Johns Hopkins University (JHU) continues to pad its space community résumé with their interactive map, “The map of the observable Universe”, that takes viewers on a 13.7-billion-year-old tour of the cosmos from the present to the moments after the Big Bang. While JHU is responsible for creating the site, additional contributions were made by NASA, the European Space Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation.
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Featured Image: artist’s rendering of the Mars Sample Return Program infrastructure. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Jezero Crater on Mars, where Perseverance and Ingenuity are collecting rock samples. They will be joined in 2028 by an ascent vehicle and two new drone helicopters to help return the samples to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/MSSS/Brown University
Two holes from the regolith drill samples that Perseverance took on December 2nd and 6th. Credit – NASA / JPL-Caltech
One of the great accomplishments of the Apollo missions was to bring home hundreds of kilograms of lunar rock. Suddenly, geologists had a lifetime’s worth of lunar samples captured from several different spots across the Moon. These rocks and dust have been under continuous analysis since the Apollo 11 astronauts came home over 50 years ago. And they’re still making discoveries. Scientists have samples of the Sun’s solar wind, particles from a comet’s tail, a few grams from an asteroid, with more coming shortly. But there’s one world, the focus of so much scientific study, which has never had a sample returned: Mars. NASA and the European Space Agency have been making plans to bring a sample home from Mars for decades, and now, missions could fly in the next few years, finally bringing a chunk of the Red Planet home to Earth for us to study directly. Our Book is out! - What Fraser's Watching Playlist: Audio Podcast versions: ITunes: RSS: : Universetoday's youtube channel Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Weekly Space Hangout: Astronomy Cast: Support us at:Support us at: Follow us on Tumblr: More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Instagram - Support us at:Support us at: Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / email@example.com /Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001 Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001 References: NASA SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION page (The Cassini mission) Nasa's Genisis Mission Nasa's stardust mission Nasa's Hayabusa mission Nasa's Hayabusa mission in depth (PDF) Lunar and Planetary meeting 2002 National Acasemies ssbsite report (psf) Europe to mars and back Ninth International Conference on Mars 2019 (LPI Contrib. No. 2089)(PDF)
The drill bits Perseverance is using on its mission, before they were installed. Far left is the regolith bit used in the latest sample collection, while the middle ones are for rock drilling and the far right are for rock abrasion. Credit – NASA / JPL-Caltech
TThis image shows the location where NASA's Perseverance will begin depositing its first cache of samples. NASA's Perseverance Mars rover captured it on Dec. 14, 2022, the 646th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. This enhanced color image was taken by the rover's Mastcam-Z camera and is not representative of the way the scene would look to the human eye. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
The large majority of Perseverance’s 18 samples so far are rock core samples. Image Credit: NASA/JPL.
This map shows where NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover will be dropping 10 samples that a future mission could pick up. The orange circles represent areas where a Sample Recovery Helicopter could safely operate to acquire the sample tubes. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This artist’s illustration shows what a Sample Return Helicopter might look like. The helicopters would collect cached sample tubes with their robotic arms, one at a time, and return them to the Sample Return Lander. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
This is what the Mars Sample Return mission looked like in 2019. Updated plans eliminate the Fetch Rover (yellow ellipse) and will instead use Sample Retrieval Helicopters to bring the samples to the Sample Return Lander. Once at the Lander, the samples will be launched into orbit by rocket, then retrieved by an orbiter and sent to Earth. Credit: ESA
This image shows Perseverance’s route early in its mission, from Sol 0 to Sol 204. The Séítah formation and the Máaz formation are labelled. Image Credit: Hamran et al. 2022.
These annotated images from December 2021 show two views of the “Séítah” geologic unit of Mars’ Jezero Crater. The map on the left shows the terrain features of the crater with annotations depicting the rover’s route during its first science campaign. “Artuby” is a ridgeline running along a portion of the southern boundary of Séítah. “Dourbes” is the name of an abrading target on a rock in South Séítah. The multi-hued map on the right shows the diversity of igneous (solidified from lava or magma) minerals in the same region. Olivine is shown in red. Calcium-poor pyroxene in green. Calcium-rich pyroxene is in blue. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CRISM/CTX/HRSC/MSSS/USG
This image is from NASA’s Interactive Map. It shows sampling locations in red, the rover in blue, and Ingenuity flight regions in blue. Perseverance will leave the floor of Jezero Crater and climb up to the top of the delta above it in this image. It’ll take its next samples from the delta. Image Credit: NASA.
This image shows the path Perseverance will follow (black line) during its Delta Top Campaign. The black dots are sampling and science locations. The Belva crater is prominent in this image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This expanded image shows the location of Neretva Vallis, the ancient river valley carved out by the river that created the delta and helped fill Jezero Crater with water. Image Credit: NASA/HiRISE/UA