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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Mars
Posted: September 18, 2020 at 1:18 am
Curiosity snapped this look at its SAM instrument in September 2020.
Venus may be hogging the limelight right now, but Mars refuses to be forgotten in the search for evidence of life beyond our planet. NASA's Curiosity rover finally got the chance to perform a long-awaited experiment designed to look for organic molecules.
Curiosity is busy seeking signs that Mars may have once been habitable for microbial life. The rover's recent SAM TMAH experiment marked a new milestone in that investigation.
The subject of the test was a bit of powdered rock drilled from a site named "Mary Anning" after a trailblazing English paleontologist from the 1800s.
From the lab to your inbox. Get the latest science stories from CNET every week.
The rover uses its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to detect elements that are necessary for life (such as nitrogen, oxygen and carbon) in martian rock samples. It uses a collection of small cups to analyze powdered samples. Some of the cups heat the rock to collect gases and some contain chemical solvents.
The TMAH part of the experiment refers to the chemical tetramethylammonium hydroxide. Curiosity has only two cups with TMAH, making it an extremely precious commodity on the red planet.
"TMAH will help our science team identify what fragments of organic (carbon-bearing) materials are present in the clay-rich rock of Mary Anning," wrote NASA atmospheric scientist Scott Guzewich in the Curiosity blog last week.
The rover team hopes to learn more about the chemistry of ancient Mars, especially now that Curiosity is exploring an intriguing clay-rich area with a likely history of water. Guzewich said the SAM TMAH experiment "could help us understand whether the necessary ingredients for life were present in Gale Crater when it was better termed 'Gale Lake.'"
NASA has sent a series of increasingly more sophisticated rovers to Mars. Curiosity, which landed in 2012, will be joined by the new Perseverance rover in early 2021. It's still an open question as to whether Mars once hosted life, but the rovers' work could bring us some answers.
"The team is now eagerly awaiting results which will take us several months to fully interpret,"wrote planetary geologist Ryan Anderson in a mission update last week.
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Posted: at 1:18 am
In order to build shelters and manufacture tools, astronauts may only need to bring one key ingredient -- with minerals in the lifeless Martian soil able to do the rest, a new study published Wednesday said.
The key ingredient is chitin -- a fibrous substance that is a component of cell walls in fungi, the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects, and the scales of fish and amphibians.
Chitin could be combined with surface soil by early Martian settlers to manufacture a new material without special equipment and using little energy, researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design said.
The chitin for use on Mars, the study said, could come from insects. Given their high protein content, insects could form part of the diet for a crewed mission. The authors said that the extraction of chitin would be a byproduct of the crew's food supply and consumption.
To test their theory, the scientists combined chitosan, an organic polymer made from shrimp, and a mineral designed to mimic the properties of Martian soil.
The manufacturing process used water and some basic chemistry. The water, the study said, could be obtained from subsurface ice on Mars. Sodium hydroxide could be made from Martian soil. And acetic acid could be made from fermentation of microorganisms -- such as food waste.
The researchers then used the material to construct a wrench and a model of a Martian habitat, which they said demonstrated the material could enable the rapid manufacturing of objects such as basic tools and rigid shelters.
The wrench the scientists made wasn't as strong as one made from metal, but Fernandez said it met NASA's criteria for "non-critical space applications."
Fernandez described the research as a proof of concept. The team didn't test the items in conditions that mimicked Mars' cold and dry atmosphere.
"We have a route to ... manufacturing buildings to tools from 3D printing to mold casting with just one single material."
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We won’t live on Mars any time soon despite what people like Elon Musk might try and tell us – iNews
Posted: at 1:18 am
In human experience there will never be an isolation as total as that of Mars.
If its visitors stepped outside their habitat modules they would find nothing in the way of comfort. No movement but the little caused by the wind and the rare landslide. No sound save for their own breathing in their pressure suit. If any of them were to climb the nearest hill, all they would see would be more hills and desert plains.
This summer, three robotic missions to Mars were launched: Nasas Perseverance rover, the United Arab Emirates Hope mission, and an ambitious Chinese mission that includes an orbiter, a lander and rover.
