Mars had plenty of water in the past, but probably no life forms
Mars has been in the news quite a lot these past few months, as I’m sure some of you may already know. This isn’t exactly a surprise seeing as how our neighboring planet is scheduled to receive human visitors at some point in the coming decades. Learning everything we can about Mars beforehand is certain to help scientists draw a better plan for the upcoming manned mission while also hyping up the general public so that they can contribute with what they can to what’s expected to be the next important milestone in space exploration.
Last month we were pleasantly surprised to learn that Mars still has a bit of water under its dry surface, however, according to a recent study it seems like this is just the remnant of an ocean that covered the planet billions of years ago. Astronomers have long since suspected that the Red Planet may have hosted large amounts of water in the past, but now thanks to NASA and the European Southern Observatory we have even more reasons to think that this was indeed the case. The research conducted using the Very Large Telescope found in Chile as well as the Hawaii-based Infrared Telescope Facility and WM Keck Observatory suggests that Mars lost an ocean’s worth of water over the last 4 billion years.
“It implies that a substantial amount of water was available during the first billion years on Mars, raising the possibility that ancient Mars was habitable,” Geronimo Villanueva, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told Astrobiology Magazine.
To give us a better idea about just how much water was lost, the researchers claim that about 19% of Mars’ surface would have been covered by a mile deep ocean if all that water was still around today. These new findings could potentially indicate that Mars was once able to sustain life, especially since life as we know it seems to thrive in pretty much every place where there’s water. At least, that’s what the life forms found here on Earth would suggest. What’s true here may not be true everywhere though and some scientists are skeptical in regards to this theory. The skepticism comes from the fact that water may not have been widely available in liquid form on Mars because the planet was likely much colder than our own throughout its history.
The amount of water lost by Mars would have been enough to cover the entire planet in a 137 meter (499 feet) deep global ocean if we were to distribute it equally across its surface. Even though this seems like a pretty big amount, a global ocean on Earth would be several kilometers deep if we were to take all the water found here and spread it in a similar fashion. According to planetary scientist Robin Wordsworth from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, it’s very likely that Mars had very little water at any point during its history and the water it had was probably available as ice rather than liquid. This pretty much excludes the possibility of life, although more studies are needed before scientists can say for certain.
“Their [Villanueva’s] results are entirely consistent with a predominantly cold, icy scenario for early Mars,” said Wordsworth. “A global depth of 137 meters still implies a relatively dry planet, and doesn’t allow a deep northern ocean. The water could have mainly been in the form of ice rather than liquid.”
NASA’s DART probe successfully collided with an asteroid.
At the time of impact, the impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, was moving at about 14,000 mph.
After traveling for over a year, NASA‘s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which attempted to provide answers, “Could a specially crafted satellite be used to divert an asteroid from its planet-destroying course? How about a number? “has effectively impacted the Dimorphos asteroid. However, NASA ground control has confirmed that the DART impact vehicle has intercepted the target asteroid. The results and data from the collision are still being received. Yes, Dimorphos is about the size of a football stadium, but space is very big, extremely dark, and both the asteroid and the spaceship were traveling rather quickly at the time.
“It’s been a successful completion of the first part of the world’s first planetary defense test,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said after the impact. “I believe it’s going to teach us how one day to protect our own planet from an incoming asteroid. We are showing that planetary defense is a global endeavor and it is very possible to save our planet.”
In an effort to investigate the employment of defensive satellites as a method of planetary defense against Near Earth Objects, NASA launched the DART mission in November 2021. Nearly 68 million miles from Earth, the DART impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, tragically crossed Dimorphos’ path while traveling at about 14,000 MPH.
It remains to be seen if future generations of a planetary defense system will be packed with satellites ready to go full June Bug vs. Chrysler Windshield against real planet-killer asteroids. Dimorphos is one of two asteroids that are gravitationally entangled; its parent rock is more than five times larger than Dimorphos itself, but both are dwarfed by the space rock that struck Earth 66 million years ago and destroyed 75% of the planet’s multicellular life while gouging out the Gulf of Mexico.
