NASA keeps sending rovers to Mars and the Red Planet wont stop

first_imgFifteen years ago, Opportunity touched down on the Red Planet for a mission that was supposed to last just over 90 days. But while it might not have even had a chance to unpack its bags with that kind of timeline, Oppy far exceeded its original shelf life. An artist’s concept of NASA’s Opportunity rover on the surface of Mars. NASA/JPL/Cornell University/Maas Digital The Little Rover That Could traipsed around for 5,352 sols (equivalent to 5,498 Earth days) covering more than 45 kilometres (28 miles) and sending back valuable data for researchers. That included discoveries that pointed to signs of water on the planet in the past and evidence that Mars could have supported ancient microbial life. All that bodes well for us humans as we think about travelling to Mars in the future, thanks to our rather unfortunate reliance on water.But while Opportunity survived for eight Martian years and lived far longer than its twin rover on the Mars Exploration Rover program (the equally positive sounding Spirit), Earth lost contact with it in 2018 and eventually declared the mission complete in February 2019. While the world has mourned the loss of a particularly adorable and helpful robot, one question remains: Why does Mars keep killing all the stuff we shoot up there? 6:31 Comments Share your voice Mars rovers NASA Space Another Mars rover bites the dust, but NASA’s not finished… Now playing: Watch this: Sci-Tech Humans on Mars: An atlas of plans to land on the Red Planet In this week’s episode of Watch This Space, we take a look at the death of Opportunity and the travails of the rovers that came before it. Why were they sent to Mars? What conditions did they need to overcome to survive? And how did Mars eventually kill them all? From the science we’ve scienced along the way to the next steps for Martian discovery, we look at all the things the world’s rovers have achieved and what the next phase of Mars exploration looks like. Because while Mars might have claimed NASA’s little Wall-E rover, that’s not going to stop us from launching more rovers and getting them to reccy the planet before us humans head to Mars as well.To learn more about the death of NASA’s little Wall-E rover and what else we’ve got in store for Mars, check out this week’s episode of Watch This Space. You can get your space fix every other Friday with new episodes, or catch up with the whole series on CNET or YouTube. Tags 32 Photos 8last_img read more

Anarchy on roads despite numerous projects

first_imgStudents occupy roads in front of Jamuna Future Park in Nadda, Dhaka for the second consecutive day on Wednesday. Photo: Abdus SalamAlthough the government had undertaken projects worth over Tk 500 billion in the last decade to develop Dhaka’s road and transport sector, the suffering of the commuters has not eased in reality.Vehicles run on manual signal while most of the traffic signals are dysfunctional. It has turned into a city of traffic jam, pollution, deaths and anarchy on roads.Experts attribute the problem to unplanned urban management and policy. The government had drafted a 20-year STP (Strategic Transport Plan) in 2005 that was supposed to end by 2014. But many of the plans still remain incomplete. Another modified RSTP (Revised Strategic Transport Plan) was prepared in 2015 which is to run till 2035.All the projects to be taken and implemented in Dhaka were supposed to be carried out under the RSTP. Conducting safe and disciplined transport system along with priority on bus service development were in the plan. Despite that the government had prioritised costly flyover projects.Dhaka has been among the top uninhabitable cities of the planet for the last few years. In a study carried out by London-based The Economist, Dhaka ranked second in the list of uninhabitable city in 2018. The study included indicators of crime, education, health along with road and mass transport scenario.According to the ministries of road, transport and bridges, local government and housing and public works, the government has spent Tk 68.66 billion in Dhaka’s road and transport sector in eight years. Currently, projects worth Tk 435 billion are running.The metro rail project from Uttara to Motijheel, the flyover from airport to Jatrabari, special lane from Joydebpur to airport, and road and canal in Purbachal are among the projects. These are supposed to be finished by 2010. There are doubts over the completion of these projects as progress is slow. Another Tk 2-trillion-project is on the way that includes metro rail, flyover, ring road and subway rail.When asked over this, road transport and highways division secretary Nazrul Islam told Prothom Alo, development projects are adopted taking people’s need in consideration. Depending on the reality some are implemented early while some are done later. Order will be restored in mass transport sector as soon as the metro rail and special lanes are opened, he added.Reckless bus driving is a chief reason for death on the roads in Dhaka. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) too came to the conclusion while running a study during the adoption of RSTP. The survery, conducted in 2015, said 29,000,000 trips take place in Dhaka every day while bus or minibus contribute to 47 per cent of them.The type of ownership, fault in transport conducting system along with road system were mentioned in the RSTP. It also preferred a planned bus system instead of random licence approval. Former mayor Annisul Huq took the initiative.There was a decision to run all the buses under six companies on six different routes. The colours of the buses were supposed to be different too. The existing bus-owners were to be included in the companies. The owners were to receive the profit according to investment.There would be no competition among the drivers if this was followed. This initiative came to a halt after Annisul died in 2017. Sayeed Khokon, mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation was given the responsibility to move on the process in 2018. Nothing more than three meetings were held over the issue after this.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrinlast_img read more