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Esa Polymath 22 ((BETTER)) Crack

Titan has been one of Cassini's priorities during this last act. This strange moon, which is slightly larger than Mercury, shares a particularly special relationship with the orbiter. Hidden under a veil of atmospheric haze, Titan has been the source of intense curiosity since its discovery by the Dutch polymath Christiaan Huygens in 1655. Voyager 1 imaged Titan up close in 1980, and determined the composition, temperature, and density of its atmosphere, which sparked theories that liquid hydrocarbons might be under the moon's cloudy skies. ESA and NASA were inspired to partner Cassini with a lander to expose the tantalizing landscape on the surface.

Esa Polymath 22 Crack

Titan is not the only Saturnian moon that has divulged its secrets to Cassini. Enceladus, a walnut-shaped oddball measuring only 500 kilometers (310 miles) in diameter, was also thrown into sharp focus. Several close Cassini flybys revealed that the moon was spewing the contents of a subsurface liquid ocean from icy surface cracks, literally spilling its guts out to the solar system.

With few exceptions, a lot of our materials are not resilient in a temporal sense. When neglected and exposed to the elements, steel-reinforced concrete cracks as the steel inside rusts and expands. While there is a lot of research into softer materials (like plastics) that can self-repair, there seems like a comparative lack in the space of harder substances like metals or ceramics. One company is making microbes that can be stored as spores within cement. When the spores become exposed, they can use calcium deposits to repair the crack. Such advances would not only reduce the cost of infrastructure maintenance, but would also make space colonization much easier. Living on Mars would be much more straightforward if repairs from pressure leaks or micrometeorite strikes were automatic.


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