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Space... the final frontier...

Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
Awesome site donor
...well... I stayed up late last night to watch that Mars revelations by NASA and... fell sleep lol!... anyhow... I tracked this down on the NASA website today and they think that there could be ancient ORGANIC material on the Planet Mars... anyhow... here is the link and the article directly from NASA itself... cheers.



June 8, 2018
RELEASE 18-050

NASA Finds Ancient Organic Material, Mysterious Methane on Mars

This low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the site from which it reached down to drill into a rock target called "Buckskin" on lower Mount Sharp.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet. While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet’s surface and subsurface.

The new findings – “tough” organic molecules in three-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere – appear in the June 8 edition of the journal Science.

Organic molecules contain carbon and hydrogen, and also may include oxygen, nitrogen and other elements. While commonly associated with life, organic molecules also can be created by non-biological processes and are not necessarily indicators of life.

“With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, in Washington. “I’m confident that our ongoing and planned missions will unlock even more breathtaking discoveries on the Red Planet.”

“Curiosity has not determined the source of the organic molecules,” said Jen Eigenbrode of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is lead author of one of the two new Science papers. “Whether it holds a record of ancient life, was food for life, or has existed in the absence of life, organic matter in Martian materials holds chemical clues to planetary conditions and processes.”

Although the surface of Mars is inhospitable today, there is clear evidence that in the distant past, the Martian climate allowed liquid water – an essential ingredient for life as we know it – to pool at the surface. Data from Curiosity reveal that billions of years ago, a water lake inside Gale Crater held all the ingredients necessary for life, including chemical building blocks and energy sources.

“The Martian surface is exposed to radiation from space. Both radiation and harsh chemicals break down organic matter,” said Eigenbrode. “Finding ancient organic molecules in the top five centimeters of rock that was deposited when Mars may have been habitable, bodes well for us to learn the story of organic molecules on Mars with future missions that will drill deeper.”

Seasonal Methane Releases

In the second paper, scientists describe the discovery of seasonal variations in methane in the Martian atmosphere over the course of nearly three Mars years, which is almost six Earth years. This variation was detected by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite.

Water-rock chemistry might have generated the methane, but scientists cannot rule out the possibility of biological origins. Methane previously had been detected in Mars' atmosphere in large, unpredictable plumes. This new result shows that low levels of methane within Gale Crater repeatedly peak in warm, summer months and drop in the winter every year.

"This is the first time we've seen something repeatable in the methane story, so it offers us a handle in understanding it," said Chris Webster of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, lead author of the second paper. "This is all possible because of Curiosity's longevity. The long duration has allowed us to see the patterns in this seasonal 'breathing.'"

Finding Organic Molecules

To identify organic material in the Martian soil, Curiosity drilled into sedimentary rocks known as mudstone from four areas in Gale Crater. This mudstone gradually formed billions of years ago from silt that accumulated at the bottom of the ancient lake. The rock samples were analyzed by SAM, which uses an oven to heat the samples (in excess of 900 degrees Fahrenheit, or 500 degrees Celsius) to release organic molecules from the powdered rock.

SAM measured small organic molecules that came off the mudstone sample – fragments of larger organic molecules that don’t vaporize easily. Some of these fragments contain sulfur, which could have helped preserve them in the same way sulfur is used to make car tires more durable, according to Eigenbrode.

The results also indicate organic carbon concentrations on the order of 10 parts per million or more. This is close to the amount observed in Martian meteorites and about 100 times greater than prior detections of organic carbon on Mars’ surface. Some of the molecules identified include thiophenes, benzene, toluene, and small carbon chains, such as propane or butene.

In 2013, SAM detected some organic molecules containing chlorine in rocks at the deepest point in the crater. This new discovery builds on the inventory of molecules detected in the ancient lake sediments on Mars and helps explains why they were preserved.

Finding methane in the atmosphere and ancient carbon preserved on the surface gives scientists confidence that NASA's Mars 2020 rover and ESA’s (European Space Agency's) ExoMars rover will find even more organics, both on the surface and in the shallow subsurface.

These results also inform scientists’ decisions as they work to find answers to questions concerning the possibility of life on Mars.

