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Three Mars Launches This Month in Hope of Finding Alien Life

Article by Sean Martin                              July 7, 2020                              (express.co.uk)

• The United States, China and the United Arab Emirates all have Mars launches scheduled this month.

• Between July 20 and July 25th, the China National Space Agency will launch an orbiter known as Tianwen-1, which translates to ‘the quest for heavenly truth’ to circle the Red Planet for a year. The rocket will also carry a rover vehicle that will land on the Martian surface and collect soil samples. The oribter will serve as a communications relay for the lander.

• The UAE will launch an orbiter named ‘The Hope’, which will spend two years orbiting Mars. The UAE’s primary objective is to flex its financial muscle and show the world that it is capable of in space exploration.

• On July 30th, NASA will send the Perseverance Rover to roam the Red Planet looking for signs of life – both past and present. The main instrument, the ‘Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals’ (or ‘SHERLOC’), will be mounted on the end of one of the Mars rover’s robotic arms. SHERLOC will emit a quarter-sized ultraviolet laser at the ground, and scientists will measure how the light scatters when it hits the ground to determine its mineral and chemical compounds. This will identify the spectral “fingerprint” of certain alien organic material for signs of past or present life. “Life is clumpy,” said NASA’s Luther Beegle. “If we see organics clumping together on one part of a rock, it might be a sign that microbes thrived there in the past.”

• Earth and Mars are currently at their closest orbital points in the solar system. So now is the optimal time to make the relatively short journey – which will still take up to six months.

 

                   China’s Tianwen-1

THREE countries are set to launch rockets to Mars this months as the search for life on the Red Planet is turned up a notch.

          The UAE’s ‘The Hope’ orbiter

China, the US and the UAE are all gearing up for historic Mars launches this month with the hopes of discovering more about Earth’s dusty neighbour. Starting with China, the new space force will be launching an orbiter known as Tianwen-1, which translates to ‘the quest for heavenly truth’ to circle to Red Planet. The orbiter will spend a year around Mars, serving as a communication relay for humanity’s eventual arrival with the launch date scheduled between July 20 and July 25.

Alongside the orbiter, China will send a rover to roam the surface of the Red Planet and collect soil samples.

           NASA’s Perseverance Rover

China National Space Agency (CNSA) chief mission architect Zhang Rongqiao said: “Our goal is to explore and gather as much scientific data as possible.”

The UAE is also launching an orbiter named The Hope, which will spend two years orbiting Mars, following a 200-day journey.

According to The Hill, the UAE’s primary objective is to flex its financial muscle and show the world what it is capable of in the space exploration industry as the appeal of oil, which UAE has in abundance, loses its appeal.

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Perseverance Rover Instruments to Search for Alien Life

Article by Tom Fish                            May 28, 2020                            (express.co.uk)

• NASA plans to launch a Mars rover mission on July 17, 2020 to arrive on Mars’ surface on February 18, 2021. The space agency has provided new insights about the sensors that will be used on its 2020 Perseverance Rover while it traverses the Martian surface in search of evidence of alien life. A cutting-edge camera and a unique ultraviolet laser will work in tandem to analyze the chemical and mineral makeup of the Red Planet’s soil. Experts hope this can track down potential signs of past alien life.

• The main instrument, called ‘SHERLOC’ (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) will be mounted on the end of one of the Mars rover’s robotic arms. SHERLOC will emit a quarter-sized ultraviolet laser at the ground to enable scientists to measure the way the light scatters, in order to identify a spectral “fingerprint” revealing certain organic material and to determine what kind of minerals and chemical compounds the soil is made from. “If we see organics clumping together on one part of a rock, it might be a sign that microbes thrived there in the past,” said NASA’s Luther Beegle.

• SHERLOC will work with ‘WATSON’ (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering), another instrument that will help with the light-scattering spectroscopy and allow the Mars rover’s remote pilots to identify promising areas of the ground from which to collect samples. WATSON can also be rotated to take selfies of the Perseverance and to keep track of the rover’s condition. The Perseverance 2020 Rover will also monitor the effects of radiation on samples of human space suit fabric and helmet material to determine whether it is safe to use. The rover’s robotic arm will place the samples in half-inch wide metal tubes that will be left on Mars’ surface for a subsequent Mars mission crew to retrieve and return to Earth for detailed analysis.

 

US-based space agency NASA has offered new insights about the sensors used on its 2020 Perseverance rover while it traverses the Martian surface in

    NASA’s Luther Beegle

search of evidence of basic forms of alien life. A cutting-edge powered camera and a unique ultraviolet laser will work in tandem to monitor the Red Planet’s soil to analyse its chemical and mineral makeup.

The main instrument, the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC), will be mounted on the end of one of the Mars rover’s robotic arms.

SHERLOC will emit a quarter-sized ultraviolet laser at the ground.

Space scientists will then measure the way the light scatters when it hits the ground to work out what kind of minerals and chemical compounds it is made from.

The technique will also identify the unique spectral “fingerprint” certain alien organic material might give off.

Extraterrestrial life experts hope this can track down potential signs of past alien life.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

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