NASA to test robot in Antarctica for extra-terrestrial exploration
Robie de Guzman • November 20, 2019 • 240
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 posted the ‘Mystic Mountain’ as its image of the day.
It was like seeing a glimpse of colorful hues performing a chaotic waltz, a tempest of blue, red, and green. The contrasting colors created a masterpiece that was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The ‘Mystic Mountain’ lies in the Carina Nebula which is 7,500 light-years away.
According to NASA the image was captured in 2010. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green) and sulfur (red).—AAC
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
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.