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Topic: Red Planet

NASA Deadline for Names to Fly on NASA’s Next Mars Rover approaches

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – It’s the final boarding call for you to stow your name on NASA’s Mars 2020 rover before it launches to the Red Planet. The September 30th, 2019 deadline for NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign gives the mission enough time to stencil the submitted names — over 9.4 million so far — on a chip that will be affixed to the Mars 2020 rover. 

This rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020 and expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021. The Mars 2020 rover represents the initial leg of humanity’s first planned round trip to another planet.

The actor Brad Pitt (right) shows off his "boarding pass" for Mars with Jennifer Trosper (left), the Mars 2020 project systems engineer, at JPL on Sept. 6, 2019. You can send your name to Mars aboard NASA's Mars 2020 rover at https://go.nasa.gov/mars2020pass until Sept. 30, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The actor Brad Pitt (right) shows off his “boarding pass” for Mars with Jennifer Trosper (left), the Mars 2020 project systems engineer, at JPL on Sept. 6, 2019. You can send your name to Mars aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover at https://go.nasa.gov/mars2020pass until Sept. 30, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA looks into amount of Atmosphere lost by Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – According to new observations by NASA-funded scientists, a key tracer used to estimate how much atmosphere Mars lost can change depending on the time of day and the surface temperature on the Red Planet.

Previous measurements of this tracer – isotopes of oxygen – have disagreed significantly. An accurate measurement of this tracer is important to estimate how much atmosphere Mars once had before it was lost, which reveals whether Mars could have been habitable and what the conditions might have been like.

This artist’s concept depicts the early Martian environment (right) – believed to contain liquid water and a thicker atmosphere – versus the cold, dry environment seen at Mars today (left). (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

This artist’s concept depicts the early Martian environment (right) – believed to contain liquid water and a thicker atmosphere – versus the cold, dry environment seen at Mars today (left). (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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NASA attaches Mars Helicopter to Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA -NASA engineers have attached the Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover today in the High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The Mars Helicopter will be the first aircraft to fly on another planet.

The twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter was connected, along with the Mars Helicopter Delivery System, to a plate on the rover’s belly that includes a cover to shield the helicopter from debris during entry, descent and landing.

An engineer works on attaching NASA's Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover - which has been flipped over for that purpose - on Aug. 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An engineer works on attaching NASA’s Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover – which has been flipped over for that purpose – on Aug. 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA names Rock on Mars, “Rolling Stones Rock”

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The team behind NASA’s InSight lander has named a Martian rock after the band: ‘Rolling Stones Rock.’ For decades, the music of The Rolling Stones has had a global reach here on Earth. Now, the band’s influence extends all the way to Mars. 

The Rolling Stones – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood – were delighted with the news and commented, “What a wonderful way to celebrate the ‘Stones No Filter’ tour arriving in Pasadena. This is definitely a milestone in our long and eventful history. A huge thank you to everyone at NASA for making it happen.”

The rock in the center of this image was tossed about 3 feet (1 meter) by NASA's InSight spacecraft as it touched down on Mars on November 26, 2018. The rock, which is a little bigger than a golf ball, was later nicknamed "Rolling Stones Rock" in honor of The Rolling Stones. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The rock in the center of this image was tossed about 3 feet (1 meter) by NASA’s InSight spacecraft as it touched down on Mars on November 26, 2018. The rock, which is a little bigger than a golf ball, was later nicknamed “Rolling Stones Rock” in honor of The Rolling Stones. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Apollo 11, Mars 2020 have same goal, collect Samples

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Apollo 11 command module Columbia splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s goal to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth on July 24th, 1969.

Among the mission’s many firsts was the acquisition and return of the first samples from another celestial body. Findings based on the 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of lunar rock and soil rewrote the textbooks on both the Moon and solar system, and the samples are still being studied today by researchers using new and more sensitive instruments.

