Two free public programs in Pasadena this week will introduce NASA’s next Mars mission, a multipurpose orbiter under assembly for launch next August. NASA is equipping the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to advance our understanding of Mars through detailed observation, to examine potential landing sites for future surface missions, and to provide a high-data-rate communications relay for those missions.
Free Programs Will Preview NASA’s Next Mars Mission AScribe Newswire
Adjusting Biological Clocks for Space Travel; Future Human Mars Missions to Carry Circadian Knowledge AScribe Newswire
President George W. Bush recently set two goals for the nation’s space program: humans will return to the moon by 2020, and land on Mars by 2030. But human biology is not designed for space travel. The earth is, in effect, a spaceship, with an atmosphere, gravity and light cycles that allow us to thrive. Space, however, is inhospitable. To travel across vast distances of space, humans must bring along the conditions of spaceship earth. Researchers at the University of Virginia have begun looking for ways to help the human body adapt to months, perhaps years, of space travel during a Mars mission. Once astronauts leave Earth, there will be no day/night cycles. And on the Martian surface, the days are slightly longer than the 24-hour day on Earth, which likely will skew the natural rhythms of the astronauts’ biological clocks.
Scientists Thrilled to See Layers in Mars Rocks Near Opportunity AScribe Newswire
New pictures from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reveal thin layers in rocks just a stone’s throw from the lander platform where the rover temporarily sits. Geologists said that the layers — some no thicker than a finger — indicate the rocks likely originated either from sediments carried by water or wind, or from falling volcanic ash. “We should be able to distinguish between those two hypotheses,” said Dr. Andrew Knoll of Harvard University, Cambridge, a member of the science team for Opportunity and its twin, Spirit. If the rocks are sedimentary, water is a more likely source than wind, he said.
NASA Brings ‘Mars at the Mall’ to Florida May 9 and 10 AScribe Newswire
Part of Merritt Square Mall in Merritt Island, Fla., will take on an unearthly tone during two “Mars at the Mall” days presented by NASA on May 9 and 10 to celebrate Florida’s role as America’s gateway to Mars. The event, complete with a 3-D martian mural, models of NASA Mars rovers and a gallery of Mars pictures, will share excitement about two new rover missions to Mars scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral in June. Preparations for launch are under way at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.