Life In 360°: The Frontier Before The Final One

Apologies for the lack of a Life In 360° post this last Monday, unfortunately I wasn’t around beforehand to prepare one. So instead let’s get down to business with Wednesday’s selection and it’s another relatively new one involving the wonders of outer space – once again provided by the team at NASA. Or. more precisely in this instance the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

NASA Jet Propulsion LaboratoryHave you, for instance, ever considered just how much training astronauts have to go through to be able to do what they do? Not only the physical side and mental toughness they have to be skilled in electronics and trained for all manner of contingencies.  The hardware NASA sends up is also rigorously tested, not only must it do the job asked of it it must do so out in space which is -270.45° Celsius, a temperature so extreme that in the vacuum of space it would boil you to death. Confusing? Check this article out for the how’s and why’s of that. There’s also the matter of the hardware surviving orbits, or getting out of the atmosphere in the first place – or even landing on other planets.

The next goal for NASA is, of course, Mars. Along with other missions there are the long term ongoing ones such as those being undertaken by the two surviving Mars Exploration Rovers – Opportunity and Curiosity. The former only having been expected to last approximately 90 days and is now closing down on the landmark of 14 years of operation. Back on Earth however plans continue, there will be a new rover in 2020 and other plans for investigating Mars continue. To that end NASA have a number of test centres and other facilities and today we’re visiting one where they have been testing the InSight lander, which is set to launch in just over 50 days from now.

“Virtually explore a Mars simulation facility used by engineers to practice operating NASA’s InSight lander, slated to launch in May 2018. Hear from engineer Marleen Martinez Sundgaard as you explore the In-Situ Instrument Lab at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and see how the spacecraft will deploy its seismometer.”

VRFocus will be back with another example of Life In 360° very soon.