By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Scientists have no doubts that oceans and rivers once pooled on the surface of Mars, but what happened to all that water is a long-standing mystery. The prime suspect is the sun, which has been peeling away the planet's atmosphere, molecule by molecule, for billions of years. Exactly how that happens is the goal of NASA's new Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, or MAVEN, which is scheduled for launch at 1:28 p.m. EST/1828 GMT on Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Upon arrival in September 2014, MAVEN will put itself into orbit around Mars and begin scrutinizing the thin layer of gases that remains in its skies. "MAVEN is going to focus on trying to understand what the history of the atmosphere has been, how the climate has changed through time and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability - at least by microbes - of Mars,' said lead scientist Bruce Jakosky, with the University of Colorado at Boulder. Specifically, MAVEN will look at how much and what type of radiation is coming from the sun and other cosmic sources and how that impacts gases in Mars' upper atmosphere. Scientists have glimpsed the process from data collected by Europe's Mars Express orbiter and NASA's Curiosity rover, but never had the opportunity to profile the atmosphere and space environment around Mars simultaneously. "We'll get a window on what is happening now so we can try and look backward at the evidence locked in the rocks and put the whole story together about Martian history and how it came to be such a challenging environment," said Mars scientist Pan Conrad, with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. EARTH'S LOST TWIN? The evidence for a warmer, wetter, more Earth-like Mars has been building for decades. Ancient rocks bear telltale chemical fingerprints of past interactions with water. The planet's surface is riddled with geologic features carved by water, such as channels, dried up riverbeds, lake deltas and other sedimentary deposits. "The atmosphere must have been thicker for the planet to be warmer and wetter. The question is where did all that carbon dioxide and the water go?" Jakosky said. There are two places the atmosphere could go: down into the ground or up into space. Scientists know some of the planet's carbon dioxide ended up on the surface and joined with minerals in the crust. But so far, the ground inventory is not large enough to account for the early, thick atmosphere Mars would have needed to support water on its surface. Instead, scientists suspect that most of the atmosphere was lost into space, a process that began about 4 billion years ago when the planet's protective magnetic field mysteriously turned off. "If you have a global magnetic field, it causes the solar wind to stand off. It pushes it away so it isn't able to strip away atmosphere," Jakosky said. Without a magnetic field, Mars became ripe pickings for solar and cosmic radiation, a process that continues today. MAVEN's prime mission is expected to last one year, enough time for scientists to collect data during a variety of solar storms and other space weather events. Afterward, MAVEN will remain in orbit for up to 10 years serving as a communications relay for Curiosity, a follow-on rover slated to launch in 2020 and a lander that is being designed to study the planet's deep interior. If MAVEN is launched as planned on Monday, it is due to reach Mars on September 22 - two days before India's Mars Orbiter Mission, which launched on November 5. India's probe has been raising its orbit around Earth and should be in position on December 1 to begin the journey to Mars. If weather or technical problems prevent Monday's launch, NASA has 20 days to get MAVEN off the ground while Earth and Mars are favorably aligned for the probe to reach Mars. (Editing by Sandra Maler)
As Britain grieves his death, so do some Pacific tribespeople who revere him as a spiritual figure.
Hideki Matsuyama took home $2.1 million after becoming the first Japanese player to win the Masters, and that is just the beginning.
- Architectural Digest
These fantastical homes range from a 64,000-acre Texas ranch to an oceanside estate in the south of France Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Reuters Videos
Devotees, ash-smeared naked "naga sadhus" (Hindu holy men), Hindu saints, and members of the transgender community jostled for a dip in the waters of the river many Hindus consider holy, on a day considered auspicious in the Hindu calendar, with few wearing masks.Despite making virus tests mandatory for those entering the area, authorities struggled to implement other strict measures to curb COVID-19 transmissions due to the large numbers.
- Business Insider
Boehner slams Trump's conduct during the 2020 election, says the former president 'abused' his loyalists
"He stepped all over their loyalty to him by continuing to say things that just weren't true," Boehner told USA Today about Trump and his followers.
The biggest night in the British film calendar, the Bafta Awards, is taking place in London.
