Mars, Atmosphere Phobos Is Hiding Secrets About Mars's Atmosphere | SciShow News
. Blinkist puts all the need to know information from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes. Go to Blinkist.comSciShowSpace to learn. More. intro Space is risky business and scientists and engineers can spend decades developing constructing and testing equipment before a spacecraft gets anywhere near the launch pad.. So we got some exciting news. Last week, when NASA announced that the Psyche spacecraft team got the green light to start putting everything together. If all goes well, the Psyche mission will depart for the asteroid Psyche in August 2022.. The asteroid is officially designated 16 Psyche and its orbiting. The Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter., The rock is about 226 kilometers across and based on things like its size and presumed mass. It seems to mostly be made of metals like iron and nickel. The same metals found in Earths core. Thats, not to say that like Psyche came from Earth., But researchers do think the asteroid may be the core of an old protoplanet one that formed and was mostly demolished by collisions during the formation of the solar system.. So, by studying this far flung asteroid, scientists might be able to learn more about Earths insides, which are way more difficult to visit, despite being literally right underneath us., But Before it gets to the asteroid. The spacecraft has to launch and before it launches it has to be put together.. So NASA spacecraft go through a few phases.. It starts with Phase A where the team develops a basic concept for the mission.
, And it ends with Phase F, where the mission is officially shut. Down. Until recently, Psyche was in Phase C, where the goal was to finalize the crafts design and manufacture all the scientific instruments and other components.. But now, after a thorough review, the news last week was that those goals had been accomplished. The mission was approved to enter Phase D. This means. The team gets to start the assembly process … and go through even more testing. And eventually Phase D will turn into Phase E after Psyche launches and reaches outer space.. When the mission arrives at its asteroid in 2026, nearly a decade after it was approved, it will give us our first opportunity to study a metallic asteroid up close as opposed to the stony ones weve been to before. Over nearly two years. Psyche will study the asteroid with a suite of instruments to confirm what its made of how old regions of the surface are, what its gravitational field is like and if it has a magnetic field frozen into its rocks. In particular. That magnetic field will be especially interesting because Earths magnetic field is generated by its core.. So if Psyche has remnants of a field like this, that could confirm the asteroid really did start as the core of a protoplanet. And if it doesnt, We might just learn something. Unexpected about the early solar system, instead. Not too far from Psyche Marss moon Phobos, has also been in the news lately.
Last week in the journal Nature Geoscience scientists reported a way that we might be able to study the moon in the future to learn about what Mars, looked like in the past., So Mars has been losing its atmosphere for billions of years. Thanks to things like interactions with the air and particles from the Sun.. We can tell because theres ample evidence that the planet used to retain liquid water on its surface. And on Mars in particular, you need a certain amount of air pressure for that., So where did the gas go? Well, a lot of it just escaped into space., But in this new paper one team proposed that some of those atoms got trapped in the soil on Phobos. And that future explorations could actually sample them and bring them back to Earth for analysis.. Now Phobos isnt, a moon. You hear a lot about., Which is a bummer, because its great, Despite being only 27 kilometers across at its widest point, its actually the larger of Marss, two moons.. It also orbits super closely to the planet about 60 times closer than our Moon is from the Earth. And although its small, we have a lot of questions about it, including how it got there and now, if its hiding some of Marss old gas particles. In their Paper, this team used more than four years of observations from NASAs MAVEN orbiter.. They studied the types of charged particles in Phoboss, orbit, figuring out, which ones came from Mars and which came from the Sun.
. Then they calculated how many of those Martian air particles could actually fall onto Phobos and how deeply they might be buried.. In the end, the paper found that the moon would have been absolutely bombarded by these particles throughout history. And that they could be preserved. A teeny fraction of a meter beneath the moons surface., Like like less than a hairs width underground.. So really not a lot of digging required. Right now, only one side of Phobos faces Mars, so that might be the best place to take a sample., But there could also be a range of atmosphere records all over the moon.. They could even include air from billions of years ago, back when Mars was covered in liquid water.. So studying these particles could help us understand what the planet used to be like. And the great news is. We could learn more soon because theres already a mission to sample Phobos in the works., The Japan, Aerospace Exploration, Agencys MMX mission is expected to launch in 2024. And five years later it will return. The first samples of Phoboss surface., So just like Psyche, well have to wait to know more. But its sure to be worth it. While were waiting on results from Psyche and MMX theres plenty to learn in the meantime., Actually theres. So much to learn and so much to do that. Finding the time to learn, something can be easier said than done. And thats part of what led the Blinkist team to make their app.
Blinkist takes the best insights and key information from more than 3000 nonfiction books and condenses them into 15 minutes of material. You can read or listen to.. Their library includes topics from self help to health to history and even some space books like An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield., Its all about his story and what his time in space taught him about life here. On Earth., Our Content Manager, Alexis Dahl really enjoyed it.. If youre interested the first 100 people to go to Blinkist.comSciShowSpace will get unlimited access to the app for one week. Theyll also get 25 off a full membership.. You can learn more at Blinkist.