When will the first humans land on Marss red, magnetic dust? We cannot know the answer, but it seems that we will not do so in the next decade, or even, perhaps, in the decade after that, despite what some billionaires will tell you.
It is already too late to launch a human mission before the late 2030s, despite the acceleration of our return to the Moon.
A recent report prepared by the Science and Technology Policy Institute in the US and Nasa noted that in 2017 Congress put a line in Nasas budget for a Mars human space flight mission to be launched in 2033. The report considered this and concluded: We find that even without budget constraints, a Mars 2033 orbital mission cannot be realistically scheduled under Nasas current and notional plans.
The next launch window, in 2035, was also deemed infeasible, pushing the earliest possible date for flying the mission to the following launch window in 2037.
One person who is sure we will get to Mars a lot earlier, in fact within years, is Elon Musk. Even before the next human landing on the Moon he wants to send our first cargo mission to Mars in 2022. The objectives for the first mission will be to confirm water resources, identify hazards and put in place initial power, mining, and life support infrastructure.
As if that wasnt ambitious enough, he has in mind a second mission, with both cargo and crew, targeted for 2024, which will construct a propellant depot and prepare for future human missions. The ships from these missions will serve as the beginnings of a Mars base, then will come a thriving city and eventually a self-sustaining civilisation on Mars.
To do this SpaceX will need to build and fly around 1,000 starships that will transport cargo, infrastructure and crew to Mars over the course of around 20 years. This is notrealistic.
Musks space rival is the richest man alive, Jeff Bezos, who founded the aerospace company Blue Origin in 2000.
A test flight of the rocket Blue Origin is developing reached space in 2015 and he plans, like Virgin Galactic, to begin commercial suborbital spaceflight. Blue Origin has also designed a lunar lander that Nasa has chosen to land on the Moon. Bezos doesnt think humans will ever want to live on Mars.
My friends who want to move to Mars? I say: Do me a favour, go live on the top of Mount Everest for a year first and see if you like it.
Bezos once said that space is really easy to overhype. Hes right. Mars presents unique challenges. We have to learn about the planet and about ourselves.
As I envisage it, the first people to reach Mars will not land there. After a 201-day voyage, the first ship might enter the orbit of Mars in 2039. This is several years later than had once been proposed and not landing is controversial.
But there are good reasons. Thinking of Mars as a kind of Earth in waiting is wrong, and likely to get one killed. Mars is Mars, its features are Martian, forever its own.
Earth has a vigorous dynamo that generates a magnetosphere that shields the Earth from solar radiation and the solar wind. Mars lost that magnetic shield very early on and its atmosphere was ablated by the solar wind and is now a mere 1 per cent of that of the Earth. The lack of a shield allows harmful radiation to reach its surface, sterilising the top metre or so.
Earlier this week, scientists said traces of phosphine gas in Venuss upper atmosphere could be evidence of microbial life but is there life on Mars?
Only away from the surface, underground or possibly in caves, could lowly forms of life cling on, the final survivors of a once-living world with no future.
When our worlds were young our solar system contained far more debris than it does now, and large collisions were common. Many worlds were destroyed, none escaped intact.
If life developed on Mars or Earth it is possible that it could have been taken to the other planet by an interchange of rocks between us. We have identified meteorites on Earth that were blasted off the surface of Mars and there must be Earth meteorites on Mars.
Perhaps if we find evidence for present or past life on Mars we may be looking at life that began on Earth, or we could be looking at our ancestors before they came here, making our Mars mission a journey home.
:: Space 2069: After Apollo: The Moon, Mars and Beyond by David Whitehouse (Icon Books, 16.99) is out now.
Posted: at 1:18 am
Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on August 26, 2020, Sol 2864 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image
Based on the initial results from the SAM wet chemistry experiment from last week, the SAM team elected to complement it with a second wet chemistry experiment on the Mary Anning 3 drill sample in todays plan. The first experiment was run with the reagent tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH), and the second will be run with the reagent N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) - shout out to Sol 2880 (link to that blog) blogger Ryan Anderson for these names! These are called wet chemistry experiments because SAM adds a liquid reagent to the sample before they analyze it. Each reagent reacts differently with the sample, so each experiment shines a slightly different light on what carbon-bearing compounds lie within the sample. Together, we get a fuller picture of the chemistry of the Mary Anning sample.
