Astronomy

Is it possible to revive the Mars geodynamo?

Is it possible to revive the Mars geodynamo?


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I've done a bit of reading and have found multiple theories suggesting how the Mars geodynamo stopped fully working.

This site suggests that one possibility could be volcanic activity ejecting water and other necessary elements from the mantle significantly slowed the natural convection process.

Where as this site says that it also could have been massive asteroids colliding with the surface, heating the planet up to temperatures that would disrupt convection.

No one is quite certain what happened, all that is known is Mars doesn't have much of a magnetic field at this point.

Today I saw that there's an idea to create an artificial field that'll act in place of a geodynamo's naturally generated one.

My main concern for this is that the units creating the artificial field could be destroyed and the entire planet would become unstable afterwards.

It would seem if the magnetic field is supported by the planet itself, it would offer a higher degree of stability and less involvement for humans in the long run.

What's the possibility for 'restarting' the Mars geodynamo or perhaps ramping it up enough to support a strong enough field? And if so, how would we be able to do it?


Let's do a bit of math: magnetic energy density is at least $u = frac{1}{2}frac{B^2}{mu_0}$. The magnetic field at the surface of Earth is of the order of 30µT which gives us a magnetic energy density in the order of $10^{-3} J/m^3$ Now we need to fill the entire volume of the planet and some surrounding space with this field in order to get some protection from the solar wind; let's assume a cube of $(20000km)^3 = 8cdot 10^{21}m^3$. So that means that we need an energy in order of $10^{18}W$ to sustain a comparable field which equates to roughly 1 million state-of-the art GW nuclear power plants. We currently have significantly less than 1000 in the whole world combined and I have not considered losses of any kind (thus 100% conversion of power into magnetic field)

My rough calculation also does not include any additional power needed to sustain the field extent into space when subject to the magnetic pressure of the solar wind which will be needed in order to keep the atmosphere inside the magnetic field, especially in direction of the sun.

So please go and figure whether these scenarios are really realistic. Actually reviving any dynamo on Mars is an altogether different story and would need to understand how exactly it works/worked; it might entail to heat up the core which requires probably more energy and will pose even more severe technological challenges than a giant dipole magnet of planet size.


I think a superconducting cable system around the Martian equator is far more easy. To get an Earthian $ m B$, which is $approx 4 mu T$, from a Martian radius ($approx m{3000 km}$), we would need $I=frac{2pi r B}{mu_0} approx 680 m{MA}$. It is about 6000 times of the ITER main coiling, elongated throught the whole Martian equator.

This might be even much smaller, depending on the magnetic permeability of the planet. While it currently does not have a magnetic field due to the lack of the convection in the mantle, it is likely magnetizable, because its iron content is probably higher than of the Earth(ref).


NASA to continue signaling Opportunity rover on Mars

This image is part of a panorama, whose component images were acquired by Opportunity from June 7 to 19, 2017. See the rover tracks? Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State University.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 1, 2018: NASA said this week that, although it has passed the initially planned 45-day signaling period for the Mars rover Opportunity, which has been silent since a major dust storm swept over the rover’s location in June, it will continue signaling efforts. The update page for the rover announced on Monday:

After a review of the progress of the listening campaign, NASA will continue its current strategy for attempting to make contact with the Opportunity rover for the foreseeable future. Winds could increase in the next few months at Opportunity’s location on Mars, resulting in dust being blown off the rover’s solar panels. The agency will reassess the situation in the January 2019 time frame.

NASA had announced on August 30, 2018, that it was about to begin a 45-day effort to restore communication with the rover. It said recovery efforts would begin in earnest when atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover site had fallen below an estimated measurement of 1.5, twice, with one week apart between measurements. On September 10, NASA said that the benchmark had been reached, and that skies were clearing over the rover. The Opportunity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, had been sending a command to the rover three times a week, in hopes of eliciting a response. At that time, the team began increasing the frequency of commands to multiple times per day, for a planned 45 days. NASA said then:

Passive listening for Opportunity will also continue to be performed by JPL’s Radio Science Group, which records radio signals emanating from Mars with a very sensitive broadband receiver.

The 14-year-old rover has been silent on Mars’ surface since early June, when a dust storm on Mars went global and blotted out the sun over Opportunity’s location.

The rover is solar-powered and needs sunlight to operate.

If you want to follow the rover recovery efforts on Twitter, you can do so here: @MarsRovers.

#OppyPhoneHome Update
With Mars' skies clearing, we'll be trying multiple times a day to command Opportunity via the Deep Space Network, and continue passive listening via broadband. More: https://t.co/YvoDCwT3Vw pic.twitter.com/6Cns83PYa7

&mdash Spirit and Oppy (@MarsRovers) September 11, 2018

One-way light time between Earth and Mars is a little more than 4 minutes right now. https://t.co/A95SGKBd3m

&mdash Spirit and Oppy (@MarsRovers) September 11, 2018

Tempers flared a bit over these months of silence for the rover. When NASA first announced it would give the rover 45 days to wake up, Mike Seibert, a former flight director and rover driver for Opportunity who is no longer at JPL, is one of several who said publicly that time period was too short. He commented that JPL attempted active listening for Spirit, the twin of Opportunity, for 10 months in 2010 and 2011 when that rover stopped transmitting before giving up.

You have to be kidding me. 45 days after a Tau of 1.5. This can't be based on any real analysis of the situation.

