John Mankins is known for spending his professional life working on new ideas that might transform the way humans employ technology in space, solar power amongst them. However, Mankins’ interplanetary thoughts went beyond the way solar is already employed to strengthen satellites and the International Space Station. During his 25-year career at CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA, he devised numerous concepts to expand the use of solar in space; amongst them is a space-based power system and a solar-powered interplanetary transport vehicle.
It’s that first notion, particularly, that had Mankins’ interest while holding highest research positions at NASA during the 1990s and 2000s. It included managing the $800 Million Exploration Systems Research and the Technology group as well. At present, Mankins manages his own private aerospace company, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions. At NASA, he had the work of finding out whether there was a way to deliver electricity to the planet by beaming it from space.
On a similar note, just seven months following NASA’s OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) mission enclosed its last field campaign on the world’s biggest island, an OMG team is back in Greenland to gather more data. With almost two or three field missions per year since 2016, OMG has successfully completed the most wide-ranging measurements yet about how ocean water lapping underneath Greenland’s melting glaciers influences them. All that data has been useful in answering a whole lot of present questions. At the same time, it has raised numerous new ones.
Josh Willis, Principal Investigator, OMG, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, Pasadena, proclaimed that the research team has seen few really surprising outcomes. These outcomes highlight that the oceans have a big effect on Greenland’s largest glaciers. He added that the research team hopes this year to find out whether the ocean’s effect is extensive or if it is just some large glaciers that care regarding ocean temperatures.