Water flows across the ancient surface of Mars from time to time, NASA scientists stated. This news is a potential breakthrough in both the search for life beyond Earth and human hopes to one day travel there.
Researchers have known that water exists in ice form on Mars, but it's never been confirmed if water can remain in a liquid state. The Mars Curiosity Rover has detected methane on the surface of Mars, as well as other chemicals suggesting the possibility of past or present life.
Flowing liquid water forms the strange, dark streaks that have been observed on Mars. These streaks were first observed by the MRO spacecraft in 2010.
The lines are blackish and narrow at less than 16 feet across. During the warmer seasons, the streaks grow thicker and longer; they then fade and shrink at times when Mars is colder. The average temperature on Mars is a frigid -80 degrees Fahrenheit, but on a summer day near the equator, the temperature can reach up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
EarthTron has supplied FPGA for many space-related missions.
FPGA parts that have been used in space missions:
- A telescope called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), processes the signals received across a large array of radio antennas using a technique called interferometry. CHIME has no moving parts, so it may be thought of as a digital telescope. A Xilinx Kintex-7 XC7K420T FPGA is a key component.
- Xilinx FPGAs were used in the SpaceCube: a compact, reconfigurable, multiprocessor computing platform used in the Space Shuttle Atlantis when it went to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
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