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Category Archives: Mars

How to Prevent Injury When Traveling to Mars – Bloomberg

Posted: May 25, 2024 at 5:13 pm

How to Prevent Injury When Traveling to Mars  Bloomberg

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Romy Mars Makes Her Music Debut With "Stuck Up" – Town & Country

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Just a few days after

Romy, the daughter of filmmaker Sofia Coppola and musician Thomas Mars (born Thomas Croquet), dropped two singles: "Stuck Up" and "From a Distance." The EP, also titled Stuck Up, was produced by Claud, and the cover art shows Romy with a snorkeling mask. The songs are available on all major music streaming platforms, including Spotify:

Coppola promoted the music on her Instagram account, writing, "So proud of Romys first 2 songs out today! Thank you to Claud for producing @claud.mp3," coupled with a photo of her daughter on an orange moped:

Claud then shared Coppola's post to their story, adding a celebratory emoji.

The news has already begun to go viral online, with some taking to X (formerly Twitter) to praise Romy's ambitions as a nepo baby. "i support nepotism when it comes to romy mars," one person wrote. Another added, "Its Romy Mars world and we are just living in it."

Writer Emma de Matteo posted, "texting everyone i know that romy mars released an ep," and Alyssa Vingan wrote joked she was "Giving Romy Mars, Gracie Abrams, and Willow Smith top billing at my personal Nepochella."

After Romy's TikTok went viral last year with a video about being grounded for trying to charter a helicopter to visit her camp friend, she has not been on social media in a public way. Her mom Sofia commented "We were raised to be so private, and social media is so the opposite of how I grew up. So it was the best way for her to be rebellious." She added, "I got lots of compliments on her filmmaking. And comedy. Shes funny. But people discussing my parenting publicly is not what I wouldve hoped for."

As of this writing, Romy has not rejoined TikTok to promote her new music (yet).

Emily Burack (she/her) is the Senior News Editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram.

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Perseverance rover’s Mars rock sample may contain best evidence of possible ancient life – Space.com

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The lead scientist for NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is excited about material that has been stored in the rover's sample tubes, both dropped on the surface of Mars and contained within the rover itself while wheeling about within Jezero Crater.

Given the samples of Mars that Perseverance has collected so far, could one of those specimens be what the rover was sent to look for in the first place: evidence of past microbial life on the Red Planet?

The preliminary finding heightens the need for returning these Mars samples to Earth, so that these prized collectibles from the Red Planet can be sent to laboratories for more rigorous analysis.

Related: If life exists on Mars, don't count on sample-return missions to find it, scientists say

Caltech's Kenneth Farley, project scientist for NASA's Perseverance Mars rover program, briefed the Extraterrestrial Materials Analysis Group (ExMAG) during a meeting held May 1315 in Houston, Texas.

Tagged "Lefroy Bay," Farley called attention to this sample collected by the Perseverance rover, found to have hydrated silica. Here on Earth, that mineral has the highest potential to preserve signs of ancient life.

So a lively question wanting of an answer arises: Perhaps Lefroy Bay carries preserved signs of ancient life on Mars?

Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!

"The Lefroy Bay sample and two other samples from the same unit the 'Margin Unit' are onboard Perseverance," Farley told Space.com. "The Margin Unit samples have abundant carbonate and silica, clearly indicating a dominant role for liquid water in their formation," he said.

But whether that water was surface water in a lake or river, or groundwater, remains uncertain, Farley added. Either could constitute an ancient (greater than 3.4 billion years old), habitable Martian environment, he said.

These samples host phases that on Earth are very useful for establishing "paleoenvieonmental" conditions, Farley noted, and they can also preserve biosignatures. "As such these samples are uniquely important for return to Earth for further study," said Farley.

Perseverance is "just about to make a really fundamental transition in the exploration of the environment that we have been working in," Farley explained in his briefing to the ExMAG. "One of the challenges we face," he said, "this is not a great terrain for driving a rover across."

So far, the Mars machinery has traversed some 17 miles (27 kilometers) after it was lowered to the area by skycrane on Feb. 18, 2021. The robot's objective is set in stone: "Seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith for possible Earth return," explains NASA.

But why was the 28 mile-wide (45-kilometer) Jezero Crater picked as the reconnoitering spot for the rover?