Someone in the MER Project, Mars Program or elsewhere has to be trying to kill the mission for non-technical reasons.#SaveOppy #WakeUpOppyhttps://t.co/Zill7w0Gmx

&mdash Mike Seibert (@mikeseibert) August 30, 2018

Following Seibert’s tweet, and the reactions it caused, NASA took special care with its subsequent announcements about the recovery. The space agency revised part of its August 30 statement to including the following more fully described recovery process for Opportunity:

The science team is also sending a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake, and will soon be expanding the commanding to include ‘sweep and beeps’ to address a possible complexity with certain conditions within the mission clock fault. These will continue through January of 2019 …

Back during the attempted recovery of the Spirit rover, a technical issue required the team to actively command the rover to communicate. Opportunity has no such issue if we hear from it, it will likely be from listening passively as we have been, and as we will continue to do through January.

As we wait to hear whether Oppotunity will revive and respond, there’s been an outpouring of warmth toward the little robot explorer, now sitting silent on Mars. If you want to join in, you could send a postcard. In the meantime, on Twitter today, many gushed their support for the rover, from afar:

In honour of #WakeupOppy, I created a little meme ?? You’re on the clock now, girl. Time to wake up! #OpportunityRover #Mars #WeAreMars pic.twitter.com/4aqB59s0PN

&mdash Cheryl Lawson (@WeAreMarsBook) September 12, 2018

This morning I was reading a bunch about #OpportunityRover, and now I feel far too emotionally invested in the fate of this machine…. pic.twitter.com/GHoPa1ZkxU

&mdash Dr Mary McMillan (@maryemcmillan) September 10, 2018

View larger. | Opportunity caught its own shadow on Mars on July 26, 2008. Read more about this image.

Bottom line: The 45-day period of signaling multiple times per day to the 14-year-old Opportunity rover on Mars has ended, but NASA said this week it will continue to try to signal the rover. The solar-powered rover has been silent since June, 2018, when a global dust storm blotted out the sun from its location. Good luck, Oppy!


Giving Mars a magnetic field

instead of destroying or polluting mars, use teslas/haarp's research to create a synthetic ionosphere. afterwards focus on developing an ozone layer (o3). enough ozone should contribute to absorbing solar radiation while evening out the day to night temperature range. after that, focus on nitrogen, breathable oxygen and hydrogen. also I think the rust on mars can contribute to iron production (I'm not positive though).

plants with chemicals that are useful as sedatives should be grown in mars colony's greenhouse, insomnia can lead to some pretty messed up psychological issues. I hope they send people that know how to improvise and know what they are doing.

[WARNING] Bad english :P
Let's talk about Solar System's History (Theories mixed).
First, Jupiter formed and migrated inward, stripping materials need for a super-earths. Then it was pulled out by Saturn.
Without sufficient mass, Mars is rather a small surviving planetsimal with mass of about 1/10 Earth Mass, then it cools down.
Proto-earth during The Giant Collision is more massive than Mars is today (Theia, the sister planet you said, is Mars-sized.) The collision mixed their cores and proto-earth gained it's current density (5.514 g/cm^3).

Actually, if you want to increase a martian core mass, do this:
1. Find a nice, big iron ball. Maybe some more silicates too.
2. Smash it into Mars. This may create a new martian moon in process.
3. Heat it sufficiently until all heavier matter fell down into the core.
4. Cool the planet down.
5. Terraform the result.

This would take millions of years or even more, so I'll suggest everybody read the Lagrange Shield from Orion's Arm.

[WARNING] Bad english :P
Let's talk about Solar System's History (Theories mixed).
First, Jupiter formed and migrated inward, stripping materials need for a super-earths. Then it was pulled out by Saturn.
Without sufficient mass, Mars is rather a small surviving planetsimal with mass of about 1/10 Earth Mass, then it cools down.
Proto-earth during The Giant Collision is more massive than Mars is today (Theia, the sister planet you said, is Mars-sized.) The collision mixed their cores and proto-earth gained it's current density (5.514 g/cm^3).

Actually, if you want to increase a martian core mass, do this:
1. Find a nice, big iron ball. Maybe some more silicates too.
2. Smash it into Mars. This may create a new martian moon in process.
3. Heat it sufficiently until all heavier matter fell down into the core.
4. Cool the planet down.
5. Terraform the result.

This would take millions of years or even more, so I'll suggest everybody read the Lagrange Shield from Orion's Arm.

none of that explains why the earth has a magnetic field and mars doesn't, as asked by @kevin retired navy

The lack of a rotating solid inner core within a liquid out core is the main reason for the lack of a magnetic field on mars
Mars maybe once had a field till it's core cooled too much to be able to support continued rotation ( haven't found any info suggesting yes or no to that)


Life on Earth, and the Moon?! Does our long-lived geodynamo result from a major impact, or unique geological features?

The convection of a conducting liquid alloy of iron and nickel inside the Earth results in the formation of its magnetic field. This field protects our atmosphere from the harsh solar radiation which would otherwise strip the atmosphere and water from the surface, leaving a barren planet like the rest of our rocky cousins.

Some have speculated that the impact of a planetesimal contributed additional iron-nickel alloy to enhance the field and its duration, and also formed the moon from the resulting ejecta. This would require major differentiation of the much smaller impactor, which some find doubtful at such an early stage of its formation.

Others believe this longevity relates to geological features which result in superior heat trapping within the mantle, dramatically slowing the core's cooling. (Mercury, despite its small size, has a magnetic field strength of about 1% that of Earth, and is believed to result from a molten core.) Whatever the case, we would not be here except for something unique about Earth that has maintained its liquid core for billions of years, and counting. Is the Moon part of the answer to our existence, or is it something else entirely?!

Wolfshadw

Personally, I believe the moon's tidal forces help to slow/stop the cooling of the Earth's core, but I have no science to back that up.

