x

Sciences

Cyprus Aims for Mars with X-Ray Rock Dating Instrument

October 21, 2021

NICOSIA — Tiny Cyprus aims to join the global space exploration drive by developing a compact, X-Ray instrument capable of dating Martian soil and rock samples relatively accurately to potentially reveal more about the Red Planet’s geological history and offer a glimpse of Earth’s own future.

George Danos, President of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organization, told reporters on Thursday that the 1.5 million euro ($1.75 million) European Union funded project is a first for Cyprus and aims to be completed over the next 18 months.

Danos said the CSEO will look for partners including NASA and the European Space Agency that would take the instrument aboard a Mars-bound spacecraft for more accurate, on-the-ground soil and rock dating on the Martian surface.

A group of prominent scientists have joined the project. They include Marcello Coradini, former head of the European Space Agency’s Solar System Exploration division, Enrico Flamini, ex-chief scientist at Italy’s Space Agency ASI, and planetary geologist Lucia Marinangeli.

The scientists chose Cyprus to develop the instrument because it can be tested on pockets of the east Mediterranean island nation’s volcanic rock and soil that are similar to those found on Mars. Danos said scientists identified at least two areas where Cypriot rock and soil sediments weathered by water and wind erosion bear similarities to the Martian surface.

The instrument, called “In Time,” works by emitting X-Rays on tiny soil and rock samples that give off a luminescence whose intensity enables scientists to determine their age.

Danos said any astronaut trips to Mars must be preceded by careful study of the planet to understand its potential to possibly host human habitation.

Coradini said the experimentation would help scientists to also understand the geological evolution of Mars, which is considered a sister planet to Earth. Understanding the catastrophes that preceded Mars’ transition from a wet to a dry planet could offer clues about where the Earth’s own geological future is headed, Coradini said.

RELATED

NICOSIA - The Coronavirus is still among us – infecting, hospitalizing and killing – but it has backed off enough for tourists to keep pouring into Cyprus without health measures as a deterrence and they've come back big time.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

The holiday season is swiftly upon us: gingerbread houses, eggnog, and festive parties with our nearest and dearest.

PERTH AMBOY — People are asking questions about a storm protection proposal for New York and New Jersey that would be among the most massive and costly flood control projects ever done in America.

NEW YORK. A delegation of the Diaspora Sector of Greece’s ruling New Democracy party visited New York City December 1-4.

WASHINGTON — The House gave final approval Thursday to legislation protecting same-sex marriages, a monumental step in a decadeslong battle for nationwide recognition of such unions that reflects a stunning turnaround in societal attitudes.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.