Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center in La Cañada Flintridge, United States, though it is referred to as residing in Pasadena, because it has a Pasadena ZIP Code. Founded in the 1930s, the JPL is owned by NASA and managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology for NASA; the laboratory's primary function is the construction and operation of planetary robotic spacecraft, though it conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is responsible for operating NASA's Deep Space Network. Among the laboratory's major active projects are the Mars Science Laboratory mission, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, the SMAP satellite for earth surface soil moisture monitoring, the Spitzer Space Telescope, it is responsible for managing the JPL Small-Body Database, provides physical data and lists of publications for all known small Solar System bodies. The JPL's Space Flight Operations Facility and Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator are designated National Historic Landmarks.
JPL traces its beginnings to 1936 in the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology when the first set of rocket experiments were carried out in the Arroyo Seco. Caltech graduate students Frank Malina, Qian Xuesen, Weld Arnold, Apollo M. O. Smith, along with Jack Parsons and Edward S. Forman, tested a small, alcohol-fueled motor to gather data for Malina's graduate thesis. Malina's thesis advisor was engineer/aerodynamicist Theodore von Kármán, who arranged for U. S. Army financial support for this "GALCIT Rocket Project" in 1939. In 1941, Parsons, Martin Summerfield, pilot Homer Bushey demonstrated the first jet-assisted takeoff rockets to the Army. In 1943, von Kármán, Malina and Forman established the Aerojet Corporation to manufacture JATO rockets; the project took on the name Jet Propulsion Laboratory in November 1943, formally becoming an Army facility operated under contract by the university. During JPL's Army years, the laboratory developed two deployed weapon systems, the MGM-5 Corporal and MGM-29 Sergeant intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
These missiles were the first US ballistic missiles developed at JPL. It developed a number of other weapons system prototypes, such as the Loki anti-aircraft missile system, the forerunner of the Aerobee sounding rocket. At various times, it carried out rocket testing at the White Sands Proving Ground, Edwards Air Force Base, Goldstone, California. In 1954, JPL teamed up with Wernher von Braun's engineers at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, to propose orbiting a satellite during the International Geophysical Year; the team lost that proposal to Project Vanguard, instead embarked on a classified project to demonstrate ablative re-entry technology using a Jupiter-C rocket. They carried out three successful sub-orbital flights in 1956 and 1957. Using a spare Juno I, the two organizations launched the United States' first satellite, Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958. JPL was transferred to NASA in December 1958, becoming the agency's primary planetary spacecraft center.
JPL engineers designed and operated Ranger and Surveyor missions to the Moon that prepared the way for Apollo. JPL led the way in interplanetary exploration with the Mariner missions to Venus and Mercury. In 1998, JPL opened the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA; as of 2013, it has found 95% of asteroids that are a kilometer or more in diameter that cross Earth's orbit. JPL was early to employ female mathematicians. In the 1940s and 1950s, using mechanical calculators, women in an all-female computations group performed trajectory calculations. In 1961, JPL hired Dana Ulery as the first female engineer to work alongside male engineers as part of the Ranger and Mariner mission tracking teams. JPL has been recognized four times by the Space Foundation: with the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award, given annually to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness of space programs, in 1998; when it was founded, JPL's site was west of a rocky flood-plain – the Arroyo Seco riverbed – above the Devil's Gate dam in the northwestern panhandle of the city of Pasadena.
While the first few buildings were constructed in land bought from the city of Pasadena, subsequent buildings were constructed in neighboring unincorporated land that became part of La Cañada Flintridge. Nowadays, most of the 177 acres of the U. S. federal government-owned NASA property that makes up the JPL campus is located in La Cañada Flintridge. Despite this, JPL still uses a Pasadena address as its official mailing address; the city of La Cañada Flintridge was incorporated in 1976, well after JPL attained international recognition as a Pasadena institution. There has been occasional rivalry between the two cities over the issue of which one should be mentioned in the media as the home of the laboratory. There are 6,000 full-time Caltech employees, a few thousand additional contractors working on any given day. NASA has a resident office at the facility staffed by federal managers who oversee JPL's activities and work for NASA. There are some Caltech graduate students, college student interns and co-op students.
