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NASA's Perseverance rover will touch down on Mars on February 18th – Open Access Government

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Perseverance rover will make its final descent to Mars on the 18th of February 2021 at approximately 12:55 p.m. PST

NASA‘s Perseverance rover is just 9 days away from making its descent down onto Mars. On Thursday, February 18th, 2021, at approximately 12:55 p.m. PST (3:55 p.m. EST) the rover will plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere at 12,000 mph and land at the Jezero Crater.

The mission will aim to discover if there was ever ancient life on Mars by collecting compelling rock and soil samples. Once the samples have been returned back to Earth, scientists will use a variety of sophisticated instruments to help find answers to this question.

Human expeditions

It will also help to pave the way for future human expeditions to Mars by testing a method for producing oxygen, identifying other resources such as subsurface water, improving landing techniques, and characterising weather, dust, and other environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.

The rover was first launched on July 30th, 2020, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The complete mission will take at least one Mars year, which is the equivalent to about 687 Earth days.

So far, only around 40% of missions to Mars have been successful. Perseverance will be the fifth NASA rover to attempt the difficult landing.

The NASA TV broadcast from Mission Control will start at 11:15 a.m. PST/2:15 p.m. EST. on Thursday 18th February.

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Alluxa's Optical Filters Landed on Mars – Novus Light Today – Novus Light Technologies Today

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Alluxa, Inc., a global leader in high-performance optical coatings and filters and thin-film deposition technologies, developed specialty optical filters used aboard the Perseverance Rover, which landed safely on Mars on February 18, 2021. Alluxa’s special notch filter is optimized for high performance over a wide angle range in order to provide in-band light to the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC)  imager.

Alluxa’s filters help enable non-contact detection and characterization of organics and minerals on Mar’s surface. Developed in conjunction with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, the SHERLOC instrument, part of the Perseverance payload, is a Deep UV (DUV) resonance Raman and fluorescence spectrometer that will scan for past life on Mars and help identify rock samples for possible return to Earth.

SHERLOC operates at the end of rover’s robotic arm, using two distinct detection modes that include two types of UV light spectroscopy, plus a versatile camera. According to Luther Beegle, principal scientist and investigator at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “It can detect an important class of carbon molecules with high sensitivity, and it also identifies minerals that provide information about ancient aqueous environments.”

Mike Scobey, Chief Executive Officer at Alluxa, notes, “All of us at Alluxa are delighted to have worked hand-in-hand with JPL to develop a specialized notch filter with ultra high transmission, which will aid in groundbreaking discoveries on Mars via the Perseverance Rover’s SHERLOC imager. We are proud to have been part of this historic mission.”                    

PHOTO CAPTION:  This illustration depicts NASA’s Perseverance rover operating on the surface of Mars.  Perseverance landed at the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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"We are in the worst situation during this pandemic" – Dr DeMille – Net Newsledger

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Assume that COVID is There!

Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – The surge in COVID-19 numbers has Thunder Bay District topping the province with the most cases per 100,000 of population.

There are reports of COVID-19 at the Real Canadian Superstore and at Walmart locations in Thunder Bay. Staff members have been confirmed with the virus.

“This virus is having an easy time spreading from one person to the next,” says Dr. DeMille. Many times people are spreading the virus without knowing they have the virus.

“We are seeing people going out, hanging out with others even before they know they have COVID,” added DeMille.

This evening Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) and Schoolhouse Playcare Centre (Ecole Elsie MacGill School location) confirm that an outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the facility in Thunder Bay.

Consistent with provincial guidelines, an outbreak is declared in a child care centre when there are two or more COVID-19 cases that can be linked within the setting. At this time, one additional individual associated with the child care centre has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual is deemed to have acquired the infection in the facility.

The announcement of the outbreak at Schoolhouse Playcare Centre (Ecole Elsie MacGill) does not mean the child care centre is closing. Only those identified as having had close contact with the case will be excluded from attending. In collaboration with the Schoolhouse Playcare Centre (Ecole Elsie MacGill) TBDHU will continue to monitor and assess the situation until the full risk period has passed.

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COVID-19 outbreak at Schoolhouse Playcare Centre – Tbnewswatch.com

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THUNDER BAY – A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Schoolhouse Playcare Centre located at the Ecole Elsie MacGill School, public health authorities announced Monday.

Two individuals have tested positive at the facility, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit reported in a statement.

The second case was deemed to have been acquired at the centre, prompting an outbreak declaration according to provincial guidelines.

The centre is not required to close, the health unit noted.

“Only those identified as having had close contact with the case will be excluded from attending,” its statement read. “In collaboration with the Schoolhouse Playcare Centre (Ecole Elsie MacGill) TBDHU will continue to monitor and assess the situation until the full risk period has passed.”

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