Dfjchem721

You are not completely alone in considering this mechanism. Curiously it never crossed my path doing the research before posting this thread, so one might consider it an outlier concept (but just my cup of tea!).

So there clearly is some support for tidal forces, and it certainly seems possible. A quote from a 2016 abstract is below, followed by a link to the full article (and another to the original) :

"To maintain this magnetic field until the present day, the classical model required the Earth's core to have cooled by around 3 000 °C over the past 4.3 billion years. Now, astronomers suggest that, on the contrary, its temperature has fallen by only 300 °C. The action of the Moon, overlooked until now, is thought to have compensated for this difference and kept the geodynamo active."

The Moon may play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field

For a link to the original article used in the above report see (abstract only) :

The deep Earth may not be cooling down

FYI, according to radiometric dating methods, the oldest rocks on Earth showing evidence of a magnetic field is 3.5 billion years old. MS BING [Aside from those contested Australian zircons, the oldest-known evidence of Earth’s magnetic field—rocks in South Africa—dates to around 3.5 billion years ago.], also https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/greenland-rocks-suggest-earths-magnetic-field-is-older-than-we-thought/, "Analysis finds that the planet’s protective shield was in place by at least 3.7 billion years ago, as early life arose"

However, note that Earth developed in the spinning, protoplanetary disk and the oldest dust grains are said to be 4.568E+9 years old, The age of the Solar System redefined by the oldest Pb-Pb age of a meteoritic inclusion, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010NatGe. 3..637B/abstract

Starting with the dust grains at 4.568E+9 years old and rocks dated 3.7E+9 years old said to show a magnetic field, this leaves 868E+6 years time delta. How did the Earth develop a livable magnetic field that we use today like for a compass?

David777

David777

FYI. The question I raise in #4 is similar to this report, 'Moon and distant quasars facilitate first measurement of magnetic field in Earth’s core', https://astronomy.com/news/2010/12/moon-and-distant-quasars-facilitate-first-measurement-of-magnetic-field-in-earths-core

"The magnetic field strength in the core is 50 times stronger than that at Earth’s surface." "The cooling Earth originally captured its magnetic field from the planetary disk in which the solar system formed. That field would have disappeared within 10,000 years if not for the planet's internal dynamo, which regenerates the field thanks to heat produced inside the planet. The heat makes the liquid outer core boil, or "convect," and as the conducting metals rise and then sink through the existing magnetic field, they create electrical currents that maintain the magnetic field. This roiling dynamo produces a slowly shifting magnetic field at the surface. "You get changes in the surface magnetic field that look a lot like gyres and flows in the oceans and the atmosphere, but these are being driven by fluid flow in the outer core," Buffett said. Buffett is a theoretician who uses observations to improve computer models of Earth's internal dynamo. Now at work on a second-generation model, he admits that a lack of information about conditions in the Earth's interior has been a big hindrance to making accurate models. He realized, however, that the tug of the Moon on the tilt of Earth's spin axis could provide information about the magnetic field inside. This tug would make the inner core precess — that is, make the spin axis slowly rotate in the opposite direction — which would produce magnetic changes in the outer core that damp the precession. Radio observations of distant quasars — extremely bright, active galaxies — provide precise measurements of the changes in Earth's rotation axis needed to calculate this damping. "The Moon is continually forcing the rotation axis of the core to precess, and we're looking at the response of the fluid outer core to the precession of the inner core," he said."

It seems more studies are taking place to answer detailed question about how the Earth got its magnetic field, how long the field will last (it is decaying too), etc.


Is it possible to revive the Mars geodynamo? - Astronomy

ARECIBO , P.R. -- "Sorry guys," Jill C. Tarter said, cutting off chitchat around the control panel, eager to hunt for alien civilizations. "We have the telescope."

Outside in the fading light, surrounded by dense jungle, the receiving dome on the world&aposs largest radiotelescope wheeled into position. It fixed on Barnard&aposs star, a scant six light-years away, the closest star to Earth in the Northern Hemisphere. Closeness meant it had been searched before. But now, the great dish antenna of the Arecibo observatory began to gather in a riot of faint signals, giving the star its most discriminating look yet for hints of invisible planets and intelligent life.

Tense with concentration, Tarter, 54, closely examined the colored spikes that slowly materialized on her monitor. Each was a candidate, a possible hello from afar. But in the next hour and a half, she, a colleague and a nearby supercomputer rejected them, one by one. The signals turned out to be cosmic static and earthly interference.

She showed no sign of frustration -- no sigh, joke or frown. A true believer, she just plowed ahead to examine a night full of stars, sure that some day there would be proof that humans were not alone in the universe.

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, is at a turning point after nearly four decades of hard work. With the arrival here of Tarter and her crew from the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., the field has reached a high point in terms of telescope sensitivity, a top goal of the alien hunters.

But it has found no extraterrestrials so far, despite forecasts that they should have been discovered by now. Instead, it has probed the heavens with regularity and heard nothing but a dead silence.

While pressing the hunt here at Arecibo, Tarter and her peers around the globe are engaged in quiet debate and soul searching over how to proceed. New ideas and strategies are being weighed, including expansions that would enhance telescope sensitivity and widen the hunt to more stars -- perhaps 100,000 rather than the 1,000 now targeted.

"When you get far into a project and haven&apost found what you&aposre looking for, it gives you pause," Seth Shostak, a SETI Institute scientist, said as he trudged down a hillside into the lush bowl that holds the telescope&aposs huge receiving dish, the size of 26 football fields.

Does the silence bother him?

"It&aposs a funny thing," Shostak replied. "You&aposd think it gets old. But it doesn&apost. The equipment keeps getting better and the odds keep getting better, which never happens in Vegas. Also, there are always new ideas. This is a field with new papers, new meetings, new people -- which is remarkable considering there is no data. So for me, it&aposs not discouraging at all."

