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SPACE

Meet the Robot Pioneers That Will Allow Us to Colonize Mars | Digital Trends

Meet the robotic pioneers that will help humanity colonize Mars

By Georgina Torbet November 21, 2019 3:00AM PST

Meet the robotic pioneers that will help humanity colonize Mars

From NASA’s upcoming Moon to Mars mission to Elon Musk’s ambitious plans to use a SpaceX Starship to eventually colonize Mars, the race to populate the Red Planet is already on. But before humans can visit Mars and set up any kind of long-term base there, we need to send out scouts to see the lay of the land and prepare it for manned missions.

The mechanical pioneers we’ll be sending to Mars in the coming years will follow in the tire tracks of explorers like the Curiosity rover and the Insight lander, but the next generation of Martian robotics will use sophisticated AI, novel propulsion methods, and flexible smallsats to meet the challenges of colonizing a new world.

Designing for the Mars environment

There are distinct difficulties in building machines which can withstand the Martian environment. First, there’s the cold, with temperatures averaging around minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit and going down to minus 190 degrees Fahrenheit at the poles. Then there’s the thin atmosphere, which is just one percent the density of Earth’s atmosphere. And then there’s the troublesome dust that gets kicked up in any operations on the planet’s surface, not to mention the intense radiation from the Sun’s rays.

These environmental conditions create problems for robotics, from temperature variations which cause mechanisms to expand and contract and so wear over time, to dust getting into gears which prevents the use of exposed lubrication.

NASA’s Curiosity rover, with its robotic arm built by Maxar to withstand the Martian environment.

NASA

“It’s a very unique and extreme environment, even for space robotics,” said Al Tadros, VP of Space Infrastructure and Civil Space at Maxar Technologies, which is the company that builds the robotic arms for NASA’s Mars rovers. Maxar’s robotic arms must be able not only to survive this harsh environment, but also perform the tasks like digging and drilling which enable scientific investigations….

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  Meet the Robot Pioneers That Will Allow Us to Colonize Mars | Digital Trends


 





 

Categories
ALIEN

Advanced Alien Civilizations May Produce ‘Technosignatures’ That We Could Find, Experts Say

 

HWH COMMENTARY:

Who says an alien civilization needs to be advanced to exist? Because it’s so far away? Or because we’re so far from it, that we’re the advanced ones? In which direction along the time frame before it starts bending are you referencing?

Or are we basing that assumption on biological constraints?

Who says something alien to us has to be civilized? We’re not civilized. You mean moral? If biology isn’t in the field, then moral doesn’t matter.

What does intelligent civilization mean? Technologically advanced? You mean no going to school to learn it? No growth from birth to death of an alien? Where do aliens go when they die? If they don’t have skin, then what proves the death if not decay?

Why so stuck on radio transmission constraints? If all movement makes sound when one has the ears to hear it, then the universe is one heck of a noisy place. And you’re looking for a dew drop in the ocean. A radio wave like any other radio wave is like a dew drop like any other dew drop in a body of like-dew drops. You don’t have the sophistication to discern a different drop? Why? Because you don’t know what you’re looking for. You don’t know how it will be different.

How different is the unique radio transmission you’re looking for? You mean in alien radio language compared to human radio language? Why would they be different?

When astronauts go above the earths surface, do they really see the earth spinning? Or is the earth so big that the spin is negligible, more like a sloth sleep walking? Has any human ever witnessed it? How far above earth does one have to go to witness a spin? The degree or rate of spin is not recognized by the human eye. So what does fast mean, if we can’t see the result? Has anyone ever shown it? In real time?

How fast does the earth spin on its axis relative to the environment it spins in and what forces the spin?

The earth spins on its axis at 1,000  miles per hour.

The earth moves around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour.

I could not find a simplified answer to what forces the spin, except from my own logic that begins with, “once born (and or created) all biological and non-biological entities move”.

All births create friction, a lot of births create a lot of friction and some entities lock together to form a bigger entity and others disperse to seek a random existence. A vacuum is required for anything to be birthed or created, thus a vacuum is the beginning of a birth of the creation of movement.”

“What came first the chicken or the egg, the vacuum or the movement? Answer: neither. A medium came first.”

