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Lockheed And Surrey Satellite To Help Mars One Project – On Science

December 12, 2013

Who is lending a hand to the Mars One project?

And in this corner we have the contender from NASA…

Facebook’s giving us at look at the past year…

And colors can be deceiving. Coming up today…On Science.

Hello and welcome to On Science. I’m Emerald Robinson.

What will come before the pioneering colonists to Mars? A Mars lander. The US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has signed on to help the Mars One project get one step closer to Mars. The company will build an unmanned Mars lander to produce a “mission concept study” before the $6 million manned mission to colonize the Red Planet. Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology will also be joining the effort, building an orbiter to hover above Lockheed’s lander to relay data and images back to Earth. This duo of electronic pioneers plans to reach Mars in 2018, seven years before the expected arrival of human settlers. However, Mars One is quite a ways from their monetary goals having only raised $183,870 of the $6 billion needed. Well, maybe their planned reality show around the project will do as well as the Kardashians and then money won’t be a problem.

And robotics is no problem for NASA. The U.S. space agency just unveiled their entry into DARPA’s Robotics Challenge in Homestead, FL. Introducing Valkyrie. Coming in at 6’2” and 280, Valkyrie is reminiscent of Ironman. The superhero robot boasts detachable arms, sonar sensors, mounted cameras, and for a little flash, a glowing circle in the middle of its chest. The designer said it best, “Valkyrie is designed to impress.” Well-done, because he is impressive. DARPA also unveiled its own humanoid robot named Atlas. Wait, isn’t that a conflict of interest, if you’re the one holding the competition?

And if you’re telling your little superhero to drink milk to grow big and strong—make sure you keep it organic. A new study from Washington State University revealed that organic milk contains a much higher amount of heart-healthy fats than regular milk from cows on a conventional farm. Conventional milk contains double the amount of omega-6 fatty acids to organic milk. And while we need some omega-6 to a certain extent, too much can be a bad thing and increases the likelihood of developing diseases. Organic milk has a better omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio, which is much healthier. Researchers recommend switching from three daily servings of conventional dairy products to 4.5 servings of full-fat organic dairy products to achieve a better fatty acid ratio in your diet. Organic milk does a body good.

It’s that time of the year when we begin reflecting on the past year and start looking forward to the one ahead. Well, Facebook’s helping us out with that. You might have noticed the “Year in Review” icon right below your profile pic if you’ve logged on this week. The company has put together a collage of sorts of your top 10 categories of the year which included relationship status, travels, moves, making new friends, adding family, ending a relationship and so on. In light of the last, not so happy category, Facebook recently said it might add a “Sympathize” button for when “Like” isn’t appropriate. I “like” that idea! The 2013 Year in Review also includes a look at worldwide trends and includes the top 10 most talked about topics in 16 different countries. Remember when we used to have to rely on the Worldbook’s Year in Review that came out months later. Talk about reflecting on the past!

Have you seen the paint commercials where the chameleons step on the paint cans to change color to choose their look for the season? Love it! Chameleons not only change color to protect themselves but also when they interact with other chameleons. Researchers at Arizona State University now know that these color changes convey different types of information for social interactions. For example, male chameleons become brighter when they’re challenging one another for a female’s attention. They get brighter stripes when they’re ready to approach their opponent, and the one whose head turns the brighter color is more likely to win the fight. That makes it easy to know who to bet on! Researchers say very rarely does the confrontation result in a fight because the less bright male usually retreats.

And that’s it for On Science.



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