Close up, the great antenna was a grayish sea of thousands of perforated aluminum panels. High overhead, a cable car hauled engineers to the central receiving dome to do maintenance. Shostak strode under the dish into dim sunlight and surprisingly dense foliage.

Any boa constrictors down there?

"The worst thing is the mud," he called back confidently.

Like most SETI enthusiasts, Shostak and Tarter believe it is just a matter of time before earthlings use such antennas to make contact with aliens. Their faith is rooted in numbers, big ones. The Milky Way is estimated to have 400 billion stars, including the Sun. SETI scientists believe that many of these stars have planets orbiting them as well as advanced forms of life -- an idea skeptics deride.

Alien civilizations in the galaxy are likely to number anywhere from 10,000 to one million, SETI enthusiasts say. If the higher density is right, that means advanced beings would inhabit about one in every 400,000 stars. The implication is that even a slow, detailed, comprehensive search from Earth would be mostly a wasteland of late nights, false leads and frustration.

"It may look empty, but it&aposs not," Shostak said as he sipped a root beer in the observatory&aposs cafeteria, eager to cool off from the wet heat outside.

"O.K., maybe this is a hopeless task, maybe it&aposs impossible," he conceded. "On the other hand, maybe it&aposs like discussing the possibility of whether there&aposs a continent between Europe and Asia in the cafes of Segovia in the 1400&aposs. Until you do the experiment, you don&apost know."

The first SETI hunt began in humble circumstances in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. In 1960, Dr. Frank D. Drake, a young scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory there, used an 85-foot antenna to listen around a few stars for alien transmissions. Ever since, a main SETI strategy has been to wield increasingly big radiotelescopes, their size allowing them to gather increasingly faint signals. The dish antenna at Arecibo, 1,000 feet wide, is the biggest of them all.

SETI work started here with a bang. In 1974, at the urging of Drake, who then ran the observatory, the newly upgraded dish at Arecibo was used to beam a powerful, three-minute message at M13, a dense cluster of hundreds of thousands of stars orbiting the Milky Way. The message was a simple graphic showing the telescope as well as facts about the solar system and humans. The message is still zooming outward. At the speed of light, it will reach M13 in about 21,000 years. A reply from any aliens in that neighborhood would presumably take a similarly long time.

Tarter got hooked on the field in the mid-1970&aposs, soon after the message was sent. She was then a young astronomer at the University of California at Berkeley. After reading a SETI report, she teamed up with another astronomer to hunt for aliens with the university&aposs 85-foot telescope.

"It was brave of Jill," Drake said in his autobiography, noting that SETI work back then could hurt a developing career.

By 1985, Tarter was a senior SETI scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. She and her colleagues built powerful computers to sift through cosmic and earthly interference and lined up many radiotelescopes, including Arecibo. Their goal was to survey 1,000 nearby stars, all within 200 light-years of Earth.

In 1992, the big search was ready to start. And Drake, the SETI pioneer, gave it a drum roll in his autobiography, "Is Anyone Out There?" (Delacorte Press, 1992, written with Dava Sobel), saying the find of all time was imminent.

"This discovery," he wrote, "which I fully expect to witness before the year 2000, will profoundly change the world."

But the plug was pulled suddenly in 1993 when Congress decided that SETI was a waste of public money.

Undeterred, Drake and Tarter took the hunt private at the SETI Institute. They won substantial support from a handful of silicon moguls, capitalized on the $58 million the Government had invested in gear and forged ahead with the planned search. In 1995, they began roving from telescope to telescope.

Tarter, who heads Project Phoenix, as the hunt is known, is famous for her zeal. She was the role model for Ellie, the heroine of the 1997 movie "Contact," based on Carl Sagan&aposs novel, starring Jodie Foster. The two met when it was filmed at Arecibo.

"She&aposs a fantastic person," Tarter said of Foster. "She wanted to know what astronomers are like, and do they have big egos." She laughed.

Wearing sandals, her hair tied in a ponytail, Tarter along with her institute colleagues started observing here Sept. 9. It was the team&aposs first return since the Federal plug was pulled. A new agreement gives them 2,000 hours of observing time, or about a half-year&aposs worth of 12-hour night shifts, which they plan to spread over the next few years.

A big lure is the new sensitivity of the telescope at Arecibo, which is run by Cornell University in cooperation with the National Science Foundation. Last year, work here was finished on a five-year, $27 million face lift that quadrupled the telescope&aposs ability to pull in faint signals.

As always, the hunt focuses on close stars, since signals from their inhabited planets would be strongest. And it concentrates on ones similar to the Sun, the only star known to support life. Lastly, it tends to search older stars, since it assumes advanced life takes time to evolve.

At Arecibo, candidate alien signals are compared with readings from a radiotelescope nearly halfway around the world at Jodrell Bank in Britain. The comparison helps identify and rule out local earthly interference, which is exploding with the rise in satellites and cell phones.

"That is some hellacious thing," Tarter said as she glared at an interference spike. "It produces system indigestion."

Around midnight on Sept. 15, Tarter and Shostak were searching for aliens around EQ Pegasi, an unremarkable star 21 light-years away. Suddenly, the team&aposs automatic search program started moving the telescope off the star, seeking to find out if a strong incoming signal was simply interference.

The signal died away, as it would if it originated from the star. And it returned when the telescope refocused on EQ Pegasi.

Rising out of their chairs, electrified by the drama, the two astronomers studied the signal&aposs high rate of drift. That suggested the transmitter was based on either a spinning satellite or a rapidly turning planet.

