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NASA releases amazing video and audio from Mars



Mars Perseverance panorama
A portion of a panorama from NASA’s Perseverance rover reveals its environment in Mars’ Jezero Crater. The close-range perspective is considerably skewed because of the panorama impact. (NASA / JPL-Caltech)

For the primary time ever, NASA has captured video of a rover touchdown on the floor of Mars, plus audio of the wind whistling previous it after the touchdown — and Amazon Net Companies is enjoying a key position in making all these gigabytes of goodness obtainable to the world.

The celebs of the present are NASA’s Perseverance rover and the tons of of scientists and engineers supporting the mission to Mars at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and different establishments all over the world. However the truth that thousands of images are being pumped out via NASA’s website with just a few hiccups is arguably a testomony to AWS’ efficiency.

“AWS is proud to assist NASA JPL’s Perseverance mission,” Teresa Carlson, Amazon Net Companies’ vp of worldwide public sector and industries, said today in a blog post. “From the outset, AWS cloud providers have enabled NASA JPL in its mission to seize and share mission-critical photos, and assist to reply key questions in regards to the potential for all times on Mars.”

Greater than 23,000 photos, amounting to 30 gigabytes of knowledge, have been gathered in the course of the closing minutes of Perseverance’s journey to Jezero Crater on Mars, stated Dave Gruel, digicam suite lead for entry, descent and touchdown at JPL.

A few cameras appeared up from the spacecraft’s again shell to doc the deployment of the parachute. One other digicam appeared down from the “Sky Crane” descent stage to look at the rover’s landing. In the meantime, cameras on the rover appeared up on the Sky Crane and appeared down and out to survey its environment.

All these views have been put collectively in a three-minute video that documented the milestones of the descent, from the time the parachute popped open to the rover’s dusty landing. On the finish, video from the rover reveals the descent stage flying away to its protected disposal, powered by a set of thrusters constructed by Aerojet Rocketdyne in Redmond, Wash.

“It provides me goosebumps each time I see it,” Gruel stated at immediately’s information briefing, carried out beneath COVID-19 circumstances at JPL in Pasadena, Calif. “I hope all people saved their fingers and arms contained in the automobile always whereas it was in movement.”

That’s not all: A modified off-the-shelf microphone was hooked as much as the rover, with the intention of recording the sounds of the air whistling previous in the course of the descent.

No sounds have been recorded because the rover dropped, however as soon as Perseverance had settled on its touchdown spot, the microphone captured the rumble of Martian wind gusts.

Gruel stated the traits of the sounds recommend that the gusts have been blowing at about 11 mph (5 meters per second).

Because the mission proceeds, the microphone might seize the crunch of rocks beneath the rover’s wheels as they roll, deputy venture supervisor Matt Wallace stated.

Each the video and the audio broke new floor for NASA: Though there’s been descent imagery from previous area odysseys, together with the Apollo moon missions and the Mars Curiosity rover mission, this was the primary time a robotic video digicam clearly captured the second of landing on one other planet.

As for the audio recordings, Soviet landers recorded sounds on the surface of Venus, the European House Company captured sound samples during the Huygens lander’s descent to the surface of Titan, and NASA’s Mars InSight lander documented wind vibrations using an air pressure sensor. However Perseverance is the primary to choose up the sounds of Martian winds immediately with a microphone.

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s affiliate administrator for area science, stated that is “the way it feels to make historical past.”

“The video of Perseverance’s descent and touchdown, and the superb panorama and the primary vast panorama shot of Jezero Crater seen with human eyes, and the primary Martian sounds are the closest you may get to touchdown on Mars with out placing on a strain swimsuit,” Zurbuchen stated.

Releasing the uncooked photos, video and the sounds ought to fireplace up the creativeness — not just for future area missions, however for artistic crowdsourcing right here on Earth.

“Please go check out these information and play with them, particularly these of you … which have signed up for our instructional marketing campaign,” Zurbuchen stated.  “What can you discover in these photos? And who’s going to compose the primary piece of music with precise Mars sound?” (Does this count?)