The SAM experiment is involved enough that it requires a dedicated sol in the plan, but the second sol of the plan was available for other observations. ChemCam targeted two cobbles, Quoy and Skor, which are similar to the larger rock fragments seen in the above image, to compare their chemistries to that of the coherent bedrock slabs in this area. ChemCam also targeted a white patch, Lealt, which resembles the white vein materials we have encountered in so much of our exploration of Gale crater. We once again targeted Le Ceasnachadh for a ChemCam passive observation. The gray bulbous materials that dot the top of this target are hard to hit when you are aiming from more than 5 m away, so we hope to land a few more points on these features in this effort. Navcam will scan the skies above us for clouds and dust devils, and will measure the dust load in the atmosphere. REMS, RAD, and DAN keep their regular watch on the environment around and below us throughout the plan.
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Posted: at 1:18 am
NASA and other space agencies are already planning for the inevitable future of Mars exploration. That means sending crewed missions to the Red Planet to conduct research and break new ground in space. The trip is long, and if were sending humans to the surface of Mars, it would make a lot of sense for them to be comfortable during their stay, and that means construction.
If you believe Elon Musk, humans will colonize Mars, but even if that does happen eventually, things will start off very slowly. The first Martian homes will likely be primitive in design, and theres a very good reason for that: weight.
Sending a mission to Mars is already a challenging affair. Add human passengers to the mix and it becomes even more of a challenge. Life support systems, food, and water will all need to come along for the ride, and even if the water is recycled and the travelers can grow their own food during the trip, thats a whole lot of extra equipment.
Storage space on any spacecraft headed for Mars will be at a premium, and that means there wont be room to bring things like traditional building materials. Researchers have proposed many ways around this, including making homes in the ancient lava tubes that dot the planets surface, but researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design have come up with a slightly different solution.
In a study published in PLOS One, the researchers explain how the first Martian travelers could construct homes and other objects using chitin. Chitin is found in nature. Its what makes up the hard shell of a crab and the rigid exoskeletons of beetles and other insects. Its an incredibly versatile material, and it might be the key to make life on Mars a little easier.
There are no crabs or bugs on Mars (that we know of), but it may still be possible to create chitin-like material using the Martian soil and mixing it with material brought along for the trip. Chitosan, the fiber that gives chitin its rigid properties, was combined with a Mars soil analog in a simple process that could be easily handled with minimal equipment. The result was a strong material that can be used to make tools and even supports for building structures.
Against the general perception, bioinspired manufacturing and sustainable materials are not a substituting technology for synthetic polymers, but an enabling technology defining a new paradigm in manufacturing, and allowing to do things that are unachievable by the synthetic counterparts, Dr. Javier Fernandez, co-author of the study, said in a statement. Here we have demonstrated that they are key not only for our sustainability on Earth but also for one of the next biggest achievements of humanity: our transformation into an interplanetary species.
Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love ofreporting is second only to his gaming addiction.
Posted: at 1:18 am
In 2016, Wieger Wamelink, a plant ecologist based at Wageningen University, sat down at the New World Hotel in the Netherlands with 50 guests for a one-of-a-kind meal.
Things might have looked ordinary enough from a quick glance at the menu, if maybe a little cheffy pea puree appetisers to start, followed by potato and nettle soup with rye bread and radish foam, then carrot sorbet to finish.
But the thing that made it such an extraordinary occasion was that all the vegetables used to make the meal had been grown in simulation Martian and lunar soils by Wamelink and his team.
Since then, they have grown an impressive 10 crops, including quinoa, cress, rocket and tomatoes using simulation soils produced using crushed volcanic rocks collected here on Earth. The team produced their simulant soil by grading the particles of rock into different sizes and mixing them in proportions that match rover analyses of the Martian soil.
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The soils were initially developed so that rovers and spacesuits could be tested on Earth to see how well they handled the surface materials of Mars and the Moon. Few thought that the soils could ever actually be farmed.
