fbpx
Connect with us

News

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Investigates Geologically Rich Mars Terrain

Published

on

NASA’s Perseverance rover is well into its second science campaign, collecting rock-core samples from features within an area long considered by scientists to be a top prospect for finding signs of ancient microbial life on Mars. The rover has collected four samples from an ancient river delta in the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater since July 7, bringing the total count of scientifically compelling rock samples to 12.

NASA’s Perseverance rover puts its robotic arm to work around a rocky outcrop called “Skinner Ridge” in Mars’ Jezero Crater. Composed of multiple images, this mosaic shows layered sedimentary rocks in the face of a cliff in the delta, as well as one of the locations where the rover abraded a circular patch to analyze a rock’s composition.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

“We picked the Jezero Crater for Perseverance to explore because we thought it had the best chance of providing scientifically excellent samples – and now we know we sent the rover to the right location,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington. “These first two science campaigns have yielded an amazing diversity of samples to bring back to Earth by the Mars Sample Return campaign.”

Twenty-eight miles (45 kilometers) wide, Jezero Crater hosts a delta – an ancient fan-shaped feature that formed about 3.5 billion years ago at the convergence of a Martian river and a lake. Perseverance is currently investigating the delta’s sedimentary rocks, formed when particles of various sizes settled in the once-watery environment. During its first science campaign, the rover explored the crater’s floor, finding igneous rock, which forms deep underground from magma or during volcanic activity at the surface.  

“The delta, with its diverse sedimentary rocks, contrasts beautifully with the igneous rocks – formed from crystallization of magma – discovered on the crater floor,” said Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley of Caltech in Pasadena, California. “This juxtaposition provides us with a rich understanding of the geologic history after the crater formed and a diverse sample suite. For example, we found a sandstone that carries grains and rock fragments created far from Jezero Crater – and a mudstone that includes intriguing organic compounds.”

“Wildcat Ridge” is the name given to a rock about 3 feet (1 meter) wide that likely formed billions of years ago as mud and fine sand settled in an evaporating saltwater lake. On July 20, the rover abraded some of the surface of Wildcat Ridge so it could analyze the area with the instrument called Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals, or SHERLOC.  

SHERLOC’s analysis indicates the samples feature a class of organic molecules that are spatially correlated with those of sulfate minerals. Sulfate minerals found in layers of sedimentary rock can yield significant information about the aqueous environments in which they formed.

What Is Organic Matter?

Organic molecules consist of a wide variety of compounds made primarily of carbon and usually include hydrogen and oxygen atoms. They can also contain other elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. While there are chemical processes that produce these molecules that don’t require life, some of these compounds are the chemical building blocks of life. The presence of these specific molecules is considered to be a potential biosignature – a substance or structure that could be evidence of past life but may also have been produced without the presence of life.

In 2013, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover found evidence of organic matter in rock-powder samples, and Perseverance has detected organics in Jezero Crater before. But unlike that previous discovery, this latest detection was made in an area where, in the distant past, sediment and salts were deposited into a lake under conditions in which life could potentially have existed. In its analysis of Wildcat Ridge, the SHERLOC instrument registered the most abundant organic detections on the mission to date.  

“In the distant past, the sand, mud, and salts that now make up the Wildcat Ridge sample were deposited under conditions where life could potentially have thrived,” said Farley. “The fact the organic matter was found in such a sedimentary rock – known for preserving fossils of ancient life here on Earth – is important. However, as capable as our instruments aboard Perseverance are, further conclusions regarding what is contained in the Wildcat Ridge sample will have to wait until it’s returned to Earth for in-depth study as part of the agency’s Mars Sample Return campaign.”

The first step in the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Sample Return campaign began when Perseverance cored its first rock sample in September 2021. Along with its rock-core samples, the rover has collected one atmospheric sample and two witness tubes, all of which are stored in the rover’s belly.

The geologic diversity of the samples already carried in the rover is so good that the rover team is looking into depositing select tubes near the base of the delta in about two months. After depositing the cache, the rover will continue its delta explorations.

“I’ve studied Martian habitability and geology for much of my career and know first-hand the incredible scientific value of returning a carefully collected set of Mars rocks to Earth,” said Laurie Leshin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “That we are weeks from deploying Perseverance’s fascinating samples and mere years from bringing them to Earth so scientists can study them in exquisite detail is truly phenomenal. We will learn so much.”

More About the Mission

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including caching samples that may contain signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA, would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

News

Putting Jobs First: California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

Published

on

California High-Speed Rail construction site with workers in hardhats.
Artistic rendering of a CAHSR high-speed train running in the Central Valley. California High-Speed Rail.

In a significant milestone for the nation’s first high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced that it has successfully created over 13,000 construction jobs since 2015. This accomplishment not only signifies progress for the ambitious high-speed rail system but also highlights the positive impact it has had on the local Californian workforce.

