JPL’s Next Mars Rover Progresses Toward 2020 Launch

first_img Business News COMPUTER-DESIGN DRAWING FOR NASA’S 2020 MARS ROVER: This 2016 image comes from computer-assisted-design work on NASA’s 2020 Mars rover. The design leverages many successful features of NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, but it adds new science instruments and a sampling system to carry out the new goals for the 2020 missionAfter an extensive review process and passing a major development milestone, NASA is ready to proceed with final design and construction of its next Mars rover, currently targeted to launch in summer of 2020 and arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021.The Mars 2020 rover will investigate a region of Mars where the ancient environment may have been favorable for microbial life, probing the Martian rocks for evidence of past life. Throughout its investigation, it will collect samples of soil and rock, and cache them on the surface for potential return to Earth by a future mission.“The Mars 2020 rover is the first step in a potential multi-mission campaign to return carefully selected and sealed samples of Martian rocks and soil to Earth,” said Geoffrey Yoder, acting associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This mission marks a significant milestone in NASA’s Journey to Mars — to determine whether life has ever existed on Mars, and to advance our goal of sending humans to the Red Planet.”To reduce risk and provide cost savings, the 2020 rover will look much like its six-wheeled, one-ton predecessor, Curiosity, but with an array of new science instruments and enhancements to explore Mars as never before. For example, the rover will conduct the first investigation into the usability and availability of Martian resources, including oxygen, in preparation for human missions.Mars 2020 will carry an entirely new subsystem to collect and prepare Martian rocks and soil samples that includes a coring drill on its arm and a rack of sample tubes. About 30 of these sample tubes will be deposited at select locations for return on a potential future sample-retrieval mission. In laboratories on Earth, specimens from Mars could be analyzed for evidence of past life on Mars and possible health hazards for future human missions.Two science instruments mounted on the rover’s robotic arm will be used to search for signs of past life and determine where to collect samples by analyzing the chemical, mineral, physical and organic characteristics of Martian rocks. On the rover’s mast, two science instruments will provide high-resolution imaging and three types of spectroscopy for characterizing rocks and soil from a distance, also helping to determine which rock targets to explore up close.A suite of sensors on the mast and deck will monitor weather conditions and the dust environment, and a ground-penetrating radar will assess sub-surface geologic structure.The Mars 2020 rover will use the same sky crane landing system as Curiosity, but will have the ability to land in more challenging terrain with two enhancements, making more rugged sites eligible as safe landing candidates.“By adding what’s known as range trigger, we can specify where we want the parachute to open, not just at what velocity we want it to open,” said Allen Chen, Mars 2020 entry, descent and landing lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “That shrinks our landing area by nearly half.”Terrain-relative navigation on the new rover will use onboard analysis of downward-looking images taken during descent, matching them to a map that indicates zones designated unsafe for landing.“As it is descending, the spacecraft can tell whether it is headed for one of the unsafe zones and divert to safe ground nearby,” said Chen. “With this capability, we can now consider landing areas with unsafe zones that previously would have disqualified the whole area. Also, we can land closer to a specific science destination, for less driving after landing.”There will be a suite of cameras and a microphone that will capture the never-before-seen or heard imagery and sounds of the entry, descent and landing sequence. Information from the descent cameras and microphone will provide valuable data to assist in planning future Mars landings, and make for thrilling video.“Nobody has ever seen what a parachute looks like as it is opening in the Martian atmosphere,” said JPL’s David Gruel, assistant flight system manager for the Mars 2020 mission. “So this will provide valuable engineering information.”Microphones have flown on previous missions to Mars, including NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander in 2008, but never have actually been used on the surface of the Red Planet.“This will be a great opportunity for the public to hear the sounds of Mars for the first time, and it could also provide useful engineering information,” said Mars 2020 Deputy Project Manager Matt Wallace of JPL.Once a mission receives preliminary approval, it must go through four rigorous technical and programmatic reviews – known as Key Decision Points (KDP) — to proceed through the phases of development prior to launch. Phase A involves concept and requirements definition, Phase B is preliminary design and technology development, Phase C is final design and fabrication, and Phase D is system assembly, testing and launch. Mars 2020 has just passed its KDP-C milestone.“Since Mars 2020 is leveraging the design and some spare hardware from Curiosity, a significant amount of the mission’s heritage components have already been built during Phases A and B,” said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “With the KDP to enter Phase C completed, the project is proceeding with final design and construction of the new systems, as well as the rest of the heritage elements for the mission.”The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Driven by scientific discovery, the program currently includes two active rovers and three NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars. NASA also plans to launch a stationary Mars lander in 2018, InSight, to study the deep interior of Mars.JPL manages the Mars 2020 project and the Mars Exploration Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Caltech in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.For more information about Mars 2020, visit: http://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020 Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Make a comment Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Science and Technology JPL’s Next Mars Rover Progresses Toward 2020 Launch By GUY WEBSTER Published on Friday, July 15, 2016 | 11:08 am More Cool Stuff faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimescenter_img Top of the News Herbeauty6 Trends To Look Like A Bombshell And 6 To Forget AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyPretty Or Not: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About BeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyBet You Didn’t Need Another Reason To Stay Coupled Up This SeasonHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeauty Your email address will not be published. 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CBA gives cautious welcome to ‘Tesco Tax’

