August 21st, 2014
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Tag Archives: NASA

NASA UNVEILS NEW MARS LANDER… AND IT HAS A COUPLE OF UNIQUE CAPABILITIES

A few of you noticed this one, and it’s clear why. NASA has unveiled its new Mars lander, based on the Curiosity lander, and it has a couple of very intriguing capabilities packed into its suite of scientific instruments and capabilities:

Mars 2020 rover will pave the way for future manned missions

Note first of all that one capability will be ground penetrating radar, or radar tomography:

“Also on board the 2020 rover will be a ground-penetrating radar for analysing the planet’s geology, two arm-mounted gadgets for analysing the chemistry and structure of soil and rocks, and two cameras.”

This will doubtless delight those who believe that Mars shows evidence of so many anomalies that suggest artificiality (and this author is among them), some of which, as some have suggested, include indications of possible underground “anomalies” or “structures”. So the interesting question will become where will this probe be landed in relation to such hypothesized anomalies?

The second capability is more interesting, and suggestive:

“Among them is a device for turning the CO2 that dominates the thin Martian air into oxygen.

“Being able to produce oxygen could help with that ambition, since transporting fuel is heavy and expensive. Other Nasa spacecraft can already produce oxygen from CO2 but the new “MOXIE” device will test this capability in the Martian atmosphere, for the first time.

“An oxygen supply would also be essential if people were to land on the planet.”

In other words, can oxygen be conveniently produced on Mars to sustain a human presence there, and, perhaps eventually, terraform the planet? Notably, the article is suggesting that this would be a necessary step for the production of “rocket fuel” for rockets originating on that planet, a strange strengthening of the chemical rocket meme during a week which has seen NASA admitting interest in alternative demonstrable propulsion technologies which portend the end of the chemical rocket. Now, if you’re like me and willing to entertain the high octane speculation, you probably suspect already that this is all “for show and tell,” a bit of theater, when they already know good and well that oxygen can be produced on that planet and have probably already done so. After all, the theory that oxygen became locked in the Martian soil has been around for decades now. With this in mind, I suspect rather that the hidden purpose is not to determine if oxygen can be produced, but rather, how efficiently and cheaply. In other words, the terraforming, permanent presence goal might be the real goal here.

Speculation, I grant you, but in the end, theater. It remains to be seen where they will choose to land this probe, and that will be the determiner of what kind of theater it will be.

See you on the flip side.

NASA VALIDATES MICROWAVE SPACE DRIVE…

This is a story that is quietly circulating, and many of you have brought it to my attention this week, and since the story appeared just a few days ago, it’s worth bring up: Nasa validates ‘impossible’ space drive Now the benefits of such a drive are obvious, and the article states them clearly: a[More...]

INDIA’S MARS PROBE APPROXIMATELY 100 MILLION KILOMETERS FROM ORBITAL INSERTION

Mr. S.D. shared this one, and in the light of our concentration on space news on this site lately, it’s an important article to ponder: India’s 1st Mars Mission Celebrates 100 Days and 100 Million Kilometers from Mars Orbit Insertion Firing – Cruising Right behind NASA’s MAVEN As I’ve suggested elsewhere, the European Space Agency’s[More...]

MARS, NASA’S ORION, AND A PROBLEM…

This little article from CNN was shared with us by Mr. P.T., a regular reader here, and in his email, he asked a significant question, one that I’m going to pass along to you, along with my usual red-faced flush of high octane speculation. But first, the article: NASA’s deep-space craft readying for launch As[More...]

NASA AND FRANCE SIGN MARS SPACE MISSION AGREEMENT

This story was shared by Mr. S.D., and given its intrinsic interest in the aftermath of the Secret Space Program conference, not to mention its implications in the current geopolitical atmosphere, it’s worth drawing attention to this one: NASA and French Space Agency Sign Agreement for Mars Mission Now, before we turn to a consideration[More...]

JAPAN WANTS INTERNATIONAL MISSION TO MARS

Prior to the Secret Space Program conference, Mr. Henrik Palmgren of Red Ice Creations radio interviewed me about the conference and other space matters, and one of the things we both talked about during that interview, was the prediction of an increase in indicators of international efforts in space. No sooner said than done, as[More...]

ASTROPHYSICIST: WE MUST COLONIZE OTHER PLANETS OR FACE EXTINCTION

Here’s a rather thought-provoking article that appeared on the Huffington Post. It seems the call to colonize other planets “or face extinction” may be the newest meme being promoted. But there’s a twist, as one will discover when one reads the article: We Must Colonize Other Planets Before We Go Extinct, Says Astrophysicist The article, which[More...]

NEW NASA REPORT RECOMMENDS FOCUSING ON MANNED MARS MISSION

Mr. S.D., a regular reader here, shared this article from the UK’s Guardian, concerning a recent NASA report with its recommendations, and with the secret space program conference looming, it’s worth our attention: Nasa should ditch ‘flexible approach’ and focus on manned mission to Mars Notably the report was composed by a committee co-chaired by former[More...]

3D PRINTING AND SPACE EXPLORATION

Already we’ve seen the application of 3-D printing to space exploration, when recently NASA allegedly scanned a Martian rock and printed it back on Earth to have a closer look. Now, if you’re like me, you probably don’t for a minute believe NASA went to all that trouble over a mere rock, but probably wanted[More...]