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AS IT HAPPENED: UAE Hope probe enters Mars' orbit – Arab News

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DUBAI: The UAE’s Hope probe has entered the orbit of Mars after a six-month-long voyage into outer space.

There were cheers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center when mission control received information that the manouver had been success.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid congratulated staff at the center.

Now follow our coverage of the events as they happen (all times GMT):

16:30 – There it is, the UAE’s Hope probe has successfully entered into an orbit around Mars. 

The success of the manouver was announced by project director Omran Sharaf. “To the people of the UAE, to the Arab and Muslim nations, we announce the succesful arrival to Mars orbit. Praise be to God,” he said, sparking celebrations.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid congratulated staff at the center.

16:00 – The mission command center says the Hope probe has fired the thrusters required to attempt the “Mars orbit insertion”. This now the critical phase of the manouver. The burn of fuel will reduce the speed of the probe from over 121,000 kph to approximately 18,000 kph.

15:35 – Arab News spoke to Salem Al-Marri, assistant director general for scientific and technical affairs at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. He said the mission shows the advanced technological capability of the UAE.

He also said the data gathered if the orbit is successful would benefit everyone attempting to study Mars.

15:20 – Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was lit up with a spectacular light show as the Emirates was gripped by the mission and whether the critical manouver to enter Mars’ orbit. would be a success.

15:00 – The UAE’s minister for energy and infrastructure Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al-Mazrouei has been speaking to Dubai One TV about the mission. He said the mission sent a message of hope of what can be achieved and also would contribute to the scientific community.

14:50 – In July last year, Arab news paid a visit to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre to speak to the scientists involved in the launch of the probe that blasted off in July. Read the story HERE and watch the video below:

14:26 – Just under two hours to go until the probe begins what is known in the space world as a “Mars orbit insertion” burn, that aims to push the probe into the orbit of the Red Planet. You can see our previous coverage and stories about the remarkable story of the UAE’s Mars mission HERE.

12:00 – In Muscat the arches fountain was lit up red to commemorate the historic event

06:55 – Baghdad lit up it’s museum and mall in a sign of unity

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What we know about the Red Planet from 260 Martian meteorites found on Earth – Firstpost

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NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars last month, and has already begun beaming back images. But people might be surprised to learn there have been another 48 missions to the red planet so far. Of these, more than half failed at stages from take-off to deployment — including the 1999 Mars Climate Orbiter, destroyed on Mars entry after someone failed to convert imperial measurements to metric. Successful missions include Mars Insight, which is studying the interior via measurement of “marsquakes”, and the Curiosity rover, which touched down in 2012 and has been examining the geology of Mt Sharp.

Although there have been no return missions, there is a lot we can learn without travelling to Mars — from the more than 260 Martian meteorites that have fallen on Earth.

Images taken by orbiters reveal Mars has more than 40,000 craters, each formed by an asteroid colliding with the surface. You can explore these craters yourself by going to Google Earth, toggling the Google Mars mode and zooming in.

If some of the debris from the large impacts reached escape velocity (about 5 km/s on Mars), it would be able to leave the planet’s gravitational field. Eventually, some of the ejected Martian material has intercepted Earth’s trajectory, flashing through the atmosphere until it either burned up or came to rest on the surface.

Although Martian meteorites have been found across Earth, most have been collected from Antarctica or the deserts of northwest Africa. In both cases, the black crust that forms as the meteorite partially burns up passing through Earth’s atmosphere stands out clearly against ice or sand.

This mode of interplanetary travel is important because it raises the possibility that life could inadvertently travel from one planet to another. Back in 1996, one Martian meteorite, ALH84001, was controversially thought to contain fossilised bacteria.

Some of the older landers have almost certainly taken Earth bacteria to Mars, since they were not purified before launch.

A bubble of Martian atmosphere

Small planets cool quickly and it has long been suspected that Mars’s core has largely but not totally crystallised. This means Mars has mostly lost the protective magnetic field that deflects cosmic radiation.

But we are confident Mars once had an ocean, containing water as we know it. The temperature was above freezing and conditions were suitable for life. The stripping away of the magnetic field early in Mars’s history means this ocean is long gone and the average temperature is now -65℃, but frosts, clouds and ice caps remain.

Not being fortunate enough to roam the deserts of Africa or the icy plateaus of Antarctica, I instead found my first Martian meteorite sitting in a cabinet in a gem store in the small New Zealand town of Akaroa.

Using a scanning electron microscope, my examination revealed it was a shergottite, one of the most common Martian meteorites — equivalent to what we know on Earth as basalt. If it’s basalt, though, how do we know it’s from Mars?

