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Hope Mars mission into new orbit; The transition from capture orbit has begun

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Dubai — The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, Tuesday announced it had commenced its transition from its capture orbit to its science orbit with the successful completion of a 510 second (8.36 minutes) burn of its thrusters.

Barring the requirement for a minor course correction, the spacecraft is now in its final orbit of Mars and ready for its two-year science data gathering phase — the core aim of the mission.

“Although the Hope Probe is a huge achievement and a source of great national pride, its core objective, defined right from day one of this mission, is to build the first complete picture of Mars’ atmospheric dynamics,” said Omran Sharaf, EMM Project Director.

“The Transition to Science Maneuver (TSM) was critically important and I can say was the last truly scary moment for the mission because there was a very real risk of losing the spacecraft during this last burn.

“We’re now assessing the results of that burn, but I can say we are confident that we will not need a further large correction maneuver.”

The transition saw the Hope Probe move from its 1,063 by 42,461 capture orbit to a 20,000 by 43,000 science orbit. The maneuver was the last scheduled ‘big burn’ in the spacecraft’s journey from its launch on the July 20, 2020.

The science phase will commence on April 14 with a number of calibration and test runs that aim to establish a sound baseline for the accurate and efficient management of the measurements from the spacecraft’s three instruments.

The mission’s two-year science data collection will formally commence on May 23, 2021, with data being made available globally in October.

“Once we have established our stable science orbit and deployed our instruments, we can start building datasets and testing our systems with the live data,” said Hessa Al Matroushi, EMM Science Lead.

“This is the data we will be processing, formatting and sharing with the world’s science and academic communities openly through our website.”

The painstaking process of science data gathering consists of making repeated ‘passes’ around Mars and mapping each set of measurements to build a dynamic picture of the movement of dust, ice and water vapor throughout the planet’s atmospheric layers.

As well as measuring hydrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide and ozone, the probe will capture variations in temperature. The unique elliptical 25-degree orbit of the Hope probe enables a planet-wide, high-resolution sample to be taken each 225 hours (9.5 days).

“If you imagine spinning a basketball on your finger and then wrapping it with wool as it spins, you get an idea of how Hope covers the whole planet over consecutive orbits. While we’re doing that, we’re constantly measuring with two spectrometers and an imager.

“These three data streams combine to give us a holistic, powerful and unique picture of Mars’ atmosphere that we hope will answer many, many questions we have about the planet and our theories regarding its atmospheric loss,” said Al Matroushi.

The Hope probe carries three science instruments: EXI – The Emirates eXploration Imager is a 12 megapixel digital camera that captures high-resolution images of Mars along with measuring water ice and ozone in the lower atmosphere through the UV bands.

EMIRS – The Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer collects information on surface and atmospheric temperatures and measures the global distribution of dust, ice cloud, and water vapor in the Martian lower atmosphere.

EMUS – The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer measures oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermosphere and the variability of hydrogen and oxygen in the exosphere.

EMM and the Hope probe are the culmination of an international collaboration, knowledge transfer and development effort.

The spacecraft and its instruments were designed and developed by MBRSC engineers working with academic partners, including LASP at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

The Hope Probe’s historic journey to the Red Planet coincides with a year of celebrations to mark the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.

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വാട്ട്സ്ആപ്പ് സ്റ്റാറ്റസ് ഇട്ടയാള്‍ അറിയാതെ അവരുടെ സ്റ്റാറ്റസ് കാണാം ; ചെയ്യേണ്ടതിങ്ങനെ

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വാട്സാപ്പിലെ സ്റ്റാറ്റസിലൂടെയാണ് ഇന്ന് നമ്മള്‍ എല്ലാം ആ​ദ്യം അറിയുന്നത്. ഇതില്‍ പലതും നമുക്ക് കാണാന്‍ താല്‍പര്യമുണ്ടാകും പക്ഷെ കണ്ടു എന്നത് സ്റ്റാറ്റ്സിട്ടായള്‍ക്ക് അറിയാനും പാടില്ല എന്നാണ് നിങ്ങള്‍ ചിന്തിക്കുന്നതെങ്കില്‍ അതിനൊരു എളുപ്പ വഴിയുണ്ട്. ചെയ്യേണ്ടതിങ്ങനെ ,

1. വാട്സാപ്പ് തുറക്കുക.

2. അതിന് ശേഷം സെറ്റിങ്സ് തുറക്കുക

3. അക്കൗണ്ടില്‍ ടാപ്പ് ചെയ്യുക

4. അതിന് ശേഷംപ്രൈവസി എന്ന ഓപ്ഷന്‍ കാണും അതില്‍ ടാപ് ചെയ്യുക.

