NASA monitors two British explorers in Antarctica gathering information on survival on Mars – MercoPress
NASA monitors two British explorers in Antarctica gathering information on survival on Mars
US space agency NASA follows two British explorers on a 3,650 kilometer journey through Antarctica to learn more about humanity’s ability to survive on Mars. Explorers Justin Packshaw, 57, and Jamie Facer Childs, 37, trek 80 days through the southernmost continent as part of the Chasing the Light mission, a grueling expedition that may provide insight into the psychological and physical impact of other worlds. on the human body and mind.
According to an article published in LiveScience, the men brave freezing temperatures and katabatic winds up to the recorded maximum of 320 km / h as they cross the continent – first as they complete the 2,159 stretch. km from the port of Novolazarevskaya to the geographic South Pole, and later as they travel the remaining 1,490 km after Hercules Inlet to the Union Glacier camp.
?? Much like the extreme conditions encountered on the planets of our solar system, Antarctica has a [harsh] environment that is useful for a range of human and biological research, ?? according to the Chasing the Light mission website. Justin and Jamie’s mission will allow scientists to observe a rare scientific history of human adaptability, which will ultimately contribute to … human-centered space exploration.
NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Stanford University collect data from wearable smart devices as men walk and ski south. Apart from the kites which take advantage of the favorable winds to train them, the men make the trip without any mechanical assistance. They also tow two 200-kilogram sleds that carry not only their food and gear, but also blood, saliva, urine and excrement samples collected throughout the trek.
NASA is also testing the ability of explorers to visually estimate distance, which can often be unreliable when humans are placed in an alien environment. A famous example comes from the Apollo 14 mission of 1971. While crossing the moon collecting rock samples, astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell set their sights on visiting a distant crater, but decided to do a half-day job. turn after estimating that it was over a kilometer and a half. In fact, both were only 15.24 meters from the edge of the crater.
The men were also tasked with obtaining key environmental data, including ice levels, radiation and wind speed. As the satellites do not orbit directly over the South Pole, the measurements the two take will fill a “satellite data gap”. and could provide important information on climate change, according to the Chasing the Light mission.