Mar 17, 2009 | 5
A team of researchers analyzing images and data gathered by the now-defunct Phoenix spacecraft believes that the lander spotted liquid water on Mars—and that such liquid may be common on the Red Planet. But even within the Phoenix science team, not everyone is convinced.
In a study (pdf) set to be presented next week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the Woodlands, Tex., Nilton Renno, a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and his co-authors say that drops of saline appeared where the lander disturbed the Red Planet's surface. Renno is a co-investigator on the Phoenix mission's science team.
Dec 4, 2008 | 2
NASA announced today that it will delay the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) until late 2011, postponing the rover's sweeping mission by more than two years.
In a news briefing, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said that the agency was "not going to gamble on launch" in fall 2009. The agency says it needs more time to ready and test the equipment to ensure a successful mission, and the launch window to reach Mars requires a 26-month delay.
"The vast majority of the hardware has been built and completed," Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said at the press conference held at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. But there was no guarantee the MSL would be ready by next fall to land safely and carry out science experiments on Mars. This project, Elachi said, is much more complex than its predecessors. Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA HQ, added that MSL "literally dwarfs anything we've done before," with the rover weighing in at nearly a ton compared with about 400 pounds apiece for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.
Aug 11, 2008
NASA’s Cassini orbiter is sweeping past Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus today to photograph geyser-like eruptions from the Southern Hemisphere. The hope is to find signs of the building blocks of life: NASA has pegged Enceladus as one of the most likely places in the Solar System (along with Mars and another of Saturn’s moons, Titan) to be able to support extraterrestrial life.
On a flyby earlier this year, the Cassini spacecraft detected organic chemicals like methane and propane in the contents spewing out of the moon’s interior. Such compounds have also been found in comets’ tails and just recently on Titan.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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