California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

Central Valley Takes the Lead:
With over 70 percent of these jobs going to residents of California’s Central Valley, the project has played a vital role in providing employment opportunities for individuals in the region. It is worth acknowledging the efforts of nearly 1,400 workers dispatched each day to various high-speed rail construction sites. These jobs have injected economic vitality and growth into communities across the Central Valley.

Regional Breakdown:

  1. Fresno County: 4,222 jobs
  2. Kern County: 2,538 jobs
  3. Tulare County: 1,282 jobs
  4. Madera County: 580 jobs
  5. Kings County: 462 jobs
  6. Merced County: 189 jobs
  7. Remaining California Counties: 3,387 jobs
  8. Out-of-State: 369 jobs

A Decade of Strong Partnerships:
The Authority has had a longstanding partnership with the California State Building Trades, which has facilitated the creation of thousands of good-paying union jobs. Notably, during the past five years alone, over 10,000 construction positions have been generated through these collaborative efforts. Moreover, a significant focus has been placed on directing employment opportunities towards individuals from disadvantaged communities, further promoting inclusivity and economic upliftment.

California Jobs First Council:
To bolster job creation even further and ensure economic prosperity for all Californians, the California Jobs First Council was established. This council aims to align economic resources, expedite job creation, and enhance opportunities throughout the state. With particular focus on the Central San Joaquin Valley, this initiative serves as an impetus for creating more jobs, rapidly, in every community.

Future Expansion and Construction Progress:
Looking ahead, the Authority is resolute in extending the current 119-mile high-speed rail network to span 171 miles, reaching from Merced to Bakersfield. The construction has already commenced on this expansion project. Presently, more than 25 dynamic construction sites are active within the Central Valley. As a testament to its commitment to environmental stewardship, the Authority has obtained full environmental clearance for 422 miles of the high-speed rail program, stretching from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

Stay Updated:
For the latest developments and information about the high-speed rail construction, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the official website: www.buildhsr.com. On the website, visitors can access recent videos, animations, photographs, press center resources, and the latest renderings of the project. All files are available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s achievement of surpassing 13,000 construction jobs is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. By focusing on job creation and prioritizing the local workforce, this landmark project is making a positive difference in the lives of Californians, particularly those in the Central Valley. With continued progress and future expansions, the California High-Speed Rail project not only brings efficient transportation but also provides a substantial economic boost that benefits communities and individuals alike.

https://hsr.ca.gov/2024/03/19/putting-jobs-first-california-high-speed-rail-crosses-13000-construction-jobs-milestone/

Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority

@stmblog

13k+ jobs created! 🚄 California High-Speed Rail breaking records and boosting the economy! jobs infrastructure https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

♬ original sound – STMDailyNews – STMDailyNews

What is California High-Speed Rail?

The California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is a state-funded project led by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Currently under construction, Phase 1 is planned to cover 494 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles, passing through the Central Valley. There are plans for Phase 2, which would extend the system to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 776 miles. Authorized by a 2008 ballot, this ambitious project aims to connect major urban areas, significantly reducing travel times. The goal for Phase 1 is to achieve a travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a vast improvement from the existing Amtrak service, which takes around nine hours.

Construction of Phase 1 began in the Central Valley back in 2015. The project is being built in sections due to limited funding. The state aims to complete a 171-mile (275 km) long Initial Operating Segment (IOS) connecting Merced and Bakersfield by 2024. The IOS is expected to begin its revenue service as a self-contained high-speed rail system between 2030-2033, at an estimated cost of $28–35 billion. CAHSR trains running along this section would be the fastest in the Americas, with a top speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

Between January 2015 and December 2023, a whopping amount of $11.2 billion was spent on the IOS project, which includes 119 miles (192 km) currently under construction, alongside upgrades to the existing rail lines in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. The plan is that Phase 1 will share tracks with conventional passenger trains. However, the Authority has not yet secured funding to connect the Central Valley section with either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, which involves crossing several major mountain passes. As of 2024, it is estimated that Phase 1 will cost a total of $106.2 billion.n.

Supporters of the California High-Speed Rail project emphasize the potential benefits it offers, including the reduction of air traffic and highway congestion, decreased pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the promotion of economic growth by connecting inland regions to coastal cities. However, opponents argue that the project is too expensive and advocate for directing funds to other transportation or infrastructure initiatives. The choice of route and the decision to initiate construction in the Central Valley, rather than more densely populated areas, have been points of contention. The project has encountered notable challenges such as delays and cost overruns due to management issues, legal disputes, and a lack of complete funding commitment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail#

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

Want more stories 👋
"Your morning jolt of Inspiring & Interesting Stories!"

