The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 72
*A third mission bound for Venus
The European Space agency has announced a new mission to study Venus. The EnVision orbiter will launch in the early 2030s to...
The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 72
*A third mission bound for Venus
The European Space agency has announced a new mission to study Venus. The EnVision orbiter will launch in the early 2030s to study Venus from its upper atmosphere down to its core o determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently.
*Mars Perseverance rover on the move
NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover is continuing with its science mission searching for signs of past microbial life in Jezero Crater’s lake bed.
*China launches another spy satellite as it prepares for war
China has launched four more satellites including additional Earth observation satellites as Beijing continues its on going preparations for war.
*The Science Report
Unmasked speech in confined places found to be the main way COVID 19 spreads.
The devastating skin disease affecting dolphins caused by climate change.
The new WomBot designed to study wombat burrows.
Scientists have found that Earth’s deepest life scavenges on carbon.
Skeptic's guide to COVID-19 scams in India.
For more SpaceTime you can find all our show links at: https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 72 AI Transcript
[00:00:00] Stuart: [00:00:00] This is time series 24 episode 72 for broadcast on the 25th of June, 2021. Coming up on space time, a third mission bound for Venus, the mass perseverance Rover on the move on the red planet and China. Lodgers another spy satellite as it continues. Its preparations for war. All that and more coming up on space time.
VO Guy: [00:00:26] Welcome to space time with steward.
Stuart: [00:00:46] European space agency has announced the new mission to study the planet vape. The envision orbiter will launch in the early 2030s to study Venus from its upper atmosphere right down to its core in order to determine how and why [00:01:00] Venus and earth evolved so differently. These are announcement follows NASA's decision to launch two new missions to Venus de Vinci plus in Veritas, which will fly to Wirth sister planet in 2028 and 23.
The Vinci will measure the composition of Venus's atmosphere, not to understand how it formed and evolved and that determined if the planet ever had a notion, while there a task will map Venus's surface in order to determine the planet's geological history and understand why it develops so differently compared to earth.
And that's where envision comes. Envisions instrument package. We'll examine why despite being formed in the same part of the solar system and being roughly the same size and composition as the earth, Venus has experienced such a dramatic climate change. Instead of being a habitable world, like the earth Venus has a toxic atmosphere with surface temperatures of 470 degrees Celsius.
Hot enough to melt lead surface air pressure, 99 times greater than that on earth and a thick cloud [00:02:00] cover raining, SOF uric acid and metallic snow covering the mountain base. Envision will be equipped with a suite of scientific instruments, including a sander to reveal underground layering and spectrometers to study the atmosphere and surface the spectrometers will monitor gases in the atmosphere and they'll analyze surface composition looking for any changes that could be linked to signs of active volcanism.
There'll also be a radar to image and map the surface while a radio science experiment will probe the pilot's internal structure and gravity field, as well as investigate the structure and composition of the atmosphere. These instruments will work together to provide an all encompassing global view of Venus and its processes envision follows in the footsteps of ACEs, Venus express, which the planet between 2005 and 2014 focusing primarily on atmospheric research, but which also made some dramatic discovery is pointing to possible.
Volcanic hotspots on the planet surface. The new probe will also significantly [00:03:00] improve on the radar images of the surface obtained by NASA and Magellan spacecraft in the 1990s envisions. Now moving into the detailed definition phase where the final design of the space craft at its scientific instrument package will be worked out.
Once that's done, a contractor will be selected to build and test the probe before it's finally launched a board, an Ariane six. At this stage, the earliest launch opportunity for envision is 2031 with other possible options. In 2032 and 33, the spacecraft will take about 15 months to reach the planet with a further 16 months to achieve orbit insertion through arrow.
That's where the probe will use thicker regions of the Venusian atmosphere to slow down and help circularize its orbit. The aim is to target a 92 minute quasi polar orbit at an altitude of between 220 and 540 kilometers. This space-time still the case. Mrs. Mannis perseverance Rover continue its science mission searching for signs of past [00:04:00] microbial life in Jezreel creditors' lake bed, and China launches another spy satellite, as it continues, its preparations for war, all that and more stores.
On space time.
This is Mars perseverance road risk continue its science mission searching for signs of past microbial life in jazz road, creditors lake. The six wheel car size mobile laboratories now moved off from its landing site, which has been the base of its operations since first arriving on the red planet and mid February until recently, the Rover was undergoing systems checks and commissioning tests and supporting the Mars ingenuity helicopters flight tests.
Perseverance is now heading for a low lying scenic lookout from where the Rover will be able to survey some of the oldest [00:05:00] geological features in Jethro crave. The rovers auto navigation and sampling systems are also being brought online. Perseverance has already successfully tested its oxygen generating Moxy instrument.
Its cameras have taken more than 75,000 images and its microphones have recorded its first audio tracks on the red plan. Over the next few months, perseverance, we'll explore a four square kilometer patch of the crater floor starting the geology of the sediments and collecting its first samples for eventual return to worth.
