“SuperCam” –New Mars 2020 Technology to Probe Jezero Crater for Past Life


Mars 2020 SuperCam



Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have installed the SuperCam Mast Unit onto the Mars 2020 rover to probe the Jezero Crater landing site with its landforms reaching as far back as 3.6 billion years. “It will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.


“Spectacular” –NASA Captures Earth Exploding ‘After 100-Year Sleep’

Raikoke Volcano


A dramatic photo released by NASA shows the volcano’s plume shooting up over clouds above Raikoke, an uninhabited volcanic island in the northwest Pacific, that last erupted in 1924 and 1778. It then went silent for nearly 100 years, until, on June 22, Raikoke spewed a blast of ash and volcanic glass so powerful it could be seen from the International Space Station.


Earth’s “Third Pole” –Impending Catastrophic Climate Change


NASA is keeping a space-based eye on the Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindu Kush –The glaciers and snowpack of Asia’s three high mountain ranges harbor the largest volume of freshwater outside the polar ice sheets, leading hydrologists to dubb this region The Third Pole. One-seventh of the world’s population depends on rivers flowing from these mountains for water to drink and to irrigate crops.


Non-Biological Origin of Life –“Ancient Proteins Embedded in Meteorites”

Meteorites on Early Earth



“An enduring mystery regarding the origin of life,” says NASA scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center about the inorganic transition to life, abiogenesis, “is how biology could have arisen from non-biological chemical processes.”


Mars Methane Reboot: NASA Punts –“The Life/No Life Mystery Puffs On”


“A plume came and a plume went,” Paul Mahaffy, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said on Sunday about Curiosity’s detection of a methane spike during a presentation at an astrobiology meeting in Bellevue, Wash.


“Our Biological Cosmos”–Complex Carbon Molecules Form Spontaneously in Space

Orion Interstellar Medium


Life (as we know it) is based on carbon-bearing molecules, and a new discovery shows complex carbon molecules can form and survive in the harsh environment of interstellar space. “In some ways, life can be thought of as the ultimate in chemical complexity,” said Martin Cordiner of the Catholic University of America about NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope confirmation of the presence of electrically-charged molecules in space.



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