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SpaceX launches NASA’s water topography satellite into orbit

SpaceX launches NASA’s water topography satellite into orbit

Science
Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite launched Friday morning from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The SpaceX 9 rocket lifted off at 6:47 a.m., launching the mission that will provide NASA's first global survey of water on Earth's surface, measuring the elevation of water in major lakes, rivers and wetlands while observing ocean features in higher definition than ever before. The data will help researchers better understand the availability of Earth's freshwater resources, track regional sea level changes and monitor coastal processes. "Once in orbit, SWOT will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the ocean on more than 90% of Earth's surface," NASA officials said in a statement. "This information will provide insights into how th...
NASA’s new Mars rover hits dusty red road, 1st trip 21 feet

NASA’s new Mars rover hits dusty red road, 1st trip 21 feet

Technology
NASA's newest Mars rover has hit the dusty red road, taking a spin for the first time this weekBy MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace WriterMarch 6, 2021, 3:30 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA’s newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, putting 21 feet on the odometer in its first test drive.The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position Thursday, two weeks after setting down on the red planet to seek signs of past life.The roundabout, back and forth drive lasted just 33 minutes and went so well that more driving was on tap Friday and Saturday for the the six-wheeled rover.“This is really the start of our journey here,” said Rich Rieber, the NASA engineer who plotted the route. “This is going to be like the Odyssey, adv...
‘I’m on the move!’: NASA’s Perseverance rover takes its first test drive on Mars

‘I’m on the move!’: NASA’s Perseverance rover takes its first test drive on Mars

Technology
NASA's Perseverance rover has taken its first drive on Mars, just weeks after landing on the Red Planet.The one-tonne robot travelled 21.3ft (6.5m) in a mobility test that the space agency said will allow the checking and calibrating of the rover's systems and instruments.Once Perseverance really gets going, it is expected to undertake regular commutes of 656ft (200m) or more. Anais Zarifian, Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mobility test bed engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said: "When it comes to wheeled vehicles on other planets, there are few first-time events that measure up in significance to that of the first drive."This was our first chance to 'kick the tyres' and take Perseverance out for a spin." ...
Nasa’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars

Nasa’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars

Science
There's a new robot on the surface of Mars.The American space agency has successfully landed its Perseverance rover in a deep crater near the planet's equator called Jezero.Engineers at Nasa's mission control in California erupted with joy when confirmation of touchdown came through.The six-wheeled vehicle will now spend at least the next two years drilling into the local rocks, looking for evidence of past life.Jezero is thought to have held a giant lake billions of years ago. And where there's been water, there's the possibility there might also have been life.Key questions about Nasa's Mars roverHow Perseverance will search for signs of lifeNASAThe signal alerting controllers that Perseverance was down and safe arrived at 20:55 GMT. In the past they might have hugged and high-fived but ...