Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Trump Administration Cancels NASA Plan to Track Greenhouse Gases

The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA's earth science budget

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Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump.

At a time when the world is struggling to fight climate change, US President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed a NASA system to monitor the flow of greenhouse gas, the media reported.

The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA’s earth science budget, including NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), the Science Magazine reported this week.

It has now scrapped the funding for the US space agency’s CMS which has until now used satellite and aircraft instruments to monitor carbon dioxide and methane levels remotely — spending $10m each year, the Independent reported on Thursday.

Canceling the CMS “is a grave mistake”, Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University’s Centre for International Environment and Resource Policy, told the Science Magazine.

NASA
NASA. Pixabay

“If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the (Paris climate) agreement,” Gallagher added.

Other scientists also expressed their concerns about the impact the killing oc CMS would have on fighting climate change.

Scrapping the system was “disappointing”, said Stephen Hagen, a senior scientist at Applied GeoSolutions in New Hampshire.

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“(This) means we’re going to be less capable of tracking changes in carbon,” he added.

But the NASA system has been an obvious target for Trump who had begun the withdrawal process from the Paris accord.

The accord was signed in December 2015 by nearly 200 countries to curb global carbon emissions and contain global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. (IANS)

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Anticipated Problems That May Effect NASA’s Mars Mission

According to results from the first eight analog space crews, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the astronauts are able to successfully complete tasks between 20 and 60 per cent of the time.

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NASA has formalised plans to send a manned mission to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel on a small spacecraft.  Pixabay

Researchers are developing a predictive model to help NASA anticipate conflicts and communication breakdowns among crew members and tick off problems that may make or break the Mission to Mars.

NASA has formalised plans to send a manned mission to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel on a small spacecraft.

To understand the psychological demands of this Mars journey, Northwestern University has charted a multi-phase study conducted in two analog environments — HERA in the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the SIRIUS Mission in the NEK analog located in the Institute for Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) in Russia.

The varsity will study the behaviour of analog astronaut crews on mock missions, complete with isolation, sleep deprivation, specially designed tasks and mission control, which mimics real space travel with delayed communication.

Mars
NASA has formalised plans to send a manned mission to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel on a small spacecraft. 
Pixabay

“Astronauts are super humans. They are people who are incredibly physically fit and extremely smart,” said Leslie DeChurch, Professor at Northwestern.

“We’re taking an already state-of-the-art crew selection system and making it even better by finding the values, traits and other characteristics that will allow NASA to compose crews that will get along,” DeChurch added.

HERA’s capsule simulator houses astronauts for up to 45 days — a mock mission control outside the capsule — that augments the realism with sound effects, vibrations and communication delays.

space
According to results from the first eight analog space crews, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the astronauts are able to successfully complete tasks between 20 and 60 per cent of the time. Pixabay

Those on the inside undergo sleep deprivation and try to perform tasks. The researchers collect moment-to-moment metrics about individual performance, moods, psychosocial adaptation and more.

According to results from the first eight analog space crews, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the astronauts are able to successfully complete tasks between 20 and 60 per cent of the time.

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The next phase of the research, which began on February 15, involves using the model to predict breakdowns and problems a new HERA crew will experience and making changes to “who works with whom, on what, and when”.

The experiment on the SIRIUS analog in Moscow, will begin on March 15, where four Russians and two Americans, will undertake a 120-day fictional mission around the moon, including a moon landing operation. (IANS)