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 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 6:25 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The launch was successfully completed, as well as the orbit transfer burn.

This is another great effort by the USA, and the Perseverance destination of Jezero crater is, perhaps, the sort of location on Mars that was the result of supremely logical decision-making for looking at a place where water once existed in as much abundance as can be expected from a planet like Mars.

Personally, I doubt they're going to find what they'd like to discover. As far as I'm concerned, whatever is found there is worth going to see one way or the other.

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/launch/watch-online/

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 7:06 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I just learned about the launch scheduled late last night after work. Slept thru it this morning. Funny, I was more concerned about liftoff and getting on the right trajectory than the eventual landing.

So big WOOHOO!!!! GO PERSEVERANCE!

What I found interesting were some of the additional tests they're bringing along on the mission. One test contains five swatches of different fabrics they'll expose to the martian atmosphere to see how they stand up over time. These fabrics will potentially be used in the creation of environmental suites for astronauts visiting Mars.

Second, they're bringing Martian rocks back to Mars! Perseverance is storing a tiny asteroid that they believe came from Mars.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I didn't know about the stowage of "lucky peanuts," too! A peanut a day helps you, ply, drill and relay.

One of the really important hardware problems regarding Curiosity is the amount of wear and tear sustained by the undercarriage.

Not being terribly clued up about all the pros and cons of a robotic mission, such as the six-wheeled wonders to which we have borne witness, I kind of wonder why maybe NASA did not send the rover to one of the broad rimmed shorelines separating the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, especially as this mission is geared up to search for something weird called, "life?" It is all very well to say the stated objective of the mission is to search for life, but what kind of "life," especially when the proximity of water is concerned? I'm assuming they're assuming carbon-based units, with the lowest common denominator of DNA to convey the blueprint.

I suppose it is all a matter of compromise. It's still probably not feasible to venture too far north or south of Mars' physical equator?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 10:48 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

This is great. I'll have to read up on it.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 9:12 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I didn't know about the stowage of "lucky peanuts," too! A peanut a day helps you, ply, drill and relay.

One of the really important hardware problems regarding Curiosity is the amount of wear and tear sustained by the undercarriage.

Not being terribly clued up about all the pros and cons of a robotic mission, such as the six-wheeled wonders to which we have borne witness, I kind of wonder why maybe NASA did not send the rover to one of the broad rimmed shorelines separating the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, especially as this mission is geared up to search for something weird called, "life?" It is all very well to say the stated objective of the mission is to search for life, but what kind of "life," especially when the proximity of water is concerned? I'm assuming they're assuming carbon-based units, with the lowest common denominator of DNA to convey the blueprint.

I suppose it is all a matter of compromise. It's still probably not feasible to venture too far north or south of Mars' physical equator?


Curiosity Rover is exploring Gale Crater known to once harbor a lake. Its working its way up the sides. I don't know where the proposed waterline lies. Since they are following the water its safe to say they are looking for life or past life "as we know it".

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 12:54 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Personally, I am biased about the physical mechanism by which life, as immortalised by Jurassic Park, "finds a way."

Many scientists vaguely announce that life's "template" may inhabit a chamelion-like assortment of physical vehicles of potential form. The bottom line is that some kind of physical "mesh" needs to act as the blueprint in a tiny micro-folded space-maximisation way that encapsulates the unique "genetic" form of the species to which it points. This can then employ, in the case of the evolutionary process on Earth, biological machinery to amplify what is condensed down in DNA, via protein synthesis, the amplified macroscopic entities that we actually are. There is no way that we can abstract out how Mother Nature actually effects this mechanism, other than by rote research. In other words, Mars being so conveniently close by means there are "unwritten" connotations NASA is absently hooking into, to lead the general unsophisticated audience following their lead, that whatever "micro-organisms" must be "down there somewhere" in/on that planet are automatically being "hacked" as in some way being Earth-like. This is nothing more than a generic assumption which is pretty vague. All of life on Earth employs the same physical process to get the job done, which is why I myself assume that life elsewhere would follow the same pattern, because at the end of the day, you need certain sized planets with all the right resources to occupy that "Goldilocks" zone in the correct spatio-temporal zone with respect to a parent star.

There is a concensus that on Earth, life could have begun in the deep oceans where black smokers provide the thermal energy (with tons of water pressure bearing down) source in order to drive the accepted physical processes of biological life. If this is so, plate tectonics are required as a basis upon which to literally grind life out into the physical environment. But, plate tectonics are not a feature of Mars because it is too small for plate tectonics to actually occur. So how could life therefore arise on Mars even if it once had a plentiful ocean?

Now that Enceladus has been found to basically resemble a pressurized "aquarium tank" encased in ice, the intense gravitational energy provided by the proximity of Saturn is thought to drive the heat source necessary for the potential development of its own natural equivalent of black smokers, yet, the hook by which a tiny moon with nowhere near the mass of Earth is automatically assumed to be able to internally drive the same life-generating mechanisms found on the planet we inhabit is being connoted by NASA with Earth without any really substantiated justification for doing so.

They fail to point out the critical differences that exist which determine why life exists proximally here on Earth that mean it can't be incorporated elsewhere because the physical differences that abound are actually sufficient justification to rule out the possibility of life being elsewhere in the first place.

