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China's Chang'e 5 is bringing back the first moon rocks in 44 years

New Scientist

Chang'e 5 is on the last leg of its mission on the moon. After a visit to the lunar surface lasting less than 48 hours, it is back in orbit around the moon and ready to bring its samples home so that scientists on Earth can analyse them. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, re-entry capsule, a lander and ascent stage, and launched on 23 November aboard a Long March 5 rocket. It landed on the moon on 1 December. It is China's first sample return mission, making the nation only the third – after the US and the Soviet Union – to bring back rocks and dust from the moon.


China has launched its most advanced mission to the moon yet

New Scientist

China launched its Chang'e 5 spacecraft on 23 November, in the first mission designed to bring moon rocks back to Earth in more than four decades. The uncrewed Chang'e 5 probe will attempt to collect at least 2 kilograms of lunar dust and debris from the northern region of the Oceanus Procellarum, a previously unvisited area on the near side of the moon. If successful, the Chang'e 5 return mission will make China only the third country, after the US and the Soviet Union, to have retrieved samples from the moon. The last sample return mission was carried out in 1976 by the Soviet Union's Luna 24 robotic probe, which brought back around 170 grams to Earth. The Chang'e 5 launch happened early on Tuesday morning, Beijing time, from a Long March 5 rocket at a site in Wenchang on Hainan Island in the South China Sea.


NASA taps AI to identify "fresh craters" on Mars

#artificialintelligence

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera captured this impact crater on Mars. On July 15, 1965, the Mariner 4 spacecraft snapped a series of photographs of Mars during its flyby of the Red Planet. These were the first "close-up" images taken of another planet from outer space, according to NASA. One of these first grainy photographs depicted a massive crater nearly 100 miles in diameter. Now, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is tapping artificial intelligence (AI) to help with its cosmic cartography efforts, using these technologies to identify "fresh craters" on Mars.


Artificial intelligence helps classify new craters on Mars – IAM Network

#artificialintelligence

An innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed by NASA has helped identify a cluster of craters on Mars that formed within the last decade.The new machine-learning algorithm, an automated fresh impact crater classifier, was created by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California -- and represents the first time artificial intelligence has been used to identify previously unknown craters on the Red Planet, according to a statement from NASA. Scientists have fed the algorithm more than 112,000 images taken by the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The program is designed to scan the photos for changes to Martian surface features that are indicative of new craters. In the case of the algorithm's first batch of finds, scientists think these craters formed from a meteor impact between March 2010 and May 2012. Related: Latest photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter"AI can't do the kind of skilled analysis a scientist can," Kiri Wagstaff, JPL computer scientist, said in the statement.


Artificial intelligence helps classify new craters on Mars

#artificialintelligence

An innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed by NASA has helped identify a cluster of craters on Mars that formed within the last decade. The new machine-learning algorithm, an automated fresh impact crater classifier, was created by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California -- and represents the first time artificial intelligence has been used to identify previously unknown craters on the Red Planet, according to a statement from NASA. Scientists have fed the algorithm more than 112,000 images taken by the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The program is designed to scan the photos for changes to Martian surface features that are indicative of new craters. In the case of the algorithm's first batch of finds, scientists think these craters formed from a meteor impact between March 2010 and May 2012.


NASA's OSIRIS-REx Is About to Touch an Asteroid

WIRED

For nearly two years, a small spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx has been orbiting an asteroid more than 100 million miles away, patiently biding its time by studying the rock's surface. Scientists believe that this asteroid, Bennu, is a piece of a much larger one that formed just a few million years after Earth. It's a perfectly preserved cosmic time capsule that could reveal the secrets of the ancient history of our solar system. Tomorrow, OSIRIS-REx will make a daring plunge to Bennu's surface and use a robotic arm to vacuum up some of its space dust, which it'll bring back to Earth. The encounter will last for just a few seconds, but it is a technological feat that has been more than a decade in the making.


NASA Unveils a Cluster of Mars Craters Discovered by AI

#artificialintelligence

A team of planetary scientists and AI researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California tapped artificial intelligence to identify fresh craters on Mars. The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted the craters. AI technology first discovered the craters in images taken the orbiter's Context Camera, then scientists followed up with the HiRISE image to confirm the craters. The accomplishment offers hope for both saving times and accelerating the volume of findings, as noted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. According to the laboratory, scientists typically spend hours each day studying images captured by NASA's MRO, looking for changing surface phenomena like dust devils, avalanches, and shifting dunes.


Scientists use AI to find tiny craters on Mars

#artificialintelligence

The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image of a crater cluster on Mars, the first ever to be discovered by artificial intelligence (AI). NASA said, "These craters were created by several pieces of a single meteor. The largest of the craters is about 13 feet (4 meters) wide. In total, the craters span about 100 feet (30 meters) of the red planet's surface. The craters were found in a region called Noctis Fossae, located at latitude -3.213, longitude 259.415."


AI Is Helping Scientists Discover Fresh Craters on Mars

#artificialintelligence

Sometime between March 2010 and May 2012, a meteor streaked across the Martian sky and broke into pieces, slamming into the planet's surface. The resulting craters were relatively small - just 13 feet (4 meters) in diameter. The smaller the features, the more difficult they are to spot using Mars orbiters. But in this case - and for the first time - scientists spotted them with a little extra help: artificial intelligence (AI). It's a milestone for planetary scientists and AI researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, who worked together to develop the machine-learning tool that helped make the discovery.


NASA shares stunning photos of Mars captured by its Reconnaissance Orbiter

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A spectacular shot of a Martian avalanche, an image of a dust devil and a long-distance portrait of planet Earth are among a selection of photos shared by NASA to mark 15 years of the agencies Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images were all taken of the Red Planet and its surroundings from space using equipment onboard the orbiter - which is the oldest spacecraft currently active around Mars. Since leaving Earth 15 years ago, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has reshaped our understanding of the Red Planet including discovering information on dust storms, temperatures and subsurface minerals. However, while the scientific discoveries have been remarkable, the orbiter has become best know for its stunning images showing remarkable features on the surface of the alien world. HiRISE captured avalanches in action. As seasonal ice vaporised in the spring, these 1,640-foot-tall (500-meter-tall) cliffs at Mars' north pole began to crumble As HiRISE pans over large swaths of Mars' surface, it occasionally discovers surprises like this towering dust devil, which was captured from 185 miles (297 kilometers) above the ground Among its instruments, MRO carries three cameras: A fisheye lens, one for 19-mile-wide black and white terrain shots and the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) which provides the most striking photos.