The European Space Agency plans to launch the ExoMars rover (named after the late English chemist Rosalind Franklin) as early as September 20, 2022.
If all goes well, the rover will launch on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan and land on the Red Planet on June 10, 2023. Scroll down to read more about the ambitious mission in this edition of Inverse Daily.
I am Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse. Below are four new science and innovation stories from the editorial staff at Inverse.
It’s been a busy week for the planet Venus with interplanetary visits from not one but two spacecraft.
BepiColombo is on its way to Mercury but required an extra gravitational push by swinging around Venus.
As its name might suggest, the Solar Orbiter is on its way to the Sun and came within 5,000 miles of Venus this week.
The historic double flyby offered scientists an unprecedented opportunity to observe Venus’ atmosphere from different locations simultaneously — and snap a few photos.
More mind-expanding stories about Venus:
- NASA is going back to Venus after 30 years for an apocalyptic reason
- Venus and Mars align: How to spot celestial conjunctions
- New space volcanoes change the search for life on Venus
Everything you need to know about the ExoMars Rover — Jon Kelvey reports this week that the ESA’s Rosalind Franklin rover will dig deeper into Mars than any previous mission in search of any remnants of past life on the Red Planet:
If you want to find life on Mars, carry a big drill. That’s the idea the European Space Agency and partner Russian Roscosmos have brought to the upcoming ExoMars mission and its planned Rosalind Franklin Mars rover.
“The deepest anyone has dug on Mars is six centimeters,” ExoMars project scientist Jorge Vago tells Inverse.
That’s a big deal, he says, since there are several factors — cosmic radiation, unmitigated ultraviolet light, and powerfully oxidizing perchlorates — that have likely destroyed any organic biosignatures in the top meter or so of Martian soil over the past billions of years.
More recent news about Mars exploration:
- NASA Perseverance rover's hunt for life on Mars suffers a huge first setback
- Bizarre Mars photo changes how we think about the planet’s watery past
- How a controversial Mars meteorite changed the search for aliens forever
Understand the world in nine images — Bryan Lawver has put together a gallery of the most stunning science photos of the week. The 2021 Perseids meteor shower reaches its peak this week, the Perseverance rover suffered a setback on Mars, and scientists found a new way to preserve sperm:
The IPCC issued a climate change wakeup call the week of August 5–11, while Perseverance suffered a setback on Mars, and scientists made a breakthrough in genetic preservation. Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told through nine stunning images.
Previous weeks’ galleries:
- NASA's X-59 QueSST and more: Understand the world in 7 images
- Physics of solar storms and more: Understand the world in 8 images
- Perseverance hunts for life and more: Understand the world in 8 images
The most misunderstood part of intermittent fasting — Sophie Putka reports this week that fasting plans producing dramatic health benefits in animals aren’t ones that humans can usually stick to. Their results can lead to unrealistic expectations:
If only we could wake up with the Sun, run 10 miles every day, eat five servings of vegetables, cut out sugar-sweetened beverages, and practice mindfulness for the rest of our days. Surely we’d improve our cardiovascular health, ward off depression, and dramatically extend our lifespan, or so science shows.
The only problem with this science-backed roadmap to a healthier, longer, happier life? We’re human.
That crucial detail can sometimes get lost in the buzz around the popular diet regime intermittent fasting. The casual reader can get swept up in the transformative results promised to them by a headline on an animal study or conflate one form of timed eating with another. But one of the biggest issues is more to do with how well we stick to anything.
- Can fasting ward off infections? Mice study reveals an unexpected link
- 2 signs intermittent fasting is working, according to devotees
- Autophagy: Intermittent fasting and “self-eating” cells, explained
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- Science Song of the Day: “Mental Masquerade” by Crown of Thornz.
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- Before we go: Alfred Hitchcock, Sebastian Stan, and John Slattery were born on this day.
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