Unable to plan for the long-term, Mars looks for other ways to stay relevant in lockdown- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Keen to stay relevant by re-imagining its long-running ‘Light Side of Life’ campaign from lockdown, Mars’ Maltesers is working on a week-by-week basis with its ad agency AMV BBDO as long-term planning continues to be scuppered by the pandemic.
“My ultimate aim is to get our brands into culture,” insists Kerry Cavanaugh, business unit director UK Mars Wrigley, “it’s not just about reach. For us, it’s a question of how do we appear relevant and how do we react appropriately.”
The ‘Light Side of Life’ in lockdown
Created by AMV BBDO, the ‘Light Side of Life’ brand platform was Maltesers’ winning entry for Channel 4’s diversity of advertising competition back in 2016. Commended for normalising the representation of disabilities in advertisements, the platform celebrates universally awkward situations, using laughter as a means of breaking down barriers.
The latest installment of the ‘Look on the Light Side’ campaign follows a similar format to those previous: a group of pals, sharing a poignant message under the guise of hilariously awkward anecdotes. Only this time, due to lockdown regulations, get-togethers are limited to video chats.

Reinforcing the #StayHome message, the ‘Isolation life’ plays on relatable tales from lockdown that hit the right note and support those who might be struggling. Covering day-to-day challenges of self-isolation, the ads take a look at awkward bakes, digitally inept mothers, clapping for the NHS and hiding under the stairs to get a respite from parental duties.
“We see it as a new generation of our ‘Look on the Light Side’ work,” explains Cavanaugh. “Maltesers has a real history of trying to connect with women about topics that are difficult – but they need a laugh.”
“That’s why this work is so relevant for everyone living in lockdown. Our focus when we got started was to look at the situation and find ways to make campaigns that really cut through. It’s a great laugh but its also really relevant,” he continues.
With the global lockdown leaving many unable to leave the confines of their homes, the concept of being able to organise and shoot an advertising campaign anywhere in the world feels alien.

As advertisers knuckle down to produce campaigns remotely, this period will be remembered for its series of video call ads, from the likes of Microsoft and Nationwide.
Created entirely during lockdown, over a five-week period, Cavanaugh admits that ensuring the ads stood out distinctively against the mould was a concern.
“There have been so many ads,” agrees Cavanaugh. “What we wanted to do with this work was ensure that is was relevant, but also on brand. I think this work feels really Maltesers.” Though he adds that the toughest part of the work was “just being true to what the Maltesers’ ‘Look on the Light Side’ is all about.”
During the lockdown, advertisers have been grappling with how best to market items that are not deemed essential.
While chocolate falls under the non-essential category, Cavanaugh argues that it is certainly an item that can offer people some comfort during this time. “ [It is] an item that when you’re going through a moment like this, you begin to realise that it brings a smile to people’s lives. People want to feel small joys.”
The conversation throughout the coronavirus thus far has centred on advertisers’ quandary of whether to spend or not to spend. According to fresh research from the World Federation of Advertisers, 89% of large multinational companies have deferred marketing campaigns this month, which was up from 81% in March.
Yet while the Coca-Cola Company has reduced its marketing spend globally, P&G has ramped up its marketing amid coronavirus demand, arguing that this is not a time to go off-air.
“Because of the situation, everyone is looking at every marketing dollar we spend, and figuring out how to spend the best for us,” Cavanaugh shares on Maltesers decision to launch a marketing campaign during this time.
“My aim with the team has been to find opportunities for our brands to fit into people’s lives and invest behind those. This is how I think we can get our brands into culture, which is my ultimate aim,” he continues.
While global brands cut ad spend in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Cavanaugh admits that “we have certainly shifted budgets around, as you would expect. You have to be real about the challenges that our partners on the customer side have faced.”
He shares that the team has taken the decision to reallocate ad spend from this time to a later period. “We’ve been looking at everything from the lens of ensuring that we have the right ideas backed when we have the right availability,” he explains about the move.
With people in lockdown, Maltesers is shifting its media plan around to take into account this change in consumer habits, with the team recognising a greater opportunity for content across its social platform with more people at home, online, and socially connecting.
“We’re also going to market on our video-on-demand platform because we know that people are at home streaming,” he adds.
Looking ahead, Cavanaugh notes that it is difficult for the team to plan ahead for the year given the circumstances.
“It impossible to look and say, what should we do in November? In reality, the next three months present a number of new opportunities for us because people are going through real changes in how they live,” he explains. “So we’re not getting ahead of ourselves on what 12 months from now looks like, we’re figuring out what now looks like and how our brands can respond to that.”
He points to Mars’ long-term ad agency as crucial to this strategy. “It’s enabled us to be even more agile because we’ve got a really tight relationship. Our teams are trying to look specifically at what our consumers are doing differently week-by-week, to seek out different opportunities.”

