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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Mars Phoenix to Try Shake-and-Bake Once More

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

In a series of maneuvers that sounds more like cooking class than research on Mars, scientists said Monday they would try one more time to shake bits of the clumpy Martian soil into a test oven on NASA's Phoenix lander before switching to a backup strategy that called for dribbling the soil into the oven.

Scientists have failed in two attempts to inject soil from the Martian north pole into one of eight tiny ovens designed to test for organic compounds that would prove Mars' suitability for life.

The problem is, the opening to the oven is about the thickness of a pencil lead. The Martian soil is proving to be much clumpier -- cemented, in scientific terms -- than expected.

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VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones

CummingsDrones

The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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