Connect with us

Science

Chinese spacecraft enters Mars' orbit, joining Arab ship – Phys.org

Published

 on


In this undated photo released by the China National Space Administration, a view of the planet Mars is captured by China’s Tianwen-1 Mars probe from a distance of 2.2 million kilometers (1.37 million miles). A Chinese spacecraft appears poised to enter orbit around Mars on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, one day after an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates did so, and about a week ahead of an American attempt to put down another spacecraft on the surface of the red planet. (CNSA/Xinhua via AP)

A Chinese spacecraft went into orbit around Mars on Wednesday on an expedition to land a rover on the surface and scout for signs of ancient life, authorities announced in a landmark step in the country’s most ambitious deep-space mission yet.

The arrival of Tianwen-1 after a journey of seven months and nearly 300 million miles (475 million kilometers) is part of an unusual burst of activity at Mars: A spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates swung into orbit around the red planet on Tuesday, and a U.S. rover is set to arrive next week.

China’s said the five-ton combination orbiter and rover fired its engine to reduce its speed, allowing it to be captured by Mars’ gravity.

“Entering orbit has been successful … making it our country’s first artificial Mars satellite,” the agency announced.

The mission is bold even for a that has racked up a steady stream of achievements and brought prestige to China’s ruling Communist Party.

If all goes as planned, the rover will separate from the spacecraft in a few months and touch down safely on Mars, making China only the second nation to pull off such a feat. The rover, a solar-powered vehicle about the size of a golf cart, will collect data on underground water and look for evidence that the planet may have once harbored microscopic life.

Chinese spacecraft enters Mars' orbit, joining Arab ship
The world tallest tower, Burj Khalifa is lit up with a laser show to celebrate the Hope Probe entering Mars orbit as a part of the Emirates Mars mission, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. The spacecraft from the UAE swung into orbit around Mars in a triumph for the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. It is the first of three robotic explorers arriving at the red planet over the next week and a half. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Tianwen, the title of an ancient poem, means “Quest for Heavenly Truth.”

Landing a spacecraft on Mars is notoriously difficult. Smashed Russian and European spacecraft litter the landscape along with a failed U.S. lander. About a dozen orbiters missed the mark. In 2011, a Mars-bound Chinese orbiter that was part of a Russian mission didn’t make it out of Earth orbit.

Only the U.S. has successfully touched down on Mars—eight times, beginning with two Viking missions in the 1970s. An American lander and rover are in operation today.

China’s attempt will involve a parachute, rocket firings and airbags. Its proposed landing site is a vast, rock-strewn plain called Utopia Planitia, where the U.S. Viking 2 lander touched down in 1976.

Before the arrival this week of the Chinese spacecraft and the UAE’s orbiter, six other spacecraft were already operating around Mars: three U.S., two European and one Indian.

Chinese spacecraft enters Mars' orbit, joining Arab ship
An Emirati man takes a video with his phone of the celebration after the Hope Probe enters Mars orbit as a part of the Emirates Mars mission, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. The spacecraft from the UAE swung into orbit around Mars in a triumph for the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. It is the first of three robotic explorers arriving at the red planet over the next week and a half. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

All three of the latest missions were launched in July to take advantage of the close alignment between Earth and Mars that happens only once every two years.

A NASA called Perseverance is aiming for a Feb. 18 landing. It, too, will search for signs of ancient microscopic life, collecting rocks that will be returned to Earth in about a decade.

China’s secretive, military-linked space program has racked up a series of achievements. In December, it brought back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s. China was also the first country to land a on the little-explored far side of the moon in 2019.

China is also building a permanent space station and planning a crewed lunar and a possible permanent research base on the moon, though no dates have yet been proposed.

While most contacts with NASA are blocked by Congress and China is not a participant in the International Space Station, it has increasingly cooperated with the European Space Agency and countries such as Argentina, France and Austria. Early on, China cooperated with the Soviet Union and then Russia.


Explore further

Chinese spacecraft nearing Mars, world’s 2nd in 2 days


© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Chinese spacecraft enters Mars’ orbit, joining Arab ship (2021, February 10)
retrieved 10 February 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-chinese-spacecraft-mars-orbit-arab.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Mission Successful: XOS Optics Land on Mars with NASA's 2020 Perseverance Rover – Yahoo News Canada

Published

 on


CBC

Schitt’s Creek, star Catherine O’Hara win Golden Globes

(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters – image credit) Schitt’s Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O’Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. “The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it,” he said. “Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow.” The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. “This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt’s Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community,” Dan Levy said. “In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated.” Earlier, O’Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating “an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien.” “Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada,” she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson’s turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt’s Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: “We don’t say goodbye, we say see you down the road.” Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was “in the presence of giants,” naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying “he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices.” Through tears, Ledward added: “I don’t have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love.” In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin. O’Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen’s Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the “community of storytellers” for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes’ version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda’s father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he “could not feel more blessed.” The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours “outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.” Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York’s Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler’s hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. “Minari is about a family. It’s a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It’s a language of the heart. I’m trying to learn it myself and to pass it on,” said Chung. Other awards included Pixar’s Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. “Netflix saved our lives,” said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night’s first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya’s acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, “You did me dirty!” once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn’t mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood’s awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year’s ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes’ shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that “the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists.” This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes’ best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday’s Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

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

Published

 on


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.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

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

Published

 on


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.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending