7 Things to Know about the Perseverance Mars Rover
We’re set to launch the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on July 30. The rover is loaded with scientific instruments and advanced technology, making it the largest, heaviest and most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to the Red Planet.
What is Perseverance’s mission and what will it do on Mars? Here are seven things to know:
1. Perseverance draws on the NASA – and scientific – spirit of overcoming challenges
Not only does it have to launch during a pandemic and land on a treacherous planet, it has to carry out its science goals:
Searching for signs of past microbial life
Mapping out the planet’s geology and climate
Collecting rock and other samples for future return to Earth
Paving the way for human exploration
We chose the name Perseverance from among the 28,000 essays submitted during the “Name the Rover” contest. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the months leading up to the launch in particular have required creative problem solving, teamwork and determination.
2. Perseverance builds on the lessons from other Mars rovers
In 1997, our first Mars rover – Sojourner – showed that a robot could rove on the Red Planet. Spirit and Opportunity, which both landed in 2004, found evidence that Mars once had water before becoming a frozen desert.
Curiosity found evidence that Mars’ Gale Crater was home to a lake billions of years ago and that there was an environment that may have sustained microbial life. Perseverance aims to answer the age-old question – are there any signs that life once existed on Mars?
3. Perseverance will land in a place with high potential to find signs of ancient life
The rover will land in Jezero Crater, a 28-mile wide basin north of the Martian equator. A space rock hit the surface long ago, creating the large hole. Between 3 and 4 billion years ago, a river flowed into a body of water in Jezero the size of Lake Tahoe.
4. Perseverance will also collect important data about Mars’ geology and climate
Mars orbiters have collected images and other data about Jezero Crater from about 200 miles above, but finding signs of past life will need much closer inspection. A rover like Perseverance can look for those signs that may be related to ancient life and analyze the context in which they were found to see if the origins were biological.
5. Perseverance is the first leg of a round trip to Mars
This is the first rover to bring a sample-gathering system to Mars that will package promising samples of rocks and other materials for future return to Earth. NASA and ESA are working on the Mars Sample Return campaign, so we can analyze the rocks and sediment with tools too large and complex to send to space.
6. Perseverance will pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet
Two packages – one that helps the rover autonomously avoid hazards during landing (TRN) and another that gathers crucial data during the trip through Mars’ atmosphere (MEDLI2) – will help future human missions land safely and with larger payloads on other worlds.
There are two instruments that will specifically help astronauts on the Red Planet. One (MEDA) will provide key information about the planet’s weather, climate and dust activity, while a technology demonstration (MOXIE) aims to extract oxygen from Mars’ mostly carbon-dioxide atmosphere.
7. You get to ride along
Perseverance and other parts of the Mars 2020 spacecraft feature 23 cameras, which is more than any other interplanetary mission in history. Raw images from the camera are set to be released on the mission website.
There are also three silicon chips with the names of nearly 11 million people who signed up to send their names to Mars.
The Titanic sank on April 14, 1912. Had it not struck the iceberg, it would have arrived in New York on April 17th. But what was happening in New York on April 17th, 1912? The answer may change history as you know it.
On April 17th, a Wednesday, there was a solar eclipse, one long awaited by a new religious movement called The Order of the Golden Temple. The OGT was a group of about 120 people, located mostly in Manhattan, who believed that the sun itself was a temple of gold sacred to the god Aupolus (a neopagan interpretation of Apollo), who was killed and reborn with each solar eclipse.
The OGT was banned in England where it was formed by Aleister Crowley’s aunt, Jessica Caledrice Boothe. It was banned because, during the eclipse of 1888, Boothe and her followers ran rampant through London committing murders and mutilations, scattering the innards of their victims in occult sigils, and eating their spleens. The case of Jack the Ripper was notably a few days after these events and was not counted among them, however Ripper historians often neglect to note that those murders ended literally the night before Boothe and her surviving followers emigrated to New York.
Boothe’s murderous cult arrived at Pier 59, where the Titanic would be scheduled to arrive 24 years later. They festered in the New York underground, all the while growing and preparing for the grand ritual to be performed on April 17th, 1912. Documents found in Boothe’s home after her death suggest that the day would have been one of mass murder on an unseen scale, in which at least 2222 residents of the big city would be sacrificed to ensure the Sun God’s return. But this was not to be.
News of the Titanic’s sinking hit New York on April 16th and it hit like a ton of bricks. The population was stricken with grief and that included Mrs. Boothe, who had two sisters on the ship, inbound for the dark ritual. She cancelled the ritual and disbanded the cult, having had her fill of death and destruction and loss. And so thousands of lives were lost, and thousands more were saved in that strange April, where the Titanic perished only to prevent the mutilation, death, and spleenal cannibalism that was to take place days later.
Here’s the strangest thing though- Jessica Boothe died a few days after the cancellation of the ritual on April 19th, 1912. Her cause of death is unknown but she promised one thing- The Sun God would have his revenge, specifically on the 222nd eclipse after their failure. That eclipse will take place on December 14, 2020, when Boothe said, the sun would be eclipsed- And never come back.
Thankfully this is all unlikely due to the scientific facts of our sun and moon; the unanimous global dismissal of Boothe as a homicidal lunatic; and the failure of her other wild predictions to come true, including England floating away from Europe, the United States being taken over by a lecherous demon, and the decimation of the world’s population by the plague. So long as none of those unlikely events happen, we should all be safe.
Was There Once Life On Mars? Our Perseverance Rover Aims to Find Out
Our Perseverance mission is set to launch on Thursday, July 30 and could help answer many longstanding astrobiology questions about Mars. The mission will deliver our Perseverance rover to the Martian surface, and this powerful rover is equipped with a multitude of tools to study the planet’s environment and to answer questions about whether or not the Red Planet could have had life in the past.
In preparation for launch, our Astrobiology Program is releasing a new update to Issue #2 of the graphic history series, Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe. This new, fourth edition tells the tale of our exploration of Mars in relation to astrobiology.
The history of our exploration of Mars is full of struggle and triumph. Mars is a dangerous and difficult planet to visit, with frigid temperatures, damaging dust storms, low gravity, and a thin atmosphere. Despite the challenges, NASA missions have opened our eyes to a world that was much more Earth-like in its past, with environments that contained all the necessary conditions for life as we know it.
Issue #2 tells the complete history of our endeavours on Mars, from the Mariner missions to Viking and Pathfinder to Curiosity. In this fourth edition, you’ll find details on the Perseverance rover and its journey to search for ancient signs and signatures of life that could once and for all tell us whether or not life gained a foothold on the ancient Red Planet.
Perseverance will also drill into Martian rocks and collect samples that will one day be returned to Earth by a future Mars Sample Return mission. The samples will be stored in special containers and carefully ‘cached’ in a location on Mars where they will be easily accessible for retrieval. These samples will allow astrobiologists to perform detailed experiments that robots are not yet able to undertake remotely.
Visit astrobiology.nasa.gov/graphic-histories/ to download the new edition of Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe, and read the entire series to explore NASA’s astrobiology journey to understand the origin and evolution of life on Earth, and the potential for life elsewhere in the Universe!
These days, every cough, sneeze or headache makes you wonder: Could it be Covid-19? Medical experts are viewing Covid-19 as a multi-organ disease that can affect the body from head to toe and everywhere in between. Here’s a guide to help you understand the symptoms.
These four symptoms are very common among Covid patients. Unlike flu symptoms, which typically come on fast, Covid-19 symptoms may emerge over several days.
Many patients commonly report one or more of these symptoms too. Some patients have only mild illness, but others begin to feel terrible, with worsening symptoms and a sense of constant discomfort.
Covid is not just a respiratory illness, and can show up in a number of unusual ways. These symptoms are less common or rare, but they can also be signs of Covid.
The nose is ground zero for Covid-19. It’s rich in a receptor called ACE2, which the virus uses to get into our cells. As the virus replicates inside the nose and spreads down the respiratory tract and into the lungs, patients may develop various respiratory symptoms.
Painful headache is common, but more serious neurological problems are less common or rare. Mild symptoms include dizziness or feeling lightheaded. Symptoms needing urgent care include confusion, an inability to wake, uncoordinated movement or signs of stroke like facial drooping, numbness or garbled speech.
Some patients develop Covid pneumonia as the virus attacks the lungs. Sometimes oxygen levels can drop so slowly that the patient doesn’t notice. Short, rapid breathing or severe shortness of breath, particularly at rest, are signs that require urgent medical attention.
The virus can show up in unusual ways across the body. Strange rashes — bumpy, smooth, itchy or innocuous — have been reported. In rare cases, the virus inflames joints or damages muscles in the thighs, shoulders or back, causing severe pain.
The virus also appears to attach to the insides of blood vessels, and in rare cases causes life-threatening blood clots that travel to the lungs, heart or brain. In very rare cases, clots can cut off blood flow in the limbs, requiring amputation. Patients sick enough to visit the hospital may be given blood thinning medications to prevent or treat blood clots.
Covid-19 typically is mild in children. In very rare cases, it can cause a severe inflammatory response. Seek emergency care if a child shows any of these warning signs or symptoms that cause concern.
If you have a symptom that might be Covid-19, doctors say you should isolate until you can be tested. Most patients will recover on their own within a few weeks.
Seek medical care at any time if you experience trouble breathing, any concerning symptom or take a turn for the worse.
From a sniffle or cough that feels like allergies to severe body aches and crippling fatigue, the symptoms of coronavirus can be unpredictable from head to toe. Read more about the many symptoms of Covid-19 and join the conversation.
The tails of Comet NEOWISE!! Comet’s usually have 2 tails that always point away from the Sun.
Here, NEOWISE’s blue ion tail on the left points directly away from the Sun and is pushed out by the flowing and charged solar wind. Structure in the ion tail comes from different rates of expelled blue-glowing ions from the comet’s nucleus, as well as the always changing structure of our Sun’s wind.
The other tail, the dust tail, is pushed out by sunlight, but curves towards its orbital path as heavier dust particles are better able to resist this light pressure. Comet NEOWISE’s (Comet C/2020 F3) impressive dust-tail striations are not fully understood, as yet, but likely related to rotating streams of sun-reflecting grit liberated by melting ice on its 5-kilometer wide nucleus. Image Credit & Copyright: Zixuan Lin (Beijing Normal U.)
And these are why you should hike Picketwire Canyon: a large grouping of dinosaurs tracks.
Beware! This is a 10+ mile round-trip. People have died on this hike due to heat exhaustion. They recommend a gallon of water per person. That worked for me but the high was only 86. Temperatures can get up to 110°F regularly during July and August. The trail isn’t that arduous, did you have to climb down the canyon to begin and back up to get out. ￼ It’s really about the exposure; there’s not a lot of shade, trees, or any water. ￼
anyway, biorender is the best thing to ever happen to biologists since we found out we could manipulate peas
it’s a web program with like over 20k pre-made science icons you can use to make professional diagrams in minutes (or hours if you dick around a lot like yours truly. don’t mind that second thumbnail. it’s apparently supposed to be a mouse tumor but now it’s my friend).
GONE are the days when we have to individually make a phospholipid by hand on powerpoint and then copy+paste until we threw up
or use lame speech bubbles for cells
just LOOK at all these amazing illustrations the company and/or users have created:
About the stupid “America’s Frontline Doctors” stupid COVID-denying video making the stupid rounds among stupid people on my stupid Facebook
(stolen from Facebook; FYI, any covid-denying commenters will be blocked without even a second thought, cuz I’m done arguing with The Stupid.)
“There have been some widespread conspiracy theories circulating about hydroxychloroquine being a cure for COVID and that the entire medical community is somehow conspiring to keep this from the general public in an attempt to prevent Trump from being re-elected.
Here is my take:
1. The Houston doctor spouting this misinformation is a fringe element that has promoted several conspiracy theories even prior to COVID, including but not limited to telling people masks don’t work, railing against “the gay agenda, secular humanism, Illuminati and the demonic new world order.” This woman is not credible. None of her claims are based in science.
2. The WHO, CDC, FDA and numerous studies have independently corroborated the fact that HCQ does NOT have any added benefit in the treatment of COVID and may in fact, in certain cases, cause harm. Quoting fringe right wing publications does NOT detract from the merits of these studies.
3. The FDA cannot and will not approve a drug that has a high risk to benefit ratio. You can take it at your own risk.
4. Not one physician I know takes HCQ “prophylactically” as these people claim. On a personal note, I told my otherwise healthy COVID+ family to immediately stop taking HCQ, because there is no benefit (spoiler alert: they are now cured and I am their savior ).
5. Physicians, Dr. Fauci, the CDC and WHO are not in some sort of international conspiracy. We are all tired and want this thing to go away as much as everyone else does. If there really was a cure, we would be shouting it from the rooftops, just as we have with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, vaccines and the many other medical advancements that we work tireless toward.
This is downright insulting to the entire profession. Science is true, whether you believe it or not.”
Imagine for a moment that we are nothing but the product of billions of years of molecules coming together and ratcheting up through natural selection, that we are composed only of highways of fluids and chemicals sliding along roadways within billions of dancing cells, that trillions of synaptic conversations hum in parallel, that this vast egglike fabric of micron-thin circuitry runs algorithms undreamt of in modern science, and that these neural programs give rise to our decision making, loves, desires, fears, and aspirations. To me, that understanding would be a numinous experience, better than anything ever proposed in anyone’s holy text.
David Eagleman, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain