Tag: Mars

A Glint Of Light And A Hint Of Life: Mars Is Getting Very Interesting Right Now

by Ed Mazza                  June 24, 2019

• On June 16th, as NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover lumbered across the plains of Mars, a glowing object was captured on camera hovering just above the Martian surface (pictured above). Another camera image taken 13 seconds after showed nothing.  (see 38-second video below)

• When a similar flash of light made headlines in 2014, Justin Maki of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week.” Maki wrote them off as cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting off of rock surfaces.

• Days later, the rover detected possible microbial life on or inside the planet as indicated by a large spike in methane. While conducting further analysis, NASA said the rover had detected methane in the past and that the planet seems to have seasonal peaks and dips. NASA is coordinating with the scientists working with the European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter, which is orbiting Mars, to find the origin of the gas.

 

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover spotted a strange glowing object that seemed to hover just above the surface of the Red Planet earlier this month.

While the glint on Mars has captured the imagination of folks on social media, it was likely just sunlight, a cosmic ray or a camera artifact. But in an unrelated development days later, the rover detected something else ― and it could be a long-sought signal of possible microbial life on or inside the planet.

The glowing object was captured on camera ― look at the right side of this raw image taken from the NASA website on June 16.

It doesn’t appear on any of the images snapped before or after, taken about 13 seconds apart, so if it was an object of some kind it moved quickly. More likely, however, it was nothing too out of the ordinary.

“In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week,” Justin Maki of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in 2014 when a similar flash of light made headlines. “These can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.”

So, the flash of light was unlikely to be a sign of activity on the planet.

But something else was detected on Mars last week that just might be a sign of life: methane. The New York Times reported that Curiosity detected a spike in methane, which, if confirmed, could hint of microbial life hidden beneath the surface of Mars.

38-second video of light seen hovering over Mars’ surface by Curiosity Rover (‘Amaze Lab’ YouTube)

 

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US and Japan to Cooperate on Return to the Moon

by Jeff Foust                    May 29, 2019                   (space.com)

• At a May 27th joint press conference in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump announced their agreement for the two nations to cooperate in space exploration. “I am pleased to confirm that Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration,” Trump said. “Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We’ll be going to the moon. We’ll be going to Mars very soon. It’s very exciting.”

• The agreement between the two leaders was not released, and neither Trump nor Abe would elaborate. A State Department fact sheet noted that the two “agreed on the importance of a sustained human presence on and around the moon.” “Building on its International Space Station (ISS) experience, Japanese astronauts will strive to join American astronauts on the moon and destinations beyond,” the fact sheet noted.

• Japan, a major partner on the ISS, had shown an interest in participating in aspects of NASA’s renewed push to return to the moon, including contributing modules to the Gateway facility NASA plans to develop in lunar orbit to support human lunar landings. The agreement could include Japanese astronauts going to the moon.

• NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that he was “very excited” about the agreement announced by Trump and Abe. “Japan and [JAXA] are critical partners in our efforts to go forward to the Moon and on to Mars!”

• In a video released by NASA, Hiroshi Yamakawa, president of the Japanese space agency said, “It’s a great pleasure to collaborate with NASA in that endeavor.”

• With the White House’s urging, NASA accelerated its plans to return humans to the lunar surface by 2024, versus the 2028 date in its previous plans. Major roles for international partners will mostly be deferred to the second phase, which will focus on establishing a sustainable human presence on and around the moon after the 2024 landing. Ken Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA, said that if international partners can accelerate their contributions, “they’re welcome to participate in the early phases.”

• The Japanese company ‘ispace’ is developing commercial lunar landers as part of a team led by the American company, Draper, that won one of nine Commercial Lunar Payload Services agreements from NASA last November to transport research payloads to the lunar surface. Founder and chief executive of ispace Takeshi Hakamada stated, “We are thrilled to learn that the U.S. and Japan will deepen its strong relationship in space exploration through a focused effort on lunar exploration.”

 

WASHINGTON — The governments of the United States and Japan have agreed to further cooperation in space which could include flying Japanese astronauts to the moon.

