The new pictures, acquired by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, give the lie to that notion, and hint at what really happened to the European mission. Beagle's design incorporated a series of deployable "petals," on which were mounted its solar panels. From the images, it seems that this system did not unfurl fully. "Without full deployment, there is no way we could have communicated with it as the radio frequency antenna was under the solar panels," explained Prof Mark Sims, Beagle's mission manager from Leicester University.
That’s why Small’s memory study used a highly concentrated powder prepared exclusively for research by Mars Inc., the chocolate company, which also partially funded the study. ... There are lots of foods that contain potentially healthy flavanols, along with other bioactive compounds in complex combinations. So the question is: Would academic scientists in publicly funded institutions be so interested in the cocoa bean if the chocolate industry wasn't supporting so much of the research?"
- Edward Snowden, for the impact his leaks (though they began in 2013) have continued to make? (Or William Binney, for similar reasons?)
- Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzay, who fought a difficult battle for children's right to an education?
- Telescope popularizer John Dobson, who died earlier this year at the age of 98, after bringing space a little more down to earth for many thousands of people?
- May-Britt Moser, her husband Edvard Moser, and John O'Keefe for their discoveries about how the brain navigates through the world?
- Eben Upton, whose little educational hardware project has bloomed into millions and millions of cheap, hackable Linux computers?
- How about Maryam Mirazkhani, the first woman to become a Fields medalist?
- Theo de Raadt, who stepped in with replacement project LibreSSL soon after cracks appeared in OpenSSL, and who's been helming the OpenBSD project since 1995?
- The ESA team that landed a probe on a comet, or the ISRO engineers who managed to send a probe to Mars on a shoestring budget?
- Anita Sarkeesian, for helping draw attention to undue harassment faced by women in the video game world?
- Someone relatively quiet or obscure who's nonetheless made the world better through some kind of interesting innovation or contribution?
Read on below to see how you can take part, and then nominate your favorite in the comments below.
"Life in space is so complicated that a lot of logistics have to be off-loaded to the ground if astronauts are to actually do anything substantive. Just building the schedule for the astronauts in orbit on the U.S. side of the station requires a full-time team of 50 staffers.
Almost anyone you talk with about the value of the Space Station eventually starts talking about Mars. When they do, it's clear that we don't yet have a very grown-up space program. The folks we send to space still don't have any real autonomy, because no one was imagining having to "practice" autonomy when the station was designed and built. On a trip to Mars, the distances are so great that a single voice or email exchange would involve a 30-minute round-trip. That one change, among the thousand others that going to Mars would require, would alter the whole dynamic of life in space. The astronauts would have to handle things themselves.
That could be the real value of the Space Station—to shift NASA's human exploration program from entirely Earth-controlled to more astronaut-directed, more autonomous. This is not a high priority now; it would be inconvenient, inefficient. But the station's value could be magnified greatly were NASA to develop a real ethic, and a real plan, for letting the people on the mission assume more responsibility for shaping and controlling it. If we have any greater ambitions for human exploration in space, that's as important as the technical challenges. Problems of fitness and food supply are solvable. The real question is what autonomy for space travelers would look like—and how Houston can best support it. Autonomy will not only shape the psychology and planning of the mission; it will shape the design of the spacecraft itself."
The defining feature of these missions is the vehicle that will be doing the atmospheric exploring: a helium-filled, solar-powered airship. The robotic version would be 31 meters long (about half the size of the Goodyear blimp), while the crewed version would be nearly 130 meters long, or twice the size of a Boeing 747. The top of the airship would be covered with more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels, with a gondola slung underneath for instruments and, in the crewed version, a small habitat and the ascent vehicle that the astronauts would use to return to Venus's orbit, and home."