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The Spill: Mars Rover has MOXIE

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Ground Control to … MOXIE

Last year, NASA sent the rover Perseverance to Mars to explore and conduct experiments. One of those experiments is MOXIE, which is short for Mars Oxyverb In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. That’s a mouthful, and the cute nickname is a lot easier to remember and say. On Tuesday, MOXIE successfully turned carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen.

The Martian atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, whereas the Earth’s atmosphere only has a little carbon dioxide. Mars hardly has any oxygen though, which means could not breathe the atmosphere there.

MOXIE spent two hours of splitting carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen. It made enough oxygen for an astronaut to breathe for about ten minutes. Jim Reuter of NASA said that “results from this technology demonstration are full of promise as we move toward our goal of one-day seeing humans on Mars.”

Oxygen is also used in rocket fuel – which will be needed to put people on Mars. Around 15,000 pounds of rocket fuel is needed to launch four astronauts into space for the journey. They’ll need about 55,000 pounds of oxygen for the trip, too. Once there, far less oxygen will be needed, until it’s time to go home.

Michelangelo’s David By 3-D Printer?

Michelangelo’s sculpture of David is one of the most famous pieces of art in the world. It’s on display at the Galleria dell ’Accademia in Florence, Italy.

The artwork could soon have clones for display all around the world. A team of experts used a 3-D printer to recreate the 17-foot statue made in 1504. Art experts are saying it is the most accurate copy of the sculpture to date.

This latest version of David is made from acrylic resin. It weighs at least ten times less than the original sculpture and displays all the tiny surface details. Copies of David have been made in the past through plaster casting, but that method is not as detailed.

High-resolution cameras were used to capture every detail before scanning every inch of the statue to create a digital version. The scans were passed to the University of Florence and scientists at Hexagon Italia, a company that deals with cutting edge technology. Hexagon then created the new statue.

Not only does this statue beautifully show the heroic biblical figure of David, but it combines state-of-the-art technology with skilled craftsmanship. The 3-D David is now on its way to Dubai for a 182-day expo showcasing creativity and technology.

Derek Chauvin Conviction – Now What?

In May 2020 a man named George Floyd was killed by a police officer. The nation was shocked by the event. Almost a year later, former officer Derek Chauvin has faced trial. A jury found him guilty of murder over the death of Floyd.

Floyd was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit bill at a convenience store. Police officers tried to arrest him, but Floyd was not treated properly. The event was filmed on cell phone cameras and Minneapolis Police Department bodycams, causing America to witness the treatment of Floyd and his death.

Derek Chauvin

The case brought the issues of police brutality and racism to the front of people’s minds – as Floyd was black and Chauvin was a white officer. The event also led to hundreds of protests and riots across the country.

President Joe Biden praised the guilty verdict, saying, “for so many, it feels like it took all of that for the judicial system to deliver just basic accountability. This can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America.”

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