There are several ways of recognising a Martian meteorite. One is from its gas content. When a meteorite strikes the surface of Mars, the “target” rocks are subject to such great pressures they partly melt and trap Martian atmosphere within gas bubbles. Some of these rocks are then ejected from the planet — becoming meteorites themselves.

The gases in these meteorites can be measured back on Earth and compared to the known Martian atmosphere, which comprises 95% carbon dioxide and distinct noble gas concentrations.

The thousands of craters scarring Mars’s surface mean it is ancient. This was confirmed when one meteorite was dated to be 4.4 billion years old. Properties of some other Martian meteorites show Mars formed within 13 million years of the formation of the Solar System. This in turn means some of the first planetary crust that formed on Mars likely still exists at the surface.

Old and cold — but not dead

This inference, along with some meteorite mineral and isotopic properties, implies Mars has not been shaped by plate tectonics — the global process that formed the continents, mountain ranges and ocean basins on Earth.

And, as most dated Martian meteorites are less than 1.5 billion years old, volcanism has continued throughout its history. Mars may be cold but it is not dead.

Martian meteorites also hold clues about how people may one day be able to survive on the planet.

While living in hollowed out lava tubes in Martian basalt may appeal to some hopeful interplanetary settlers, we’ll ultimately need to build shelters to protect us from the cosmic radiation and vast dust storms that engulf the planet.

Martian meteorites show olivine, a magnesium-silicate mineral, is common. Experiments are underway to assess the use of a breakdown component, magnesium carbonate, to form a concrete binder from which we could fashion buildings.

Martian meteorites show that big insights can be gleaned from little rocks and reveal what Mars is made of.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Some Of This Year's Official Hurricane Names Are Inspired By Frozen Characters – 915thebeat.com

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The official start date of hurricane season is three months away as meteorologists expect a particularly active period this year when three of the anticipated massive storms will be named after Disney characters.  The World Meteorological Organization’s list of names for hurricanes in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins includes Olaf, Elsa, and Ana – three characters from Frozen.  The film was released in 2013, and the characters’ names were initially placed on the list of hurricane names by the WMO in 2015.  This year, the WMO and National Hurricane Center is recycling the list from 2015, as is custom every six years.  Names of hurricanes that are unusually destructive are retired and never to be used again.

For Hurricane name information, visit: NOAA (You will be redirected)

© 2021 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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This Tourism Ad for Mars Wraps With a Bleak Jolt of Reality – Muse by Clio

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Created by Fred & Farid Los Angeles, the ad begins with an aspirational voiceover: “After more than 5 million years of human existence on Earth, it’s time for a change. Mars: 56 million square miles of untouched land, breathtaking landscapes and incredible views.” You have to look at it from a certain angle—the opposite of Elon’s, really—to feel the irony in its premise. 

It ends with a forbidding statement: “And for the 99 percent who will stay on Earth … we’d better fix climate change.”

Ah, the catch: All these promises of adventure, and escape from our existential woes, will likely be reserved for the few who can afford it. (Unless you’re into the whole indentured servitude thing … and hey, if you’ve still got school loans, what’s a couple million more before you die?)

“We wanted to highlight pure nonsense,” said Fridays for Future. “Government-funded space programs and the world’s ultra-wealthy 1 percent are laser focused on Mars … and yet most humans will never get a chance to visit or live on Mars. This is not due to a lack of resources, but the fact that our global systems don’t care about us and refuse to take equitable action.”

To drive that point home, the organization points out that NASA’s Perseverance Rover cost $2.7 billion for development, launch, operations and analysis. While we’re hard-pressed to begrudge NASA a budget at the worst of times, it’s hard to look at that figure and think about the fact that we still haven’t figured out recycling.

The ad went live on Feb. 18, the day Perseverance landed on Mars. Contrast this date with another one, just a smidge down the road: Elon Musk is “highly confident” that SpaceX will get people there by 2026. (Though if that projection is anything like his Tesla ones, feel free to add 5-10 years to that with confidence.)

This marks Fred & Farid LA’s third collaboration with Fridays For Future. It follows “House on Fire” and “If You Don’t Believe in Global Warming, How About Local Warming?” The hope, in this case, is that some bleak sci-fi will finally be what motivates people to action.

Tell that to Greta Thunberg.

On the other hand, if you’d like some actual sci-fi with a spin on what happens to everybody on Earth when all the Well-Heeled People leave, we recommend N.K. Jemisin’s Emergency Skin. (Bonus points: Buy it at a Black-owned bookstore. Thanks to Oprah, you can find one by state.) It’s short and surprisingly optimistic—so optimistic that we actually worry the most exploitative wealthyfolk will instead choose to stay, which in our minds seems increasingly likely. 

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