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Perseverance and Ingenuity NASA’s Mars 2020 vision/mission manifests.
Mars 2020 ready for launch
by Jeff Foust — July 28, 2020
[Image: mars2020.jpg]Mars 2020, on schedule for launch July 30, will kick off an ambitious effort to collect samples for return to Earth by future missions. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has passed its final review ahead of a July 30 launch that will kick off an ambitious effort to return samples of the red planet to Earth.
NASA announced July 27 that Mars 2020 completed its launch readiness review, confirming that the spacecraft and its Atlas 5 launch vehicle are ready for launch. The Atlas 5 will roll out to the pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida July 28, with launch scheduled for 7:50 a.m. Eastern July 30.
Weather is forecast to be favorable for the launch. At a July 27 briefing at the Kennedy Space Center, Jessica Williams, launch weather officer at the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Space Wing, said there was an 80% chance of acceptable weather for the July 30 launch attempt, improving to 90% if the launch slips one day.

Nearly an hour after the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 541 lifts off, its Centaur upper stage will release the Mars 2020 spacecraft, having placed it on a Mars-bound trajectory. The spacecraft will arrive at Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, and attempt a landing in Jezero Crater, a large crater on the planet that once was home to a river delta.
The Mars 2020 rover, named Perseverance, is based on the Curiosity rover that has been on Mars for nearly eight years, but with a number of changes. “It’s clearly a more sophisticated vehicle,” Matt Wallace, Mars 2020 deputy program manager, said of Perseverance. “We’re carrying about 50% more surface payload than Curiosity did, and that was by far the most complex thing we had ever done up until that time.”
A major driver of that increased complexity is the rover’s mission to cache samples for later return to Earth. “The sampling and caching system is a robotically complex system,” said Jennifer Trosper, another deputy project manager for the mission. Besides its complexity, she noted it has to be “super clean” to avoid any terrestrial contamination of the samples it collects. “That has been the hardest thing to develop on the Perseverance rover.”
Those samples will be returned on a pair of missions, an orbiter and lander, projected to launch in 2026 in a cooperative effort between NASA and the European Space Agency. Both missions are still in their earliest phases of development, with no cost estimates yet released. Mars 2020 cost NASA $2.4 billion, with another $300 million budgeted for the rover’s first Martian year of operations.
Another factor in the mission’s complexity is the addition of Ingenuity, a small helicopter that will be carried to Mars with Perseverance. After landing, Perseverance will release Ingenuity, which will then perform a series of flight tests to demonstrate the ability for powered, controlled flight in the planet’s thin atmosphere.
Ingenuity was added to the mission relatively late in its development, and Wallace said that it required a “little bit of a magic trick” to accommodate it. “It’s a very, very unusual payload,” he said. “Our team was oversubscribed with engineering challenges.”
JPL engineers, with support from Lockheed Martin, were able to accommodate Ingenuity by attaching it to the rover’s underside. “We’ll be ready to go when it’s time to fly the helicopter on Mars, but it wasn’t easy,” he said.
A further complication for Mars 2020 was the coronavirus pandemic that hit as the mission was preparing the spacecraft for launch. “Nothing prepared us for what we had to deal with in the middle of March as the pandemic struck,” Wallace said. “We’re working with very limited schedule.” If Mars 2020 doesn’t launch by the middle of August, NASA will have to wait for more than two years for the next launch window.
The pandemic also affected those handling the launch itself. “I would never have thought that a launch director would be working from home,” said Omar Baez, the NASA launch director for Mars 2020.
He noted that, in contrast to launch readiness reviews for previous missions that were often standing room only, the review for Mars 2020 has fewer people in the room, with those in attendance wearing masks. “There’s a challenge and a penalty that goes with doing those things,” he said. “I’ve seen the team react and overcome all that, and it makes me very proud.”
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Quote:Ingenuity was added to the mission relatively late  Naughty  in its development, 

and Wallace said that it required a “little bit of a magic  Whistle  trick”    to accommodate it. 

“It’s a very, very unusual payload,” he said. 

 “Our team was oversubscribed Whip  with engineering challenges.” Bong7bp

yea yea yea
aside from the goofy helicopter,
it sounds like a real Mars mission this time that sparks some solid interest, 
unlike the prone to epic fail mission objectives using tinker toy technology - aka - the Mole.

All that great work they do getting these missions to Mars,
and then the politically correct science and their constrained media news information flow, 
takes over to play out the predetermined outcome.

They know there is plenty of life existing under the Mars surface,
but they want to stage the theatrics on how they will admit to it.

I do wish the mission well. 
It is quite important that the mission succeeds.
NASA is under pressure.
They cannot fail, and have the Chinese succeed with their mission.

JULY 30, 2020
'On our way to Mars': NASA rover will look for signs of life

by Marcia Dunn
[Image: 10-nasalaunches.jpg]A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission will send a Mars rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of life, explore the planet's geology and much more. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built—a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers—blasted off for the red planet Thursday as part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life.

NASA's Perseverance rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the world's third and final Mars launch of the summer. China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start last week, but all three missions should reach their destination in February after a journey of seven months and 300 million miles (480 million kilometers).
The plutonium-powered, six-wheeled rover will drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be brought home in about 2031 in a sort of interplanetary relay race involving multiple spacecraft and countries. The overall cost: more than $8 billion.
NASA's science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, pronounced the launch the start of "humanity's first round trip to another planet."
"Oh, I loved it, punching a hole in the sky, right? Getting off the cosmic shore of our Earth, wading out there in the cosmic ocean," he said. "Every time, it gets me."
In addition to potentially answering one of the most profound questions of science, religion and philosophy—Is there or has there ever been life beyond Earth?—the mission will yield lessons that could pave the way for the arrival of astronauts as early as the 2030s.

[Image: 9-nasalaunches.jpg]
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission will send a Mars rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of life, explore the planet's geology and much more. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
"There's a reason we call the robot Perseverance. Because going to Mars is hard," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said just before liftoff. "In this case, it's harder than ever before because we're doing it in the midst of a pandemic."
Shortly after liftoff, Perseverance unexpectedly went into safe mode, a sort of protective hibernation, after a temperature reading triggered an alarm. But deputy project manager Matt Wallace later said that the spacecraft appeared to be in good shape, with its temperatures back within proper limits, and that NASA will probably switch it back to its normal cruise state within a day or so.
"Everything is pointing toward a healthy spacecraft ready to go to Mars and do its mission," he said.
NASA's deep-space tracking stations also had some difficulty locking onto signals from Perseverance early in the flight but eventually established a solid communication link, Wallace said.

[Image: 12-nasalaunches.jpg]
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission will send a Mars rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of life, explore the planet's geology and much more. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The U.S., the only country to safely put a spacecraft on Mars, is seeking its ninth successful landing on the planet, which has proved to be the Bermuda Triangle of space exploration, with more than half of the world's missions there burning up, crashing or otherwise ending in failure.

China is sending both a rover an orbiter. The UAE, a newcomer to outer space, has an orbiter en route.
It's the biggest stampede to Mars in spacefaring history. The opportunity to fly between Earth and Mars comes around only once every 26 months when the planets are on the same side of the sun and about as close as they can get.
The launch went off on time at 7:50 a.m. despite a 4.2-magnitude earthquake 20 minutes before liftoff that shook NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is overseeing the rover.

[Image: 11-nasalaunches.jpg]
This photo provided by NASA, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches at Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA's Perseverance blasted off atop an Atlas V rocket Thursday morning. It's the first step in an ambitious project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)
Launch controllers at Cape Canaveral wore masks and sat spaced apart because of the coronavirus outbreak, which kept hundreds of scientists and other team members away from Perseverance's liftoff.
"That was overwhelming. Overall, just wow!" said Alex Mather, the 13-year-old Virginia schoolboy who proposed the name Perseverance in a NASA competition and watched the launch in person with his parents.
About an hour into the flight, controllers applauded, pumped their fists, exchanged air hugs and pantomimed high-fives when the rocket left Earth's orbit and began hurtling toward Mars.
"We have left the building. We are on our way to Mars," Perseverance's chief engineer, Adam Steltzner, said from JPL.
If all goes well, the rover will descend to the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021, in what NASA calls seven minutes of terror, during which the craft will go from 12,000 mph (19,300 kph) to a complete stop. It is carrying 25 cameras and a pair of microphones that will enable Earthlings to vicariously tag along.

[Image: 15-nasalaunches.jpg]
A replica of the Mars rover Perseverance is displayed outside the press site before a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launch scheduled for tomorrow will transport the rover to Mars. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Perseverance will aim for Jezero Crater, a treacherous, unexplored expanse of boulders, cliffs, dunes and possibly rocks bearing the chemical signature of microbes from what was a lake more than 3 billion years ago. The rover will store half-ounce (15-gram) rock samples in dozens of super-sterilized titanium tubes.
It also will release a mini helicopter that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet, and test out other technology to prepare the way for future astronauts. That includes equipment for extracting oxygen from Mars' thin carbon-dioxide atmosphere.
The plan is for NASA and the European Space Agency to launch a dune buggy in 2026 to fetch the rock samples, plus a rocket ship that will put the specimens into orbit around Mars. Then another spacecraft will capture the orbiting samples and bring them home.
  • [Image: 17-nasalaunches.jpg]

  • Alexander Mather, of Burke, Va. stands next to a model of the Mars 2020 rover he named in a contest during a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Mather, submitted the winning entry in NASA's "Name the Rover" essay contest, making the case to name the Mars 2020 rover "Perseverance." (AP Photo/John Raoux)

[*]Samples taken straight from Mars, not drawn from meteorites discovered on Earth, have long been considered "the Holy Grail of Mars science," according to NASA's now-retired Mars czar, Scott Hubbard.
To definitively answer the life-beyond-Earth question, the samples must be analyzed by the best electron microscopes and other instruments, far too big to fit on a spacecraft, he said.
"I've wanted to know if there was life elsewhere in the universe since I was 9 years old. That was more than 60 years ago," Hubbard said from his Northern California cabin. "But just maybe, I'll live to see the fingerprints of life come back from Mars in one of those rock samples."

JULY 28, 2020

[*]Astrophysicists investigate the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

[*]by New York University

[*][Image: nyuadastroph.jpg]The Rosalind Franklin rover by European Space Agency and Roscosmos will drill 2 meters below the surface of Mars to search for signs of life. Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi
Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist Dimitra Atri at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu Dhabi finds that conditions below the surface could potentially support it. The subsurface—which is less harsh and has traces of water—has never been explored. According to Atri, the steady bombardment of penetrating galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) might provide the energy needed to catalyze organic activity there.

Atri investigated the biological potential of galactic cosmic-ray-induced, radiation-driven chemical disequilibrium in the Martian subsurface environment; the results are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
There is growing evidence suggesting the presence of an aqueous environment on ancient Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment. The erosion of the Martian atmosphere resulted in drastic changes in its climate: Surface water disappeared, shrinking habitable spaces on the planet, with only a limited amount of water remaining near the surface in form of brines and water ice deposits. Life, if it ever existed, would have had to adapt to harsh modern conditions, which include low temperatures and surface pressure, and high radiation.
The subsurface of Mars has traces of water in the form of water ice and brines, and undergoes radiation-driven redox chemistry. Using a combination of numerical models, space mission data and studies of deep-cave ecosystems on Earth for his research, Atri proposes mechanisms through which life, if it ever existed on Mars, could survive and be detected with the upcoming ExoMars mission (2022) by the European Space Agency and Roscosmos. He hypothesizes that galactic cosmic radiation, which can penetrate several meters below the surface, will induce chemical reactions that can be used for metabolic energy by extant life, and host organisms using mechanisms seen in similar chemical and radiation environments on Earth.


[*][Image: nyuadastroph.jpeg]

[*]Proposed radiation-induced habitable zone below the surface of Mars. Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi

[*]"It is exciting to contemplate that life could survive in such a harsh environment, as few as two meters below the surface of Mars," said Atri. "When the Rosalind Franklin rover on board the ExoMars mission (ESA and Roscosmos), equipped with a subsurface drill, is launched in 2022, it will be well-suited to detect extant microbial life and hopefully provide some important insights."



Explore further
Scientists model Mars climate to understand habitability


[b]More information:[/b] Dimitra Atri. Investigating the biological potential of galactic cosmic ray-induced radiation-driven chemical disequilibrium in the Martian subsurface environment, Scientific Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-68715-7
[b]Journal information:[/b] Scientific Reports [/url]

Provided by [url=]New York University

JULY 29, 2020


[*]Plutonium-238 to help power Perseverance on Mars

[*]by Oak Ridge National Laboratory

[*][Image: ornlproduced.jpg]The Perseverance rover, headed for Mars this summer, carries a plutonium isotope produced at ORNL, the first domestic production in about 30 years. As it decays, Pu-238 will power the rover and its instruments across the planet. Credit: NASA
After its long journey to Mars beginning this summer, NASA's Perseverance rover will be powered across the planet's surface in part by plutonium produced at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
The rover has a color/20 megapixel camera.
I assume the microscope will be upgraded too,
and I wasn't aware that a drone was included!

NASA says "The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA's quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars.

Strapped to the rover's belly for the journey to Mars is a technology demonstration Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, which may achieve a "Wright Brothers moment “ by testing the first powered flight on the Red Planet."
Itza Wright itself?



Unlike organisms on the surface of Earth, which operate on short (daily and seasonal) timescales according to the Sun, it is likely that these deeply buried microbes exist on much longer timescales, such as the movement of tectonic plates, and changes in ocean oxygen levels and circulation.

