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Tag: Mars

When flying to Mars is your day job

When flying to Mars is your day job

Science
Sending missions to Mars for a living sounds like a dream job. But not every day can be launch day - so what do Nasa's spacecraft engineers get up to the rest of the time?Dr Farah Alibay is based at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and works on the InSight mission - which lifted off to Mars in May 2018. It aims to land on the planet in November and have a look inside - taking its internal temperature and listening for "Marsquakes" to learn more about how our nearest neighbour formed.Now halfway to the Red Planet and running to a Mars day rather than an Earth one, InSight is looked after by a dedicated team who regularly check in with the spacecraft on its long journey, including Dr Alibay.She shared a day at her job with th...
Mars pulls ads from YouTube drill videos

Mars pulls ads from YouTube drill videos

Business
Mars has pulled its advertising from YouTube after one of its brands was shown with a drill rap music video. The move was prompted after an advert for Starburst sweets was put at the start of a video by group Moscow17.One of the group's members, Siddique Kamara, also known as Incognito and SK, was stabbed to death in south London earlier this week. The confectionery company said it was "unacceptable" to see its brand alongside that type of content. A report from the Sun said the advertising was worth around £5m to the video sharing website - but the company would not confirm this, saying it did not plan to provide any detail on its advertising budget. Grime: Dead, dying or back underground? Drill music video stopped by arm...
'Impossible' to make Mars like Earth – NASA study

'Impossible' to make Mars like Earth – NASA study

Technology
Dreams of transforming Mars into a habitable long-term human colony are scientifically impossible with current technology, according to a NASA-sponsored study. Transforming planets as a pre-cursor to colonisation is a staple of science fiction, and an aspiration for individuals including Elon Musk, whose company SpaceX uses images of terraforming Mars in its promotional material.In the 1898 science fiction novel War of the Worlds, the invading Martian forces bring a red weed with them that begins to kill off Earth's plant life to make the planet habitable for the Martians.This process of colonising other planets is known as terraforming when it refers to shaping their environments so they are more like Earth. However, for planets which do not harbour any life - and certai...
Hubble snaps photos as Mars makes its closest approach to Earth

Hubble snaps photos as Mars makes its closest approach to Earth

Science
July 27 (UPI) -- Mars is the closest its been to Earth in 15 years, offering the Hubble Space Telescope especially clear views of the Red Planet. To celebrate the close approach, NASA and Hubble shared several new images of Mars and Saturn, which is also making its closest approach. When Earth, Mars and Saturn are in alignment, they're said to be in opposition. Mars is currently 36.9 million miles from Earth. "We're always looking for excuses to share Hubble's images," Bonnie Meinke, astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute, told UPI. "But we can also use these images and observations for scientific purposes." The high resolution images offer scientists another opportunity to gauge the scope of the dust storm currently swirling on Mars. "We have all of these spacecraft on or...
Fetch rover! Robot to retrieve Mars rocks

Fetch rover! Robot to retrieve Mars rocks

Science
UK engineers will design a robot that can retrieve rock samples on Mars so they can be sent to Earth for study. The European Space Agency is issuing contracts to industry to spec the technology needed for what will be a complex joint undertaking with the US. Aerospace giant Airbus will scope the concept for a surface "fetch rover" at its Stevenage centre north of London. Esa and the American space agency (Nasa) expect to send the sample-return equipment to the Red Planet in 2026. "It will be a relatively small rover - about 130kg; but the requirements are very demanding," said Ben Boyes who will lead the feasibility team at Airbus. "The vehicle will have to cover large distances using a high degree of autonomy, planning its own p...