Throughout the first couple of days of the mission, there was a good quantity of grumbling in regards to the paucity of images launched by the Perseverance workforce. However the state of affairs modified dramatically immediately: The tally of raw images in NASA’s Perseverance gallery jumped from lower than 200 to greater than four,600 over the course of just some hours.

Amazon Net Companies stated NASA is utilizing its cloud computing platform to course of picture information from Mars, and to energy NASA’s Mars mission website. “The web site will be capable to scale as much as meet demand at any given time, with hundreds of thousands of holiday makers anticipated at peak occasions,” AWS stated.

Rover's instrument deck
The navigation cameras on NASA’s Perseverance rover captured this view of the rover’s deck on Feb. 20. This view supplies a great have a look at the PIXL instrument on the rover’s stowed robotic arm. (NASA / JPL-Caltech)

The plutonium-powered Perseverance probe is simply 4 days right into a mission that’s anticipated to final at the very least two Earth years, and most certainly for much longer. The $2.7 billion mission’s major aim is to determine and retailer up samples that would maintain proof of previous life on Mars. NASA plans to carry such samples again to Earth in a couple of decade for detailed lab examine.

Leaders of Perseverance’s science workforce say they’re already seeing intriguing geological options to dig into, together with an assortment of “holey” rocks that could possibly be volcanic in origin.

“If they’re volcanic rocks, that’s enormously essential to us, as a result of it doubtlessly supplies a chance to get a very nice radiometric age, or an absolute date, if a pattern like that comes again to Earth,” deputy venture scientist Ken Williford stated.

For an extended-play model of this report, together with further photos from the Perseverance rover and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, take a look at Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log.

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ET Deals: $620 Off Dell Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti Gaming Desktop, Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch for $99



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Dell designed this contemporary laptop computer with one in every of Intel’s new Core i7-1165G7 processors and a quick 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD. The pocket book additionally options an LED-backlit keyboard, which makes the system look cool in addition to being helpful whereas typing at the hours of darkness. The system additionally makes use of Intel’s new Iris Xe graphics processor, which is twice as quick as the corporate’s older iGPU expertise and may run some fashionable video games with low settings. Should you’ve been on the lookout for a pc for work or to your youngster to do on-line lessons, this technique ought to work nicely for you. At the moment, you will get this technique from Dell marked down from $879.99 to $699.99 with promo code 50OFF699.

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Human genome sequencing rises to the next level



Genome and globe
The brand new reference dataset contains 64 assembled genomes representing 25 completely different human populations from across the globe. (Getty Photographs through Univ. of Washington)

Twenty years after the primary human genome sequence was printed, a world analysis workforce has kicked the sequencing sport to the following degree with a set of 64 reference genomes that mirror a lot larger decision and extra genetic range.

Because the Human Genome Challenge accomplished the primary draft of its reference genome, decoding the human genetic code has been remodeled from a multibillion-dollar endeavor right into a relatively inexpensive commercial service. Nevertheless, business whole-genome sequencing, or WGS, usually misses out on essential variations that may make all of the distinction on the subject of a person’s well being.

“As a metric, 75% of structural variants which are current in that individual’s genome are missed by WGS, however are captured by our long-read phased genome meeting,” College of Washington genome scientist Evan Eichler advised GeekWire in an e mail. “Such variants are about 3 times extra prone to trigger illness.”

Eichler, who was a member of the unique Human Genome Challenge, is likely one of the senior authors of a examine laying out the brand new set of reference genomes, published today by the journal Science.

“Every of those particular person genomes is being resolved extra utterly, for a fraction of the value of the primary human genome,” he mentioned in a information launch. “We’re discovering exceptional variations in genomic group which have been missed till now.”

The Human Genome Project’s sequence — and another sequence that was published independently on the similar time by a special group of researchers — had been really composites, produced by splicing collectively the genetic code from a number of people.