Sign up to receive awesome articles directly to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Continue Reading

health and wellness

Community Fundraiser Hosted by CFC in Support of Infertility Awareness Week

Canadian Fertility Consulting and Fertility Matters Canada Unite for Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser

Published

on

TORONTO (Newswire.com) – Canadian Fertility Consulting is proud to announce a Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser in support of Infertility Awareness Week, scheduled for April 28, 2024. This event aims to raise awareness about infertility issues while supporting Fertility Matters Canada, a national charity dedicated to assisting those struggling with fertility challenges.

The virtual paint night will be led by the talented Jenny Hughes of Oceanside Art Studios, offering participants the opportunity to unleash their creativity while supporting a meaningful cause. Taking part is simple – join from the comfort of your home via Microsoft Teams, and we will provide all the necessary paint materials, conveniently shipped directly to your door.

“We are thrilled to host this virtual paint night fundraiser to support Infertility Awareness Week and Fertility Matters Canada,” said Janet Harbick, Administrative Specialist at Canadian Fertility Consulting. “It’s an opportunity for our community to come together, express themselves artistically, and raise vital funds for a cause that impacts so many lives.”

Participants are encouraged to register by April 12, 2024, to ensure timely delivery of the paint supplies. Registration and payment are required to secure your spot in this event.

The theme for the evening is to paint a beautiful hatching embryo, with each participant adding their own unique interpretation. No prior painting experience is necessary, as guidance will be provided throughout the virtual session.

Infertility affects one in six Canadians, leading many to explore alternative paths to parenthood. Statistics show that 40% of infertility cases are attributed to female factors, 30% to male factors, and 30% to joint infertility or remain unexplained. Additionally, various factors such as sexual orientation, genetic diseases, gynecological issues, and career considerations contribute to the complexity of infertility challenges faced by individuals and couples across every demographic and economic group.

Canadian Fertility Consulting is Canada’s largest surrogacy and egg donation agency, committed to assisting couples and individuals in their journey to parenthood. With a mission to build families with love, we provide guidance and support throughout the process of exploring alternative methods of family building.

Join us for a night of creativity and compassion as we come together to support Infertility Awareness Week and Fertility Matters Canada. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by infertility.

For more information and to register for the Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser, visit Paint Night Event Registration.

About Canadian Fertility Consulting:

Canadian Fertility Consulting is Canada’s largest surrogacy and egg donation agency, dedicated to helping couples and individuals navigate the challenges of infertility. With a focus on compassion and support, we assist in building families through surrogacy and egg donation arrangements.

Continue Reading

News

SPACEMOB Expands Reach Into Sports Programming, Live Events

Published

on

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., April 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — SPACEMOB, the global media company focused on distributing streaming content and FAST channels, is gearing up for an exhilarating year of sports entertainment. With an eye on the future, SPACEMOB is poised to revolutionize the streaming landscape with its pioneering approach to sports programming.

In the coming year, SPACEMOB will have an array of groundbreaking sports entertainment initiatives, including exclusive partnerships and live events. As the convergence of streaming and sports continues, SPACEMOB is at the forefront of this dynamic shift.

Recent projections indicate a significant rise in the number of US viewers streaming sports events, with estimates surpassing 90 million by 2025. This substantial increase underscores the growing demand for accessible and engaging sports content in the digital age.

Over the past few years, the fusion of major sports and streaming platforms has become increasingly prevalent. Notable examples include:

  • NFL Thursday Night games on Amazon Prime
  • WWE Raw migrating to Netflix
  • MLS games on AppleTV

In addition to the streaming platforms zeroing in on live sports, advertisers are keen on the opportunity as well, with The Trade Desk’s 2024 CTV Report declaring ‘this is the year of streaming live sports’ and citing that forty-nine percent of advertisers plan to increase their budget for programmatic live sports in 2024.

SPACEMOB is embracing the trends and has formed exclusive partnerships with two esteemed sports entertainment brands The Harlem Globetrotters and Monster Jam. Additionally, SPACEMOB has secured exclusive distribution partnerships for FAST Channels featuring professional pickleball on PickleTV, classic wrestling from the Savoldi wrestling archive and Ultimate Classic Wrestling, and Major Arena Soccer League action.

Moreover, SPACEMOB is ramping up its live sports programming, offering viewers an unparalleled experience with events like Tuesday Night Pickleball, a variety of MASL season matches, and live broadcasts from Globetrotters and Monster Jam events throughout the year.

Since 2020, SPACEMOB has witnessed an extraordinary trajectory in streaming. It boasts five active channels, three in development and more than 2,500 titles of TV programming that collectively had viewership reaching nearly 1.5 billion minutes in 2023. The implications of these partnerships are profound, with the potential to reshape the landscape of sports entertainment in streaming and offer fans unprecedented access to their favorite sports and events.

About SPACEMOB
SPACEMOB is a global media company – built in the age of streaming-with a focus on creating original content, distribution, and FAST channel development. For inquiries, please contact: Danielle Bourassa Head of Distribution and Partnerships danielle@space-mob.com

SOURCE SPACEMOB

Continue Reading

Trending