BBC News has an article stating that scientists now have definitive proof that many of the landscapes seen on Mars were indeed cut by flowing water.
Researchers have found rounded pebbles in the Gale Crater on Mars.
“Big deal they found rounded rocks!” you might be saying. Well these pebbles’ smooth appearance is identical to pebbles found in rivers here on Earth. Now when rock fragments roll on the bottom of of a stream of water will have their edges knocked off, thus rounding them. Eventually they will come to a rest in a characteristic overlapping pattern.
The Curiosity rover has photographic proof of rocks with these exact characteristics; thus proving that flowing water had a part in shaping the martian landscape.
Check the full article here.
According to Alicia Chang from the Associated Press astronauts traveling to Mars will get about as much radiation as a person getting a full body CT scan about one a week for a full year. Round trip that’s about 662 millisieverts.
To put this in perspective, NASA’s lifetime limit for a male, who has never smoked, aged 30 – 60 is at max 1200 millisieverts. While on Earth the average person gets about 3 millisieverts a year.
Check the full article here.
Later this year, as forbes.com reports, NASA will launch the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. MAVEN will be dedicated to testing the upper atmosphere and the processes that turned it into the hunk of dusty rock we know today.
This will hopefully show us if and how we can someday turn Mars into a humanly habitable planet.
Check out the article here to see more about the $671 million mission.
Space.com has an article stating that the Opportunity Rover has just set the record for off-planet driving.
It’s driven over 22.220 miles thus breaking a record held for over 40 years by the Apollo 17 buggy who drove 22.210 miles on the moon in December 1972.
Check out the picture below and click for the link.
Due to the position of the planets the Curiosity rover was pretty much left on it’s own for a month, space.com reports. This happens once every couple years and generally lasts for a few weeks to a month.
The main worry is that if they try to send a command to the rovers while this Mars Conjunction is going on it may not get all the data, and think it needs to blow itself up or become self aware or something. OK so maybe nothing that bad would happen, but it could cause the rovers to fall off a cliff or something.
Check out the article here, which has a pretty cool short video that explains what’s going on.
Yahoo Travel had an article the other day talking about the Mars One mission, that’s trying to put a human colony on Mars by the mid 2020′s. The only thing is, being a faithful follower of Nerditronics you already knew that because we reported about it months ago!
Over 20,000 people have submitted applications for the one way trip already! And good news is, no science or astronaut skill required! If you’re interested, submit your application and one minute video, and pay the fee. Just give us credit and you’ll get… well nothing actually but we’ll really like you.
Read the article here for more info!
Discoverynews.com has a cool article (linked below) about a software engineer who used some of this existing software to try and create a model of what Mars would look like with oceans of water.
They used the information by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to find out where the water would most likely gather. The engineer, Kevin Gill, has done several similar models of Earth, so he applied the same techniques to the model of Mars.
Gill also used examples of climates from Earth to help render the ecology. Higher altitudes would be mostly desert where little vegetation grows and lower, cooler, wetter altitudes were rendered with most of the greenery.
Check out the article here its a very interesting read and shows us that we really know next to nothing about anything outside of Earth.
In about 10 hours (11:30pm MDT) from now the newest robotic rover will land on Mars! You can watch live on NASA TV and see the entire event! There is a ton of information on the NASA website which details all aspects of this new rover and what they plan to do with it over the next 2 years.
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