The key is to find something artificial? unnatural? why? You mean like garbage? Even garbage conforms to the laws of physics. So what’s unnatural or artificial there?

What you don’t already know is what’s unnatural, artificial.


Advanced Alien Civilizations May Produce ‘Technosignatures’ That We Could Find, Experts Say

By Yasemin Saplakoglu – Staff Writer

If we can do it … couldn’t E.T.?

— If life evolved on other planets as it did on Earth, aliens may be zooming around in vehicles that belch pollution into space. Or they might have had their very own Edison — and a planet blanketed in artificial light.

A group of astronomers is searching for these strange signals from distant exoplanets, or what are called “technosignatures,” because they may point to the existence of intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the cosmos. The term “technosignature” is a relatively new one, first coined in 2007 by astronomer Jill Tarter, who at the time was the director of the Center for SETI Research. But even before the birth of the term, astronomers have been searching for technosignatures, the most popular one being radio transmissions. Practically speaking, that often meant looking for something strange — an anomaly in the data that could indicate the presence of something unnatural — like a planet that’s a bit too bright.

Historically, that search wasn’t taken seriously. Now, however, scientists say they may have a real shot at finding such signals — as long as they look for the right things in the right places.

What would such technosignatures look like? For instance, when scanning distant exoplanets, data anomalies such as an unusual atmospheric makeup could be a clue to “complex life engineering its environment,” said Joseph Lazio, an astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, during a talk at the Astrobiology Science Conference on June 26.  But scientists must be cautious; that same signal “could just be a planet covered in pond scum that’s producing oxygen,” Lazio said.

Another possible technosignature is the ultrafast blinking of a star. “If you see a star, say, blinking on and off faster than a microsecond, that’s not obviously a natural phenomenon,” he said. What’s more, almost any reasonably advanced civilization could create such a signature.

“It’s not really all that difficult, we can do it today on a lab bench,” Lazio said. Humans have created lasers, for example, that release photons trillions of times a second, he added.

Radio waves beaming through space at a certain frequency may also be a clue to intelligent alien civilizations. Natural sources don’t typically produce radio waves within a very narrow range of frequencies, Lazio said. And yet, “it’s really easy for us to do it” artificially, Lazio said. So if we can do it … couldn’t E.T.?

Searching for life in the cosmos has historically focused on finding biosignatures, or biological signals, such as oxygen left behind when living creatures breathe. Today, we have many ways to detect biosignatures. Similarly, there are several major classes of technosignatures: chemical signatures such as atmospheric pollution; megastructures that reflect, absorb or block light from a planet’s host star; “self-luminous” signals such as artificial illumination, radio or laser communication; and waste heat, which is “an unavoidable result of any kind of activity,” Svetlana Berdyugina, the director of the Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics in Freiburg, Germany, said during the talk. (Waste heat is produced by machines or other processes that use energy).

Berdyugina and her team are looking for optical signals. As a planet travels around its own star, the light that is reflected by the planet changes, depending on where the planet is in its rotation and in its orbit. Stitching together signals produced by that reflected light over time, researchers can create what’s called a light curve. That, in turn, could provide a glimpse of the planetary surface — and any unusual features there, Berdyugina said. For example, a giant megastructure will reflect light in a very different way, than, say, an empty field.

Berdyugina and her team previously used this technique to resolve geographic features, such as mountains and craters, on planets and moons in our own solar system, as well as on simulated exoplanets. Now, they are working to understand if this technique could reveal weird shapes and artificial illumination on a planet’s surface.

There are also other programs searching for light signal, such as a 10-year initiative from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), called Breakthrough Listen. That team is surveying thousands of stars for not only optical signals but also radio signals.

While astronomers could dream up a nearly infinite list of potential technosignatures, only a handful are worth looking for.

“The game is to try and figure out something that is artificial but is also feasibly detectable,” Thomas Beatty,

Source: Advanced Alien Civilizations May Produce ‘Technosignatures’ That We Could Find, Experts Say | Live Science






 

Categories
SPACE ART

SPACE ART by Vadim Sadovski

SPACE ART by Vadim Sadovski

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https://www.artstation.com/vadimsadovski