- The Telegraph
Sir Anthony Hopkins became the oldest recipient of the best actor Bafta on Sunday night, but gave the ceremony a miss because he did not think he would win. The 83-year-old had been invited to attend the event via Zoom, along with all the other nominees, but was notable by his absence. Instead, he was painting in his hotel room in Wales, where he had just arrived for a holiday. His family informed him of his win, for his performance as a dementia patient in The Father. “I heard this cheer next door. I thought, ‘What’s happening? Are they watching a football match?’” Sir Anthony said. He then received a message of congratulations from the film’s director, Florian Zeller. He had equipped Zeller with a short note to read out in the event of his win.
- The Independent
‘We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws’
- Kansas City Star
“That was totally a vibe,” judge Katy Perry said.
- Associated Press
Microsoft, on an accelerated growth push, is buying speech recognition company Nuance in a deal worth about $16 billion. The acquisition will get Microsoft deeper into hospitals and the health care industry through Nuance's widely used medical dictation and transcription tools. Microsoft will pay $56 per share cash.
However he later appeared to backtrack, saying his comments were a "complete misunderstanding".
- USA TODAY
The GOP continues to struggle to maintain party unity after former President Donald Trump's election loss.
- Miami Herald
Deadline day is here and it’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever for the Florida Panthers.
- Associated Press
Nearly a year after President Donald Trump ordered thousands of troops to leave Germany, capping a series of setbacks for U.S. relations with major allies, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday began an inaugural tour of Europe to shore up partnerships that are a cornerstone of the post-World War II order. Austin arrived in Berlin against the backdrop of a newly emerging crisis with Iran, which on Monday blamed Israel for a recent attack on its underground Natanz nuclear facility. Israel has not confirmed or denied involvement, but the attack nonetheless imperils ongoing talks in Europe over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal.
- FOX News Videos
RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel weighs in on Democrats claiming the Georgia voting law is 'racist.'
- The Independent
Britt Reid: Ex-Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach charged over crash that left 5-year-old with brain injury
Britt Reid, the former assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) over the crash that put a 5-year-old girl in a coma and left her with traumatic brain injury. Mr Reid was allegedly driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.113, over the legal limit of 0.08, at the time of the 4 February crash, according to the Jackson County prosecutors office. In announcing the charges, prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Mr Reid “acted with criminal negligence by driving at an excessive rate of speed”.
- Associated Press
The Charlotte Hornets hadn't lost a game all season when leading entering the fourth quarter. Bogdan Bogdanovic put an end to that 22-game streak by scoring 32 points on a career-high eight 3-pointers as the Atlanta Hawks erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Hornets 105-101 Sunday without Trae Young. Clint Capela added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the surging Hawks, who have won six of seven to take sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
More than 100 corporate executives and leaders gathered on a Zoom call Saturday to discuss ways to combat controversial voting bills being considered in states across the country that would restrict voting access, per the Washington Post.Why it matters: American corporations flexed their advocacy muscles earlier this month when more than 100 companies signaled their opposition to Georgia's new voting law, inciting the wrath of GOP leaders, including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeDriving the news: During the call, executives from "major airlines, retailers and manufacturers — plus at least one NFL owner" — discussed possibly stopping donations to politicians who support bills curbing voter access and postponing investments in states that approve the controversial measures.As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, a new statement from Corporate American could be coming this week, condemning voter discrimination and calling for greater voter access. Saturday's call between company executives "shows they are not intimidated by the flack. They are not going to be cowed," Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale management professor and one of the call's organizers, told the Post.“They felt very strongly that these voting restrictions are based on a flawed premise and are dangerous,” Sonnenfeld said.Sonnenfeld also noted that some of the companies on the call included representatives from Starbucks, Linkedin, Levi Strauss and Boston Consulting Group.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- The Independent
Daunte Wright killing - latest: State of emergency as more protests expected and mayor takes control of police
Follow the latest developments live
- The Independent
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is “incredibly saddened” by the death of Daunte Wright at the hands of law enforcement at the weekend, confirming that Joe Biden has been briefed on the incident. President Biden will address the police shooting of Mr Wright in Minnesota in comments at the start of an unrelated event planned for this afternoon. Mr Biden has spoken with the mayor of Brooklyn Center where the incident took place.