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Nasa to Hold Major Announcement About New Discovery on Mars

NASA set to reveal new discovery on Mars by Curiosity rover

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After lettuce, astronauts could grow beans in space in 2021. Pixabay

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new science “results” on Mars and the agency will disclose the findings at a press conference that starts at 11.30 p.m. India time on Thursday.

NASA earlier this week announced that the Curiosity rover had started analysing drilled samples on Mars in one of its onboard labs for the first time in more than a year.

It had to stop analysing samples on the Red Planet after a mechanical problem took the rover drill offline in December 2016.

It successfully tested a new drilling method in May on the Red Planet, making a 50-millimetre deep hole in a target called “Duluth”.

An image of Mars.
Mars. Pixabay

Launched in 2011, Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes.

NASA has not yet provided clues on what the new results are about, but it said that during the event, NASA scientists will have chats with the the public and media on the findings.

Also Read: NASA Invented A Tool To Predict Floods Due To Ice Melt

The public can send questions on social media and the event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Interested people will also be able to watch it on several social media platforms including Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitter/Periscope.

The findings will also be published in the journal Science. (IANS)

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NASA: Sending Back Astronauts to Moon in 2024 Could Cost About $30 Billion

The entire project will be framed as a practice run for a future mission to Mars

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NASA, mars
NASA, which has dubbed its current lunar programme Artemis (after Apollo's twin sister, the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness and the moon), plans to send one male and one female astronaut to the moon in 2024. VOA

Returning astronauts to the moon in 2024 could cost about $30 billion, or roughly the same price tag as the Apollo 11 spaceflight when factoring in inflation, NASA has said.

“For the whole programme, to get a sustainable presence on the moon, we’re looking at between $20 and $30 billion,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a TV interview on Friday, though noting that that figure does not include money already spent on the rocket and space capsule the agency plans to use for the programme, Efe news reported.

The total cost of the Apollo programme that the US launched in 1961 and concluded in 1972 was $25 billion. The climax of that programme came nearly 50 years ago when two astronauts landed on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission, which cost $6 billion at the time, equivalent to $30 billion today.

nasa, moon
Then one male astronaut and – for the first time – a female astronaut would set foot on the lunar surface in 2024. Pixabay

NASA, which has dubbed its current lunar programme Artemis (after Apollo’s twin sister, the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness and the moon), plans to send one male and one female astronaut to the moon in 2024.

Bridenstine recalled that the main difference between the Apollo programme and the Artemis program is that the former culminated with brief stays on the moon while the latter will entail a permanent human presence there.

The plan will involve the recruitment of private companies and international partners, the construction of a lunar space station and manned landings at the moon’s south pole within five years.

NASA, moon
That rocket will send into orbit a new spacecraft known as Orion, whose lead contractor is Lockheed Martin. VOA

The entire project will be framed as a practice run for a future mission to Mars. The programme includes an unmanned mission around the moon in 2020 and a manned mission that also will orbit the moon two years later. Then one male astronaut and – for the first time – a female astronaut would set foot on the lunar surface in 2024.

ALSO READ: NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover, Latest Robotic Mission to Explore Ancient Life on Red Planet

The three lunar missions will be delivered into space by the Space Launch System, a rocket being developed by NASA and Boeing that will be the largest ever built once it is fully assembled. That rocket will send into orbit a new spacecraft known as Orion, whose lead contractor is Lockheed Martin.

Besides these missions exclusively handled by NASA, five other launches will be carried out to place in lunar orbit the components for construction of the Gateway mini-space station, which will serve as a staging post for moon landings. Those five missions between 2022 and 2024 will be operated by private companies, according to NASA’s plans. (IANS)