From left to right: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the Moon; 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of samples were brought back to Earth from that mission; the Mars 2020 rover, seen here in an artist's concept rover, will be taking the first planetary samples at Jezero Crater, Mars (on right). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

From left to right: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the Moon; 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of samples were brought back to Earth from that mission; the Mars 2020 rover, seen here in an artist’s concept rover, will be taking the first planetary samples at Jezero Crater, Mars (on right). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA scientists study Aerogel for building habitats on Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The Red Planet is an inhospitable world. NASA says growing crops on Mars is far easier in science fiction than it will be in reality. Among other challenges, subzero temperatures mean water can persist on the surface only as ice, and the planet’s atmosphere offers little protection to plants (or people) from the Sun’s radiation.

Raising crops on Mars is far easier in science fiction than it will be in real life: The Red Planet is an inhospitable world. Among other challenges, subzero temperatures mean water can persist on the surface only as ice, and the planet’s atmosphere offers little protection to plants (or people) from the Sun’s radiation.

Scientists are exploring how aerogel, a translucent, Styrofoam-like material, could be used as a building material on Mars. Aerogel retains heat; structures built with it could raise temperatures enough to melt water ice on the Martian surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Scientists are exploring how aerogel, a translucent, Styrofoam-like material, could be used as a building material on Mars. Aerogel retains heat; structures built with it could raise temperatures enough to melt water ice on the Martian surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission will pave way for future Astronauts

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A historic moment, when a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024 will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape.

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape.

This artist's concept depicts astronauts and human habitats on Mars. NASA's Mars 2020 rover will carry a number of technologies that could make Mars safer and easier to explore for humans. (NASA)

This artist’s concept depicts astronauts and human habitats on Mars. NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will carry a number of technologies that could make Mars safer and easier to explore for humans. (NASA)

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NASA continues work on Mars 2020 Rover, Public invited to watch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – As NASA’s Mars 2020 rover takes shape at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a newly installed webcam will offer the public a live, bird’s-eye view of it. You can watch as JPL engineers and technicians assemble and test the rover before it embarks next year on one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed.

“There is so much happening and changing in the clean room, I come here every opportunity I get,” said Mars 2020 project manager John McNamee of JPL. “It is great that we can share this part of our journey to the Red Planet with the public anytime they want.”

The "Seeing 2020" live video feed allows the public to watch engineers and technicians assemble and test NASA's next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

The “Seeing 2020” live video feed allows the public to watch engineers and technicians assemble and test NASA’s next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

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NASA InSight’s Team looks to get heat probe digging again

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA InSight’s heat probe has been unable to dig very far on the surface of Mars. Scientists and engineers have a new plan for getting the probe also known as the “mole,” digging again on Mars. Part of an instrument called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), the mole is a self-hammering spike designed to dig as much as 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface and record temperature.

But the mole hasn’t been able to dig deeper than about 12 inches (30 centimeters) below the Martian surface since February 28th, 2019.

Engineers in a Mars-like test area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory try possible strategies to aid the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) on NASA's InSight lander, using engineering models of the lander, robotic arm and instrument. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Engineers in a Mars-like test area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory try possible strategies to aid the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) on NASA’s InSight lander, using engineering models of the lander, robotic arm and instrument. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 rover has high definition cameras installed

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On February 18th, 2021, after the NASA Mars 2020 rover touches down on the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater, one of it’s first operations will be to raise its remote sensing mast (RSM), which carries important optics and instrumentation.

In this picture – taken on May 23rd, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – engineers re-install the cover to the RSM head after integration of two Mastcam-Z high-definition cameras.

In this picture - taken on May 23, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility's High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California - engineers re-install the cover to the remote sensing mast (RSM) head after integration of two Mastcam-Z high-definition cameras that will go on the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this picture – taken on May 23, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – engineers re-install the cover to the remote sensing mast (RSM) head after integration of two Mastcam-Z high-definition cameras that will go on the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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