"Had Jill and I stared any harder at that display screen, we would have bored holes in the phosphor," Shostak recalled.

Again, the telescope was moved off target as the computer sought to double-check the signal&aposs place of origin. This time the signal stayed on, meaning it was from a satellite.

"It was a big disappointment," Shostak admitted the next day. "I thought, &aposHey, this is the big one.&apos" Only a few times before had the team had such a sense of being on the verge of discovery.

Days later, on Sept. 21, Hurricane Georges slammed into the area, uprooting trees, hurling debris that damaged some antenna panels and temporarily disrupting the alien hunt, now set to resume Thursday.

Their faith apparently intact, despite the long hours and decades of failure, the alien hunters are planning in their spare time a new generation of strategies and gear. A committee based at the SETI Institute, including Tarter, Shostak and 31 other experts, began meeting last year to chart a path into the future.

At the controls of the Arecibo search, Tarter became quite animated as she described futuristic arrays of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of small dish antennas tied to one another electronically, scanning the sky for the advanced civilizations she knows are out there.

"We have to grow this," she said of untried gear that one day might dwarf Arecibo in sensitivity. "You have to crawl before you walk."

Her ultimate dream is to build an observatory on the far side of the Moon, free of earthly interference, scanning the heavens for an unfamiliar hello. She wants to be there herself, at the controls.


Today in 2003: Opportunity blasts off to Mars

The dramatic image of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity’s shadow was taken on sol 180 (July 26, 2004) by the rover’s front hazard-avoidance camera as the rover moved farther into Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech.

July 7, 2003. On this date, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity blasted off on a journey to Mars. After traveling for some seven months through space, Opportunity landed on Mars’ Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004, three weeks after its twin rover Spirit touched down on the other side of the planet. Spirit stopped moving across Mars’ surface in 2009, and it stopped sending back signals to Earth in 2010. Meanwhile, Opportunity – designed to last just 90 Martian days and travel 1,100 yards (1,000 meters) across Mars’ surface – vastly surpassed all expectations in its endurance, scientific value and longevity. It became one of the most successful feats of interplanetary exploration, effectively ending in 2018 (and officially ending in 2019) after some 15 years exploring the surface of Mars.

In addition to exceeding its life expectancy by 60 times, the rover traveled more than 28 miles (45 km) by the time it reached its most appropriate final resting spot in Mars’ Perseverance Valley. The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. Presumably, the storm affected the rover’s solar panels. Opportunity’s final communication was received June 10, 2018.

A layer of dust covers Opportunity’s solar arrays following a dust storm in January 2014, left, but by March 2014 much of the dust had blown away. Image via NASA/JPL Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State.

But NASA didn’t know that yet. Throughout the late summer and fall of 2018, engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) conducted a multifaceted, eight-month recovery strategy in an attempt to compel the rover to communicate. They sent more than a thousand commands to the rover … but there was no response. In what became a months-long outpouring of emotion, space fans on Twitter and other social media platforms began using the hashtags #ThankYouOppy and #GoodnightOppy.

Space engineers made their last attempt to revive Opportunity on February 12, 2019, starting with a “wake-up song” played in the control room at JPL. The mission’s principal investigator, Steve Squyres, had chosen I’ll Be Seeing You, as performed by Billie Holiday. At 8:10 p.m., Holiday’s wistful voice floated up from the command floor:

I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces.

As was expected by that time, those final efforts at communication were to no avail. Opportunity remained silent on the surface of Mars. Project manager John Callas told the crowd of NASA employees gathered for the farewell transmission:

This is a hard day. Even though it’s a machine and we’re saying goodbye, it’s still very hard and very poignant, but we had to do that. We came to that point.

Artist’s concept of the Mars Opportunity rover. Image via NASA.

From the day Opportunity landed, a team of mission engineers, rover drivers and scientists on Earth collaborated to overcome challenges and get the rover from one geologic site on Mars to the next. They plotted workable avenues over rugged terrain so that the 384-pound (174-kilogram) Martian explorer could maneuver around and, at times, over rocks and boulders, climb gravel-strewn slopes as steep as 32 degrees (an off-Earth record), probe crater floors, summit hills and traverse possible dry riverbeds. Its final venture brought it to the western limb of Perseverance Valley. Opportunity’s achievements include:

– Setting a one-day Mars driving record March 20, 2005, when it traveled 721 feet (220 meters).
– Returning more than 217,000 images, including 15 360-degree color panoramas.
– Exposing the surfaces of 52 rocks to reveal fresh mineral surfaces for analysis and cleared 72 additional targets with a brush to prepare them for inspection with spectrometers and a microscopic imager.
– Finding hematite, a mineral that forms in water, at its landing site.
– Discovering strong indications at Endeavour Crater of the action of ancient water similar to the drinkable water of a pond or lake on Earth.

In the video below, Steve Squyres speaks about Opportunity’s mission and its significance

All those accomplishments were not without the occasional extraterrestrial impediment. In 2005 alone, Opportunity lost steering to one of its front wheels, a stuck heater threatened to severely limit the rover’s available power, and a Martian sand ripple almost trapped it for good. Two years later, a two-month dust storm imperiled the rover before relenting. In 2015, Opportunity lost use of its 256-megabyte flash memory and, in 2017, it lost steering to its other front wheel.

Each time the rover faced an obstacle, Opportunity’s team on Earth found and implemented a solution that enabled the rover to bounce back. However, the massive dust storm that took shape in the summer of 2018 proved too much for history’s most senior Mars explorer.

