JPL Mission Control cheering with success at Perseverance's landing

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars (CBC)

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

The United States, the only country to safely put a spacecraft on Mars, saw its ninth successful landing on the planet, which has proven to be the Bermuda Triangle of space exploration.

Since 1960, more than half of the world’s 45 missions there burned up, crashed or otherwise ended in failure, according to information from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“You’re sending something toward a moving target where both the rover and Mars are moving in different directions, and you’re trying to land inside, basically doing a hole in one,” said Tanya Harrison, director of science strategy with Earth-imaging company Planet Labs.

Read more: NASA’s Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars by Stephanie Dubois

Future Astronauts Could Phone Home with Lasers (Scientific American)

From Scientific American:

Harrison is mapping Mars by satellite and has been frustrated with the limitations of radio transmissions. Radio data currently travel from Mars to Earth with all the speed and fidelity of an early-1990s modem. A satellite orbiting the Red Planet, Harrison says, “can take an order of magnitude more data than it’s able to actually send back. Basically we could be doing a lot more science if we had optical communications.”

Read more: Scientific American: Future Astronauts Could Phone Home with Lasers by Joanna Thompson

(Also available in the March 2021 print edition, available at your local store where magazines are available!)

2020 Was a Great Year for Things Trying to Leave this Planet. (Medium)

While things were pretty rough here on Earth in 2020, it was an amazing year for space exploration. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and remind ourselves of some of the truly awesome things humans are capable of…

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Call Me Doctor (Medium)

This week, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Joseph Epstein that the institution with which he is (or now perhaps “was”) honorarily affiliated, Northwestern University, themselves called “misogynistic.” I’m not even going to link to the piece here because it doesn’t deserve the internet traffic, but Google it if you wish to read more. Epstein opens with…

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Friends of Europe Peace, Security and Defence Summit: Space: The Next Frontier? Preserving the Global Commons at a Time of Increased Rivalry

Fifty-eight countries currently have spaced-based assets which greatly contribute to vital functions of the global economy and high-tech societies. However, space is becoming ever more congested and contested as increasing numbers of states and private companies launch space-based enterprises and satellites.

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Dr. Tanya Harrison is available as a speaker for conferences and other events.

Dr. Tanya Harrison is available as a speaker for conferences and other events.

Space Symposium 365: New Generation Space Leaders Panel: Diversity and Inclusion In the Space Sector: It’s Not Rocket Science

A discussion on issues facing underrepresented groups in the space sector, and initiatives underway to increase diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the field.

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Dr. Tanya Harrison is available as a speaker for conferences and other events.

ASCEND Conference: Creating Space for Everyone

The SENSORIA Program is a new endeavor that opens up the space sector to a more diverse cohort of potential stakeholders. Its inaugural mission, SENSORIA M1, was the first all-female mission at HI-SEAS, and the program is running its second (M2) and third (M3) missions of 2020 in November and December, respectively. The crew of SENSORIA M1 present their thoughts on the future of crewed space exploration and share highlights of the research completed they completed on their mission, from a novel crew cohesion training program, to following the evolution of microflora between the habitat and crew, to field testing equipment, developing gestural languages for use on extravehicular activity, and even considering how to ritualize death when repatriation is not an option.

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Dr. Tanya Harrison is available as a speaker for conferences and other events.