Scientists believe the area was once flooded with water and was home to an ancient river delta. The anticipation is that Jezero Crater is quite literally, "spilling" the beans about its on-again, off-again nature of the wet past of Mars. More than 3.5 billion years ago, river channels spilled over the crater wall and created a lake.

What's possible is that microbial life could have lived in Jezero during one or more of those wet periods. If true, evidence of leftovers from those little critters might be discovered in lakebed or shoreline sediments.

As for the overall health of the Perseverance rover, Farley noted a couple of issues: For one, loss of wind sensors that are part of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), built by an international team led by Spain's Centro de Astrobiologa. "We have largely lost the wind sensors. They are essentially not functioning anymore," he reported.

Also, the spectroscopy parts of the robotic arm-mounted Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals, SHERLOC for short, are challenged. That's due to a lens cover no longer working properly. However, there's some preliminary work done suggesting scientists may be able to recover SHERLOC's spectroscopy abilities. "We'll know more about that in the coming months," Farley said.

The rover was dispatched to Mars with 38 tubes that could be used for rock, regolith, and even atmospheric sampling. "We're about two-thirds of the way through the sample collection," explained Farley.

The on-duty robot has sampled igneous rocks, mudstone, sandstone/pebble conglomerate, carbonate-silica-olivine, as well as top side Mars sand and snagged a whiff of Martian atmosphere.

Earlier in its trekking of Mars, Perseverance dropped 10 sealed sample tubes at a depot location dubbed "Three Forks" in Jezero Crater. The intent is that a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission in the future would pick up sample tubes for rocketing those bits and pieces of Mars to Earth.

However, that joint NASA and European Space Agency undertaking is now going through a detailed re-look due to a projected $11 billion price tag and an anticipated, but not satisfactory, time period to pull off such a complicated endeavor.

Farley told the ExMAG group that rover operators are working to qualify Perseverance to 55 miles (90 kilometers) of traverse, allowing it to make its way to enlivening landscape.

"There is obviously an enormous amount of uncertainty with what the MSR is going to be. We are waiting to hear how we are going to play a role in that on the Perseverance mission," Farley said. "But for now, we're going to stay the course. We are going to continue to behave essentially as we have so far, with a strong focus on sample collection."

Now in the rover's travel itinerary is completing tasks at an area called Bright Angel, then move up onto the crater rim, where the rover can survey fundamentally different geology, added Farley.

In ascending the rim, "we will expeditiously complete the sampling. The sooner we get the sampling done the sooner we can all rest easy that we have done our job," said Farley.

What happens next for Perseverance is in TBD status.

"Maybe we will return to the crater floor to rendezvous with MSR, maybe we won't. It will depend on what actually happens with MSR," Farley concluded.

Editor's note: The original version of this story contained this sentence: "In reviewing the samples of Mars thatPerseverancehas collected, scientists say one tube appears to be packed with what the rover was looking for: evidence ofpast microbial life on the Red Planet." That is too strong a statement, however; the story was edited at 7:15 p.m. ET on May 20 to replace the above with the following: "Given the samples of Mars that Perseverance has collected so far, could one of those specimens be what the rover was sent to look for in the first place: evidence of past microbial life on the Red Planet?"

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Scars of Mars begins the rescue operation on June 20 for PC via Steam – RPG Site

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Scars of Mars begins the rescue operation on June 20 for PC via Steam  RPG Site

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Everything to Know About the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission: What it’s Done, What’s Next – Syfy

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Everything to Know About the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission: What it's Done, What's Next  Syfy

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Tricorder Tech: A.I. / Machine Learning: Adaptive Sampling With PIXL On Mars Perseverance – Astrobiology – Astrobiology News

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Model of the Mars Perseverance rover showing the location of PIXL at the end of the robotic arm. NASA

Editors note: From the papers Introduction: At the time of this writing, PIXLs adaptive sampling capability has been operating on Mars for over 951 sols (martian days), with over 52 scans analyzed. To our knowledge, it represents the first case of autonomous decision-making through compositional analysis performed by a spacecraft on another planet. And from the Conclusion: We have successfully demonstrated new adaptive sampling technology with PIXL on the Mars Perseverance rover. To our knowledge, this has enabled the first autonomous decision-making based on real-tie compositional analysis by an exploration spacecraft. Almost all the rules were implemented through machine learning, trained with compositional analysis of PIXL Mars data taken earlier in the mission.