At a joint press conference in Tokyo May 27 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Donald Trump mentioned cooperation in space exploration as one outcome of their meetings during the president’s visit to the country.

“I am pleased to confirm that Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration,” Trump said. “Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We’ll be going to the moon. We’ll be going to Mars very soon. It’s very exciting.”

Neither Trump nor Abe elaborated on the nature of that agreement, which was not released. A fact sheet released by the State Department May 27 noted that the two “agreed on the importance of a sustained human presence on and around the moon.”

“Building on its International Space Station (ISS) experience, Japanese astronauts will strive to join American astronauts on the moon and destinations beyond,” the State Department fact sheet noted.

A cooperative agreement of some kind between the United States and Japan was expected to be signed during Trump’s visit. Japan, a major partner on the ISS, had shown an interest in participating in aspects of NASA’s renewed push to return to the moon, including contributing modules to the Gateway facility NASA plans to develop in lunar orbit to support human lunar landings.

“It’s a great pleasure to collaborate with NASA in that endeavor,” Hiroshi Yamakawa, president of the Japanese space agency JAXA, said in a video released by NASA May 28 about international cooperation on the development of the Gateway and its overall lunar plans.

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Biologist Claims ‘Mars Still Has Life’ But ‘It’s Hiding’

by Tom Fish                 May 10, 2019                 (express.co.uk)

• Four billion years ago, the Martian surface featured habitable rivers, lakes and even a deep ocean. Some astrobiologists believe that ancient Mars was a more conducive cradle for life than early Earth. Mars lost its habitability when the Red Planet lost its global magnetic field and the Sun’s radiation stripped away the once-thick Martian atmosphere. This process transformed Mars into the cold, dry world of today.

• Michael Finney, co-founder of The Genome Partnership said, ”If Mars had life 4 billion years ago, Mars still has life.” “Nothing has happened on Mars that would’ve wiped out life.” “So, if there were life on Mars, it may have moved around, it may have gone into hiding a bit, but it is probably still there.” One of the most promising hiding places for finding alien life is beneath the Martian surface.

• Although there is a lack of running water on the Martian surface, there is likely lots of water in buried aquifers. The Mars Express orbiter data suggests that a big lake lies beneath the Mars’ south pole. The existence of methane on Mars that may have been produced by organisms indicates life on the planet in the past.

[Editor’s Note]    Yes, in its past Mars had all of the features needed for a thriving planet, e.g.: an atmosphere, running surface water, vegetation. In fact, it was home to an intelligent and sophisticated civilization. After its catastrophe 500 million years ago, the indigenous intelligent beings – including humans and reptoid beings – went underground where remnants of these past cultures are still living. Now there appears to be a contest between the Draco/German/Corporate SSP and an insectoid race of beings, each contending for control over the planet.

 

When looking for locations where alien life could potentially live, few places fire the imagination like Earth’s nearest neighbour – Mars. Humans have for centuries has looked to the heavens and wondered whether Mars is a home for extraterrestrials. And although NASA research has yet to find evidence of alien life on Mars, it does not necessarily mean the Red Planet is dead, a NASA scientist has announced.

Four billion years ago, the Martian surface was a wetter world, featuring habitable rivers, lakes and even a deep ocean.
“If Mars had life 4 billion years ago, Mars still has life,” Dr Michael Finney

And some astrobiologists believe an ancient Mars was a more conducive cradle for life than early Earth.

While a growing scientific consensus suspect life on Earth may have been sowed by Martian asteroids slamming into our planet.

However, Mars lost its habitability when the Red Planet lost its global magnetic field.

This in turn allowed deadly [?] emanating from the Sun to strip away the once-thick Martian atmosphere.

NASA’s MAVEN orbiter has showed how this process transformed Mars into the cold, dry world we recognise today.
However this planetary evolution does not necessarily mean the Red Planet is now a dead planet.

Michael Finney, co-founder of The Genome Partnership said: ”If Mars had life 4 billion years ago, Mars still has life.
“Nothing has happened on Mars that would’ve wiped out life.

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