The JPL Education Office serves educators and students by providi
Iani Chaos is a region of chaos terrain at the south end of the outflow channel Ares Vallis, of the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle region of the planet Mars, centered at ~342°E, 2°S. This is the source region of Ares Vallis; the chaotic terrain is believed to have formed via the removal of subsurface water or ice, resulting in flooding at the surface, the formation of Ares Vallis. Within Iani Chaos, deposited stratigraphically above the chaotic terrain, are smooth, low-slope, intermediate-to-light-toned deposits that are rich in a hydrated mineral, most gypsum as well as hematite. Several sites in the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle have been proposed as areas to send NASA's next major Mars rover, the Mars Science Lab. Among the top 33 landing sites was Iani Chaos. A picture below shows a potential landing zone in Iani Chaos. Deposits of hematite and gypsum have been found there; those minerals are formed in connection with water. The aim of the Mars Science Laboratory is to search for signs of ancient life.
It is hoped that a mission could return samples from sites identified as containing remains of life. To safely bring the craft down, a 12-mile-wide, flat circle is needed. Geologists hope to examine places, they would like to examine sediment layers. Aram Chaos Ares Vallis Chaos terrain Geology of Mars List of areas of chaos terrain on Mars Mars Martian chaos terrain Outflow channels
Spirit known as MER-A or MER-2, is a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010. It was one of two rovers of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission, it landed on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin, which landed on the other side of the planet. Its name was chosen through a NASA-sponsored student essay competition; the rover became stuck in a "sand trap" in late 2009 at an angle that hampered recharging of its batteries. The rover completed its planned 90-sol mission. Aided by cleaning events that resulted in more energy from its solar panels, Spirit went on to function over twenty times longer than NASA planners expected. Spirit logged 7.73 km of driving instead of the planned 600 m, allowing more extensive geological analysis of Martian rocks and planetary surface features. Initial scientific results from the first phase of the mission were published in a special issue of the journal Science. On May 1, 2009, Spirit became stuck in soft soil; this was not the first of the mission's "embedding events" and for the following eight months NASA analyzed the situation, running Earth-based theoretical and practical simulations, programming the rover to make extrication drives in an attempt to free itself.
These efforts continued until January 26, 2010 when NASA officials announced that the rover was irrecoverably obstructed by its location in soft soil, though it continued to perform scientific research from its current location. The rover continued in a stationary science platform role until communication with Spirit stopped on March 22, 2010. JPL continued to attempt to regain contact until May 24, 2011, when NASA announced that efforts to communicate with the unresponsive rover had ended, calling the mission complete. A formal farewell took place at NASA headquarters shortly thereafter; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. The primary surface mission for Spirit was planned to last at least 90 sols; the mission lasted about 2,208 sols. On August 11, 2007, Spirit obtained the second longest operational duration on the surface of Mars for a lander or rover at 1282 Sols, one sol longer than the Viking 2 lander.
Viking 2 was powered by a nuclear cell. Until Opportunity overtook it on May 19, 2010, the Mars probe with longest operational period was Viking 1 that lasted for 2245 Sols on the surface of Mars. On March 22, 2010, Spirit sent its last communication, thus falling just over a month short of surpassing Viking 1's operational record. An archive of weekly updates on the rover's status can be found at the Spirit Update Archive. Spirit's total odometry as of March 22, 2010 is 7,730.50 meters. The scientific objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover mission were to: Search for and characterize a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity. In particular, samples sought will include those that have minerals deposited by water-related processes such as precipitation, sedimentary cementation or hydrothermal activity. Determine the distribution and composition of minerals and soils surrounding the landing sites. Determine what geologic processes have shaped the local terrain and influenced the chemistry.