As we send our droids to other worlds to study local geology and search for biosignatures well need to have them equipped with as much autonomy as we can provide autonomy that we can upgrade based on mission experience as well as autonomy that can be improved by the droid itself based on its own experience. When we join our robotic partners on site well need to adopt the same approach with the tools that we bring with us. Well need the latest analytical tools in our Base Camp laboratory and out in the field on Away Team sorties embedded inside our tricorders and other sensors that we bring along.

These tools will need to be forward/backward compatible so as to be upgradeable. Even with fast communication back to Earth, the combination of varying message lags and inevitable bandwidth constraints, an emphasis will be placed on in situ capabilities as will creativity on the part of both humans and robots.

If we are going to expend the large amount of financial and national resources to send these missions eventually with humans we need to equip them as best we can with tools that learn just like human crews do. Our droids are leading the way programmed by smart humans back home. Here is one example already at work in the field- on Mars.

Planetary rovers can use onboard data analysis to adapt their measurement plan on the fly, improving the science value of data collected between commands from Earth.

This paper describes the implementation of an adaptive sampling algorithm used by PIXL, the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover.

PIXL is deployed using the rover arm to measure X-ray spectra of rocks with a scan density of several thousand points over an area of typically 5 x 7 mm. The adaptive sampling algorithm is programmed to recognize points of interest and to increase the signal-to-noise ratio at those locations by performing longer integrations.

Preparations for the PIXL scan on sol 294 (Quartier). Most PIXL scans (about 60%) have been conducted on an abraded patch that exposes the sub-surface of the rock (an additional 32% are on natural surfaces and 8% on regolith). In this example an abraded patch of 50-mm diameter and approximately 7-mm deep is produced using the Sampling and Caching Subsystem (Moeller et al., 2021). This patch has been cleared of dust to roughly 40-mm diameter using the Gas Dust Removal Tool. The PIXL scan on sol 294 is 77 mm (placement not shown), about one seventh the diameter of the abraded patch, and has 3299 points spaced 0.125 mm apart. astro-ph.EP

PIXLISE view of carbonates detected on sol 879 (Gabletop Mountain). Shown here is a compositional map of carbonates derived from PIXLISE expressions. The expressions are equations that can use counts from PIXLs two detectors to estimate weight percents of compositions of interest while taking into account the effects of diffraction. The grey-colored points are where divide-by-zero errors have occurred and should be ignored. astro-ph.EP

5 x 7 mm PIXL scan of target Lake Haiyaha (sol 851) displaying elemental abundances of Cr2O3 in green. The scan only contains 3 Cr-rich grains (chromites) comprising 9 PMCs total (0.4% of the map scan [9 PMCs/2346 PMCs]). The Chromite-bearing PMCS are defined here as PMCs with >2 wt% Cr2O3. astro-ph.EP

Two approaches are used to formulate the sampling rules based on past quantification data: 1) Expressions that isolate particular regions within a ternary compositional diagram, and 2) Machine learning rules that threshold for a high weight percent of particular compounds.

The design of the rulesets are outlined and the performance of the algorithm is quantified using measurements from the surface of Mars.

To our knowledge, PIXLs adaptive sampling represents the first autonomous decision-making based on real-time compositional analysis by a spacecraft on the surface of another planet.

Peter R. Lawson (1), Tanya V. Kizovski (2), Michael M. Tice (3), Benton C. Clark III (4), Scott J. VanBommel (5), David R. Thompson (6), Lawrence A. Wade (6), Robert W. Denise (1), Christopher M. Heirwegh (6), W. Timothy Elam (7), Mariek E. Schmidt (2), Yang Liu (6), Abigail C. Allwood (6), Martin S. Gilbert (6), Benjamin J. Bornstein (6) ((1) Retired Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA (2) Brock University, St. Catherines, ON, Canada (3) Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA (4) Space Sciences Institute, Boulder, CO, USA (5) Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA (6) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA (7) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA)

Comments: 24 pages including 11 figures and 7 tables. Submitted for publication to the journal Icarus Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM) Cite as: arXiv:2405.14471 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2405.14471v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version) https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2405.14471 Focus to learn more Submission history From: Peter Lawson [v1] Thu, 23 May 2024 11:57:02 UTC (17,776 KB) https://arxiv.org/abs/2405.14471 Astrobiology,

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Tricorder Tech: A.I. / Machine Learning: Adaptive Sampling With PIXL On Mars Perseverance - Astrobiology - Astrobiology News

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Life on Mars, ‘honest’ AI, and a job-free future: Elon Musk opens up at VivaTech Q&A – Euronews

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Elon Musk spoke about not trusting OpenAI, Geminis values, and a future on Mars at VivaTech 2024.