In other words, there is the vaguest molehill of accompanying "supporting evidence" that formal organisations like NASA use to bait taxpayers with a lobby on which to provide funding and resources to drive the investigations that result in "space exploration projects." Like everyone else, NASA requires a form of propaganda to justify the acquistion of expensive means to carry out their end of the business. I don't blame them. However, they don't need to convince the likes of me that going out just to take a look needs some justification of the outlay in expense it takes to follow particular leads. It basically remains true that if you don't seek, you won't find. That is a good enough carrot for me.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 1:17 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

They fail to point out the critical differences that exist which determine why life exists proximally here on Earth that mean it can't be incorporated elsewhere because the physical differences that abound are actually sufficient justification to rule out the possibility of life being elsewhere in the first place.

In the context of space exploration, "elsewhere" means the entire universe outside of Earth. You appear to be saying that nowhere else in the universe has the right conditions for life.

In the case of Mars, it's beyond hope to think that any kind of life has ever existed there. But I certainly wouldn't rule out planets in other solar systems.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 1:30 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

They fail to point out the critical differences that exist which determine why life exists proximally here on Earth that mean it can't be incorporated elsewhere because the physical differences that abound are actually sufficient justification to rule out the possibility of life being elsewhere in the first place.

In the context of space exploration, "elsewhere" means the entire universe outside of Earth. You appear to be saying that nowhere else in the universe has the right conditions for life.

In the case of Mars, it's beyond hope to think that any kind of life has ever existed there. But I certainly wouldn't rule out planets in other solar systems.


This is basically the "nut" upon which everyting appears to rest. In our lifetimes, the external Universe to our Solar System is pretty meaningless at this stage in the quest for alternative life. What isn't beyond reach is the Solar System itself because within my lifetime, every major world within it has become tangibly accessible - this is a fantastic, monumental achievement on the part of those scientists who made it all happen. Who knows, perhaps, there is sufficient parameter linkage that might allow the possibility of life to exist within certain limits somewhere relatively nearby other than Earth. But it seems extremely unlikely that we will find such a thing.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 7:01 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Also on board [Perseverance] are three fingernail-sized silicon wafers. Etched on the wafers are the names of 10,932,295 people who responded to NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign.
Those who signed up were issued a “Boarding Pass” before liftoff. One of those names is that of Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986), the legendary space artist who first visualized a journey by humans to Mars back in the 1940s.

You can have your name on the next mission to Mars by going to:
https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/future

Chesley Bonestell movie site
https://www.chesleybonestell.com/

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 7:25 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)


In other words, there is the vaguest molehill of accompanying "supporting evidence" that formal organisations like NASA use to bait taxpayers with a lobby on which to provide funding and resources to drive the investigations that result in "space exploration projects." Like everyone else, NASA requires a form of propaganda to justify the acquistion of expensive means to carry out their end of the business.


NASA isn't doing propaganda. Where we find water on Earth we find life. Mars is believed to once have an abundance of water. Its believed life took root in the first half billion years on Earth. So the scientific theories are sound for exploration Mars which is very similar to Earth in size and location to our Sun. NASA lobbies for funding and missions like any other government body.

NASA doesn't rule out other kinds of life. But its much harder to search for something when you don't know what you're searching for to begin with. Further more there's a possibility life could've traveled from one body to another via Panspermia.

Now the chances of finding life as we know it anywhere in our solar system appears slim to me. For many of the reasons you mentioned. How life began on Earth happened because of many unique circumstances. The physics of our universe is anti-life and makes the universe quite sterile.

However if life happened once then its hard to believe it didn't happen a second time when we're talking about a universe with billions of galaxies with billions of solar systems. The math makes it highly likely there is life elsewhere. Though probably far out of reach of our detection.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2020 - 8:10 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

My wordage was a bit strong, but nicely put, Sol. Then again, I did say it's worth going just to go and whatever turns up, turns up.

All the eggs, though, are (sort of) in one basket. Right now the most obvious candidates for possible worlds harboring 'living substance' other than Earth are 1) Mars and jointly, 2) Europa and Enceladus, the pressure cookers of our back 'garden.' Of these latter two, I'm guessing Europa has the better chance than Enceladus. In Arthur C. Clarke's "2001" series of stories the idea of Europa being a candidate for 'life' was already on the cards. Ironically, the original saga had Discovery going to Saturn, but the VFX for the movie at the time couldn't quite pull off believable imagery of the rings, so they went to Jupiter instead.

LC, the two concept space art illustrators that immediately come to mind are Chesley Bonestell and Robert T. McCall. Both RIP.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 7:53 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

We all know about the 7 minutes of terror. Parts of the video discusses the Gale Crater mission.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

We all know about the 7 minutes of terror. Parts of the video discusses the Gale Crater mission.



This is really an amazing piece of technology. What a leap of faith it must have been for NASA to go with this system for the Curiosity landing. You can understand why other countries want to hack into our computer networks. I can’t wait until February. Something to look forward to during the cold winter.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)


This is really an amazing piece of technology. What a leap of faith it must have been for NASA to go with this system for the Curiosity landing. You can understand why other countries want to hack into our computer networks. I can’t wait until February. Something to look forward to during the cold winter.


Its a testament of science. With Mars having a different atmosphere and gravity they couldn't fully test the entire system in one trial run on Earth. All they could do was test each individual component and theorize it should all work once it reaches Mars.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 1:27 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

I watched that 7 minutes video last night and also one by a guy called Scott Manley whose stuff I like.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2020 - 7:04 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

James Lovelock pointing out some facts that are obvious to those who have given some serious thought about what to look for on a planet in order to determine whether or not it ever had a phase in which life could have evolved.

A planet that has a signature indicating the presence of life will not contain an inert atmosphere. This is the basic idea.

 
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