first_imgProposals to tax large supermarkets have been welcomed with caution by the Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA). The response comes after a group of local councils asked the government for new powers to tax large supermarkets to ensure that shoppers’ spending ‘re-circulates’ in local communities.Derby City Council has called for the tax, which is supported by 19 other local councils. The so-called ‘Tesco-Tax’ could raise up to £400m a year.Mike Holling, executive director at the Craft Bakers’ Association, said: “We welcome it with caution. If the funds truly are recouped and put into the high street, then we should welcome that. Anything that will benefit the high street businesses and will make it more vibrant we welcome. But let’s see what the details are first.”A similar tax already operates in Northern Ireland and Scotland.Submitted under the Sustainable Communities Act, the council’s report says supermarkets brought in some benefits, but had an overall detrimental impact on the sustainability of local communities.The report stated: “Research has shown that 95% of all the money spent in any large supermarket leaves the local economy for good, compared to just 50% from local independent retailers; this levy is a modest attempt to ensure more of that money re-circulates within and continues to contribute to local jobs and local trade.”Retailers are expected to strongly oppose the levy, arguing that they are already taxed enough. A similar tax imposed by the Scottish government on larger shops selling alcohol and tobacco is set to end next year. The aim of the scheme was to make them contribute to public health measures.last_img read more

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Buster Posey adopts identical twins, will sit out 2020 season as COVID-19 precaution

first_imgGiants fans might get to watch Posey’s heir behind the plate with the 33-year-old at home. Joey Bart, drafted No. 2 overall in 2018, is expected to compete for a roster spot at catcher. He’s a consensus top-40 prospect but hasn’t yet played above Double-A.Posey had the worst statistical season of his career in 2019, setting low marks in average (.257), on-base percentage (.320) and slugging percentage (.368). He might not be a starting catcher much longer. But his presence in the Giants lineup has been and will always be an uplifting symbol of the team’s greatness in the 2010s, and it will be odd for the club to compete without him during an abridged 2020 campaign.With Madison Bumgarner now in Arizona, manager Bruce Bochy retired and most other key members of the 2014 World Series squad gone, it will be another forward-looking and most likely challenging season ahead. Posey said his decision might have been different had his kids not been born early.Buster Posey said he probably would have chosen to play if the babies had not been born prematurely. Purely a decision driven by a changing and sensitive family situation.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 10, 2020MORE: MLB players who have opted out of 2020 Buster Posey announced on a video call with reporters Friday that he is opting out of the 2020 season after adopting identical twin girls.The newborns were born prematurely and could have an increased risk of health complications from COVID-19. So, Posey and his wife Kristen felt it would be safer if he didn’t participate in MLB action during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more

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