Inverse Daily: The past, present, and future of Mars
Plus: The past, present, and future of an American icon.
While I get ready to re-enter the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, let’s get you caught up on four stories today.
Three have to do with the past, present, and future of a planet that might one day be home for some of us.
The final story in this daily dispatch is more earthly but still offers a look at the past, present, and future of an American icon, the Cadillac.
I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse. Let’s dive in.
The Past: Is there life on Mars? 5 discoveries that might be aliens — Mounting evidence suggests Mars was once a wet, warm world that may have hosted some form of life, writes Passant Rabie:
In 1976, NASA’s Viking 1 lander touched down in Chryse Planitia. In the process, it became the first successful Mars lander. To Alexander Hayes, it also marked the beginning of the modern hunt for life on Mars. And it started with evidence for ancient water.
“The first piece of evidence came when we had Viking images that first showed precipitation patterns that were carved by what we believe to have been rain in an environment very similar to Earth,” Hayes tells Inverse. “Mars had persistent, long-standing water that carved the surface up and filled up its craters into lakes.”
More about the search for aliens:
- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: launch date, mission and the hunt for aliens
- Look: An alien-like new cephalopod was found deep in the ocean
- Aliens could exist on worlds weirdly similar to a classic Star Wars planet
The Present: Scientists just solved a mystery about life on ancient Mars — Scientists created a model of early Mars that shows a possible cloud greenhouse effect that would've warmed the planet and allowed for surface water, writes Passant Rabie:
“Carbon dioxide alone is not enough,” Kite tells Inverse. “And so that's been a problem for years. What's the extra warming agent?”
That “extra warming agent” is a key to understanding the potential for life on Mars. There's not a good reason to think it should have had liquid water. It only receives 44 percent of the sunlight of Earth. It’s cold and inhospitable today — and should, by all measures, always have been. But once Mars had flowing rivers and pooling lakes. For a window of time, it had all the right ingredients for life.
More about Mars:
- Video: Elon Musk says people “probably will die” on Mars
- Why the Mars helicopter is such a big deal, according to physicists
- A toaster-sized experiment could let humans breathe on Mars
The Future: Watch Ingenuity go faster and farther — Ingenuity continues to break records on Mars with a third flight that sent the NASA helicopter faster and farther than it's ever gone before, writes Bryan Lawver:
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter made history when it became the first craft to complete a powered, guided flight on Mars. And that wasn’t the end of Ingenuity’s impressive feats.
Within a week of its first flight, Ingenuity took to the sky two more times, and it’s getting better at it.
More on Ingenuity:
- Ingenuity flies and more: Understand the world through 9 images
- Mars helicopter photo shows Ingenuity's most audacious flight yet
- Ingenuity helicopter next flight: NASA isn't done with the Mars copter
All about the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq — GM's luxury brand says all its new cars will be all-electric and the Lyriq is only the first of many. Here's everything you need to know about the new Caddy EV, writes Jordan Golson:
General Motors led the EV revolution with the EV1 back in the ’90s. It didn’t go well. Things were better in the early 2010s when General Motors launched the Chevrolet Volt and sold 150,000 units in seven years before killing off the plug-in hybrid because, they say, no one likes sedans, even if they plug in.
But don’t fret: the Detroit automaker is all in on electric cars. The Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Chevy Bolt EUV (which really are different cars, I promise) are already here, and the electric Silverado was just announced.
More on the future of transport:
- “Tesla killers”: 7 cars that could rival Elon Musk's lineup
- eVTOL: What they are, when they’ll be here, and how they’ll change travel
- Self-driving cars: One politician's plan to avoid chaos in California
One final thing... If you’re looking for a reason to put on real pants today, wear jeans. Today is Denim Day, which exists to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. Follow along with the day’s events and learn more at twitter.com/PeaceOvrViolnce.
And we’re done for today. Let me know what you think of this daily dispatch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Twitter at @nicklucchesi, where I share some of my favorite stories from Inverse every day.