LOOK OUT, MARS: HERE WE COME WITH A FLEET OF SPACECRAFT
Techlife News|Techlife News #455
Mars is about to be invaded by planet Earth — big time.

Three countries — the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates — are sending unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in quick succession beginning this week, in the most sweeping effort yet to seek signs of ancient microscopic life while scouting out the place for future astronauts.

The U.S., for its part, is dispatching a six-wheeled rover the size of a car, named Perseverance, to collect rock samples that will be brought back to Earth for analysis in about a decade.

“Right now, more than ever, that name is so important,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said as preparations went on amid the coronavirus outbreak, which will keep the launch guest list to a minimum.

Each spacecraft will travel more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometers) before reaching Mars next February. It takes six to seven months, at the minimum, for a spacecraft to loop out beyond Earth’s orbit and sync up with Mars’ more distant orbit around the sun.

Scientists want to know what Mars was like billions of years ago when it had rivers, lakes and oceans that may have allowed simple, tiny organisms to flourish before the planet morphed into the barren, wintry desert world it is today.

“Trying to confirm that life existed on another planet, it’s a tall order. It has a very high burden of proof,” said Perseverance’s project scientist, Ken Farley of Caltech in Pasadena, California.

The three nearly simultaneous launches are no coincidence: The timing is dictated by the opening of a one-month window in which Mars and Earth are in ideal alignment on the same side of the sun, which minimizes travel time and fuel use. Such a window opens only once every 26 months.

Mars has long exerted a powerful hold on the imagination but has proved to be the graveyard for numerous missions. Spacecraft have blown up, burned up or crash-landed, with the casualty rate over the decades exceeding 50%. China’s last attempt, in collaboration with Russia in 2011, ended in failure.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TECHLIFE NEWSView All

UK GOVT ORDERS JULIAN ASSANGE'S EXTRADITION; APPEAL PLANNED

The British government ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges, a milestone - but not the end of a decade-long legal saga sparked by his website's publication of classified U.S. documents.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

SOUTH KOREA LAUNCHES FIRST SATELLITE WITH HOMEGROWN ROCKET

South Korea conducted its first successful satellite launch using a domestically developed rocket on Tuesday, officials said, boosting its growing aerospace ambitions and demonstrating it has key technologies needed to launch spy satellites and build larger missiles amid tensions with rival North Korea.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

RESEARCHERS HOPE FIREFLIES WILL AID ROBOT COMMUNICATION

Researchers from the University of Colorado are studying the Great Smoky Mountains' synchronous fireflies to determine whether understanding the way they communicate could help with developing robot communication.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

SOUTH KOREA HITS DOZENS WITH TRAVEL BANS AMID CRYPTO PROBE

South Korean prosecutors have barred dozens of people connected to Terraform Labs from leaving the country as they expand an investigation into a $40 billion collapse of the company's cryptocurrency that devastated traders around the world.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

GOOGLE EXEC TO UN: UKRAINE 'A CRYSTAL BALL' FOR INFO WARFARE

A Google executive warned the U.N. Security Council that cyberattacks, disinformation and other forms of information warfare being waged in Ukraine are a "crystal ball" for future problems elsewhere.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES BIG INVESTMENTS FOR BROADBAND EXPANSION

Kentucky took a step toward closing its digital divide when Gov.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

CRYPTO INVESTORS' HOT STREAK ENDS AS HARSH 'WINTER' DESCENDS

The wealth-generating hot streak for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has turned brutally cold.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

CALIFORNIA MAY MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA FIRMS REPORT ENFORCEMENT

Social media companies would have to make public their policies for removing problem content and give detailed accounts of how and when they remove it, under a proposal being considered by California legislators who blame online chatter for encouraging violence and undermining democracy.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

CEMENT CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS QUIETLY DOUBLE IN 20 YEARS

Heat trapping carbon dioxide emissions from making cement, a less talked about but major source of carbon pollution, have doubled in the last 20 years, new global data shows.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556

CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS, CARBON NEUTRALITY PLAN DRAWS CRITICISM

California air regulators are likely to hear a barrage of criticism on a plan to slash fossil fuel use and reach carbon neutrality by 2045, a proposal that would require a sweeping shift in how the state powers its massive economy in the face of climate change.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #556
RELATED STORIES

WINCH ONE?

The 10 best new and used winches for your 4x4

5 mins read
Four Wheeler
July 2022

Is China At Peak Property?

An extended slump in home sales may be a bigger drag on growth this year than lockdowns

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

Nigerian Projects Stall as Chinese Loans Dry Up

President Buhari's legacy could be marred by Beijing's waning appetite for costly public works abroad

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 23, 2022

The End of China's Bulk-Buying Boom

A distinctive form of e-commerce is in free fall after a shift in attitude in Beijing

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 16, 2022

China's Stimulus Won't Bail Out the World

The drag from lockdowns will largely cancel any boost from new spending

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 16, 2022

ON JAPAN'S FRONT LINES

Dispatches from Asia's new Cold War

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 16, 2022

The Cost of Covid Zero Keeps Rising

China's economy hasn't been in this bad a shape since the start of the pandemic

9 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 02, 2022

THE PANDEMIC KILLED DISSENT IN HONG KONG

WHEN GREAT BRITAIN returned control of Hong Kong to China in 1997, a condition of the transfer was that Beijing would allow the territory to maintain its own government until 2047. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has never liked this agreement, and the COVID-19 pandemic provided the excuse to all but erase the “one country, two systems” distinction.

1 min read
Reason magazine
June 2022

THE INSIDE MAN

Meet JOSEPH KAHN, the new, old-school editor of the Times.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 25-May 8, 2022

Sorry, iPhone 6 Plus users, your phone probably can't be repaired anymore

Apple moves two older devices to 'vintage' status.

1 min read
Macworld
April 2022