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Mars: Perseverance collects samples rich in organic compounds



the search for perseverance signs of life in March increased significantly. In recent months, the rover has explored the remains of an ancient river delta inside Jezero Crater, where a large lake was located billions of years ago.


The presence of this delta is one of the main reasons why NASA sent all-terrain vehicle about the size of a car to Jezero, and according to members of the mission, so far this place lives up to expectations.

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Perseverance has collected four delta samples since early July. All four have been drilled into rocks, showing that this part of Mars could probably have supported terrestrial organisms in the past and even retain signs of such microbial life.

“The rocks we are examining in the delta have the highest concentration of organic matter that we have ever found on a mission,” scientist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, USA, said at a press conference on Thursday. fifteen).

“And, of course, organic molecules are the building blocks of life. So it’s all very interesting, because we have rocks that were deposited in a habitable environment in a lake that carries organics, ”he added.

One feature of the delta that Perseverance has recently experimented with and studied, a 0.9-meter-wide rock that the team calls Wildcat Ridge, is particularly intriguing. According to team members, Wildcat is a fine-grained mudstone that likely formed at the bottom of ancient Lake Jezero.

Crater samples on Mars are rich in organic compounds

The Perseverance SHERLOC (Raman and Luminescence Scan for Organic and Chemical Habitable Environments) found that the rock is abundant in organic matter that is spatially associated with sulfur-bearing minerals called sulfates.

“This correlation suggests that as the lake evaporated, both sulfates and organic matter were deposited, stored and concentrated in this area,” SHERLOC scientist Sunanda Sharma of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, USA, said during the team.

“On Earth, sulfate deposits are known to retain organic matter and may contain signs of life called biosignatures. This makes these samples and this set of observations some of the most intriguing we have ever taken on a mission and adds to some of the excitement the team had as we approached the front of the delta.”

Biosignature in samples from Mars will be difficult to prove

However, Farley and Sharma emphasized that these Martian compounds cannot be considered biosignatures. Organic matter may be created and deposited by purely geological processes, and the data collected by Perseverance does not yet tell enough about the original scenario to make a connection.

Indeed, according to Farley, it would be very difficult for the mission team to make such a determination using only the rover’s observations, as the task is difficult and the burden of proof that a supposed discovery of alien life must meet is too high. This reality is embodied in the mission of Perseverance.

Perseverance works in an area called Skinner Ridge in Jezero Crater (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

The samples are expected to arrive on Earth in 2033.

If all goes according to plan, the samples collected by Perseverance will be sent to Earth as early as 2033 as part of a joint NASA-European Space Agency (ESA) campaign.

Once the samples are on our planet, scientists around the world will be able to examine them with a variety of instruments, many larger and more complex than anything a rover can mount.

Perseverance has 43 sample tubes, 15 of which are already sealed. 12 contain drilled rock cores, one is an atmospheric sample (the result of a first Perseverance rock sampling attempt that did not go as planned), and two are “witness tubes”.

The mission team will use witness test tubes to determine what materials in Mars samples, if any, could be contaminating Earth. The sample return plan includes an ESA-provided Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) and a NASA-built lander, scheduled to launch in late 2027 and early 2028, respectively.

Perseverance will travel to the lander and place its samples, which will be launched from the surface of Mars, aboard a rocket carried by the lander. ERO will pick up the samples in orbit around Mars and bring them back to Earth.

The rover, which landed with the tiny Ingenuity helicopter for technology demonstrations in February 2021, should still be healthy enough in the late 2020s to do the job of bringing in samples, according to NASA officials.

At Wildcat Ridge, the rover recovered two rock cores (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS).

The claim is based on the Curiosity rover, which has the same basic body plan and nuclear power system as Perseverance and is still in Gale Crater on the Red Planet more than a decade after it landed.

But if the attempt fails, NASA and ESA have a plan B. Perseverance takes two samples of each rock it collects, one for storage on board and one for storage in one or more “deposits” at the Jezero.

Thus, if Perseverance is unable to deliver the samples, the return probe will land near the sample warehouses and pick up the vials one by one using two helicopters.

These helicopters will be launched aboard the lander and will be very similar to Ingenuity, which is still going strong after 31 missions to Mars. However, the sample collection helicopters will need to be slightly larger than the Ingenuity as they will be equipped with wheels to help them roll into the sample tubes.

The Perseverance team has already chosen a possible location for the first sample depot, a nice flat part of the Jezero that could be a safe landing area.

On October 19, the team members will hold a “to go or not to go” meeting to determine if they are ready to start dropping sample tubes there, said NASA Planetary Science chief Lori Gleizes. If the decision to “go away” is made, Perseverance will store 10 to 11 sample tubes on site, an operation that will likely take about two months.

with information from Space

Image removal: Merlin74/Shutterstock

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Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart, a very special kart race



Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart, a very special kart race

Outright Games recently revealed that Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart, which is in development for PC and consoles, already has a release date.

Come and find out a little more about the game and when it will be released.

British studio Outright Games, in partnership with French studio Cyber ​​Group Studios, recently revealed that Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart will release next year, 2023.

Operating Systems Cyber ​​Group Studios is the team best known for creating and developing familiar animated series such as the one that gave the game its name.

Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart is based on the hit TV series Gigantosaurus currently streaming worldwide on Disney+ and Netflix, and airing on major international channels such as Disney Junior (worldwide), France Télévisions, POP (UK) , Super RTL (Germany), RAI yoyo. (Italy), RTVE - Clan (Spain), CCTV (China), TV Azteca (Mexico) and NHK (Japan).

This series currently consists of 3 seasons of 52 episodes (about 11 minutes each) and is based on the book by Johnny Duddle published by Bonnier Books UK Ltd which has sold over 600,000 copies worldwide. The series follows the adventures of four young dinosaurs - Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu - as they go on a mission to explore their world, face their fears, work together to solve problems, learn more about the mysterious Giganotosaurus along the way and, of course, get pleasure.

Along with the announcement of the game's release date, the platforms it will be available on were also revealed: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, and Google Stadia.

As the name suggests, Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart is a kart racing game, but it takes place in a very calm and accessible universe, making the game geared towards kids and families (just like the series released by their studios).

Dino Kart racing takes place in Cretacia in a fast paced and fun karting championship that is almost as big as the appetite of the Gigantosaurus!

Players of all ages can (and should) compete against their friends and family on original maps. Up to four players can play together in split-screen multiplayer, making the game a real family adventure.

Players can choose from eight different characters, including the famous Bill, Mazu, Rocky, and Tiny, who will speed through about fifteen tracks in various Cretan environments full of obstacles and challenges, in which the opponents themselves will also be part of the challenge.

In each race, players will be able to acquire special abilities for different purposes, and this will give them (or not) the necessary stock to win the race. For example, they can speed up the creation of short cuts during a race, or temporarily gain additional jet thrust... while staying away from the Giganotosaurus, the largest and most ferocious dinosaur on earth.

Terry Malham, CEO of Outright Games, noted that "We're so excited to be working with Cyber ​​Group Studios again on a new Gigantosaurus game - this time the iconic dinosaur vehicles are in the spotlight! We look forward to seeing players of all ages play as their favorite characters in the world of Giganotosaurus in their first kart game. We can't wait to share it with everyone next year!"

In turn, Thierry Braille, VP of Interactive and Videogame Division and Dominique Bourse, COO of Cyber ​​Group Studios, said:We're thrilled to be teaming up with our friends at Outright Games for our second game featuring Gigantosaurus and all of the series' favorite characters. We're upping the ante with this new video game that turns into a thrilling kart race!"

Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart will be released in 2023 on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC and Google Stadia.

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Earth’s twin planets in other star systems may be very rare.



Earth's twin planets in other star systems may be very rare.

It is quite possible that Earth’s twin exoplanets with proportions of land and oceans similar to our planet are extremely rare. The conclusion comes from a new study led by Tilman Spon and Dennis Hoening of the Space Science Institute and the Planetary Research Institute. They showed that worlds very similar to Earth – about 30% of their surface is covered mass continental open – may represent only 1% of the rocky exoplanets that are in the habitable zone of their stars.

The pair used the models to understand the relationship between water in the planets’ mantles and the “recycling” of continental mass as a result of plate tectonics. In general, the results showed that the observed proportion on Earth from land to sea is quite balanced, but this can easily change towards more water or more land mass if the interior of the world in question reaches a temperature similar to that of the Earth. . ground mantle1410 ºC.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Canaltech

Models suggest that ocean-dominated planets with less than 10% land mass will be warm and humid with tropical climates. In the case of planets dominated by land, and less than 30% of the surface is covered by oceans, the climate would be colder and drier, and great deserts and glaciers. “While all the simulated planets can be considered habitable, their fauna and flora can be quite different,” Spon added.

He explains that because we’re used to the balance between land and oceans here on Earth, it’s easy to deduce that an terrestrial planet in another star system would be very similar to ours. “But the results of our models show that this is probably not the case,” he said.

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An article with the results of the study was published on the Europlanet Science Congress 2022 website.

Source: Europlanet Society (one, 2)

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EU adopts single charger law for mobile devices – DW – 04.10.2022



EU adopts single charger law for mobile devices – DW – 04.10.2022

The European Parliament approved on Tuesday (April 10) a law that would oblige tech companies to ensure that all smartphones, tablets and cameras have the same charger in bloc countries.

The rule, which was approved in June by 27 member countries and will go into effect in 2024, is expected to have a greater impact on the Apple brand, which will be forced to replace connectors with the more common USB-C format.

For years, the American giant has fought the transition, arguing that it will lead to mountains of e-waste. However, analysts believe that this change tends to increase sales of new Apple products due to consumers being more interested in buying components with USB-C connectivity.

Electronic readers, headphones, and other devices that require recharging will also be affected. Therefore, large companies such as Samsung, Huawei and Amazon will have to adapt to the new rules.

The proposal has been discussed for years in the European Union (EU) after consumers complained about the wide variety of chargers. The European Commission estimates that a single charger will save Europeans about 250 million euros (247.3 million US dollars).

In 2019, a commission study found that about half of phones sold in the EU have a micro-B USB connector. Another 29% relied on USB-C and 21% on Apple Lightning.

Brussels believes that a standardized cable model for all devices can reduce e-waste on the continent.

GB (AFP, Reuters)

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