Mars exploration continues. NASA’s InSight lander, which touched down on November 26, 2018, is just beginning its scientific investigations. The Curiosity rover has been exploring Gale Crater for more than six years. And, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover both will launch in July 2020, becoming the first rover missions designed to seek signs of past microbial life on the red planet.

The Opportunity rover featured an array of scientific tools. One of its main objectives was the search for signs of water on the red planet, since, as far as we know, water is necessary for life. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell.

Bottom line: NASA’s Opportunity rover launched to Mars on July 7, 2003. It officially ended its mission on February 13, 2019.


What is cryonics

Many futurists believe that in the next 30–50 years, mankind will learn to cope with any causes of death. Physicians will treat and rejuvenate the body cells — it means that if a person is injured in a car accident, they will simply repair damaged organs. People will even stop dying of “old age” — in fact, this way we call death caused by the natural deterioration of the body. The cells and organs can be rejuvenated. This way, the people of future appear to be young, healthy and immortal. We obviously want to be in this future but most of us don’t have a chance to live long enough to see it.

Scientists came out with the solution: you can’t live until it, but you can save your body for the better times. The most reliable way to do it is to freeze the body. This is how cryonics started. The technology allows to preserve the body of a deceased person in order to revive it someday. But not only revive, but keep the personality, all his or her memories, knowledge and experience. The first experiments on cryonics began in the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1967, for the first time, a person was cryonically preserved, and several years later, in the United States, three cryocompanies were started, thus every person was given the opportunity to freeze himself after death — for a payment.

It is impossible to prove experimentally that the ideas of the cryonists are possible as no one has learned to revive people yet. Although it has already been proved, for example, that if you freeze threadworms alive, they retain conditioned reflexes after awakening (if they survive, of course — this is not possible for everyone). But many scientists consider such experiments unconvincing. “In my opinion, this is a purely commercial exploitation of the dream of an afterlife,” said Yevgeny Aleksandrov, Ph.D. in Physical and Mathematical sciences, the head of the RAS commission which stands up to the pseudoscience. “Mankind will hardly ever find a cure for all diseases because it means the recipe for immortality. I don’t believe in eternal life and suppose that it would be terrible: the evolutionary process will stop”.

But not everyone takes a critical look at cryonics. The “KrioRus” company was established in 2006, and today it has 250 contracts, and 53 people have already been frozen. Other contracts are signed with people who want to be cryonically preserved after death. One can have the whole body frozen or just the head or even the brain (it is assumed that in the future the organ or part of the body can be attached to the robot or to the “donor” human body). Some people freeze pets — the owners hope that someday they will meet with them again.

No one can guarantee the customers that they will be revived. But, unlike those who are in the grave after their death, cryonically preserved people have a chance.

“D ead” is only the physician’s signature”

For those who believe in the medicine of the future, death is a very loose concept. “One of the common signs of death is a direct electroencephalogram, that is, the cessation of brain activity,” says Valerya Udalova, CEO of “KrioRus”. “But I have seen with my own eyes the man resuscitated three times after the “cessation of brain activity” — and the first two times he was talking. In fact, “dead” is only the physician’s signature. A person dies when a doctor signs a death certificate. Even if the patient runs and jumps, he will have to prove that he is alive.”

For cryonists, the point of no return is not biological death, but information one. This way they call a condition where all connections in the brain are completely destroyed. If you freeze the body before the information death, then there is a chance to revitalize the person, retaining his personality. If the preservation takes place after that — there is a chance a person can be physically revived, but with a big concern of keeping his or her mentality, knowledge, memories. It is difficult to determine when the information death comes. Sometimes it’s not too late to cryonically preserve the body even two weeks after the funeral. But in order to get a better chance of a full preservation of the brain, it is better to do it as quickly as possible.

I have seen with my own eyes the man resuscitated three times after the “cessation of brain activity” — and the first two times he was talking. In fact, “dead” is only the physician’s signature. A person dies when a doctor signs a death certificate. Even if the patient runs and jumps, he will have to prove that he is alive.

Valerya Udalova,
CEO of KrioRus

Firstly, the body is prepared for freezing and perfusion is carried out: several solutions are poured into the body to maintain a certain temperature. These are cryoprotectants — the substances that protect the body against damage during freezing. The goal is to make sure that the organism doesn’t form ice crystals, which can spoil the tissues. “Eggs, flour and sugar can be mixed in different ways and make a lot of different dishes. Cold and cryoprotectant can also be mixed in different ways. But there are some absolutely magical recipes. The solutions had been invented for 40 years. To make them work we also need a certain body temperature”, says Valerya Udalova.

Perfusion is a complex operation, it can be carried out by 7–10 people during 12 hours. It is the best to carry out perfusion within a day of death, and usually, the operation is carried out directly in the morgue: it’s easier and faster than getting permission to remove the body. Cryonics is absolutely legal technology, and cryocompany specialists are easily admitted in the morgue: it’s enough to come there with the relatives of the deceased and show the signed contract. There is another option: the client writes his will in advance, in which he appoints an employee of KrioRus as executor — that gives him the right to decide the fate of the client body after death.

We are shown how the perfusion is carried out on a mannequin with a blush and false eyelashes. “His name is Max — it means a maximum of life. He is the symbol of all maximum, of infinity”, says Valerya.


Thread: Reviving the Mars?

Uhm, i saw a post on facebook what would mars be, if it had water and atmosphere, then there was a picture of "earth like" planet.

Then i said to myself, what a beautiful planet if it really were alive, not corrupted by humans.
Then i ask my self, can we really revive mars?

here's my suggestions:
We all knew that Earth was VERY lucky, that at the stage of it's heating up, there was an asteroid containing frozen carbon i think? correct me if i'm wrong, that struck the earth evaporating those frozen things making an atmosphere and of course, rain. That's the story behind the Earth and it's beautiful Structure that was destroyed by humans.