I think we will have the first people on Mars probably within 10 years, maybe seven to eight, Elon Musk told the VivaTech fair in Paris on Thursday, adding that humans would be back on the Moon in five years.

In a session called Everything you always wanted to know about Elon Musk but were afraid to ask, based on the title of a Woody Allen film, the tech-enthusiastic audience got to grill Musk on anything they wanted.

SpaceXs long-term goal is to make life multi-planetary, he said.

We need to become a sustainable multi-planet civilisation. This is the first time in the history of the Earth when it is possible to do so. That capability might be only open for the short term, he added.

He was speaking remotely at the Paris event as he said he was attending his sons graduation and could therefore not be there in person.

NASA signed a nearly $3 billion (2.7 million) contract with SpaceX to use its new Starship mega-rocket as the lunar lander in its mission to return humans to the Moon with its Artemis astronauts.

But this has not yet happened and is supposed to later this year.

He also said his SpaceX company and others like it that have partly reusable spacecraft and rockets, are the ones that will accomplish this mission, unlike Europes Ariane rockets.

Any rocket that is not, or mostly not reused will not survive, he said, explaining that it is not cost-effective for a company.

Eventually, something on Earth will eliminate life as we know it on Earth, he later said, adding that a move to Mars and the Moon is necessary for [our] long-term survival and consciousness.

Asked if aliens are on Earth, he said: People often ask me do I think aliens are on Earth, I have not seen any evidence of aliens. If I did, I would post it [the evidence] on the X platform, he said, referring to his social media platform.

Maybe were alone in this galaxy, maybe its just us and our consciousness is extremely fragile, he added but later joked, I am an alien. But nobody believes me.

The South African billionaire was also asked about artificial intelligence (AI) and his company XAI.

Criticising OpenAI and Googles Gemini he said: It's important that AI is trained to be truthful and not to be politically correct.

Political correctness is often simply not true, and that means you're programming AI to lie, and I think that will backfire very badly. Honesty is the best policy," he said referencing Gemini.

Comparing making AI smarter to raising a child he said: It matters what you do raising it with values. Im concerned with Microsoft values, or OpenAI, Google.

Musks GrokAI chatbot, which he claims is open source, will try its best to be rigorous and pursue the truth and be the funniest. If we are going to die, we might as well die laughing.

But he admitted it still had a lot of catching up to do before it could compete with OpenAI or Gemini, which he said could be possible by the end of the year.

He also discussed how AI could transform education and said parents would still need to be responsible for values and morals. However, AI could help tailor lessons, he said, so that each child could have Albert Einstein as a teacher.

He was not concerned about AIs effect on children but said he was worried about social media, despite owning his own social media company since 2022, which has been criticised as a place of disinformation and rampant hate speech.

I do worry kids these days are trained by social media, which are dopamine maximisers. Id urge parents to limit social media to children because they are being programmed.

As for the question as to whether if AI would take our jobs, Musk said he envisioned a future where people would not work.

In a benign scenario, probably none of us will have a job, he said, adding that there would be a universal high income and people would not be lacking goods or services. But the question for people would be finding meaning.

Audience members questions turned existential, with one asking if he could time travel, what would he tell his younger self?

He said he felt classic time travel problem, which is would life be altered for the worst and change the outcome.

Overall Im happy with how things turned out I probably wouldnt do anything. You dont know if it comes out with a worse outcome, he said.

Id be curious to see a younger me, but Id probably stay invisible and not say anything.

However, keeping quiet might be as much a challenge for a time-travelling Musk as the real Musk.

