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Japan joins Artemis mission with Gateway contribution – SpaceWatch.Global



Paris, 14 January 2021. – Japans joins: The country’s space agency JAXA will cooperate with NASA on the lunar Gateway, the outpost planned to orbit the Moon, NASA said.

Japan will provide several capabilities for the Gateway’s International Habitation module (I-Hab), which will provide the heart of Gateway life support capabilities and additional space where crew will live, work, and conduct research during Artemis missions, the agency said.

Under an arrangement with Northrop Grumman, Japan also will provide batteries for the Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the initial crew cabin for astronauts visiting the Gateway. Additionally, Japan is investigating enhancements to its HTV-X cargo resupply spacecraft, which could result in its use for Gateway logistics resupply.

Approximately one-sixth the size of the International Space Station (ISS), the Gateway will serve as a rendezvous point for astronauts traveling to lunar orbit aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket prior to transit to low-lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon.

From the Gateway, NASA and its partners will use this lunar vantage point as a springboard for robotic and human expeditions to the Moon, and on to Mars, the U.S. agency explained. For example, NASA will use the Gateway to demonstrate remote management and long-term reliability of autonomous spacecraft systems and other technologies.

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NASA confirms Perseverance rover has landed on Mars – Arab News



WASHINGTON DC: NASA said Thursday that the Perseverance rover has touched down on the surface of Mars after successfully overcoming a risky landing phase known as the “seven minutes of terror.”
“Touchdown confirmed,” said operations lead Swati Mohan at around 3:55 p.m. Eastern Time (2055 GMT) as mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory headquarters erupted in cheers.
The autonomously-guided procedure was completed more than 11 minutes earlier, which is how long it takes for radio signals to return to Earth.

READ MORE: How the UAE’s Mars mission can be the Arab world’s springboard to the future

“WOW!!” tweeted NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zurburchen as he posted the Perseverance’s first black and white image from the Jezero Crater in Mars’ northern hemisphere.
The rover is only the fifth ever to set its wheels down on Mars. The feat was first accomplished in 1997 and all so far have been American.
About the size of an SUV, it weighs a ton, is equipped with a seven foot (two meter) long robotic arm, has 19 cameras, two microphones, and a suite of cutting-edge instruments to assist in its scientific goals.

READ MORE: UAE’s ‘Hope’ probe sends home first image of Mars

Perseverance now embarks on a multi-year mission to search for the biosignatures of microbes that might have existed there billions of years ago, when conditions were warmer and wetter than they are today.
Starting from summer, it will attempt to collect 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, to be eventually sent back to Earth sometime in the 2030s for lab analysis.
“The question of whether there’s life beyond Earth is one of the most fundamental and essential questions we can ask,” said NASA geologist Katie Stack Morgan.

READ MORE: Arab world basks in the glory of UAE Mars mission triumph

“Our ability to ask this question and develop the scientific investigations and technology to answer it is one of the things that make us as a species so unique.”
NASA also wants to run several eye-catching experiments — including attempting the first powered flight on another planet, with a helicopter drone called Ingenuity that will have to achieve lift in an atmosphere that’s one percent the density of Earth’s.

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Mars Messages: Why NASA’s ‘Secret Code’ In The Perseverance Rover’s Supersonic Parachute Is Just The Start – Forbes



NASA’s Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars on on February 18, 2021—and as it did so it displayed a special message.

In one of the most visually impactful parts of the incredible video of its dramatic landing on Mars was the unfurling of the rover’s red and orange parachute, which NASA has just revealed displays binary code that reads:

“Dare Mighty Things.”

What does that mean, where does it come from (clue: it was said by a politician in 1899)and why did NASA go to the trouble of sending a message to Mars?

The parachute’s code actually says more than just that three-word phrase—and on the rover is also a motto, 7 iconic images, 155 essays and 10.9 million names.

This is not the first time NASA has sent “secret” messages to Mars.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Why did Perseverance need a supersonic parachute?

NASA’s Perseverance rover got into the Martian atmosphere in a protective back shell that was equipped with a 70.5 feet/21.5 meters diameter parachute.

As it unfurled 7 miles/11 kilometers above Jezero Crater, to slowdown the spacecraft from 940 mph/1,512 kph, a parachute-up-look camera snapped some images.

What was written on Perseverance’s parachute?