Why not apply this thing to the mars? somehow in the future, Space Exploration will be leveled up, having more advanced technologies, computer power doubles every month right? So then, when we feel like we can do it, Just do it! -Nike. Just send an Asteroid with frozen gas targeted to the polar ice caps, the heat of the explosion will melt the ice creating an atmosphere.

Give some Greenhouse Gas Dosage. The gas that slowly kills the earth could help! trapping the heat from the mars, the temperature will slowly rise over time, slowly melting the ice from the poles and creating an atmosphere.


Earth’s Magnetic Field ensures smooth movement of Earth and protects us from foreign threats like cosmic rays and solar wind.

The magnetic field of Earth, also known as Surface Magnetic Field, is defined as a magnetic dipole having one pole near the geographic North Pole while the other one resides near the geographic South Pole. It originates from the core of the Earth and goes several kilometers into space to deflect the cosmic radiations that are thrown by the Sun. These charged particles are so powerful that they will blow the ozone layer away.

This could lead to a serious catastrophe as the ultraviolet radiations are extremely harmful to humans. Cosmic rays can also burn the atmosphere of a planet and our neighbor, Mars, is a prime example of that.

Its magnitude ranges from 25 to 65 microteslas at the surface of the Earth. The North geomagnetic pole, located in the Northern Hemisphere near Greenland, is actually the south pole of the Earth’s magnetic field. Similarly, the South geomagnetic pole is the north pole of the surface magnetic field. The source of this magnetic field comes from the convection currents of the molten iron found in the outer core of the Earth. The inner parts of the core provide the necessary heat for these currents.

The name given to this natural mechanism is Geodynamo. According to a general perception, the positions of both the magnetic poles remain stagnant but that’s not true.

They can move as much as 40 kilometers every year and this movement is not dependent on each other. Hence, these poles are not at directly opposite positions on the globe. Due to this continuous wandering of the magnetic field, the effect is reversed over a period of hundreds of thousands of years. Both magnetic poles switch places and all the information about this massive reversal is recorded in the rocks. The reason for this is that the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic field is stored in igneous rocks.

Centered stripes appearing on the mid-ocean ridges are used for identifying the reversal of the field. Paleomagnetists calculate the past track of the motions of continents and ocean floors through this data. As the crust of the Earth is also magnetized by this field, it is quite helpful to determine the locations of metal ores.

According to the initial theory, the poles of a magnet were defined by the Earth’s magnetic field. This means that the north pole of the magnet will be attracted by the North Magnetic Pole of the Earth. But as we know that opposite poles attract each other, it was deduced that the North Magnetic Pole is actually the south pole of its magnetic field. There are two possible ways to define a magnetic pole. The local definition of a pole is determined by measuring the inclination with respect to its magnetic field.

In case of Earth, the inclination at the North Pole is 90 o downwards while the South Pole experiences an inclination of -90 o in the upwards direction. For sake of a global definition, a line, parallel to the best-fitting magnetic dipole, is drawn through the center of the Earth. The points of intersection will become the magnetic poles of the planet.

The intensity of the Earth’s geomagnetic field is decreasing continuously and the rate of deterioration has increased many times in the past few years. This has raised serious concerns that the field might reverse. A weak area in the Earth’s magnetic field, called South Atlantic Anomaly, has also expanded. It stretches from Zimbabwe to Australia and this has exaggerated the fears of the scientific world. An international team of researchers joined forces to study this case and published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Richard Holme, a Professor of Geomagnetism at the University of Liverpool summarized his findings in the following words:

“ There has been speculation that we are about to experience a magnetic polar reversal or excursion. However, by studying the two most recent excursion events, we show that neither bear resemblance to current changes in the geomagnetic field and therefore it is probably unlikely that such an event is about to happen. Our research suggests instead that the current weakened field will recover without such an extreme event, and therefore is unlikely to reverse. ”

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel


Colossal strides in civilization in the past have followed each major advance in man's observation of the skies. Astronomical discoveries, time after time, have influenced and, in some cases, shifted the very course of history.

As the Apollo 11 and 12 spacecraft raced toward their rendezvous with the moon last July and last November, these most ambitious of man's ventures were the focus of a sharp and lively debate back on earth about the real meaning and value of space exploration.

Twelve years had passed since the Soviet Union launched the space age by firing Sputnik I into earth orbit on October 4, 1957. The United States had spent some $44 thousand million on space programmes, $24 thousand million on the Apollo project alone. Hundreds of thousands of top scientists and technicians had been striving together in by far the largest team of specialists ever mobilized in a single undertaking.

Yet the basic question was still being asked: "Is this trip really necessary?"

Was the moon landing a pointless "stunt", however adroitly executed, or a breath-taking demonstration of man's unlimited capabilities? Would the billions allocated for space be better spent on solving pressing problems here on earth? What, in short, is there in all this running around in space for those of us who remain earthbound mortals?

Arnold J. Toynbee, the esteemed British historian, expressed the concern of many serious-minded sceptics for whom the moon landing symbolized a yawning gap between technology and morals.

"In a sense," Toynbee remonstrated, "going to the moon is like building the pyramids or Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. It's rather scandalous, when human beings are going short of necessities, to do this. If we're clever enough to reach the moon, don't we feel rather foolish in our mismanagement of human affairs?"

But others contend that there is money enough for the moon and tasks on earth, too. And some go further to point out that the conquest of space has done much, through the development of new ideas, new attitudes, new techniques and new structures for the management of large-scale undertakings, to prepare man for a major offensive against the unsolved social and material problems at home.