Various Companies Partner Up to Put a Mobile Phone Network on the Moon
The world of science and technology brings us yet another crazy possibility that’s going to be explored quite soon. Fourth Generation Cellular Networks are seeing implementations on various places. One of them could be the natural satellite orbiting the earth: The Moon.
A partnership between Nokia, Vodafone and Audi is looking to implement cellular networks on the moon sometime next year. Even if the proposition sounds crazy, it seems like they have a lot of plans to make this dream a reality.
Vodafone will be designing the lunar network and will make use of equipment designed by Nokia Bell Labs. This connectivity will allow two Audi Lunar Quattro rovers to communicate wirelessly with a base station at the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module.
Using existing satellites, mission organizer Part Time Scientists will also be able to live stream scientific data and HD video content from the Moon to viewers on Earth. In other words, we will be getting some very detailed views of Earth for public viewing.
The networking equipment will be launched into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. If you think it’s going to be very heavy and sloppy to handle. Nokia’s engineers have worked really hard to make it weigh less than one kilogram.
We’re seeing the vestiges of life in the moon very frequently now. All thanks to the options becoming more and more accessible with the fast advancements in technology. Of course, this rapid growth is far from reaching its peak potential.
Who knows? Maybe we will be able to look at interplanetary travels and living. The sky is the limit when it comes to the amount of creations. Nowadays bizarre ideas like mobile networks in different planets aren’t that far fetched eiher.
It’s going to be an interesting ride, for sure. However, we must be also conscious about the planet we’re currently living in. Even though there are efforts to make this planet greener, there is a lot left to do.
Spacesuit’s “Take Me Home” Button can help Lost Astronauts
Alright, it’s been some time since we’ve talked about developments in Space Technology. This development in particular can actually save the lives of countless astronauts who find themselves in quite nightmarish situations. I mean, being “lost in space” is a very serious issue for a lot of astronauts.
A recent patent made by Kevin Duda, a space systems engineer at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts shows a self-return system that allows safety for spacewalking astronauts. Even in the most threatening scenario of the crewmates not being able to rescue the astray spaceman.
The self-return spacesuit system, Duda explained, had to be capable of determining a precise location in a harsh space environment where GPS is unavailable. This basically makes for a “Return to Home” button that is very tricky to develop.
The system has to compute an optimal return trajectory that accounts for time, oxygen consumption, safety and clearance requirements. Not only that but the system has to be able to guide a disoriented and possibly unconscious astronaut to safety effectively.
Draper Director of Space Systems Séamus Tuohy said the return-home technology is an advance in spacesuits that is long overdue. He mentions how current spacesuits feature no navigation system and could be a very challenging aspect for astronauts in the current age.
The patent also shows how the system works. It monitors the movement, acceleration and position of the crewmember relative to a fixed object nearby. The navigation module can also be configured using GPS, vision-aided navigation or a star-tracker system.
Additionally, to improve the astronaut’s positioning and orientation, Draper has developed software that fuses data from vision-based and inertial navigation systems and that benefits from the advantages of both sensing approaches. The development of this and other kinds of spacesuits will be handled by NASA
Not only that, but this technology can be used to help Earth’s inhabitants as well. Clothing equipped with sensors of this caliber could help First Response members and even firefighters during dire situations. If you want to see the full patent listing, I’d suggest you read it right here.
- Gadgets8 years ago
Why the Nexus 7 is still a good tablet in 2015
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 5: is there room for improvement?
- Editorials8 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – How bad updates prevent people from enjoying their phones
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Nexus 5 2015 and Android M born to be together
- Gaming8 years ago
New Teaser For Five Nights At Freddy’s 4
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Google not releasing Android M to Nexus 7
- Gadgets8 years ago
Moto G Android 5.0.2 Lollipop still has a memory leak bug
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Nexus 7 2015: Huawei and Google changing the game