Opportunity was about to make the Discovery of the Century!
NASA’s Opportunity rover explored the surface of the Red Planet, Mars, for almost 15 years when Opportunity suddenly stopped communicating with Earth. And now we know why!
Opportunity had come upon the skeleton of a dead Thark, clearly validating Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1912 claim of life on Mars. But the excitement was just too much for Opportunity, and before it could transmit this incredible discovery to Earth, its machinery stopped – creating the universe’s first ever motor heart attack.
The scene is poignantly portrayed in this excellent illustration by Doug Lefler (www.douglefler.com) who is currently Head of Story for The Third Floor – the world’s largest visualization company for the entertainment industry.
Thank you, Doug, for explaining how too much excitement and exhilaration caused the sad demise of Opportunity.
Opportunity Rover photos, at top, from NASA
Happy April Fool’s Day from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.!
For over two months, there has been no sign of NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover. The car-sized space machine, worth a whopping $400 million, signed offline as it disappeared inside a massive Martian dust storm on June 10.
A team of scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. have been eagerly listening for signs of life from the rover. So far, all they’ve heard is silence.
Read the Full Article Here.
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity stumbled upon a dark grey, golf-ball-size object last week that looks nothing like the typical red-orange rocks that are normally seen on Mars.
To figure out exactly what this weird rock is and where it came from, Curiosity used its on-board rock-zapping laser to analyze the rock’s chemical composition. This test revealed that it is an iron-nickel meteorite that fell from the Martian sky. Curiosity’s science team dubbed the newfound meteorite “Egg Rock.”
Read the Full Article Right Here!
From the Phys.org website:
A team of researchers with NASA, Uppsala University, Columbia University and the Planetary Science Institute has created several simulations of conditions on Venus billions of years ago using Earth climate models and has found some instances that suggest the planet may at one time have been capable of harboring life. In their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the team describes their simulations and the factors they used in creating them.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-08-simulations-venus-life.html#jCp
Fans of the forgotten dwarf-planet rejoice!
NASA’s New Horizons probe flew by Pluto this morning (July 14), capturing history’s first up-close looks at the far-flung world — if all went according to plan. (Mission team members won’t declare success until they hear from New Horizons tonight.) Closest approach came at 7:49 a.m. EDT (1149 GMT), when the spacecraft whizzed within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto’s frigid surface. To celebrate, NASA unveiled the latest photo of Pluto, showing a reddish world with a stunning heart-shaped feature on its face.
Read the full article at Yahoo News
A new bold initiavie has been started by NASA in hopes of finding signs of life on other planets. The new program is called NExSS and brings together a team of experts across numerous fields with hopes of analyzing over 1,000 planets outside our solar system.
“This interdisciplinary endeavor connects top research teams and provides a synthesized approach in the search for planets with the greatest potential for signs of life,” Jim Green, NASA’s Director of Planetary Science, said in a news release. “The hunt for exoplanets is not only a priority for astronomers, it’s of keen interest to planetary and climate scientists as well.”
Read the full article at Huffington Post
Now this is interesting! We know about some frozen water on the red giant, but turns out there there might be water in liquid form as well! NASA’s Curiosity rover has uncovered new evidence:
At long last, researchers on the Curiosity Mars rover’s science team believe they have evidence that there is liquid water on the Red Planet, lurking just beneath the surface of our neighbor’s rouge surface. The water in the Martian soil seems to gather intermittently and is a very salty brine, making it perhaps suitable for everyone’s favorite retro pet — sea monkeys! Very, very hearty sea monkeys that could withstand the superharsh environment on the fourth planet, that is.
Read the full story at CNet