But a future joint Nasseri submission scientists want to understand two unique geological units in jazz, rose, deepest, and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock. The first unit called the crater floor fractured rough is the actual creative field floor of January. And adjacent unit named seater, which means amidst the sand.
It Navajo has both bedrock and ridges, layered rocks and sand dunes. Scientists believed that this area was under at least a hundred meters of [00:06:00] water. Some 3.8 billion years ago. A time when the red planet was a warmer wetter world, rather than the freeze dried desert. It is today. Traveling through this terrain means perseverance we'll need to negotiate the sand dunes driving mostly either on the crater for fractured Ruff or along the boundary line between that and SITA when needed perseverance will perform brief excursions into the CT unit, making a beeline for a specific area of interest for permission managers, the big fear is getting the Rover bogged in the Junes.
That's what ultimately sealed the fate of the Mars exploration, rovers spirit. Perseverance, his campaign is designed to determine creators early environment in geologic history. This first science campaign will be complete when the Rover returns to its landing site. At that point, perseverance will have traveled between two and a half and five kilometers.
And up to eight of its 43 sample tubes will be filled with Mars rock and [00:07:00] regular. Max perseverance will travel north then west towards the location of its second science campaign, which would be at Jess rose Delta region. The Delta is the fan shape remains of the confluence of an ancient river and the lake within Jethro crater.
It's a location expected to be, especially rich in carbonates minerals that are earth. At least can preserve fossilized signs of ancient life and be associated with biological processes. This report from NASA TVs, Raquel Villanova perseverance Rover has been working lean on its science mission with the help of the super cam instrument, a rock vaporizing, laser and camera that examines rocks and soils to learn more about super cam.
We are joined by Hamani collegia she's the science payload uplink lead for super cam
Guest: [00:07:50] operation. So super cam looks out of the big circular window and the white box on top of the mast. And it uses spectroscopy, which is just when light [00:08:00] excites Adams in a rock. And we get unique, shifted wavelengths back to us.
And so we use a combination of lasers and infrared vision, and that lets us do science even further out than the robotic arm. The lasers reach seven meters or 23 feet away. And the infrared much better. Um, and that's not even all, we have a tiny high resolution camera and a microphone to hear Mars. And that's how we heard the helicopter.
Stuart: [00:08:23] you talk about some of the images super cam has taken and why they are important to scientists?
Guest: [00:08:29] Absolutely. So we started by taking out images and spectra near the Rover. The laser actually blows away the dust and makes these small pits in the rocks. And that lets us analyze material. That's just below the surface of the rock, which is what we care about.
And then we can record the sounds of the laser, um, with our microphone. And it tells us something about the hardness of the rock. And then starting Sol 26, we were able to take pictures of these long distance targets like Kodiak. And that really helps the Rover team understand where to drive [00:09:00] next for more closeup analysis, infrared, um, telling us about the mineral content of these far away outcrops.
So that's how super cam figures out more about the geological history of Mars. And we're so excited to see what the laser can do now. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Stuart: [00:09:16] Hamani and that report was from Massa TVs, Raquel Villanova. Meanwhile NASA's Mars ingenuity helicopter has successfully undertaken its seventh flight on the red planet.
Ingenuity flew for 106 meters south from its liftoff point to a new landing spot. The flight lasting 62.8 seconds. It follows last month in flight technical glitch, which Martin prematurely ended at 6:00 PM. And unplanned anomaly interrupted the flow of images from ingenuity, his navigation camera to its computer.
The glitch saw the rotor copter lose just one single image, but that consequently resulted in all subsequent images being delivered with the incorrect timestamps and that [00:10:00] caused ingenuity to begin adjusting its velocity and tilting back and forth in an oscillating pattern, which persisted throughout the rest of the flight.
Luckily it managed to touchdown safely. Following a bumpy ride. Mission managers at JPL have looked at that vulnerability issue and think they may have resolved the problem. This is space time still the com China launches another spy satellite, as it continues its preparations for war. And later in the science report, unmasked speech in confined places, fatter be the main way COVID-19 spreads or that a much more store to come.
On space time,
China has launched four more satellites, including two earth observation satellites, as it continues, its ongoing [00:11:00] preparations for war. The spacecraft we launched the border long March 2d rocket from the tie you and satellite launch center in Northern China Shanxi province. The payloads included the Beijing three for Haysi to the yang Wang one and the Teang Jang space test one satellites.
China's releasing very few details about the Beijing three spacecraft claiming it's a remote sensing satellite for resource surveys, city management, environmental monitoring, and disaster relief. However, the spacecraft designed to provide extremely high resolution observations that had just half a meter in resolution it's been placed in a sun synchronous orbit.
The Hi-C two spacecraft is also designed for remote sensing, but this one's focusing on monitoring coastal and inland water environments. The yang one, one is a commercial optical astronomy, satellite designed to study asteroids, their orbits and their potential resources. And the can gen space test one satellite is designed to [00:12:00] test various new spacecraft management systems.
The flight back the 373rd mission of a long March series rocket, this space, time
and Tom had to take another brief look at some of the other stories making using science this week with a science report. And you study has confirmed that airborne transmission by way of unmasked speech in confined places is the main way. SARS cov two virus, which causes COVID-19 is transmitted to others.