AUGUST 5, 2020
New study reveals lower energy limit for life on Earth
[Image: 24-newstudyreve.jpg]Photograph taken from ALVIN, a manned deep-ocean research submersible, taking sediment cores at the ocean floor of the Dorado Outcrop in 2014. Credit: Geoff Wheat, NSF OCE 1130146, and the National Deep Submergence Facility.
An international team of researchers led by Queen Mary University of London have discovered that microorganisms buried in sediment beneath the seafloor can survive on less energy than was previously known to support life. The study has implications for understanding the limit of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, uses data from the sub-seafloor to construct innovative models that divide the oceans into hundreds of thousands of individual grid cells. A global picture of the sub-seafloor biosphere was then assembled, including key lifeforms and biogeochemical processes.
By combining data on the distribution and amounts of carbon and microbial life contained in Earth's deep biosphere with the rate of biological and chemical reactions, the researchers were able to determine the 'power' consumption of individual microbial cells—in other words—the rate at which they utilize energy. All life on Earth constantly uses energy in order to remain active, sustain metabolism, and carry out essential functions such as growth, and the repair and replacement of biomolecules.
The results show that sub-seafloor microbes survive using far less energy than has ever previously been shown to support any form of life on Earth. By stretching the habitable boundaries of life to encompass lower energy environments, the findings could inform future studies of where, when and how life arose on a hostile early Earth, and where life might be located elsewhere in the solar system.

[Image: 23-newstudyreve.jpg]

John Beck (Imaging Specialist, IODP-USIO/TAMU), Chad Broyles (Curator, IODP-USIO/TAMU), Zenon Mateo (Core Laboratory, IODP-USIO/TAMU) and Lisa Crowder (Assistant Laboratory Officer, IODP-USIO/TAMU) carry a sediment core on the catwalk. On site at the South Pacific Gyre, International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 329. October 2010. Credit: Carlos Alvarez Zarikian (Expedition Project Manager/Staff Scientist, IODP-USIO/TAMU).
Dr. James Bradley, Lecturer in Environmental Science at Queen Mary said: "When we think about the nature of life on Earth, we tend to think about the plants, animals, microscopic algae, and bacteria that thrive on Earth's surface and within its oceans—constantly active, growing and reproducing. Yet here we show that an entire biosphere of microorganisms—as many cells as are contained in all of Earth's soils or oceans, have barely enough energy to survive. Many of them are simply existing in a mostly inactive state—not growing, not dividing, and not evolving. These microbes use less energy than we previously thought was possible to support life on Earth.
"The average human uses around 100 watts of power—meaning they burn approximately 100 joules of energy every second. This is roughly equivalent to the power of a ceiling fan, a sewing machine, or two standard lightbulbs . We calculate that the average microbe trapped in deep ocean sediments survives on fifty-billion-billion times less energy than a human."

Jan Amend, Director of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) at the University of Southern California, and co-author of the study, said "Previous studies of life in the subseafloor—and there have been many good ones—focused predominantly on who's there, and how much of it is there. Now we're digging deeper into ecological questions: what is it doing, and how fast is it doing it? Understanding the power limits of life establishes an essential baseline for microbial life on Earth and elsewhere."
The findings raise fundamental questions about our definitions of what constitutes life, as well as the limits of life on Earth, and elsewhere. With such little energy available, it is unlikely that organisms are able to reproduce or divide, but instead use this miniscule amount of energy for 'maintenance' - replacing or repairing their damaged parts. It is likely, therefore, that many of the microbes found at great depths beneath the seafloor are remnants from populations that inhabited shallow coastal settings thousands to millions of years ago. Unlike organisms on the surface of Earth, which operate on short (daily and seasonal) timescales according to the Sun, it is likely that these deeply buried microbes exist on much longer timescales, such as the movement of tectonic plates, and changes in ocean oxygen levels and circulation.

[Image: 5f2a94a6681a9.jpg]

Photograph taken from ALVIN, a manned deep-ocean research submersible, taking sediment cores at the ocean floor of the Dorado Outcrop in 2014. Credit: Geoff Wheat
The research also sheds light on how the microbes interact with chemical processes occurring deep below the seafloor. Whilst oxygen provides the highest amount of energy to microbes, it is in overwhelmingly short supply—present in less than 3 per cent of sediments.
Anoxic sediments, however, are far more widespread, often containing microorganisms that obtain energy by generating methane—a potent greenhouse gas. Despite being practically inactive, the microbial cells contained in Earth's marine sediments are so numerous, and survive over such extraordinarily long timescales, that they act as an important driver of earth's carbon and nutrient cycles—even affecting the concentration of CO2 in earth's atmosphere over thousands to millions of years.
"The findings of the research call into question not just the nature and limits of life on Earth, but elsewhere in the Universe," added Dr. Bradley. "If life does exist on Mars or Europa for example, it would most likely take refuge in the subsurface of these energy-limited planetary bodies. If microbes only need a few zeptowatts of power to survive, there could be remnants of extant life, long dormant but still technically 'alive', beneath their icy surface."

Explore further
Window to another world: Life is bubbling up to seafloor with petroleum from deep below

[b]More information:[/b] "Widespread energy limitation to life in global subseafloor sediments" Science Advances (2020). … .1126/sciadv.aba0697
[b]Journal information:[/b] Science Advances 


DNA is self-write yes!!!
Eh? No?
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

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