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Nasa probes oxygen mystery on Mars

Nasa probes oxygen mystery on Mars

Science
The oxygen in Martian air is changing in a way that can't currently be explained by known chemical processes.That's the claim of scientists working on the Curiosity rover mission, who have been taking measurements of the gas.They discovered that the amount of oxygen in Martian "air" rose by 30% in spring and summer.The pattern remains a mystery, but researchers are beginning to narrow the possibilities.While the changes are most likely to be geological in nature, planetary scientists can't completely rule out an explanation involving microbial life.The results come from nearly six Earth years' (three Martian years') worth of data from the Sample Analysis at Mars (Sam) instrument, a portable chemistry lab in the belly of the Curio...
NASA unveils early version of all-electric plane

NASA unveils early version of all-electric plane

Technology
NASA has unveiled an all-electric plane which it has been developing since 2015.The experimental aircraft, or X-plane, has been designated X-57, and will be known as "Maxwell" for short. It could be ready for its first test flight from Edwards Air Force Base in the desert of southern California next year. Image: The plane has been under development since 2015. Pic: Reuters/NASA The X-57 has been adapted from an Italian-made Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller plane but with the traditional combustion engines replaced with electric cruise motors.There are 14 electric motors powered by specially designed lithium-ion batteries, the same technology used in mobile phones and electric cars. ...
NASA: Water-hunting rover to land on lunar south pole in 2022

NASA: Water-hunting rover to land on lunar south pole in 2022

Science
Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Before the first woman and next man land on the moon, NASA will send another rover to the lunar surface, this time to the satellite's south pole. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will be designed to hunt for water on the lunar south pole. Planetary scientists are confident there is water ice on both the moon's poles, perhaps in the millions of tons. Still, scientists aren't certain about the exact whereabouts and nature of the moon's water reserves. VIPER could help NASA scientists develop more detailed resource maps as they prepare for send humans to the moon for the first time in decades. "The key to living on the Moon is water -- the same as here on Earth," Daniel Andrews, the project manager of the VIPER mission and director of engineeri...
Nasa astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir in all-women spacewalk

Nasa astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir in all-women spacewalk

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Nasa astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have made history by completing the first ever all-female spacewalk.They spent seven hours outside the International Space Station (ISS) replacing a failed power control unit.Ms Koch had already carried out four spacewalks but it was the first such mission for Ms Meir, who became the 15th woman to walk in space, Nasa said.US President Donald Trump congratulated them in a video call."You are very brave, brilliant women," he told them as they carried out the spacewalk. Ms Koch, an electrical engineer, and Ms Meir, who has a doctorate in marine biology, stepped outside in their Nasa spacesuits at...
Nasa unveils new spacesuit for next Moon landing

Nasa unveils new spacesuit for next Moon landing

Science
The US space agency has unveiled the prototype for a new spacesuit that could be worn by the next astronauts on the Moon.Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine shared a close-up look at the next-generation suits for the agency's Artemis programme.The xEMU prototype suit looks similar to ones used at the International Space Station.But Nasa said it had been improved for comfort, fit and mobility on the Moon.Mr Bridenstine also presented the Orion Crew Survival System, an orange flight suit with helmet that will be worn by crews in the Orion spacecraft for launch and re-entry.Orion is the replacement for the space shuttle, but, unlike that system, it's designed to carry astronauts to the Moon and other targets in deep space.To the Moon and Bey...