For a start, there were concerns about the texture of the soil, especially after early attempts to farm model lunar soils struggled as a result of tiny, razor-sharp rock fragments that punctured the plants roots. On Mars, though, the movements of ancient water and ongoing wind erosion have left a far more forgiving surface covering on the planet, and the simulation soils have proved to be successful.
Nutritionally, Wamelink says theres no difference between the Martian crops and those grown in local soils, and when it comes to flavour he was most impressed by the tomatoes sweetness.
Wieger Wamelink from Wageningen University checks on a batch of crops grown in simulant Martian soil Wieger Wamelink
Wamelink and his team are now attempting to improve crop yields by infusing the simulation Mars soil with nitrogen-rich human urine, a resource likely to be readily available on crewed missions to the Red Planet. He also plans to introduce bacteria that will fix more atmospheric nitrogen, and also feed on the toxic perchlorate salts present in Mars soil.
Elsewhere, at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, Prof Ed Guinan and Alicia Eglin are leading the Red Thumbs project, and have had several successes in farming their own Martian simulant.
Initially derived from rocks gathered in the Mojave Desert, the Villanova researchers have augmented their model soil with earthworm farms, due to the animals ability to release nitrogen from dead organic matter through their burrowing and feeding.
The Red Thumbs project made headlines in 2018 when the international media got excited about the prospect of Martian beer, after Guinan and Eglins team managed to successfully produce barley and hops.
A couple of years on and Guinan and Eglin have now added tomatoes, garlic, spinach, basil, kale, lettuce, rocket, onion and radishes to their greenhouses. The quality of harvests has varied, but chief among the successes was kale, which actually grew better in the simulant Martian soil than in local soils.
Other crops struggled, such as the much-needed and calorie-dense potatoes. It turns out potatoes prefer more of a loose, uncompacted soil and failed to grow as the simulant soils became heavy and impenetrable when watered, which led to the potatoes being choked out.
Eglin believes that the key to success may be to grow lower yield crops that might enjoy more natural ecosystems than a single-species setup would allow. Even on Earth, agricultural monocultures often suffer over time as nutrients essential for that one plant being grown are progressively depleted and not replaced after each harvest.
Potatoes dont fare so well in the tight, compacted Martian dirt Wieger Wamelink
To counteract this effect, farmers often introduce secondary species in the same growing area. These wouldnt compete with the main crop, because their root systems are shallower, but they would still offer additional nitrogen fixation to improve soil fertility. Eglin is now planning to test this by growing soybeans, which could prove to be a vital source of protein, and corn alongside pigweed, a leafy vegetable famous for its use in the Caribbean stew callaloo.
But however much success these projects have, we must remember that simulant soils have very real limitations, explains ESAs Christel Paille. Shes involved in the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative programme (MELiSSA), which is exploring a range of technologies for use in long-haul, crewed missions, such as bacterial bioreactors that recycle astronaut waste into air, water and food.
While MELiSSA has provided support to Wamelink, Paille points out that any successes from the model soils must take into account the fact that theyre based on limited geographical sampling.
Potatoes grown in the simulation Mars soil were harvested, but the quality of the crop was varied Wieger Wamelink
Its a baseline, but probably not something that we can generalise to any location on the Mars surface. We are always very cautious about a simulant material. Its very difficult in a single simulant to capture all the characteristics [of the Martian surface], she says.
Perhaps the only way around this is to collect a sample from the surface of Mars and return it to Earth. On 30 July, NASAs Perseverance Rover launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida with its sights set on the ancient river delta deposits in Marss Jezero Crater. If all goes according to plan, next February the rover will find itself in whats thought to be some of most fertile land on the Red Planet.
Matt Damon successfully managed to cultivate crops while stranded on Mars in the 2015 film The Martian Shutterstock
Thanks to its plutonium-based power system, the rover should be able to spend up to a decade analysing the surface of Mars. While previous missions have looked for signs of habitable conditions that existed in the past, Perseverance aims to go one step further by searching for signs of past microbial life.
Also, and crucially for those with hopes of growing food on Mars, the rover will collect samples of rocks and soil, and store them in preparation for a potential future robotic mission to return them to Earth for analysis. Until then, the simulation soils are all we have to work with.
