A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander
Explanation: If you could stand on Mars, what would you see? The robotic Phoenix spacecraft that landed on Mars in 2008 recorded the above spectacular panorama. The above image is actually a digital combination of over 100 camera pointings and surveys fully 360 degrees around the busy robotic laboratory. Scrolling right will reveal the rest of the panoramic image. Visible in the image foreground are circular solar panels, various Phoenix instruments, rust colored rocks, a trench dug by Phoenix to probe Mars’ chemical composition, a vast plateau of dirt and dirt-covered ice, and, far in the distance, the dust colored atmosphere of Mars. Phoenix landed in the far north of Mars and has used its sophisticated laboratory to search for signs that past life might have been possible. Soil analyses have confirmed the presence of ice and gave unexpected indications of perchlorate salts. Whether Martian life could have evolved around such perchlorates is an ongoing topic of research. (via A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander)
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this color image on March 9, 2011, of “Santa Maria” crater, showing NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity perched on the southeast rim. The rover is the bluish speck at about the four o’clock position on the crater rim (with indicator arrow on Figure 1). North is up. Rover tracks are visible to the west of the crater. Opportunity has been studying this relatively fresh, 90-meter-diameter (295-foot-diemeter) crater to better understand how crater excavation occurred during the impact and how it has been modified by weathering and erosion since. Note the bright blocks and rays of ejecta surrounding the crater. Spectral information from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), which is also on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, indicates a hydrated sulfate at this location. Opportunity will soon resume a long-term trek toward a much larger crater, Endeavour. Santa Maria is about 6 kilometers (about 4 miles) from the rim of Endeavour crater, where CRISM indicates both hydrated sulfates as well as phyllosilicates that formed in a wetter past. This view is one product from the HiRISE observation catalogued as ESP_021536_1780. Comparisons with earlier HiRISE images of Santa Maria crater (PIA13706 and PIA13754) show the site before and shortly after the rover’s arrival. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Exploration Rover projects for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is NASA’s industry partner for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project and built that spacecraft. (via Catalog Page for PIA13803)
This raw image of Saturn’s moon Dione taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows the fractured region known as “wispy terrain.” The image was obtained on Dec. 20, 2010, from a distance of about 107,000 kilometers (66,000 miles). (via Wispy Dione)
NASA Finds Polar Ice Adding More to Rising Seas
Store Glacier, West Greenland. A new NASA funded study finds that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, three times faster than that of mountain glaciers and ice caps.
Discovery and the Space Station chase over Toronto - great photo by friend Andrew Yee (via @Chris Hadfield)
Wakeup music Top 40 is here - you can listen to the actual transmission clips (via @Astro_Soichi)
"The wakeup song has been a part of the space program since the days of the Apollo missions […]"
NASA Light Technology Successfully Reduces Cancer Patients Painful Side Effects from Radiation and Chemotherapy
A NASA technology originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions has successfully reduced the painful side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.
In a two-year clinical trial, cancer patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants were given a far red/near infrared Light Emitting Diode treatment called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS, to treat oral mucositis — a common and extremely painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The trial concluded that there is a 96 percent chance that the improvement in pain of those in the high-risk patient group was the result of the HEALS treatment.
“Using this technology as a healing agent was phenomenal,” said Dr. Donna Salzman, clinical trial principal investigator and director of clinical services and education at the Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. “The HEALS device was well tolerated with no adverse affects to our bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.” […]
The Journey Home
The space shuttle Discovery is seen from the International Space Station as the two orbital spacecraft accomplish their relative separation on March 7. During a post undocking fly-around, the crew of each vessel photographed the opposing craft. (via The Journey Home)