Image Source: wtop.com
First 360° color panorama from Curiosity – MSL Mars Science Laboratory
Curiosity’s landing Times in regarding time travel zones:
Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. US Pacific
Aug 6, 2012 1:31 a.m. US Eastern
Aug 6, 2012 3:31 p.m. Hobart – Australia
Aug 6, 2012 5:31 a.m Universal (UTC)
Curiosity cost: A cool US$2.5 billion
Engineers just installed six new wheels on the Curiosity rover, and rotated all six wheels at once on July 9, 2010. This milestone marked the first in a series of “tune ups” to get the rover ready for a drive in the clean room where it is being assembled at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Note: Curiosity is a Mars rover launched by NASA on November 26, 2011. Currently en route to the planet, it is scheduled to land in Gale Crater on August 5, 2012 ( US Pacific time) . The rover’s objectives include searching for past or present life, studying the Martian climate, studying Martian geology, and collecting data for a future manned mission to Mars. It will explore Mars for 2 years.
What sets Curiosity apart from other Mars Rovers?
The CGI or computer animated drama/documentary takes place on Darwin IV, a planet 6.5 light years from earth, with 2 suns and 60% of Earth’s gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the Mothership Von Braun and three probes: Balboa, Da Vinci, and Newton. This robotic fleet is responsible for finding and assessing any life forms on Darwin IV. Initially, the expectation is to find microscopic life, but the probes soon find themselves in the middle of a developed ecosystem teeming with diversity of life of all sizes. The drama on Darwin IV is motivated by real science missions, such as the NASA Origins Program and the NASA / JPL Planet-Finder Mission, as well as the European Space Agency’s Darwin Project. “Alien Planet ” is a cosmic expedition along side Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Jack Horner, Craig Venter, and George Lucas…
Click here to access the full works of Charles Darwin
In 2010 President Obama asked his Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to assess the nascent field of synthetic biology. The biotech industry had already taken precautions against the DIY-ers, prohibiting companies from selling deadly pathogens to anyone without serious credentials and a certified lab. But in May 2010, when entrepreneur J. Craig Venter announced the creation of Synthia, a bioengineered life-form capable of replicating itself, the science underlying synthetic biology suddenly seemed worth scrutinizing in depth. Synthia had been created with off-the-shelf parts, mostly purchased online.
Listen to the NPR Story by Clicking Here:
The commission’s panelists completed their report in December 2010, recommending that hobbyists be watched but neither regulated nor barred. The conclusion unleashed a torrent of protest, including a letter warning of possible inadvertent releases and environmental and public health threats, which was signed by 58 organizations from 22 countries around the world. Even Harvard molecular geneticist George Church got into the act, opining that DIYbio hobbyists should be licensed, much like amateur pilots, fishing enthusiasts, or shortwave radio operators.
Craig Venter Is a Great Marketer
J. Craig Venter
on Synthetic Biology at NASA Ames
Sea level rise is an indicator that our planet is warming. Much of the world’s population lives on or near the coast, and rising seas are something worth watching. Sea level can rise for two reasons, both linked to a warming planet.
NASA-funded researchers have created the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica. The map, which shows glaciers flowing thousands of miles from the continent’s deep interior to its coast, will be critical for tracking future sea-level increases from climate change. The team created the map using integrated radar observations from a consortium of international satellites.
Considering all of these influences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the global average sea level will rise by 7.2 to 23.6 inches (18-59 cm or 0.18- 0.59m) by 2100 (see Figure 1) relative to 1980-1999 under a range of scenarios.
Note that these estimates assume that ice flow from Greenland and Antarctica will continue at the same rates as observed from 1993-2003. The IPCC cautions that these rates could increase or decrease in the future. For example, if ice flow were to increase linearly, in step with global average temperature, the upper range of projected sea level rise by the year 2100 would be 19.2 to 31.6 inches (48-79 cm or 0.48-0.79 m). But current understanding of ice sheet dynamics is too limited to estimate such changes or to provide an upper limit to the amount by which sea level is likely to rise over this century.