There is still much to be learned in the meantime. For instance, rather than commit to individual species, Pailles MELiSSA programme prefers to assess plants within a self-contained, life-supporting ecosystem.
The MELiSSA programme is trying to create a self-sustaining life support system for plants that can be used for long-haul space missions ESA
Here, the benefits of edible biomass, oxygen production and even water treatment are balanced against the resources to grow each plant and manage their waste. But predicting crop performance on Mars will require a more fundamental understanding of plant biology.
Its about going down to the molecular scale, says Paille. We need to characterise whats happening underground, like in root respiration. How are gases such as oxygen taken up and provided to the root. And how does the carbon dioxide produced actually diffuse out?
Even if a suitable simulant is developed, there are still other challenges to overcome. Mars is located in an orbit thats around 70 million kilometres further out from the Sun than Earth. As a result, sunlight delivers only 43 per cent as much energy, leaving average temperatures languishing around -60C. Also because of the planets tilt and highly elliptical orbit, seasonal variations are extreme.
Another hurdle is the Martian atmosphere, which is much thinner than Earths and lacking in the nitrogen vital for plant growth. Instead its dominated by carbon dioxide, which is vital for photosynthesis, but its at such low concentrations that any plants growing on the surface would struggle to harness enough to spur growth.
Prof Ed Guinan from Villanova University examines one of the plants being grown in the Mars Garden Jonathan Gust
The thin atmosphere also exposes the Martian soil to cosmic radiation. This creates a hostile environment for any microorganisms you might introduce to recycle nutrients from dead plant matter.
Also, Jennifer Wadsworth at the UK Centre for Astrobiology has shown that solar radiation can activate chlorine compounds in Martian soil, turning them into toxic perchlorate salts. These are poisonous if eaten and can lead to hypothyroidism, which blocks the release of metabolism-regulating hormones. Poisonous heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and iron found in the soil also pose their own challenges.
The Phase 2 Mars Garden, part of the Red Thumbs project Jonathan Gust
Everything thats poisonous for people you can think of in terms of heavy metals is in those soils, says Wamelink. For plants its not a problem because theyll store it somewhere. But if we eat those plants then it might be [a problem for us].
Another option may be soil-less techniques already used on Earth. Aeroponics sees plants suspended in the air while their roots are sprayed with a nutrient mist. Alternatively, hydroponics dips the roots into a nutritious liquid.
Guinan and two of his students tend to plants being grown as part of the Red Thumbs Project Jonathan Gust
These approaches can produce larger, faster-growing crops, and have already been used to successfully grow lettuce on the International Space Station (ISS). In fact, the astronauts were so pleased with their harvest, says Wamelink, the scientists back home were disappointed with the amount of lettuce samples returned for analysis after too much was eaten.
Despite the popularity of the ISS lettuce, air or water agriculture alone may not be enough to sustain astronauts on long-haul trips to Mars, thanks again to the problem of growing potatoes.
Its very difficult to grow potatoes in hydroculture, and just eating lettuce and tomatoes wont be enough because you need calories, says Wamelink. Potatoes grow much better in soils, where youll get a lot of harvest per cubic metre and the organic matter that you dont eat can be recycled.
Whether grown in soil, water or misty air, food will likely play much more than a simple nutritional role in any Martian outpost. Sitting down to a proper meal would prove invaluable for the mental health and comfort of any pioneering astronauts living millions of kilometres from home. Who knows, maybe rye bread and radish foam will be on the menu after all.
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Mars is going to do a few things in the sky over the next month. You might want to find it in the night sky now so you can appreciate the progression of Mars' developments.
Mars is going to do two things. One thing will be very apparent. Mars is going into opposition with Earth on October 13. Opposition will mean that Mars will rise in the sky right at sunset. So just an hour or two after sunset, Mars will be high enough to see bright and clear. As we approach a Mars opposition, it will get big and bright.
Mars image courtesy NASA
Mike Murray, Program Director at Delta College Planetarium in Bay City, says Mars will actually be closest to Earth on October 6, but the opposition will occur October 13. In early October, Mars will be considerably brighter than normal according to Mike Murray.
