Astrobiology: July 2020 Archives

Viking Mission Overview, NASA

"NASA's Viking 1 and 2 missions to Mars, each consisting of an orbiter and a lander, became the first space probes to obtain high resolution images of the Martian surface; characterize the structure and composition of the atmosphere and surface; and conduct on-the-spot biological tests for life on another planet. Viking 1 was launched Aug. 20, 1975, and arrived at Mars on June 19, 1976. On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia. Viking 2 was launched Sept. 9, 1975, and entered Mars orbit Aug. 7, 1976. The Viking 2 lander touched down at Utopia Planitia on Sept. 3, 1976."

Viking Landing Sites, NASA press release 7 May 1973

"Project Viking seeks to advance significantly scientific knowledge of the planet Mars, with emphasis on determining if life once existed or is now present."

- Viking, NASA

Keith's note: There are two space science/exploration events happening back to back (with some overlap) today:

"Planetary Protection and Lunar Activities" starts at 2:00 pm EDT Jim Bridenstine will be speaking. Some important news about planetary protection and exploration of the Moon and Mars will be presented. But NASA PAO apparently doesn't care if no one knows about this. Planetary Protection is an important issue for Astrobiology yet NASA's Astrobiology program website and Twitter account ignore this event too. More info.

NASA Updates Planetary Protection Policies for Robotic and Human Missions to Earth's Moon and Future Human Missions to Mars

"NASA has released two NASA Interim Directives (NIDs) updating the agency's requirements for robotic and human missions traveling to the Earth's Moon, and human missions traveling to Mars. The first NID addresses the control of forward terrestrial biological contamination associated with all NASA and NASA-affiliated missions intended to land, orbit, or otherwise encounter the Moon."

Keith's update: NASA did not even bother to add links to the actual interim directives. Jim Bridenstine eventually tweeted the links and I included them in this annotated release. Maybe someday PAO will actually reveal the text of these directives in their release. Further update: PAO eventually added links. It is just baffling that PAO ignored this event to begin with and then they could not even be bothered to find links to the things that were being announced. It is a sad state of affairs when the Administrator of NASA is more responsive to media requests than NASA PAO is.

"NASA Science Mission Directorate Public Town Hall" - NASA's Science Mission Directorate will hold a virtual community town hall with Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen and other members of the Science leadership team at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 9, to discuss updates on the agency's science activities. NASA's Astrobiology folks are also ignoring this event. More info



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This page is an archive of entries in the Astrobiology category from July 2020.

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