The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has presented a panorama of the southern sky through the observations of its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
The panorama was completed last July 2019 and is divided into 13 sectors, each of them imaged by a month by spacecraft’s four cameras.
“TESS has imaged a comet in our solar system, followed the progress of numerous stellar explosions called supernovae, and even caught the flare from a star ripped apart by a supermassive black hole,” according to NASA.
NASA’s TESS is on its way north in order to begin a year-long study of the northern sky.—AAC
Sydney – The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will test an under-ice robot during Antarctica’s summer with a view to using it to look for extra-terrestrial life on one of Jupiter’s moons in 2025.
The one-meter (three feet) long robotic rover is buoyant and has two wheels to operate on the under-side of ice, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) said in a statement.
“The rover is unique in that it uses buoyancy to stick to the underside of the ice and move upside-down using wheels, so it can get up close to the ice-water interface for sensitive measurements,” NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer Andy Klesh said.
The robot has already been deployed in Alaska and the Arctic and will be tested in Antarctica at Australia’s Casey research station for three weeks.
Much like a submarine, the rover can remain in one spot for long periods of time without expending energy.
In 2025, NASA plans to send a mission to Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, believed to be one of the likeliest places in the solar system to find alien life.
“NASA’s Galileo mission to Jupiter in the late 1990s investigated the planet’s moons including Europa. They found strong evidence there was a salty ocean beneath Europa’s thick icy crust, as well as a rocky sea floor,” NASA scientist Kevin Hand said.
“This salty ocean could hold more than twice as much water as Earth and have all the right ingredients to support simple life organisms,” he added.
NASA would have to drill through between 10 to 20 kilometers (6-12 miles) of icy crust before it can reach the water, a matter that has not yet been resolved.
“We don’t really know how to manage this yet, but it’s likely we will have to drop transmission pucks every 100 meters to carry signals from the rover up to a surface base station, before the information is beamed back to Earth via satellite,” Klesh explained. EFE-EPA
NASA unveiled two new spacesuits designed for the space agency’s Artemis moon mission to take Americans back to the moon by 2024.
One of the spacesuits, called Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU for short, will be worn by astronauts while exploring the surface of the moon’s South Pole.
The second spacesuit, the orange-hued Orion Crew Survival System, is designed to be worn during the launch to the moon and then re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere aboard the agency’s Orion spacecraft.
Both suits are designed for improved mobility and comfort.
A decade after NASA sent a rocket crashing into the moon’s south pole, spewing a plume of debris that revealed vast reserves of ice beneath the barren lunar surface, the space agency is racing to pick up where its little-remembered project left off.
Vice President Mike Pence in March 2019 ordered NASA to land humans on the lunar surface by 2024, accelerating a goal to colonize the moon as a staging ground for eventual missions to Mars.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the moon holds billions of tons of water ice, although the exact amount and whether it’s present in large chunks of ice or combined with the lunar soil remains unknown.
To find out before astronauts arrive on the moon, NASA is working with a handful of companies to put rovers on the lunar surface by 2022. (REUTERS)
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