You dont have to wait until early October to see a bright Mars. Mars is rising in the sky now around 9:30 p.m. It takes until around 11:00 p.m. when it is high enough to see easily. Mars rises in the east. By early October, Mars will be highly visible by 9:00 p.m.
Murray says Mars will be 4 million miles closer on October 6 than it is now.
David DeBruyn, Curator Emeritus of the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium in Grand Rapids has been fascinated with Mars since he was 15 years old. He says Mars is more earth-like than any other planet. DeBruyn states we know a lot about Mars, but there is still a lot we dont know. He advises Mars will be the second brightest object in the sky, behind the moon, in early October. DeBruyn reminds us Mars has an atmosphere and weather. But its not the kind of weather you would like. Today at the Mars equator it may warm up to 40 degrees F, but during the night cool off to -150 degrees. Yes you see that correctly- one hundred and fifty degrees below zero.
The other condition will take a little work to see. Mars is going to retrograde in the sky the days before the opposition. Retrograde means Mars is going to appear to move backwards in the sky from night to night. If you pay attention to the location of Mars in the sky, you will notice the position changing backwards.
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Posted: at 1:18 am
By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 18, 2020 8:19:51 amThe presence of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus is something that was not expected and is "unexplained. (NASA/File Photo)
After it was discovered through telescopic research that clouds hanging in the Venusian atmosphere poses potential signs of life which seems to be similar to Phosphine gas produced by microbes and microorganisms on the earth, astronomers and space experts have become more than interested to further dissect into an unknown world of our twin planet, not identical twin though. Taking a cue from the results, U.S based space agency NASA is considering launching a mission to Venus to probe and find substantial evidence of life if any.
It is not for the first time, that such a mission to Venus will be launched, like myriad Mars Missions, several missions have been launched in the last century primarily by Russia, then the USSR and by the U.S through NASA as per information cited in The New York Times. Walking down the memory lane, Russia, from 1961 onwards launched many Soviet programs of Venus over the course of decades. But it was not a mean feat to land on the Venusian surface, and neither it is currently, where pressure is so high that the Soviet Spacecraft was demolished in a matter of few minutes. Venera 4 in 1967 revealed that Venuss air consisted largely of greenhouse gas trapping Carbon-dioxide providing a green tint to its atmosphere. Thereafter, Soviets Venera 9, in 1975, took the pictures of the surface of Venus for the first time, revealing its poisonous atmosphere. Russia launched many missions thereafter but concluded it in 1985.
NASAs Mariner 2 and Pioneer spacecrafts also ventured into the Venusian atmosphere in 1962 and 1978 respectively, revealing the type of environment on clouds and surface of the planet. In 1990 Magellan spacecraft found that Venuss atmosphere largely consisted of the volcanic lava flow. In the 21st Century, Europes Venus Express and Japans Akatsuki have continued with their probe, as published by The New York Times website.
Looking at the future prospects of the space probe NASA has shortlisted two spacecraft missions which are DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, both of which seemingly have the probability to be chosen as a final spacecraft for the venture. India has also come up with its Shukrayaan-1 mission for Venus to analyse its chemistry by orbiting around the planet.
Pertaining to the hellish conditions on the planet and uncertainties related to the space probe missions, it will be suitable to predict that the finding of any potential life on Venus will absolutely be a long haul, requiring decades of rigorous research to overcome various scientific challenges in the future.
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LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) - A Le Mars, Iowa, police officer has been dismissed from the Le Mars Police Department following the investigation of social media posts he allegedly made.
On Sunday, Le Mars Police say they received information that Officer Jeremy Singer had engaged in misconduct involving social media activity depicting comments and behavior unbecoming of a police officer.
After a review of this information, Singer was placed on leave and a misconduct investigation was launched.
Based on the results of that investigation Le Mars Police dismissed Singer on Tuesday.
In a release, Le Mars Police said, "the City of Le Mars took this matter seriously and the actions and comments made by Officer Singer are not representative of the values in place to ensure that there is trust between the police department and the community of Le Mars."
Le Mars Police have not released details of the contents of the social media posts in question.
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