New Year’s Eve Cheers for 2020 from Earthfiles.com and More Mars News!

New Year’s Eve Message to Earthfiles.com News and YouTube Broadcast viewers from Reporter and Editor Linda Moulton Howe:

 From ancient archaeology deep under ice in Antarctica and military whistleblowers who have walked there — to mysterious, unexplained UFOs, unidentified aerial drones and persistent, baffling jet sounds, loud booms, metallic scrapings and trumpet sounds around the world — to increasing headlines about Mars, the moon, our solar system, the Milky Way galaxy and strange fast radio bursts light-years from Earth — we humans are moving away from the paradigm that we are alone in this universe to a new one in which we are not alone and something out there is interacting with us, our animals and our plant life,  forcing glimpses of other realities upon us. Cheers for 2020 breakthroughs that will bring us truths about other intelligences in this universe and my Earthfiles goal to always try to bring you the pressure of facts.

 

December 31, 2019  Pasadena, California – Seven months from now in a window of time between July 17 and August 5, 2020, a new NASA Mars Rover will launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. When it lands on the red planet in February 2021, it will be the fifth United States rover to explore Mars.

The mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself. The Mars 2020 rover introduces a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside in a "cache" on the surface of Mars. A future mission could potentially return these samples to Earth. That would help scientists study the samples in laboratories with special room-sized equipment that would be too large to take to Mars. The mission also provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. These include testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.
The Mars 2020 mission will actively look for signs of life on Mars  in the ancient past, but also will search for microbial life, past and/or present. The rover will have a drill that can collect core samples and put them in hermetically sealed tubes that can safely lie on the surface of Mars for future mission collection back to Earth. Scientists would like to use their big Earth laboratories with special room-sized equipment on Mars samples. The mission also will test a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, will look for underground water and study the Martian weather and dust to help future astronauts, who will live and work on Mars. Illustration by NASA.

NASA’s 2020 Mars Mission Deputy Leader is Matt Wallace and he reported last week that the Mars 2020 rover will look for life. “It’s designed to seek the signs of life, so we’re carrying a number of different instruments that will help us understand the geological and chemical context on the surface of Mars. What we’re looking for is ancient microbial life – we’re talking about billions of years ago on Mars, when the planet was much more Earth-like.”

Approximately the size of a car, the rover is equipped with six wheels like its predecessor Curiosity, allowing it to traverse rocky terrain.
Approximately the size of a car, the Mars 2020 rover is equipped with six wheels, like its predecessor Curiosity, that will allow it to travel more easily over the rocky Martian landscape in an ancient dry lake bed called Jezero. Illustration by NASA.

 

Mars 2020 Will Land in Once-Ancient Deep Lake
to Increase Chance of Finding Microbe Traces

Mars 2020 will land in a crater named Jezero that was once a 1500-foot-deep lake connected to a river system. In order to photograph and sample rocks, NASA reports that the Mars 2020 rover “will have 23 cameras, two ‘ears’ that will be able hear Martian winds, and lasers that can do chemical analysis.” The new rover will only be expected to cover about 600 feet in any given Martian day that is nearly 24 hours like Earth. The fuel for its exploration will come from a miniature nuclear reactor. To search for microbes, this new Mars 2020 will have 7-foot-long (2 meters) arms that have joints in order to pick up and drill into rock samples that might be in areas where there once was a lot of water.

Jezero Crater (red) marks the location on Mars in relationship to other American missions (yellow names) and geological sites (white names).
Jezero Crater (red) marks the location on Mars in relationship to other American missions (yellow names) and geological sites (white names).

 

How Do We Get the Mars 2020 Rover Rock Samples Back to Earth?

The rover will be programmed to place its rock samples in hermetically sealed tubes that can be layed down on the Martian surface to wait for another mission from Earth to pick them up.

NASA’s Matt Wallace says,“We are hoping to move fairly quickly. We’d like to see the next mission launched in 2026 [Elon Musk expects to launch his spacecraft to Mars in 2026], which will get to Mars and pick up the samples, put them into a rocket and propel that sample into orbit around Mars. The sample would then rendezvous with an orbiter and the orbiter would bring the sample/s back to the Earth over the decade of 2020 to 2030.”

Also see:

09-30-2019 – Is This the Next Rocket to Moon and Mars?


More Information:

06-25-2019 – A Mysterious White Spot in Martian Sky and Surprising Methane Spike On the Red Planet.
06-14-2019 – NASA Mars Orbiter Photo of “Star Trek” Logo-Shaped Dune On Red Planet.
11-01-2018 – Mars: Why It’s A Strange Cloud and Not Volcano Smoke.


Websites:

Mars 2020 NASA Mission Overview: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/overview/

“Jezero Crater Selected As Landing Site for Mars 2020 Rover,” November 20, 2018, Sky & Telescope: https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/jezero-crater-selected-as-landing-site-for-mars-2020-rover/

“SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars,” September 29, 2019, The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/29/science/elon-musk-spacex-starship.html

SpaceX To Mars Video Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aGISgOB6n0


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