We can’t travel anywhere right now, but Krispy Kreme is ready to transport you out of this world with a brand new, limited-edition donut.
The famous glazed donut chain has announced a special, one-day-only treat: The Mars Donut.
This planet-themed morsel has been created in honour of NASA’s Perseverance Rover, which is making its “epic landing on Mars Thursday, February 18.”
Krispy Kreme will be launching The Mars Donuts in participating shops across Canada and the US on February 18 to celebrate.
Donut lovers can expect to enjoy a Chocolate Kreme-filled donut dipped in caramel icing with a red planet swirl and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs.
This special treat will be available at select locations while supplies last, so be sure to get ’em while you can!
Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings – StCatharinesStandard.ca
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year.
NASA’s Kate Rubins and Victor Glover put the mounting brackets and struts together, then bolted them into place next to the station’s oldest and most degraded solar wings.
They had to lug out the hundreds of pounds of mounting brackets and struts in 8-foot (2.5-meter) duffle-style bags. The equipment was so big and awkward that it had to be taken apart like furniture, just to get through the hatch.
Some of the attachment locations required extra turns of the power drill and still weren’t snug enough, as indicated by black lines. The astronauts had to use a ratchet wrench to deal with the more stubborn bolts, which slowed them down. At one point, they were almost an hour behind.
“Whoever painted this black line painted outside the lines a little bit,“ Glover said at one particularly troublesome spot.
“We’ll work on our kindergarten skills over here,” Mission Control replied, urging him to move on.
With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to NASA. The six new solar panels — to be delivered in pairs by SpaceX over the coming year or so — should boost the station’s electrical capability by as much as 30%.
Rubins and Glover worked on the struts for the first two solar panels, due to launch in June.
The eight solar panels up there now are 12 to 20 years old — most of them past their design lifetime and deteriorating. Each panel is 112 feet (34 metres) long by 39 feet (12 metres) wide. Tip to tip counting the centre framework, each pair stretches 240 feet (73 metres), longer than a Boeing 777’s wingspan.
Boeing is supplying the new roll-up panels, about half the size of the old ones but just as powerful thanks to the latest solar cell technology. They’ll be placed at an angle above the old ones, which will continue to operate.
A prototype was tested at the space station in 2017.
Rubins’ helmet featured a new high-definition camera that provided stunning views, particularly those showing the vivid blue Earth 270 miles (435 kilometres) below. “Pretty fantastic,“ observed Mission Control.
Sunday’s spacewalk was the third for infectious disease specialist Rubins and Navy pilot Glover — both of whom could end up flying to the moon.
They’re among 18 astronauts newly assigned to NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program. The next moonwalkers will come from this group.
Last week, Vice-President Kamala Harris put in a congratulatory call to Glover, the first African American astronaut to live full time at the space station. NASA released the video exchange Saturday.
“The history making that you are doing, we are so proud of you,” Harris said. Like other firsts, Glover replied, it won’t be the last. “We want to make sure that we can continue to do new things,” he said.
Rubins will float back out Friday with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to wrap up the solar panel prep work, and to vent and relocate ammonia coolant hoses.
Glover and Noguchi were among four astronauts arriving via SpaceX in November. Rubins launched from Kazakhstan in October alongside two Russians. They’re all scheduled to return to Earth this spring.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Mars City design: 6 sci-fi cities that will blow your mind – Inverse
As Perseverance inspires the entire world about the thrill of visiting our nearest solar neighbor, Mars, it’s easy to start fantasizing about what it will be like when human beings regularly live on the red planet in the future.
Science fiction should never be used as an actual forecast for human culture, but it is a lot of fun to think about how sci-fi stories have imagined our future lives on Mars. Here are six of the best very best Martian cities, ranked not in order of livability, but instead, but pure sci-fi coolness.
6. Bradbury City – Mars trilogy
There are several fictional cities in Kim Stanely Robinson’s seminal SF books about the settlement of Mars — Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars — so it’s hard to pick just one. But, if you have to choose only one Martian metropolis from his books, Bradbury City is the way to go.
Named for Ray Bradbury, who wrote The Martian Chronicles, Robinson’s Bradbury City is designed to recreate a city in Illinois. Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois. The Martian Chronicles features several unlikely Martian cities, some made by humans, some made by Martians. But, in almost all cases, like in “Night Meeting,” these towns and cities often have gas stations and pickup trucks.
5. Bowie Base One – Doctor Who
Not exactly a city per se, but certainly a great Martian settlement in the pantheon of science fiction — if only for its name.
In the 2009 David Tennant-era Doctor Who one-off, “The Water of Mars,” the Doctor battles a type of sentient alien water called “the Flood,” that turns people into water zombies. Bowie Base One, in the Who-canon, is the first human colony on Mars, which leads to many, many others. Obviously, it’s named for David Bowie and the song “Life on Mars.”
4. Utopia Planitia – Star Trek
In the 24th Century-era of Trek, most of the best ships in Starfleet are built at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards in orbit of Mars. The Trek franchise rarely visited Mars, although the final episodes of Enterprise Season 4 — “Terra Prime” and “Demons” — had a lot of action on the Martian surface.
Both Star Trek: Picard and its prequel, “Children of Mars,” revealed that the shipyards weren’t just in orbit of Mars, but also on the ground, which meant that a huge civilization population lived and worked on Mars prior to the Sythn revolt in 2285.
3. Londres Nova – The Expanse
More than any other contemporary science fiction series, The Expanse — both the books and the TV series — have made a convincing projection of what a future Martian colony might be like.
The capital city, Londres Nova, is sometimes called “New London.” In the reality of The Expanse, what makes the settlement of Mars so interesting is the way in which it eventually just becomes totally independent from the Earth to the point at which its government is basically in direct competition with Earth for the entire solar system’s resources. By the future time period of The Expanse, Mars is basically an alien planet, populated by humans.
2. Mars Dome One – Babylon 5
Somewhat unique among science fiction, Babylon 5 started off with a lead character who was born on Mars, Commander Jeffery Sinclair. In B5, being from Mars isn’t that weird, but the politics of Mars are integral to the overall story of the series.
Mars Dome One is the biggest city there, and yes, it’s a giant dome. But, Mars Dome One and other cities in Babylon 5 are fascinating because unlike Earth, there’s more of an underworld on Mars, including an underground railroad for rogue telepaths.
1. Chyrse – Total Recall
The Martian city visited by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Quaid is by far the most memorable Martian city in science fiction, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
In the Philip K. Dick short story upon which Total Recall was based, “We Can Remember It For Your Wholesale,” the lead character never actually goes to Mars, at least not in the realtime of the story. The triumph of Chryse in Total Recall is the edgy naturalism of this future city. It’s sleazy, dirty, and dangerous.
In Blade Runner, you’re told that humans have emigrated to a variety of other planets. Chryse in Total Recall is like the Martian city equivalent of Los Angeles in Blade Runner. You can basically imagine them existing in the same shared universe. Would author Philip K. Dick approve? Maybe!
Perseverance saw its own descent stage crash – EarthSky
One of the coolest shots we’ve seen from Perseverance on Mars so far came from the day of its successful landing, February 18, 2021. Minutes after landing, Perseverance managed to look off into the distance and capture an image of its own descent stage crash landing on Mars’ surface.
What’s the descent stage? Its role in Perseverance’s landing was brief, but vital. The descent stage is the rocket-powered section that deployed after the parachute. It was needed in part because Mars’ atmosphere is so thin that parachutes alone can’t guarantee a soft-enough landing. The descent stage kept the rover steady just above Mars’ surface, as the rover was deployed to Mars’ surface via cables. The descent stage wasn’t designed to land safely. After deploying the rover, it flew some distance off and crashed itself. That’s what Perseverance captured in this image.
Perseverance is busy on Mars examining its environs and recording all that it sees. It reports its findings with an anthropomorphized – and adorable – Twitter account @NASAPersevere. Its tweet about the descent stage crash landing was one of its first.
A moment of respect for the descent stage. Within two minutes of safely delivering me to the surface of Mars, I caught the smoke plume on one of my Hazcams from its intentional surface impact — an act that protected me and the scientific integrity of my landing site. pic.twitter.com/bG4dekrbvJ
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 24, 2021
As you may have heard by now – or realized yourself – Mars is the only planet we know that’s populated by robots! A total of 18 spacecraft have been put in orbit around Mars, eight of which are still operating. Of the Mars’ rovers sent to Mars’s surface, five are still operational: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance.
One Mars orbiter, the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, also captured Perseverance on Mars’ surface, at its landing spot. It managed to find the rover and the pieces shed on descent, then tweeted an image:
There you are @NASAPersevere! I finally got the chance to take a photo of you in your new home ? #CountdownToMars
? @ExoMars_CaSSIS https://t.co/Zl2FhZ2Z8q #ExploreFarther #Mars pic.twitter.com/1CoOrs1r1S
— ExoMars orbiter (@ESA_TGO) February 25, 2021
The rover is near the bottom center of the image, with the heat shield a dark circular spot in the upper right, the descent stage to the left (and in the plume photo above), and the white parachute and back shell bright on the surface at far left. You can see from the overhead view the large ridge between the rover and the descent stage that the rover is looking toward in the top image.
Since 1960, nine countries have sent missions either to orbit Mars or attempt to land on its surface, and many of them have crashed and burned, quite literally.
February 2021 saw three missions successfully make it to Mars, both in orbit and on the surface. Perseverance was one. The other two were the UAE’s Hope mission and China’s Tianwen-1.
Bottom line: NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance tweeted a photo of the resulting plume of smoke from the impact of the descent stage.
Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings – StCatharinesStandard.ca
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