Mars copter may fly early April + NASA looks for alien craft on Moon, Mars & Mercury

C C Offline
NASA's Mars helicopter may fly as early as April 8

INTRO: NASA plans to fly its Mars helicopter Ingenuity on the Red Planet -- the first powered aircraft flight on another planet -- as early as April 8, space agency officials said Tuesday. But first, the helicopter must detach from the bottom of the rover Perseverance in Jezero Crater, where the robotic explorer landed Feb. 18, mission controllers said at a media briefing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

When it flies, the helicopter will start with short hops to test its capabilities in the thin Martian air, said Håvard Grip, NASA's chief pilot for Ingenuity. "The first three flights ... will be demonstrating basic capability to hover, and then you go longer distances," Grip said Tuesday. "If everything goes really well, then we might try to stretch our capabilities beyond those basics ... but we haven't planned that in detail at this point," he said.

The solar-powered aircraft, which weighs just 4 pounds, will attempt flights about 15 feet high in a flat part of the crater's floor that is about 300 feet across. The rover will move about 200 feet away from the helicopter to take photos of it in flight, Grip said... (MORE)

NASA scientists say look for ancient alien spacecraft on the Moon, Mars & Mercury

EXCERPTS: From UFO crash sites on other planets and aliens “lurking” on asteroids to a permanent radio telescope on the far side of the Moon, a new NASA-funded study into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life (SETI) details how future NASA missions could purposefully look for the “technosignatures” of advanced alien civilizations. Described as evidence for the use of technology or industrial activity in other parts of the Universe, the search for technosignatures has barely begun, but could unearth something surprising without much additional spend, says the study.

After more or less ceasing its search for technosignatures in 1993 after pressure by politicians, NASA has become increasingly involved in SETI. Published in the specialized journal Acta Astronautica, the study includes a list of what’s NASA missions could detect as observational “proof of extraterrestrial life” beyond Earth.

Perhaps most intriguingly, the paper suggests that interstellar probes might have been sent into the Solar System a long time ago, perhaps during the last close encounter of our Sun with other stars. [...] The Moon, Mars, Mercury or Ceres could contain evidence of impacts or existing artifacts that may have been preserved for between millions or billions of years. The surfaces of these places are ancient and unchanging. Evidence of impacts or existing artifacts might be preserved for between millions and billions of years—so we should scan the Moon and Mars in ultra-high resolution...

[...] The paper’s nine suggestions for technosignature-hunting missions include: Mission 1: search for crash sites on the Moon, Mars, Mercury or Ceres [...] Mission 2: look for pollution using Earth as a template [...] Mission 3: search for Dyson spheres [...] Mission 4: build a radio telescope on the Moon’s far side [...] Mission 5: look for ‘lurkers’ on asteroids [...] Mission 6: intercept missions to ‘interstellar interlopers’ [...] Mission 7: search existing data [...] Mission 8: conduct all-sky laser searches [...] Mission 9: study small asteroids (MORE - details)
Zinjanthropos Offline
Quote:The Moon, Mars, Mercury or Ceres could contain evidence of impacts or existing artifacts that may have been preserved for between millions or billions of years

Maybe we’ll find on the moon a complete video archive of every Earthbound or solar system related happening over millions/billions of years. Actually anything alien would be the greatest find of all time. 

I was hoping that during my lifetime, contact with an alien civilization or proof of life elsewhere in universe would occur. Running out of time but that doesn’t mean I’ll jump at anything that may be perceived as alien.

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