The Airbus spacecraft will have to manoeuvre itself into a position to capture these samples that will be packaged inside a football-sized container.
After ingesting this container, the satellite must then prepare it for return to Earth.
This means not only shipping it across hundred of millions of km of space, but also putting the football inside a re-entry capsule that can be dropped into Earth’s atmosphere to land in an American desert.
This would be, indeed, a feat of engineering as well as a first in interplanetary exploration.
But I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an “interplanetary cargo ship.” Unless the intention is to maintain it as a permanent link between research locations (i.e., some kind of permanent orbitor stationed above the Jezero Crater) and research facilities on Earth (or the Moon, or the International Space Station).
Political will is needed in addition to the enormous funding. Semi-privatization, anyone?
“In the future, our system could be part of a global quantum network transmitting quantum signals to receivers on Earth or on other spacecraft,” says Aitor Villar, lead author of the study. “These signals could be used to implement any type of quantum communications application, from quantum key distribution for extremely secure data transmission to quantum teleportation, where information is transferred by replicating the state of a quantum system from a distance.”
OK, OK, so it’s not the first time quantum entanglement has been demonstrated. But it sure is the smallest. Only 20 cm by 10 cm!
Now we only need a few thousand of these things and a way of somehow making tangled photons actually carry encrypted messages…
(Sorry, thinking of the SF novel I should have published by now…still figuring out the last two chapters!)
See more at New Atlas (note: I seriously doubt the CubeSat actually looks like that picture when it’s doing its thing).
By studying Mars’ green glow, the researchers can understand the structure of this layer in the planet’s atmosphere, better understand its altitude range and even observe any changes in reaction to the sun.
First time to see a “green glow” around another planet. In the case of Earth, it’s mostly caused by oxygen, but Mars’ glow is primarily CO2.
So there really ARE “Green Martians.” Just don’t turn and run!
The researchers looked at Phobos, which loses height as it interacts with Martian gravity over time. Eventually, its orbit will be too low and Mars will essentially rip it into pieces that form a ring around the planet. It’s estimated that this will happen within 50 million years.
So say goodbye to fear, but dread may stick around a while longer…
NASA tellsInversethat the payloads will need to measure no more than 100 millimeters by 100 millimeters by 50 millimeters, around the size of a bar of soap. They will also need to weigh no more than 0.4 kilograms (0.88 pounds) and be able to withstand external temperatures between minus 120 degrees Celsius (minus 184 degrees Fahrenheit) and 100 degrees (212 degrees Fahrenheit). These are the maximum limits, but smaller and lighter is preferred.
Yow, that’s wicked tiny. But small price to pay to set up a Lunar Space Base from which humanity can expand into the expanse.
“The most energetic outflow came from a quasar called SDSS J1042+1646 with 5×1030 gigawatts, or 5 million trillion trillion gigawatts. For perspective, a nuclear reactor puts out about one gigawatt of energy, while the total energy of all Milky Way stars is about 1028 gigawatts.”
Tired of corona-related news. Time to relax with a completely science-based, “you are somewhat insignificant in the greater scheme of things” post.