"If you look at the thousands of years of civilization," Sir Bernard Lovell, director of Britain's Jodrell Bank Observatory reminds us, "you will find that only those communities that have been prepared to struggle with the nearly insoluble problems at the limits of their technical capacities those are the only communities, the only times, that civilization has advanced. The Roman Empire decayed when ¡t ceased to be progressive in this sense, and there are other examples. To a certain extent, you see the beginnings of it in the United Kingdom today, but fortunately not in the United States and certainly not in the Soviet Union."

Queen Isabella of Spain was confronted with something of the same sort of question nearly five centuries ago when she sold her jewels to assemble the resources necessary to finance the trip to the Indies of Christopher Columbus and his crew.

Her prime motives may well have been the glory and riches she expected to accrue to Spain. But the great results of this historical venture were not the spice and gold it brought to Spanish coffers, nor the vast territorial acquisitions which gave Spain dominion over the first global empire in history.

Far more important, the Columbian explorations marked the beginning of a major new cycle in the development of the world, enhancing man's mastery of the seas and bringing together in one great community, however unhappily, the entire human race.

It is not too much to contemplate that similar experiences may be awaiting us as we embark on the contemporary venture into unknown space. This is not simply because outer space provides a new dimension to potentially new resources, nor because the possibility of finding life on other planets has suddenly become much more real. Of even greater importance is the vast accumulation of new technology and new techniques resulting from the first decade of space exploration. Not unnaturally, the sheer spectacular quality of the moon landing tended to focus the world's attention on the heroic aspects of the achievement.

Somehow, the casting of the Apollo 11 and 12 voyages on millions of television sets around the world gave it the character of a sports event. Focus was on the astronauts, champions of a new interplanetary Olympiad, and on the faultless performance of the spacecraft. In the process, the real significance of space exploration became obscure.

If the experience of the past three or four thousand years has any value, it tells us that in freeing himself from the millennial confinement of the earth's gravitation and its atmosphere, man has added a vast new dimension to his environment and to his character. In broadening his horizons, he has in a qualitative sense altered his very being and completely changed his relationship to the rest of nature, and this in turn presages sweeping changes in every field of human activity.

Colossal strides in civilization in the past have followed each major advance in man's observation of the skies. Astronomical discoveries, time after time, have influenced and, in some cases, shifted the very course of history.

Now, the impact of space exploration the most momentous of all human adventures promises to usher in a new stage of civilization the broad outlines of which remain undefinable, if for no other reason than that the exploration has only begun. The potential of the universe for mankind is as completely unknown today as was that of the New World after the return of Columbus to Spain.

As Margaret Mead, the American anthropologist, has put it: "Once you raise the question that other land than this earth is possible to live on, that other places are possible places to found colonies, or that there may be other living creatures somewhere, you have changed the whole place of man in the universe. You've altered everything. This involves a considerable reduction of human arrogance and a tremendous magnification of human possibilities."

Just as the age of earth exploration completely transformed the political matrix around the globe, the space age will radically. Alter the present global political constellation and institutions. The nation state, already ill-suited to human needs in the last half of the twentieth century, can hardly be expected to effectively serve man's goals in space.

The on-again off-again trip to Mars, originally scheduled for the 1970s, will very likely be too expensive for either the United States or the Soviet Union to undertake alone. By combining in this and other projects in the conquest of space, it is possible to co-operate where prejudices and conflicting interests are least involved. In this age of global problems, the necessity of co-operation in space as human beings with predominantly common interests cannot but have a feedback on earth. If and when space exploration becomes more than a marginal activity, its higher priority is bound to give new stimulus to international joint ventures in space.

Already COMSAT (Communications Satellite Corporation) and INTELSAT (the international space communications organization of 70 member countries) have established a pattern for international public utilities in space communications. American and Soviet rockets are launching European, Australian and Japanese satellites into space. And some 40 tracking stations around the globe, involving varying degrees of international co-operation, participated in the Apollo project.

But if no one knows where this new adventure in space will eventually take us, what new worlds will be discovered what new horizons will open as man colonizes the moon or other planets, or what advantages may be found in manufacturing instruments and equipment in the vacuum of outer space, the first decade of the Space Age has given us a foretaste of what is in store for the future.

Since 1967 hardly a person on earth has not been directly or indirectly effected in one way or another by the results of the space exploration. Liberated from the forces that have kept us earthbound throughout recorded history, we now have capabilities (intellectual and material) that are immeasurably greater than ever before. These new capabilities open unlimited opportunities for the development of human faculties and the satisfaction of human needs.

A whole galaxy of earth satellites is now providing global services which have already brought vast improvements to communications, weather prediction, geology and geodetics, navigation and oceanography. These and other vital tools for the enhancement of man's control over his environment are available not only to the advanced industrial countries that have developed them, but have had immediate benefits for all countries around the globe providing developing countries with tremendous new capabilities for more rapid economic and social advance.

New technologies products, materials, processes, manufacturing techniques, operating procedures, and new standards born of space requirements are being transferred from their original space application to industry, commerce, education and public health, replacing products or practices currently in use to provide those which will better fill the vast variety of human needs.

But, most important, effective techniques and structures have been developed for the "forcing" of technology transfer, and private industry, universities and governments now have at their disposal vast computerized data banks of knowledge and data on virtually every field of the physical and social sciences, technology and the humanities.

But an even more important aspect of the Space Revolution is the last one: techniques for directing massive projects undertaken by thousands of minds in a close-knit, synergistic combination of government, universities and industry. Taken together these techniques are potentially the most powerful management tool in man's history, changing the way civil servants, scientists and managers approach virtually every task they undertake.