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Mars formed over a longer time than previous estimates suggest – Digital Journal

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During the formation of the Solar System Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, was repeatedly struck by planetesimals (these are small protoplanets no larger than 1,200 miles in diameter). A few became moons, such as with Phobos and Deimos (the moons of Mars).

Simulating this bombardment activity, using a combination of materials examination and computer modelling, has enabled scientists to make a new estimate as to how hold Mars is (or at least when the planet began to form). the experiments involved the mixing of materials of a similar nature to Mars and the hunks of space matter, recreating the impacts.

The research also has implications for scientists who study the history of Earth. To date some 61,000 meteorites have been found on Earth, and of these around 200 are assumed to be of Martian origin, ejected from Mars as the result of the early collisions from the planetesimals.

According to lead researcher, Dr. Simone Marchi, from the Southwest Research Institute: “Based on our model, early collisions produce a heterogeneous, marble-cake-like Martian mantle. These results suggest that the prevailing view of Mars formation may be biased by the limited number of meteorites available for study.”

From the modelling, the researchers have indicated that instead of the prevailing view that Mars was formed some 2-4 million years after the Solar System began to form, the large, early time-point collisions support the view that Mars was formed over a far longer timescale of up to 20 million years. This is evidence from an assessment of the tungsten isotopic balance, drawn from the materials based models. This approach allows an assessment of heterogeneous mixture of materials found within the early Martian mantle.

The research has been published in the journal Science Advances. The research paper is titled “A compositionally heterogeneous Martian mantle due to late accretion.”

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Artemis 1 will help NASA protect astronauts from deep space radiation – Space.com

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A motley crew of mannequins and biological experiments will take a deep-space journey further than any human has been before.

The simulated astronauts and various experiments will ride aboard Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion spacecraft, following a launch no earlier than Aug. 29. The system will explore the radiation environment near Earth and the moon, including flying in deeper space than the Apollo missions, for more than a month.

Moving outside the protective Van Allen radiation belts near Earth that shield the International Space Station astronauts from cosmic rays will cause an increased risk for future crew members that venture out for lunar missions, scientists said in a livestreamed NASA briefing Wednesday (Aug. 17).

Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission: Live updates
More: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission explained in photos 

“Understanding this [risk] is very important for successful and sustainable space exploration efforts in deep space,” said Ramona Gaza of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the briefing.

Gaza is lead of the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE) science team, which also includes investigators from DLR (the German space agency). MARE will fly two mannequin torsos (or phantoms) called Helga and Zohar to space fitted with 5,600 sensors to measure radiation; of the two, only Zohar will wear an AstroRad radiation protection vest.

Helga, one of two DLR (German space agency) mannequins to assess radiation during Artemis 1, is tested for the stresses of launch. (Image credit: DLR )

The two “crew members” will be joined by a “moonikin” named after Apollo 13 engineer Arturo Campos. Along with picking up information on acceleration and vibration, Campos has two radiation sensors to see the accumulated exposure a moon mission will bring.

Besides the humanoids, yeast cells will fly on board Artemis 1 to see how living things react to radiation. The BioSentinel cubesat will fly a biology experiment beyond the Earth-moon system for the first time, assessing how yeast cells are affected by space radiation.

“We hope that we can extrapolate our resource to human biology and inform potential countermeasures for future missions,” lead scientist Sergio Santa Maria, of NASA’s Ames Research Center, said of BioSentinel.

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Protecting astronauts also comes down to an assessment of the radiation environment. Scientists will continue to study the sun‘s emissions using another cubesat called CubeSat to Study Solar Particles (CuSP). The mission will examine the particles and magnetic fields coming from the sun, also known as the solar wind

The solar wind not only has relevance to human health in space, but also on Earth; that’s because large space weather events like coronal mass ejections can affect power lines, satellites and other infrastructure vital to human functioning on our planet.

CuSP will be an experiment ahead of possible plans to put fleets of cubesats into deep space to look at solar radiation from multiple angles, said Mihir Desai, CuSP principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute.

“It will be, in some sense, a forerunner or pathfinder to a potential constellation of low-cost cubesats that can make measurements in a very cost-effective fashion,” he said.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook. 

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Russian spacewalk cut short by bad battery in cosmonaut suit – The Indian Express

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A Russian spacewalker had to rush back inside the International Space Station on Wednesday when the battery voltage in his spacesuit suddenly dropped. Russian Mission Control ordered Oleg Artemyev, the station commander, to quickly return to the airlock so he could hook his suit to station power. The hatch remained open as his spacewalking partner, Denis Matveev, tidied up outside.NASA said neither man was ever in any danger.

Matveev, in fact, remained outside for another hour or so, before he, too, was ordered to wrap it up. Although Matveev’s suit was fine, Russian Mission Control cut the spacewalk short since flight rules insist on the buddy system. The cosmonauts managed to install cameras on the European Space Agency’s new robot arm before the trouble cropped up, barely two hours into a planned 6 1/2-hour spacewalk.“You know, the start was so excellent,” Matveev said as he made his way back inside, with some of the robot arm installation work left undone.

The 36-foot (11-meter) robot arm arrived at the space station last summer aboard a Russian lab. NASA spacewalks, meanwhile, have been on hold for months. In March, water seeped into a German spacewalker’s helmet. It was not nearly as much leakage as occurred in 2013 when an Italian astronaut almost drowned, but still posed a safety concern. In the earlier case, the water originated from the cooling system in the suit’s undergarments. The spacesuit that malfunctioned in March will be returned to Earth as early as this week in a SpaceX capsule, for further investigation.

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The U.S. Resets Its Sights on the Moon, Kicking Off the Next Space Race – Stratfor Worldview

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NASA’s Artemis I Moon rocket sits on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 15, 2022.

(EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

Through NASA’s long-awaited Artemis program, the United States is seeking to secure its lead in the new space race, as a combination of technological advancements and the potential for lucrative natural resources on the moon and other planetary bodies draw more countries to venture beyond Earth’s atmosphere — with the United States’ top geopolitical rivals, China and Russia, being chief among them. After many delays, the first major mission launch under NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program has been scheduled for Aug. 29, with Sept. 2 and Sept. 5 as the backup launch windows. The unmanned Artemis I mission will test the performance of the U.S. agency’s new Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft in the hopes of certifying their use for future crewed missions.

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