July 10, 2013
NASA Announces 2020 Mars Rover – The Daily Orbit
Curious about what happens after Curiosity?
Is a lunar park just plain looney?
A little choral heart communication.
And getting your zzzz’s for love on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
What comes after Curiosity? Another rover of course. NASA released its plans for a new rover mission to the Red Planet in 2020. The rover will look for signs of past life, collect samples to potentially return to Earth, and demonstrate technology for future human exploration on Mars. The rover will have the ability to look at Martian rocks microscopically for signs of the past, instead of what Curiosity is doing up there—grinding up samples and analyzing their makeup. Also, the new rover aims to bring samples back to Earth. These samples will help mission designers understand the hazards of a manned mission to Mars and plan accordingly. Right now all of this is just on paper—154 papers that is. But it will be fun to watch the words leap off the page and right to Mars in 2020.
And talk about a leap! Tired of family vacations to national parks—hiking and camping and singing kumbaya? Well, here’s a proposed national park that is out of this world! A couple of lawmakers are seeking to establish a national park on—get this—the moon! Are they lunar or just looney? Calling it the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, the national park status would preserve and protect artifacts remaining on the moon from the Apollo missions from being harmed during commercial or government missions to the moon—including the footprints of the astronauts. But the Act is questionable as it potentially conflicts with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty signed by 100 countries, which bars any claim of national sovereignty on lunar territory. What would they name it? I suggest Neil Armstrong National Park.
“And let the choir sing!” Love me some Madonna. But did you know that when the choir sings, not only do they sing in unison, but their hearts beat as one? Okay that sounds a little mushy but researchers in Sweden reported that when a choir performs well together their hearts beat in unison in time with the music, accelerating and decelerating with the tempo of the music. And the key is in the breath. Researchers found it’s the unified breath that keeps choral members’ heartbeats in rhythm with one another. They also said singing regulates activity in the vagus nerve which is involved in our emotional life and communication with others and which, for example affects our vocal timbre. Song can give us the same control over mental states as yoga practice. Researchers are looking at how song can be medically applicable. “With every beat of my heart…”
[ Off-camera “Shut up!” ] You can’t tell me what to do! [ off camera “I’m sorry ] I don’t care! Sorry, please excuse my boyfriend and me. A new study out of Baylor University says that your partner would rather gain a little more power in a relationship than an apology. Well, love is the ultimate power struggle. After surveying hundreds of married or co-habitating couples, researchers found the most common thing couples wanted from the other in a conflict is to be willing to relinquish power, i.e. giving more independence, admitting fault, showing respect or being willing to compromise. They say “we definitely respond to whether we gain or lose status.”
Maybe these conflicting couples need more sleep! New research says that sleepless nights can turn lovers into fighters. The study showed that sleepless nights led to more frequent and severe conflicts between partners and that partners who slept poorly reported feeling more negatively towards one another during the conflict discussion. Other studies have found that a good night’s sleep promotes positive lifestyle choices like healthy eating and exercise and helps relieve anxiety making you a better significant other.
Well that’s all for the Daily Orbit. Get your sleep and sing with your loved one!