Such processes could include water or wind erosion, hydrothermal mechanisms and cratering. Perform calibration and validation of surface observations made by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments; this will help determine the accuracy and effectiveness of various instruments that survey Martian geology from orbit. Search for iron-containing minerals and quantify relative amounts of specific mineral types that contain water or were formed in water, such as iron-bearing carbonates. Characterize the mineralogy and textures of rocks and soils and determine the processes that created them. Search for geological clues to the environmental conditions that existed when liquid water was present. Assess whether those environments were conducive to life. NASA sought evidence of life on Mars, beginning with the question of whether the Martian environment was suitable for life. Life forms known to science require water, so the history of water on Mars is a critical piece of knowledge. Although the Mars Exploration Rovers did not have the ability to detect life directly, they offered important information on the habitability of the environment during the planet's history.
Spirit are six-wheeled, solar-powered robots standing 1.5 meters high, 2.3 meters wide and 1.6 meters long and weighing 180 kilograms. Six wheels on a rocker-bogie system enable mobility over rough terrain; each wheel has its own motor. The vehicle is steered at front and rear and is designed to operate safely at tilts of up to 30 degrees. Maximum speed is 5 centimeters per second. Both Spirit and Opportunity have pieces of the fallen World Trade Center's metal on them that were "turned into shields to protect cables on the drilling mechanisms". Solar arrays generate about 140 watts for up to four hours per Martian day while rechargeable lithium ion batteries store energy for use at night. Spirit's onboard computer uses a 20 MHz RAD6000 CPU with 128 MB of DRAM, 3 MB o
Jake Matijevic (rock)
Jake Matijevic is a pyramidal rock on the surface of Aeolis Palus, between Peace Vallis and Aeolis Mons, in Gale crater on the planet Mars. The approximate site coordinates are: 4.59°S 137.44°E / -4.59. The rock was encountered by the Curiosity rover on the way from Bradbury Landing to Glenelg Intrique in September 2012 and measures about 25 cm height and 40 cm width; the rock was named by NASA after Jacob Matijevic, a mathematician-turned-rover-engineer, who played a critical role in the design of the six-wheeled rover, but died just days after the Curiosity rover landed in August 2012. Matijevic was the surface operations systems chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the project's Curiosity rover, he was a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers including Sojourner and Opportunity. The rover team determined the rock to be a suitable target for the first use of Curiosity's contact instruments, the Mars Hand Lens Imager and the Alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.
Analytical studies, performed on the rock by the Curiosity rover in October 2012, suggest the Jake M rock is an igneous rock but found to be high in elements consistent with feldspar, such as sodium and potassium, lower concentrations of magnesium and nickel than other such rocks found on Mars. The mineral content and elemental abundance indicates Jake M rock may be a mugearite, a sodium rich oligoclase-bearing basaltic trachyandesite. Igneous rocks similar to the Jake M rock are well known but occur on Earth. On Earth, such rocks form when magma found in volcanoes, rises to the surface and solidifies with certain chemical elements, while the warmer liquid magma portion becomes enriched with the left-behind elements. By remarkable coincidence, the Martian locality Glenelg is the name of a small settlement in north-west Scotland, 25 km east of type locality for mugearite at Mugeary on the island of Skye; the Jake M rock is a ventifact with a volcanic fabric. Its pyramidal shape was formed by eolian drifted grains of sand.
The little cavities on its surface were formed by the blast-effect, caused by different flow dynamics at the micro-relief. On the surface one could see the marks of the main wind direction. On September 27, 2013, NASA scientists reported that Jake M rock was a mugearite and similar to terrestrial mugearite rocks. Mars Rock Touched by NASA Curiosity has Surprises, a NASA press release about the rock's composition Curiosity rover - Official Site Volcanic rock classification Roca Jake Matijevic
Irving Kaplansky was a mathematician, college professor and musician. Kaplansky or "Kap" as his friends and colleagues called him was born in Toronto, Canada, to Polish-Jewish immigrants, he went to Harbord Collegiate Institute receiving the Prince of Wales Scholarship as a teenager. He attended the University of Toronto as an undergraduate and finished first in his class for three consecutive years. In his senior year, he competed in the first William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, becoming one of the first five recipients of the Putnam Fellowship, which paid for graduate studies at Harvard University. Administered by the Mathematical Association of America, the competition is considered to be the most difficult mathematics examination in the world and "its difficulty is such that the median score is zero or one despite being attempted by students specializing in mathematics." There have been 150,000 participants since 1938 with only four recorded perfect scores. Kaplansky only got one question wrong ranking his performance amongst the highest recorded.
