Mars Exploration Digest: Issue January 2023
A regular monthly digest of Mars research news for January 2023. PDF: Issue 4, Volume 2, ISSN 2788-225X.
[SK] Slovenskú verziu článku si môžte prečítať tu: Výber z výskumu Marsu: Január 2023
Perseverance completed the samples for return to Earth
Ten sample tubes capturing the amazing diversity of Martian geology have been deposited on the Martian surface for future study on Earth.
Less than six weeks after the start of depositing the first samples on another planet, this task was completed. Confirmation that NASA’s Perseverance rover had successfully deposited the last tenth tube at the site was received Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Command and Control Center at JPL in Pasadena. This major milestone involved precise planning and navigation to ensure that the tubes would be safely picked up in the future by a joint mission between the US NASA and the European ESA – the “Mars Sample Return” mission. The goal of this mission is to bring samples from the surface of Mars to Earth.
During its mission, the rover collected rock samples that the mission team evaluated as significant. One sample from each pair of samples collected is now stored in a selected location in the Jezero crater on Mars. These samples will only serve as a backup set, as each sample was taken “in duplicate” and one of each sample is stored directly on board the Perseverance rover. These will serve as the primary set, which will be transferred by the rover directly to the lander that will land on Mars in this location as part of the aforementioned planned joint NASA-ESA mission and will then be delivered to Earth.
The Perseverance rover and its mission include the little flying robot Ingenuity, which arrived on Mars literally “on the belly” of Perseverance.
Ingenuity is essentially a technical demonstrator. It means that the goal of Ingenuity was to test the possibilities of flying in the conditions of Mars. The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than the atmosphere of the Earth, and the air pressure at the surface is 100 to 150 times lower than it is on Earth, so it was questionable how a small helicopter would behave in these conditions. The first flight was of course a success and it was proven that our technology works. Several flights followed, all of which were successful, and so Ingenuity serves as our other eyes on Mars and sends us interesting images of this beautiful and silent planet.
Tianwen 1: first scientific results of the onboard magnetometer
The Mars Orbiter MAGnetometer (MOMAG) is a scientific instrument on board the first Chinese mission to Mars – Tianwen-1. From November 13, 2021, the Tianwen 1 orbiter began to routinely measure the effects of the solar wind on the magnetic field in places where it occurs around Mars.
The planet Mars does not have a bipolar magnetic field like Earth, only in some places around the planet, there is a certain form of the magnetic field. The results of the measurements confirmed the structure and strength of the magnetic field, exactly as they were previously measured by the American orbiter MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, NASA).
Curiosity continues to explore
The Curiosity rover of the MSL mission (NASA) continues to examine surface samples according to the established plan. Since the beginning of the year, she had several stops planned, and during one of them, the mission team came across another interesting “stone”. The shape of this specimen resembles a meteorite, several of which have already been identified on the surface of Mars.
The exact determination of whether it is really a meteorite or not will be brought only by further examination of this “suspicious” stone. Of course, it can be a piece of rock that is just weathered into a form resembling a meteorite. Accurate information will help us learn the details of the surface of Mars in this location and contribute to the overall picture of the planet’s development.
The possibility of contributing to the monthly magazine about Mars
Are you looking for a professional journal or magazine where you could publish your text, research, or scientific-popular article? Do you like planets and space? Are you a student, researcher, astronomer, teacher, or space enthusiast? Here is a unique opportunity for you to publish your text in a new professional periodical.
Use this opportunity to publish in the new magazine “Mars Exploration Digest” (abbreviation “MXD”). This new monthly magazine is starting its second year. It is available to everyone for free (open access). It is published in PDF format in two languages – English and Slovak (posts in Czech are also welcome).
The focus of this monthly magazine is not commercial. Its goal is not only to provide information from the world of Mars exploration but also to help in education and publishing new knowledge.
And a bonus for you? You can contribute your text for free. You can use this published article as a reference in your list of publications because Mars Exploration Digest is a professional journal. The readership of this magazine is growing rapidly, as it is a very specific periodical. So don’t hesitate and take your chance now. Mars Exploration Digest is registered under ISSN 2788-225X by the Czech National Technical Library in Prague (The Czech Republic, EU).
~ Jozef Kozár, PhD.
PDF: Issue 4, Volume 2, ISSN 2788-225X.
Slovenskú verziu článku si môžte prečítať tu: Výber z výskumu Marsu: Január 2023
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You can also find this article in the online version of the newspaper SME.
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