“Are there signs of life on Mars?” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, at NASA Headquarters. “We don’t know, but these results tell us we are on the right track.”

This work was funded by NASA's Mars Exploration Program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington. Goddard provided the SAM instrument. JPL built the rover and manages the project for SMD.

Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
Awesome site donor
...a kind of 'Spacey' story... I seriously doubt that I would ever fly in an aircraft that HAS NO WiNDOWS!... how claustrophobic would that be and... what if the technology broke down in mid flight?... not for me... lol!... I really urge you to watch the video on the link to see what I mean... on this website below... cheers.



Emirates Airline’s windowless planes concept poses safety fears

You may no longer be able to get a window seat on a plane in the future. Photo: Emirates

Alana Mitchelson Consumer Affairs Journalist @AlanaMitchelson

Emirates Airline has revealed it plans to build windowless planes, but aviation experts have warned critical safety risks would likely delay these aircraft from flying commercially – and for good reason.

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark told the BBC on Thursday the company’s aim is for all planes of the future to have no windows.

While on the surface this may come as bad news to some passengers who love the window seat, there is a twist – the walls of the plane will contain screens displaying “virtual windows”.

Mr Clark said passengers would be looking at images on screens, projected from outside the plane using fibre-optic cameras, instead of being able to peer directly outside.

This would enable airlines to cut costs because the aircraft would be lighter and would lose less heat through the windows.

But aviation experts told The New Daily there was a very good reason for having windows on planes.

Why planes have windows
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)’s Peter Gibson said an important part of the in-flight safety briefing is to instruct passengers to ensure their window shades are up during takeoff and landing.

He said this is crucial in the event of an emergency.

“This is so the crew can see what’s happening outside the aircraft during an emergency landing,” Mr Gibson said.

“The optimum maximum time to evacuate an aircraft is 90 seconds. This is what the crew is trained to do. But you don’t want to be wasting time getting people to lift the blinds up.

“The crew needs to be able to quickly assess which side to evacuate the plane, for example if there is a fire, because every second counts.

“One clear issue [with windowless planes] is being able to visually assess what’s going on outside an aircraft – the situational awareness of what’s happening outside is critical.”

‘Technology can crash’
Airline and manufacturing researcher Professor Greg Bamber of Monash University.

“[Flight attendants] need to be able to quickly see whether, in an emergency, the plane is landing on water, or a forest, or an open field or a runway,” he said.

“They need to know which side of the plane to evacuate before actioning the emergency slides. Not having windows could delay that response time.

“Virtual windows would also rely on technology working. But, as we know, technology can crash, whereas an old-fashioned window can always be opened.”

The absence of windows would also present challenges for those who do not like flying, Professor Bamber said.

“Some people are a bit nervous about flying and having the windows there may help to alleviate feelings of claustrophobia.”

Original Tube trains were windowless – despite the passengers having nothing to see they freaked out and so changes were swiftly made. That was just for short journeys. A windowless plane would be far too mentally claustrophobic.

— Alex the Guiri (@AlexTheGuiri) June 6, 2018

CASA told The New Daily it would likely be a long time before these aircraft are certified because major manufacturers Boeing or Airbus would need to ensure any windowless plane met the relevant safety standards.

Other similar designs have been floated in recent years, including from Technicon Design France.

Its artistic impression showcases a plane whereby the ceiling and side walls contain screens, featuring numerous visual displays including a starry night or blue sky – even a beach scene or perspective from outer space.

But Monash’s Professor Bamber said there was more talk than action on the idea.

“It’s an exciting time for the aviation industry,” he said.

The New Daily contacted Emirates but did not receive comment by deadline.

Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
Awesome site donor
...I've just found the video of that jet that's being designed by Ixion... check it out... cheers.


Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
Awesome site donor
...speaking of strange aircraft designs... this video is remarkable... and in some parts quite silly to me but... some of the new seating in aircraft designs are quite ingenious in the second article... cheers.


Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
Awesome site donor
Great stuff Mr S.
The right stuff one could say.....
...amazing eh Fuzz?... people like him back then had bigger balls than the prize Bulls at an Easter Show methinks!... lol!... thanks for posting it my friend... cheers.