As it prepares for its Mars mission, NASA’s Perseverance rover underwent tests in southern Australia – especially its tools and methods that will look for evidence of microbial life forms.
“The Flinders Mountains are the perfect place to do a lot of research related to Mars because it is a dry, dusty and windy area, which is very arid and therefore a good analog for looking for life on Mars “, says astrobiologist Bonnie Teece, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
In an article published in the journal Astrobiology, Teece tells how he replicated the methods that the Perseverance Rover will use to select Martian rocks for analysis of biomarkers – naturally occurring molecules indicating evidence of microbial life.
In Australia, researchers searched for evidence of ancient life on Earth, analyzing different lines of evidence. “If you work with only one line of evidence, it may not be really real – it may be a contaminated artifact or it may look like life, but it is not,” says Teece. “That is why it is so important that the rover has a diverse payload of instruments that can investigate and probe sediments in different ways on Mars to look for the best candidates for life.”
The mission is scheduled to launch between July and August when Earth and Mars are in good positions with each other for the trip. Perseverance is a semiautonomist who will explore the Jezero Crater with high-tech instruments to help identify rocks on the Red Planet.
Your Mastcam-Z cameras have a state-of-the-art zoom feature that will help the mission to convert 3D images more easily. The rover is also equipped with PIXL, an instrument that uses X-rays to reveal the elemental composition of samples visible to the naked eye.
And, completing the analysis tools, is Sherloc, whose main objective is to detect organic compounds sweeping the environment using spectroscopy.
By mimicking these instruments, Teece’s team was able to identify which samples were the most degraded and which were least likely to preserve these organic products. The researchers used analogous tools to identify the rocks on the Flinders land that they later collected manually.
By simply looking at the samples, together with elementary mapping and some organic results, the team was able to gather a comprehensive description of the environments in which the fossils were. “The use of the same technology onboard Perseverance can lead to positive results in the search for signs of microbial life”, believes the astrobiologist.
Starship SN20 can make an orbital flight in a few weeks. SpaceX is preparing corrections
Starship SN20 is a spacecraft that SpaceX has been preparing for a long time. The machine is now assembled and in Boca Chica, it is accompanied by the first stage called Super Heavy.
It is he who will enable orbital flight. When can it be expected? Here the secret was revealed by the founder of the company, Elon Musk.
According to the information provided by Elon Musk in the pages of Twitter, SpaceX will want to conduct an orbital flight of the Starship S20 in the next few weeks.
He claims that everything is basically ready and now the company only expects approval from the relevant authorities. Only then will it be possible to implement such a mission.
SpaceX may make changes to the Starship SN20 ship
While the latest prototype is basically ready for launch, there may still be some modifications. Elon Musk has revealed that SpaceX wants to remodel the wings.
They will be made smaller and look slightly different as well. This is to allow, among others on the reduction of elements related to thermal shields. However, these modifications may not appear until later versions.
When Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Performs Parkour Actions Like a Human
Boston Dynamics now has some amazing robots like Spot which are currently on sale in the market even though the price is quite expensive.
But not only Spot, but Boston Dynamics now also has several other types of robots that come with their respective abilities, and recently they have demonstrated the capabilities of one of their newest robots, Atlas.
Through a short video uploaded to YouTube, Boston Dynamics shows how the ability of its Atlas robot can perform various parkour actions smoothly.
Because Atlas itself has legs and arms like humans, the robot can also do things like jumping, running, and doing backflips.
Boston Dynamics itself says that parkour is one of the most perfect ways to experiment with Atlas and in the video, it can be seen that this robot can maintain its own body balance when doing activities that are quite difficult.
Surely the presence of this Atlas can help many things in the future. We’ll see when Boston Dynamics will also sell the robot along with Atlas, which is now widely used for various purposes.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Company Criticizes SpaceX’s Going To The Moon
Some time ago the space companies SpaceX and Blue Origin fought to seize funding from NASA to bring astronauts to the Moon. But the result of the fight was won by SpaceX.
Even though NASA had already decided to choose SpaceX as the company that would help it fly astronauts to the Moon, it was found that Blue Origin did not accept it.
Previously, the company created by Jeff Bezos had made an offer to NASA so that the funds provided could be less than what had been promised, now it has released an infographic that compares its rocket with SpaceX.
Through its official website, Blue Origin said that SpaceX’s Starship rocket has a system that is too complicated and also risky for astronauts who will fly to the Moon later.
Blue Origin also compared SpaceX’s Starship rocket with its rocket which is considered much safer.
It was stated that SpaceX needed 10 trials to land the Starship on the Moon, while the Blue Origin rocket was claimed to only need 3 trials to land on the Moon.
In addition, the size of SpaceX’s Starship rocket is said to be too inconvenient, so astronauts will have to descend to the surface of the Moon in an elevator. While Blue Origin has a shorter rocket so astronauts can descend by using stairs only.
But after all, SpaceX already has a lot more experience in outer space. Because they have also worked with NASA to take astronauts to the ISS twice and everything was run successfully without any problems.
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