5. പ്രൈവസി തുറന്നാല്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ‘Read receipt’ എന്ന ഓപ്ഷന്‍ കാണാം.

6. ‘Read receipt’ ഓഫ് ചെയ്യുക.

7. ഇനി നിങ്ങള്‍ കാണുന്ന സ്റ്റാറ്റസുകളൊന്നും സ്റ്റാറ്റസിട്ടയാള്‍ അറിയാന്‍ പോവുന്നില്ല. ഒപ്പം നിങ്ങള്‍ക്കും നിങ്ങളുടെ സ്റ്റാറ്റസ് കണ്ട കോണ്ടാക്റ്റുകള്‍ കാണാന്‍ കഴിയില്ല.

8. ഇത് തന്നെയാണ് ബ്ലൂ ടിക്ക് ഓഫ് ചെയ്യാനുമുള്ള മാര്‍​ഗം.

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NASA prepares to fly helicopter to Mars; Shocked the scientific world

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The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.

“NASA has a proud history of firsts,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling. The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for our future science, discovery, and exploration missions to Mars.”

U.S. Rep. John Culberson of Texas echoed Bridenstine’s appreciation of the impact of American firsts on the future of exploration and discovery.

“It’s fitting that the United States of America is the first nation in history to fly the first heavier-than-air craft on another world,” Culberson said. “This exciting and visionary achievement will inspire young people all over the United States to become scientists and engineers, paving the way for even greater discoveries in the future.”

Started in August 2013 as a technology development project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Mars Helicopter had to prove that big things could come in small packages. The result of the team’s four years of design, testing and redesign weighs in at little under four pounds (1.8 kilograms). Its fuselage is about the size of a softball, and its twin, counter-rotating blades will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at almost 3,000 rpm – about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth.

“Exploring the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars Helicopter exemplifies a successful marriage of science and technology innovation and is a unique opportunity to advance Mars exploration for the future,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency headquarters in Washington. “After the Wright Brothers proved 117 years ago that powered, sustained, and controlled flight was possible here on Earth, another group of American pioneers may prove the same can be done on another world.”

The helicopter also contains built-in capabilities needed for operation at Mars, including solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries, and a heating mechanism to keep it warm through the cold Martian nights. But before the helicopter can fly at Mars it has to get there. It will do so attached to the belly pan of the Mars 2020 rover.

“The altitude record for a helicopter flying here on Earth is about 40,000 feet. The atmosphere of Mars is only one percent that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it’s already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet up,” said Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL. “To make it fly at that low atmospheric density, we had to scrutinize everything, make it as light as possible while being as strong and as powerful as it can possibly be.”

Once the rover is on the planet’s surface, a suitable location will be found to deploy the helicopter down from the vehicle and place it onto the ground. The rover then will be driven away from the helicopter to a safe distance from which it will relay commands. After its batteries are charged and a myriad of tests are performed, controllers on Earth will command the Mars Helicopter to take its first autonomous flight into history.

“We don’t have a pilot and Earth will be several light minutes away, so there is no way to joystick this mission in real time,” said Aung. “Instead, we have an autonomous capability that will be able to receive and interpret commands from the ground, and then fly the mission on its own.”

The full 30-day flight test campaign will include up to five flights of incrementally farther flight distances, up to a few hundred meters, and longer durations as long as 90 seconds, over a period. On its first flight, the helicopter will make a short vertical climb to 10 feet (3 meters), where it will hover for about 30 seconds.

As a technology demonstration, the Mars Helicopter is considered a high-risk, high-reward project. If it does not work, the Mars 2020 mission will not be impacted. If it does work, helicopters may have a real future as low-flying scouts and aerial vehicles to access locations not reachable by ground travel.

“The ability to see clearly what lies beyond the next hill is crucial for future explorers,” said Zurbuchen. “We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit. With the added dimension of a bird’s-eye view from a ‘marscopter,’ we can only imagine what future missions will achieve.”

Mars 2020 will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and is expected to reach Mars in February 2021.

The rover will conduct geological assessments of its landing site on Mars, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. Scientists will use the instruments aboard the rover to identify and collect samples of rock and soil, encase them in sealed tubes, and leave them on the planet’s surface for potential return to Earth on a future Mars mission.

The Mars 2020 Project at JPL in Pasadena, California, manages rover development for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

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