Two messages were encoded in binary in an orange-and-white pattern on the parachute’s gores, one on the outer ring and one in a spiral on the inner ring:

Inner ring: “Dare Mighty Things,” with each word on its own ring of gores.

Outer ring: The GPS coordinates (34°11’58” N 118°10’31” W) for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where the rover was built and the project is managed.

Here’s the decoded version from NASA:

And here’s what the parachute was expected to look like. This image also gives you a better sense of scale of Perseverance’s supersonic parachute:

What ‘Dare Mighty Things’ means and why NASA encoded it on the parachute

“Dare Mighty Things” is the motto of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in La Cañada Flintridge, California, the center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System.

The phrase comes from a famous speech by Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, New York Governor, in Chicago on April 10, 1899 in which he argued that strenuous effort and overcoming hardship were what Americans must embrace:

“Thrice happy is the nation that has a glorious history. Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure … than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

The binary code pattern on the supersonic parachute was designed by Ian Clark, Mars 2020 Perseverance Systems Engineer at JPL.

More messages on Perseverance

It doesn’t stop there. To take accurate color on Mars, the rover’s wide-angle Mastcam-Z cameras need to calibrate, so on the rover’s deck is a pair of small color-reference targets. Called “cal targets” (pictured above) they help Perseverance’s camera system get the colors of Mars exactly right in photographs.

However, in between the color and grayscale patches are seven small icons:

  1. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars orbiting the Sun.
  2. A DNA strand.
  3. Cyanobacteria (early microorganisms on Earth).
  4. A fern (symbolizing green plants).
  5. A dinosaur.
  6. Two waving humans (which recalls the plaques on NASA’s Pioneer and encoded on NASA’s Voyager Golden Records).
  7. A space rocket.

The cal target also has a motto, “Two Worlds, One Beginning.” NASA’s previous rover, Curiosity, has one that reads “To Mars To Explore” while its older Spirit and Opportunity rovers both had “Two Worlds, One Sun.”

So this is not the first time that NASA has baked-in coded messages to its Martian hardware.

Yet NASA’s most recent rover, Curiosity, has been leaving messages literally on the Martian surface for almost a decade …

The ‘secret message’ on NASA’s Curiosity rover

When NASA’s Curiosity rover landed in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012, it too took a message to Mars. In its track marks, visible above as straight bands across the zigzag track marks, is a repeating pattern that reads “JPL.”

The Morse code is: .—- (J), .—. (P), and .-.. (L), which is imprinted on all six wheels.

It’s not just there for fun. The Curiosity rover uses images of the repeating pattern to determine exactly how far it has traveled and allows it to check that there’s been no wheel slippage.

Perseverance is also carrying 10.9 million names

Both of NASA’s most recent rovers also carry millions of names on microchips—from “Send Your Name To Mars” PR campaigns—with Curiosity storing 1.2 million names and Perseverance carrying 10.9 million.

Also on its tiny microchip are 155 essays from the finalists in NASA’s “Name the Rover” essay contest.

The latest from the Perseverance rover

Since the landing the rover has sent back hundreds of images from a zoomable pair of cameras called Mastcam-Z, 142 of which were used to stick together a 360º panorama. It’s so highly detailed that it’s possible to get close-ups of rock features seen in the distance.

Expect many more photos from Perseverance to be posted by NASA in the coming weeks, months and years as the rover searches the ancient lake-bed for signs of ancient life. It will also collect samples of rock and soil for possible return to Earth in the 2030s.

Perseverance is also carrying a small Mars Helicopter, also known as Ingenuity, which expected to take its first powered flight shortly.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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NASA’s Perseverance Rover successfully lands on Mars – TASS



NEW YORK, February 19. /TASS/. The US Perseverance Rover has successfully touched down on Mars and sent two pictures back to Earth almost immediately, NASA reported Thursday.

“Touchdown confirmed,” the broadcast commentator said. The space agency clarified that it had already received two images from the planet.

The landing took almost “seven minutes of terror” as NASA calls it in an automatic regime due to a delay in command transmission.

“I’m safe on Mars. Perseverance will get you anywhere,” the rover ‘tweeted’ after the touchdown.

The landing was planned to take place near the Jezero Crater. A full check of Perseverance’s systems and equipment is expected shortly after.

NASA specialists seek to use the rover to detect traces of life on Mars from long ago. Perseverance will also gather rock and ground samples in 40 special containers, while most of them will be collected by another rover in 2026. NASA expects that the samples will be eventually delivered to Earth in the 2030s.

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