like, in a nutshell, according to Wagner:“This is what a typical NASA mission is.
SpaceX launches Starship on highest test flight, crash-lands
In this screen grab from video posted by SpaceX, the company's Starship launches for a test flight, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in a remote area of Texas. (SpaceX via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX launched its shiny, bullet-shaped, straight-out-of-science fiction Starship several miles into the air from a remote corner of Texas on Wednesday, but the 6 1/2-minute test flight ended in an explosive fireball at touchdown. The full-scale, stainless steel model — 160 feet (50 meters) tall and 30 feet (9 meters) in diameter — soared out over the Gulf of Mexico. The entire flight — as dramatic and flashy as it gets, even by SpaceX standards — lasted six minutes and 42 seconds. “Anybody who knows how hard this stuff is is impressed by today’s Starship test.”Two lower, shorter SpaceX test flights earlier this year from Boca Chica, Texas — a quiet coastal village before SpaceX moved in — used more rudimentary versions of Starship.
Test flight of SpaceX's Starship aborted at last second
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The first high-altitude test flight of SpaceX’s futuristic Starship was aborted at the last second in Texas on Tuesday. SpaceX came close to launching a prototype of the rocketship that company chief Elon Musk is designing to carry people to Mars. SpaceX already has conducted five Starship test flights, but these earlier, simpler models have gone no higher than 490 feet (150 meters.) SpaceX has taken over Boca Chica in the far southeastern corner of Texas, near the Mexican border, to build and test its Starships. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
China's space ambitions: Robot on Mars, a human on the moon
The Chang’e 5, the first effort to bring lunar rocks to Earth since the 1970s, collected samples on Wednesday, the Chinese space agency announced. After astronaut Yang Liwei’s 2003 flight, space officials expressed hope for a crewed lunar mission as early as this year. Beijing's space plane would be China's version of the American Space Shuttle and the former Soviet Union’s short-lived Buran. China’s crewed missions have gone ahead without incident. Plans call for a permanent crewed space station as early as 2022.
China launches mission to bring back material from moon
A Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission lifts off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Chang’e 5 — named for the Chinese moon goddess — is the country’s boldest lunar mission yet. If successful, it would be a major advance for China’s space program, and some experts say it could pave the way for bringing samples back from Mars or even a crewed lunar mission. “Scientific needs and technical and economic conditions” would determine whether China decides to send a crewed mission to the moon, said Pei, whose comments were embargoed until after the launch. China’s space program has progressed cautiously, with relatively few setbacks in recent years.
Report: NASA needs more time, money to bring back Mars rocks
FILE - This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. This composite photo was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. NASA is underestimating the amount of time and money it will take to bring Mars rocks back to Earth in the coming decade, an independent panel said Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA is underestimating the amount of time and money it will take to bring Mars rocks back to Earth in the coming decade, an independent panel said Tuesday. Already more than halfway to Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover will hunt for the best geologic samples, after landing in February.
Meteors, blue moon and Mars, oh my! Beautiful triple threat on tap for skywatchers
Mars will appear brighter than at any other point during the year on Oct. 13, when it will be closest to Earth. “So, a little over every two years, Mars and Earth are closest together in their orbits and, thus, Mars is at its brightest in our nighttime sky. (© 2012 Michael Orso)Blue moon on HalloweenFor the first time since 2001, trick-or-treaters will get the chance to experience a Halloween full moon. A blue moon, by the most popular definition, according to Gross, is when two full moons appear in a single month. “We will have full moons on Oct. 1 and 31, so that means that we’ll have a blue moon on Halloween,” Gross said.