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27/02/2021 23:16:55  

Vice President Kamala Harris Calls NASA Astronaut Victor Glover
27/02/2021 20:16:57  

"The huge parachute used by NASA's Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a secret message," reports the Associated Press — thanks to the rover's puzzle-loving systems engineer Ian Clark. "During a live stream discussing the landing, one Nasa commentator said: 'Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find. So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work,'" reports the Guardian. One Reddit user actually deciphered the message using Python code. Long-time Slashdot reader rufey writes that "Decoded the slogan is 'Dare Mighty Things' — a line from President Theodore Roosevelt — which is a mantra at JPL and adorns many of the center's walls." The orange sections of the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute represented ones in binary code, while the yellow sections represented zeroes. (So the letter "A" becomes yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow-orange...) The Associated Press reports: Clark also included the GPS coordinates for the mission's headquarters at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Clark, a crossword hobbyist, came up with the idea two years ago. Engineers wanted an unusual pattern in the nylon fabric to know how the parachute was oriented during descent. Turning it into a secret message was "super fun," he said Tuesday. Only about six people knew about the encoded message before Thursday's landing, according to Clark. They waited until the parachute images came back before putting out a teaser during a televised news conference Monday... Another added touch not widely known until touchdown: Perseverance bears a plaque depicting all five of NASA's Mars rovers in increasing size over the years — similar to the family car decals seen on Earth. Deputy project manager Matt Wallace promises more so-called hidden Easter eggs... The official Twitter feed for the rover has already revealed that it's carrying another message hidden in a plaque with a logo of the sun — "Explore as One," written in Morse code. Some other interesting facts about the rover: NASA points out that Perseverance carried a special placard with 10,932,295 names, "stenciled by electron beam onto three fingernail-sized silicon chips." Space.com notes that it also carried a small aluminum plate honoring the healthcare workers of the world. NASA is encouraging children to code their own version of the helicopter using the visual programming language Scratch.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27/02/2021 20:16:56  

An anonymous reader writes: NASA's Perseverence rover, which is currently exploring Mars, has as it's CPU a BAE Systems RAD 750 running at a 200 Mhz and featuring 256 Megabytes of RAM with 2 Gigabytes of storage. This is a radiation hardened version of the PowerPC G3, with specs roughly equivalent to the Clamshell Ibook that Reese Witherspoon used in Legally Blond back in 2001. This follows a tradition of old tech on space rovers — the Sojourner rover which explored Mars in 1997 used an Intel 80C85 running at 2 Mhz, similar to what could have been found in the classic Radio Shack TRS-80 model 100 portable from 1983. In a comment on the original submission, long-time Slashdot reader Mal-2 argues "There's not as much distance between the actual capabilities of a CPU now and twenty years ago as there would be if you made the same comparison a decade ago." In the last 12 years or so, the CPUs have gotten more efficient and cooler-running (thus suitable for portable devices) to a much greater degree than they've actually gained new functionality. Retro computing is either going to stay stuck in the 1990s, or it's not going to be very interesting in the future.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27/02/2021 00:16:39  

NASA Celebrates ‘Hidden Figure’ Mary W. Jackson With Building Naming Ceremony
26/02/2021 23:16:43  

NASA Awards Launch Service Contract for TROPICS Mission to Study Storm Processes
26/02/2021 21:16:46  

NASA Spaceline Current Awareness List #938 26 February 2021 (Space Life Science Research Results)
26/02/2021 21:16:43  

NASA Spaceline Current Awareness List #938 26 February 2021 (Space Life Science Research Results)
26/02/2021 21:16:43  

NASA ROSES-21 Amendment 4: B.5 LWS Science Final Text and Due Dates
26/02/2021 20:16:45  

Also: Old age a bigger risk for Branson's passengers as Virgin Galactic slips again

What do you buy the richest man in the world? A ticket to ride on Elon Musk's rocket, judging by the latest delay announced by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.…

26/02/2021 13:16:40  

Lidar-equipped spherical probes or solar panel-powered cranes, perhaps?

The European Space Agency is investigating sending an army of autonomous rovers into underground caves and lava tubes on the Moon.…

26/02/2021 08:14:10  
25/02/2021 21:16:26  

NASA Due Date Extension and FAQ Update for Proposals to Support Planetary Analysis Groups via ROSES-2020 E.2 TWSC
25/02/2021 18:16:31  

30 Teachers Selected as Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors to Bring NASA Science to Classrooms
25/02/2021 18:16:31  

Futuristic Space Technology Concepts Selected by NASA for Initial Study
25/02/2021 18:16:29  

D-Orbit and Marubeni Corp Announce Commercial Partnership.
25/02/2021 07:13:53  
25/02/2021 00:16:19  

NASA to Honor ‘Hidden Figure’ Mary W. Jackson During Headquarters Naming Ceremony
24/02/2021 21:16:14  

NASA Wants Your Help Designing a Venus Rover Concept
24/02/2021 19:16:20  

They say 'NASA' and 'ESA', not 'You tried'

NASA took its mind off ongoing problems with the testing of its monster Space Launch System by slapping stickers on the fairings.…

24/02/2021 18:13:21  

The use of long-distance bombs is part of a new tactic by Islamist militants, local officials say.
24/02/2021 17:16:16  

Orbex Commissions Largest Industrial 3D Printer in Europe for Rapid Rocket-Building
24/02/2021 15:16:16  

Single-piece blend of metals to help get company into Prime time

A 12 metric tonne 3D printer - one of the largest in Europe - has been commissioned by Orbex, intended to allow the Scottish space launch biz to "print" 35 rocket engines each year.…

24/02/2021 09:13:43  
24/02/2021 00:16:05  

Engagement Opportunities in NASA STEM 2021 (EONS–2021), Appendix J: MUREP INCLUDES Activity has been published
24/02/2021 00:16:04  

NASA Takes Steps to Reduce Aviation Emissions, Invigorate US Economy