In distinction, the 64 newly printed genomes doc the exactly paired units of maternal and paternal gene teams, or haplotypes, as mirrored in genetic samples taken from 32 people. The people symbolize 25 completely different human populations from throughout the globe. Ten of the 32 samples got here from individuals reporting African ancestry, who’re sometimes underrepresented in genetic surveys.

“With these reference knowledge, particular person variations by way of numerous varieties of genetic variants can now be studied with unprecedented accuracy,” mentioned examine lead creator Peter Ebert, a researcher on the Institute of Medical Biometry and Bioinformatics at Heinrich Heine College in Germany.

Eichler advised GeekWire that the improved understanding of the human genome “permits us to determine new hotspots of genetic instability that might be necessary for predicting the place and why illness happens — particularly uncommon variants.”

“Along with inflicting illness, structural variants usually tend to disrupt a gene operate,” Eichler defined.

Human genome diversity
Thirty-two various samples yielded a brand new set of reference genomes . (UW Graphic / David Porubsky)

Researchers appeared for examples the place specific varieties of structural variants — for instance, the insertion of tons of of “letters” of genetic code — had been extra seemingly than different variants to have an effect on gene expression. “This isn’t at all times a nasty factor, and typically such adjustments are useful,” Eichler mentioned. “Variants which are excessive in a single human inhabitants versus one other are good candidates.”

The sequencing effort resolved greater than 100,000 structural variants, most of which had been beforehand unknown.

Eichler mentioned the analytical methods used for the brand new reference genomes are prone to be a “sport changer” for future genetic discoveries.

“It received’t occur tomorrow, however that is the best way all human genomes might be sequenced clinically sooner or later,” he mentioned within the information launch. “Sometime every individual could have their particular person human genome undertaking to name their very own, and having that info will enhance their well being.”

Along with Ebert, the lead authors of the Science paper, titled “Haplotype-Resolved Diverse Human Genomes and Integrated Analysis of Structural Variation,” embrace Peter Audano of the College of Washington, Qihui Zhu of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Drugs and Bernardo-Rodriguez Martin of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. Along with Eichler, the examine’s senior and corresponding authors embrace Tobias Marschall of Heinrich Heine College, Jan Korbel of EMBL and Charles Lee of the Jackson Laboratory. In all, 65 researchers are listed as authors.

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Android 12 and the big deal with little touches



Ahh — are you able to odor it? The scent of freshly baking Android software program may be very a lot within the air this week, as Android 12’s first official developer preview teases us with a tiny style of what is to come back.

Google launched the inaugural public model of Android 12 final week, and the web’s many software-sniffing sleuths have been laborious at work pokin’ round and clawing at its many crevices to uncover each final trace of the treats lurking inside.

Thus far, Android 12 would not seem like a lot — and for good cause: This newest Android model actually is a real developer preview, with largely simply technical modifications aimed toward, y’know, builders. It really makes an terrible lot of sense, even when Android previews prior to now have typically been a bit extra elaborate early on.

However do not despair. Regardless of the restricted variety of new front-facing options within the present model of the software program, the mix of tucked-away bits of code in its corners and prerelease leaks surrounding the preview provides us a fairly attention-grabbing image of a few of the flavors Android 12 would possibly find yourself serving.

It is creating a fairly uncommon state of affairs, too, because it’s forcing us to focus totally on these comparatively little touches — the kinds of small however important enhancements that usually get misplaced within the bigger-picture view of a brand new Android launch. And lemme inform ya: If every little thing we’re seeing now finally ends up making it into the ultimate Android 12 software program this fall, we may have some very useful new instruments at our fingertips.

This is one instance: Indicators counsel Android 12 will embrace a brand new smarter autorotate system — one thing that actually has me geeking out over the refined however important quality-of-life enchancment it may present. The system would apparently use your cellphone’s front-facing digicam to constantly detect which method your head is turned, relative to your cellphone, after which robotically modify your display screen’s rotation in the way in which that makes probably the most sense for any given second.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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