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Life on Mars, 'honest' AI, and a job-free future: Elon Musk opens up at VivaTech Q&A - Euronews

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Mars’ Moon May Not Be What We Think, Scientists Claim – Futurism

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That's no moon. Phobos Anomaly

The conventional wisdom about Mars' small and misshapen moons, Phobos and Deimos,is that they were either created like Earth's Moon carved out of the planet by an impact with a huge object or that they were passing asteroids that Mars' gravitational field captured, or perhaps remnants from an earlier and larger moon that broke apart.

But a team of scientists from France and Germany have now proposed that Phobos may have been formed from a comet and that means Deimos could be from the same celestial body, too.

In their study, a preprint for the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the scientists stake their claim on images of Phobos taken between 2004 and 2022 by the Mars Express spacecraft, a joint mission by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

By analyzing details and data from the images, which Live Science lays out in an excellent explainer, the scientists discovered that Phobos has certain properties regarding how it reflects sunlight and itsporous sand-like surface that are similar to comets whose orbits are heavily influenced by Jupiter.

From these observations, the scientists suggest that Phobos is actually a comet that Mars' gravitational field captured in the distance past. That could also mean, the scientists reason, that Phobos and Deimos both came from the same comet that was subsequently torn apart.

In order to find out more about the origins of these moons, Japan is planning on launching sometime this decade the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, a spacecraft dedicated to studying the two lumpy Martian moons.

First, it will orbit Phobos and perform observational studies of that moon before moving onto Deimos and Mars. Then it will attempt to land on the surface of Phobos and collect samples of the moon for a return trip back to Earth.

Studying these samples will hopefully uncover a rich trove of information such as chemical composition but perhaps most tantalizingly of all, provide an answer to the mysterious origins of Phobos and Deimos.

More on Mars: Probe Detects "Unknown Features" Inside Martian Moon Phobos

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Mars' Moon May Not Be What We Think, Scientists Claim - Futurism

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NASA Wants To Bring Samples Back From Mars, But Unsuccessful Plans Are Costing Way Too Much Money – Twisted Sifter

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NASA is pretty focused on all things Mars these days, and have set goals that, to reach them, require extensive knowledge of the planet.

They hoped to add to this knowledge by bringing back samples from the surface, but delays and rising costs are leading some to wonder whether the reward will be worth it.

That said, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a announcement that he was committed to the idea, and that many modifications to the mission were being considered.

The project is already over budget, clocking in at $11 billion as opposed to the estimated $8-$10 billion.

Money is an issue, since NASA has an annual budget, and other projects and programs could suffer if they dont get this one under control.

Still, with the possibility of finding life in those rocks, most dont question its priority or importance.

Some worry, though, that the cumulative sacrifice might add up to too much, in the end.

You might expect NASA would have answers, but in this case, theyre still working on ways to make the mission less complex and more likely to succeed.

Safely landing and collecting the samples, launching a rocket with the samples off another planet which has never been done before and safely transporting the samples more than 33 million miles back to Earth is no small task. We need to look outside the box to find a way ahead that is both affordable and returns samples in a reasonable timeframe.

Theyre asking for help, interviewing 70 experts and making 20 changes to the mission design already.

One of them is to use two Ingenuity-type helicopters to retrieve the samples if Perseverance is no longer operational.

The new budget is $8-$11 billion, which is surely giving NASA scientists with other pending projects more than a little anxiety.

The projected return date of 2040 has not been changed as of now.

The main obstacle is simply the fact that we have never had a spacecraft take off from another planet, nevermind docking with an orbiting craft and returning things safely to Earth.

Canceling the project altogether would mean a massive hit to both NASAs ego and their worldwide prestige. Mars is, as we said up front, their stated priority and these samples are very important as far as data.

The Chinese Space Agency has said they believe they will be able to bring back Martian samples by 2031, almost a decade before NASA is claiming theyll be able to accomplish the same.

In order to cut the timeframe, theyre likely going to need more money.

Stay tuned to see what happens next.

If you thought that was interesting, you might like to read about a second giant hole has opened up on the suns surface. Heres what it means.

Categories: NATURE/SPACE, PICTURE OF THE DAY Tags: ingenuity, mars, NASA, perseverance, picture, return, rocks, samples, science, top

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NASA Wants To Bring Samples Back From Mars, But Unsuccessful Plans Are Costing Way Too Much Money - Twisted Sifter

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Dead robot spotted by NASA spacecraft on Mars surface – The Times of India

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Dead robot spotted by NASA spacecraft on Mars surface  The Times of India

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