Earth, Wayne, 1976 discussed on Bill Handel


Talk about Mars and the big landing today, Rod pile. Hey, Wayne, your checks in the mail. Thank you. You got it. All right, let's get right into it. Let's do first. Let's start with what is going to happen a little bit later today. On Mars. So 12 55 Pacific time We're going to get the message that lander has either landed successfully or been unsuccessful. The actual landing time will be about 12 44. It takes a little over 11 minutes, the radio signal to get here. So what that tells you besides the fact that it's a knuckle biter for everybody is that this has to happen completely autonomously. Because the whole entry descent and landing sequence is only about 7 7.5 minutes. So this poor things all on its own. What makes it even little more dramatic is now you know, the Chinese have an orbiter Lander combo that arrived couple days ago. They're doing what we did in the seventies of Viking. They're going into orbit around Mars, looking down, thinking about it. The sightings. They know where they're going to land, but they're going to check out the landscape a little bit more before they commit. And then sometime right, April, they'll make their landing. We don't do it that way. We ever since the Pathfinder rover back in 1997 are Landers just get shot towards Mars like a bullet out of a hunting rifle. They go right to the planet and they dip into the atmosphere and they have to do their landing sequence completely automated. So it Ziva White knuckler. Now is so Is it fair to say China is now doing something we did 1975. Yeah. I mean, it's a rover Lander combo. So you've got to give him that. But Yeah, it's Ah, I don't want to give him that much were better. What I'm saying is, where better, Right? Well, it's a much more sophisticated system. I mean, this is their first try. So so we've been there. Uh huh. I'm sorry. They said all that's cute for them. Well, I mean, I don't want to be a difficult about it. I just think I don't know. I have a lot of pride right now. I just have a lot of pride in the U. S space program. That's all. I'm just trying to be internationally aware of it, You know, you know China has arrived there now, Um Idiot has made it once the U. A E just made it in orbit. And Europe has an orbiter. But this would only be the second other successful operating lander on the surface after everything that's been the US up till now. So yes, perseverance is is much more sophisticated. Scott a nuclear power supply So it's not gonna get wiped out by a dust storm like opportunity was. It's got like the Chinese Rober ground penetrating radar. So wants us down there and look for water and ice deposits below the surface, which is a big deal because we want to know where the water is. But they're real the bang up thing here. There's a lot of things that will do very well. But the two big accomplishments are gonna be looking for life. This is the first astrobiology mission. Going anywhere since Viking in 1976, which is very primitive compared to this And it's gonna be drilling core samples, little tubes about the size of a large piece of chalk, and it's going to leave them behind as it drives along. Sometime in the next six years, seven years a joint U. S. European Robur is going to go up, pick up those tubes driving back to a rocket. Launch him up the Martian orbit, link up with an orbiter and send it back to Earth where we'll look at him in a bio containment facility. So that's the big money right there. And up until now. I think this is right. You'll know so you can correct me up until now. Mostly. What we've been looking for is to answer the question. Could there have been life right on Mars? Right? We're kind of looking historically to see if it's some point. There were conditions that could have supported life. Is this the first time that we're going to do a direct measure of whether there might be some kind of microbial life right now? Well, it's the second attempt, but it's the first sophisticated one. So if you remember the Viking missions I'm old enough to. They actually had a little bio sciences lab in them about the size of a small dishwasher. But it was fairly primitive. The idea was will scoop up some sand will dump it in these containers will put some some broth and their or bake this hand and see what comes out of it just to see if there's any sign of metabolism. But it was a very earth centric way of looking at things. We now realize that since we've discovered so many extremophiles like You know, creatures that can bacteria that can live under the surface of rocks Antarctica and that stuff down the hot vents at the bottom of the sea. We know it's more complex than that. So there's a number of different instruments out in the end of the robotic arm. It'll be able to do direct measurements looking for organic molecules, and that's what we hope to find so between the Pathfinder rover in 1997. Curiosity. All those were looking for, you know, they're following the trail of Was there water on Mars? Where was that? How long was that? They're finally curiosity was able to do a drill sample, Not a core sample, but just drill up some powder. From the surface of its landing site, Gale crater and say six months of the mission. Yes, this was habitable. There was water here. It was a standing ocean for a long time. Bingo. Send up the instruments that confined apostles, if any All right. Um, can you hold on and do another segment, please? Of course. Okay. So when we come back, I want to talk to you specifically about What this thing has to do to land gently on the surface, as opposed to just splatter and break apart and then I have some big picture questions for you about the implications. Of what we're doing on Mars. All right, Rod pile is with us with cool space news will continue here in a moment. It's Kate. 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