After receiving his Ph. D. from Harvard in 1941 as Saunders Mac Lane's first student, he remained at Harvard as a Benjamin Peirce Instructor, in 1944 moved with Mac Lane to Columbia University for one year to collaborate on work surrounding World War II working on "miscellaneous studies in mathematics applied to warfare analysis with emphasis upon aerial gunnery, studies of fire control equipment, rocketry and toss bombing" with the Applied Mathematics Panel. He was professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago from 1945 to 1984, Chair of the department from 1962 to 1967. In 1968, Kaplansky was presented an honorary doctoral degree from Queen’s University with the university noting “we honour as a Canadian whose clarity of lectures, elegance of writing, profundity of research have won him widespread acclaim as the greatest mathematician this country has so far produced.” From 1967 to 1969, Kaplansky wrote the mathematics section of Encyclopædia Britannica. Kaplansky was the Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute from 1984 to 1992, the President of the American Mathematical Society from 1985 to 1986.
Kaplansky was an accomplished amateur musician. He had perfect pitch, studied piano until the age of 15, earned money in high school as a dance band musician, taught Tom Lehrer, played in Harvard's jazz band in graduate school, he had a regular program on Harvard's student radio station. After moving to the University of Chicago, he stopped playing for two decades, but returned to music as an accompanist for student-run Gilbert and Sullivan productions and as a calliope player in football game parades, he composed music based on mathematical themes. One of those compositions, A Song About Pi, is a melody based on assigning notes to the first 14 decimal places of pi, has been performed by his daughter, singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky. Kaplansky made major contributions to group theory, ring theory, the theory of operator algebras and field theory and created the Kaplansky density theorem, Kaplansky's game and Kaplansky conjecture, he published over 20 mathematical books. Kaplansky was the doctoral supervisor of 55 students including notable mathematicians Hyman Bass, Susanna S. Epp, Günter Lumer, Eben Matlis, Donald Ornstein, Ed Posner, Alex F. T. W. Rosenberg, Judith D. Sally, Harold Widom.
He has over 900 academic descendants, including many through his academic grandchildren David J. Foulis and Carl Pearcy. Kaplansky was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, President of the American Mathematical Society, he was the plenary speaker at the British Mathematical Colloquium in 1966. Won the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Jeffery-Williams Prize, the Leroy P. Steele Prize. Kaplansky, Irving. Infinite Abelian groups. Revised edn. 1971 with several reprintings ——. An introduction to differential algebra. University of Chicago Press. 2nd edn. Paris: Hermann. 1957. ——. Introdução à teoria de Galois, por I. Kaplansky. Pref. de Elon Lages Lima. ——. Rings of operators. ——. Fields and rings. 2nd edn. 1972 ——. Linear algebra and geometry. Revised edn. 1974 ——. Algebraic and analytic aspects of operator algebras. ——. Lie Algebras and Locally Compact Groups.
University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-42453-7. Several reprintings ——. Set theory and metric spaces. 2nd edn. 1977 ——. Commutative Rings. Lectures in Mathematics. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-42454-5. 1st edn. 1966. Matters mathematical. 2nd edn. 1978 Kaplansky, Irving. Selected papers and other writings. Fun with Mathematics: Some Thoughts from Seven Decades, a video lecture of Kaplansky's advice on writing mathematical papers "Symbolic solution of certain problems in permutations". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 50: 906–914. 1944. Doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1944-08261-x. MR 0011393. "A note on groups without isomorphic subgroups". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 51: 529–530. 1945. Doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1945-08382-7. MR 0012267. With I. S. Cohen: "Rings with a finite number of primes. I". Trans. Amer. M
Climate of Mars
The climate of the planet Mars has been a topic of scientific curiosity for centuries, in part because it is the only terrestrial planet whose surface can be directly observed in detail from the Earth with help from a telescope. Although Mars is smaller than the Earth, at 11% of Earth's mass, 50% farther from the Sun than the Earth, its climate has important similarities, such as the presence of polar ice caps, seasonal changes and observable weather patterns, it has attracted sustained study from climatologists. While Mars's climate has similarities to Earth's, including periodic ice ages, there are important differences, such as much lower thermal inertia. Mars's atmosphere has a scale height of 11 km, 60% greater than that on Earth; the climate is of considerable relevance to the question of whether life is or was present on the planet. The climate received more interest in the news due to NASA measurements indicating increased sublimation of one near-polar region leading to some popular press speculation that Mars was undergoing a parallel bout of global warming, although Mars's average temperature has cooled in recent decades, the polar caps themselves are growing.
Mars has been studied by Earth-based instruments since the 17th century, but it is only since the exploration of Mars began in the mid-1960s that close-range observation has been possible. Flyby and orbital spacecraft have provided data from above, while landers and rovers have measured atmospheric conditions directly. Advanced Earth-orbital instruments today continue to provide some useful "big picture" observations of large weather phenomena; the first Martian flyby mission was Mariner 4, which arrived in 1965. That quick two-day pass with crude instruments contributed little to the state of knowledge of Martian climate. Mariner missions filled in some of the gaps in basic climate information. Data-based climate studies started in earnest with the Viking program landers in 1975 and continue with such probes as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; this observational work has been complemented by a type of scientific computer simulation called the Mars general circulation model. Several different iterations of MGCM have led to an increased understanding of Mars as well as the limits of such models.
Giacomo Maraldi determined in 1704 that the southern cap is not centered on the rotational pole of Mars. During the opposition of 1719, Maraldi observed both polar caps and temporal variability in their extent. William Herschel was the first to deduce the low density of the Martian atmosphere in his 1784 paper entitled On the remarkable appearances at the polar regions on the planet Mars, the inclination of its axis, the position of its poles, its spheroidal figure; when Mars appeared to pass close by two faint stars with no effect on their brightness, Herschel concluded that this meant that there was little atmosphere around Mars to interfere with their light. Honore Flaugergues's 1809 discovery of "yellow clouds" on the surface of Mars is the first known observation of Martian dust storms. Flaugergues observed in 1813 significant polar-ice waning during Martian springtime, his speculation that this meant that Mars was warmer than Earth proved inaccurate. There are two dating systems now in use for Martian geological time.
One is based on crater density and has three ages: Noachian and Amazonian. The other is a mineralogical timeline having three ages: Phyllocian and Siderikian. Martian Time Periods Recent observations and modeling are producing information not only about the present climate and atmospheric conditions on Mars but about its past; the Noachian-era Martian atmosphere had long been theorized to be carbon dioxide–rich. Recent spectral observations of deposits of clay minerals on Mars and modeling of clay mineral formation conditions have found that there is little to no carbonate present in clay of that era. Clay formation in a carbon dioxide–rich environment is always accompanied by carbonate formation, although the carbonate may be dissolved by volcanic acidity; the discovery of water-formed minerals on Mars including hematite and jarosite, by the Opportunity rover and goethite by the Spirit rover, has led to the conclusion that climatic conditions in the distant past allowed for free-flowing water on Mars.
The morphology of some crater impacts on Mars indicate that the ground was wet at the time of impact. Geomorphic observations of both landscape erosion rates and Martian valley networks strongly imply warmer, wetter conditions on Noachian-era Mars. However, chemical analysis of Martian meteorite samples suggests that the ambient near-surface temperature of Mars has most been below 0 °C for the last four billion years; some scientists maintain that the great mass of the Tharsis volcanoes has had a major influence on Mars's climate. Erupting volcanoes give off great amounts of gas water vapor and CO2. Enough gas may have been released by volcanoes to have made the earlier Martian atmosphere thicker than Earth's; the volcanoes could have emitted enough H2O to cover the whole Martian surface to a depth of 120 m. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that raises a planet's temperature: it traps heat by absorbing infrared radiation. Thus, Tharsis volcanoes, by giving off CO2, could have made Mars more Earth-like in the past.
Mars may have once had a much thicker and warmer atmosphere, oceans or lakes may have been present. It has, proven difficult to construct convincing global climate models for Mars which produce temperatures above 0 °