A report in the journal of internal medicine has found that COVID-19 transmission occurs by way of speech generated, potentially virus, rich droplets, which floated in the air for minutes, like smoke, thus putting others at risk. The authors found that different sized respiratory droplets admitted, whilst speaking can span a continuum of sizes and can carry different amounts of the [00:13:00] virus.
The most concerning are intermediate size droplets. These can remain suspended in the air for minutes and can be transported over considerable distances by convective air currents. The world health organization. Now estimates more than 8 million people who have been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with almost 4 million confirmed fatalities and almost 180 million people infected since the deadly disease.
First spread out of warhead. China Marine biologists have discovered a devastating new skin disease affecting dolphins, which is caused by climate change. Scientists have found that the increasing frequency and severity of storm systems is dramatically decreasing the solidity of coastal waters and that's causing a fatal freshwater skin disease in dolphins worldwide.
The findings published in the journal scientific reports show that up to 70% of dolphins, bodies are infected with patchy and race, skin lesion. The [00:14:00] devastating skin disease was first detected in bottlenose dolphins in new Orleans. After hurricane Katrina in 2005. And the same illness is now killing dolphins off the coast of Southeastern Australia.
Scientists say that long-term outlook for dolphins infected with the disease is poor scientists have developed a new robot named the wombat, which can be used to study and spy on wombat burrows. A report in the journal of applied sciences claims the mechanical marsupial is remotely controlled and turtles around on tranq light tracks, which he speeds of half a kilometer.
An hour. Wombat is fitted with a battery of high tech equipment, including sensors, that record temperature and humidity, front and rear cameras and a front mounted grip, a pore that can place in retrieve other environmental sensors. Scientists have been using wombat to peek into 30 Tasmanian wombat burrows and say the information gathered should help them understand where the conditions and the borrowers can help [00:15:00] set Coptic mange a serious condition spread between animals.
Scientists have found that the Earth's deepest life scavengers on carbon, a report in the journal metric claims researchers exploring one of the deepest layers of the Earth's crust ever studied are finding life there. And analysis of rock samples from the very bottom of the Indian ocean has revealed microbes that have adapted to living within nutrient poor hairline fractures in the earth.
The researchers found several species of bacteria as well as fungi in our care that live in the rocks and feed on carbon from fragments of amino acids and other organic molecules carried in deep ocean current. India is now reporting more than 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day, with more than one and a half thousand people now dying from the virus daily, the immense scale of a tragedy is almost impossible to comprehend yet as the sub-continent continues to be devastated [00:16:00] by the deadly disease comes news that Indian officials are deliberately promoting COVID misinformation.
Tim them from Australian skeptics says Indian politicians are promoting quack cures with things like cow, dung, and urine being just two of the outrageous suggestions space
Tim Mendham: [00:16:17] in India. At the moment, the coast is sloughing through some very bad situations regarding COVID right. And the number of deaths, the number of cases.
Actively it's actually, you have successfully implementing a vaccine program, a big country maniac, or a poor health system. A lot of people in the old sort of in dire straits in poverty,
Stuart: [00:16:36] you could imagine they'd be
Tim Mendham: [00:16:37] having a hard time. Yeah. And plus math groups and plus political parties who are encouraging people to go to political rallies and all sorts of things.
Hobbies, social distancing hobbies, doing the right thing. But on top of that, uh, politicians, themselves and, uh, health advises within government ranks within the public sector are recommending all sorts of shonky cures for treatments. And one of them is [00:17:00] Dunbar. Right, but you should actually be swimming around in cabin.
Those cows are sacred and have the Hindus swimming around in Camden, counting yourself, whatever. And, uh,
Stuart: [00:17:11] I guess for some people, a hot copper in the morning has as a completely different meaning.
Tim Mendham: [00:17:18] Meth inhalation is another one being recommended for that by
Stuart: [00:17:26] Indian politicians. These are politicians during this
Tim Mendham: [00:17:31] particular story. Gruesome. I'm all these people covered in cat cow. I was at a milk. Chris comes from cows again, um, that that can be traded. There's all sorts of weird things that have been put forward.
Now there's a lot of superstition in India. Homeopathy is pretty rough. I have Vedic medicine is obviously a pretty major thing there, and that's got a lot of issues with it as well. So it's a place which is rifle to their science and to their medicine. And there's a lot of it there. [00:18:00] If you could agree if you're a skeptic in India, you're going to, you've got your work cut out for a year and try to deal with all these things.
Universities doing sort of courses in mystical beliefs and this sort of stuff, where 1.1 billion people and also in the country, poor health education, all sorts of things. It's sad that, that the people being taken advantage of. Can we say for the record that does not cure and does not keep over the day, it will protect you.
If it's a little superstition out there I'm going to be put forward by politicians and people, then
Stuart: [00:18:27] you really got to wear it. From Australian skeptics.
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VO Guy: [00:20:20] You've been listening to space-time with Stewart, Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com