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US News NASA Is Practicing Its Next Mars Landing Using Crushed Gemstones

19:30  09 march  2018
19:30  09 march  2018 Source:   europe.newsweek.com

Methane on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Could Be Sign of Life

  Methane on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Could Be Sign of Life Laboratory experiments show the methane detected on Enceladus by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could be of biological origin. Some hardy Earth microbes could likely survive in the Saturn moon Enceladus' buried ocean, gobbling up hydrogen produced by interactions between seawater and rock, a new study suggests.And the microbes tested in the study churn out methane as a metabolic byproduct. That's intriguing, because NASA's Cassini spacecraft detected methane in the plume of particles blasted out into space by Enceladus' powerful south-pole geysers.

The NASA STI Program Office in Profile. Since its founding, NASA has been dedicated to the advancement of aeronautics and space science. It seemed as if it was only a matter of time until the Agency would adopt a human Mars mission as its next major goal beyond a Moon landing .96.

Indeed, many peo-ple in and out of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ) have felt that human explo-ration of Mars is would be used to refine knowledge of Mars and select candidate landing sites before the NASA released its report America’s Next Decades in Space: A

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SpaceX Falcon 9 boosts Spanish satellite into orbit

  SpaceX Falcon 9 boosts Spanish satellite into orbit <p>Lighting up the night sky, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket making the program's 50th flight thundered away from Cape Canaveral early Tuesday, shattering the overnight calm with a crackling roar as it boosted a Spanish communications satellite toward orbit in the California rocket builder's fifth flight so far this year.</p>Lighting up the night sky, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket making the program's 50th flight thundered away from Cape Canaveral early Tuesday, shattering the overnight calm with a crackling roar as it boosted a Spanish communications satellite toward orbit in the California rocket builder's fifth flight so far this year.

What about practicing for Mars missions? NASA could also continue to plug Mars as its long-term horizon goal. This approach was used in 2004 when With the exception of landing its rockets vertically, there is nothing SpaceX has done which NASA hadn’t done already; and several times over.

A joint mission led by the European Space Agency and Roscosmos arrives at Mars next week, and its first order of business will be to make history. If all goes well, NASA is about to lose its bragging rights as the only space agency to successfully land probes on the Red Planet.

In November, NASA will land its next robot on Mars, which means they have about eight months to practice sticking the landing.

And it turns out the mission's engineers are making use of a surprising substance to do so: crushed garnet gemstones, as they revealed in a new 360-degree video of the testing center.

a person standing in front of a building: 03_09_mars_insight_garnets © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 03_09_mars_insight_garnets NASA has a good scientific reason for its taste in bling: crushed garnet turns out to be a pretty good way to mimic the surface of Mars, which is covered in sand and gravel. 

The term garnet applies to a whole range of specific gemstone chemical compositions and colors that share the same basic properties.

One of those properties is that while garnets are classified as gemstones, they're way more valuable crushed for industrial uses than for sitting around looking pretty. 

Hubble: Giant Stellar Debris Disk Reveals a Violent Planet Nursery

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Rather than an expensive Apollo 8-style flyby or an audacious out-the-gates landing , NASA is mulling landing on the rocky, tiny moon first. Its proximity to Mars allows for a place to remotely control robotic rovers and landers in near real-time, without the minutes-long time delay inherent in sending

In just a few years, NASA 's next Mars rover mission will be flying to the Red Planet. This technology will guide the descent stage to safe landing sites, correcting its course along the way. A related technology called the range trigger will use location and velocity to determine when to fire the

Slideshow: 25 amazing photos of Mars (Provided by Microsoft GES)

Crushed garnet is a very effective abrasive, so people use it for sandpaper, grinding lenses for glasses and sandblasting.

 For NASA, crushed garnet is appealing because it can mimic the range of particle size found on Mars, where sand and gravel are mixed together, without producing a lot of dust.

One of the key challenges InSight engineers have to deal with is that they can't be sure precisely what angle the surface will be where the lander initially touches down.

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Russia Will Beat NASA to Mars and Find Water on the Moon, Says Putin

  Russia Will Beat NASA to Mars and Find Water on the Moon, Says Putin The Russian president has announced an ambitious plan to probe the red planet and look for water on the Moon, paving the way for future deep space missions.Vladimir Putin revealed his country’s space plans during a documentary about the president which was widely shared on social media.

With its innovative suite of NASA 's Curiosity Mars rover used a new drill method to produce a hole on Feb. Used by NASA JPL scientists. 6 EDT) using a series of complicated landing maneuvers never before attempted. From Viking Orbiter data. Play next ; Play now The Jet Propulsion Laboratory today

And unlike the Curiosity rover ruling the Martian surface now, InSight can't move to find a spot it likes better.

That means that with their replica lander and crushed garnet planet, the engineers are practicing with tilts up to 15 degrees to make sure the lander can still successfully put each of its three science tools down on the surface of Mars.

Mars InSight is scheduled to launch as soon as May 5.

Russia Will Beat NASA to Mars and Find Water on the Moon, Says Putin .
The Russian president has announced an ambitious plan to probe the red planet and look for water on the Moon, paving the way for future deep space missions.Vladimir Putin revealed his country’s space plans during a documentary about the president which was widely shared on social media.

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