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Joint Russian-European Mars mission postponed over coronavirus – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

A full-size model of the ExoMars entry, descent and landing module.

A joint Russian-European mission to send a rover to Mars has been postponed by two years because its final phase has been compromised by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, the European and Russian space agencies said on Thursday.
The launch of the second ExoMars mission was initially planned for July or August of this year.
But the two space agencies said they were now postponing its launch until a date between August and October 2022.
“…The parties had to recognise that the final phase of ExoMars activities are compromised by the general aggravation of the epidemiological situation in European countries,” Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said in a statement.
The mission plans to place a rover vehicle, the Rosalind Franklin, on the surface of the red planet to help scour it for signs of past life.
The agencies said the decision to postpone had been a tough one, but had been motivated by the need for extra time to carry out essential tests.
Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, said engineers were struggling to travel to manufacturing locations involved in the project due to travel restrictions introduced to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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NASA’s next Mars rover named ‘Perseverance’ by seventh grader – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: Developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Perseverance tips the scales at near 2,300 pounds. It is undergoing final assembly and inspection at Kennedy Space Center with a planned launch date of July 17, 2020. Should everything go according to plan, the rover will touch down on the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater just after 3:40 p.m. Eastern on February 18, 2021.
NASA on Thursday announced that the successor to its Mars Curiosity rover, which has been perusing the Red Planet since 2012, will be called Perseverance.
The rover’s name came about through an essay contest that was open to K-12 students across the country. In total, some 28,000 entries were submitted and evaluated by nearly 4,700 volunteers. From there, 155 semifinalists were selected before the group was eventually whittled down to just nine finalists.

Seventh grader Alexander Mather from Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, was ultimately chosen as the contest winner. In addition to forever being associated with NASA’s upcoming rover mission, Mather and his family will also get to attend Perseverance’s launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this summer.
NASA has relied on contributions from school-age children to name each of its four previous Mars rovers dating back to Sojourner in the late 90s.

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White House calls for biggest NASA budget in decades to reach the moon, Mars – Finance- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The White House on Monday asked Congress for US$25.2 billion (A$37.4 billion) for NASA in 2021, the agency’s biggest budget in decades, calling for steady increases over five years to meet President Donald Trump’s goal of landing astronauts on the moon and Mars.
The request would boost the Tempemail Aeronautics and Space Administration’s budget by 12 percent for the fiscal year that starts October 1, with nearly half of the funds going toward the “Moon to Mars” program, which includes development of lunar landers, robotic rovers, heavy-lift rockets and new spacesuits.
“They are backing up our vision for a renewed era of discovery by giving NASA ever-increasing budgets every year,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Monday after the White House released its plan. “Now we must deliver.”
The Trump administration called on NASA early last year to reorganise its exploration program to send humans to the moon by 2024 and to Mars in the next decade, accelerating a previous timeline and increasing its 2020 budget by US$1.6 billion.
The 2021 fiscal year budget, one of the largest overall spending increases for NASA since the 1990s, doubles down on the “Moon to Mars” project, which NASA projects will cost US$71.1 billion over the next five years, according to a blueprint sent to Congress on Monday.
NASA’s budget is estimated to increase steadily over the next five years to fund the program, peaking at US$28.3 billion in fiscal year 2023, primarily going to privately developed lunar landing systems. 
The budget includes US$529 million for robotic trips to Mars, including a mission to return soil samples back to Earth and map near-surface water ice deposits that could inform future human missions to the red planet.
Separately, the Trump administration’s US$740.5 billion budget request for national defence in 2021 allocates US$15.4 billion for the US Space Force, which was established on December 20 as an independent service under the Air Force.

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Mars Food hires Pepsi’s Rafael Narvaez as global CMO to boost ‘dinnertime’ brands- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Mars Food has appointed PepsiCo veteran Rafael Narvaez as its global chief marketing, research and development officer as it looks to drive growth for brands like Uncle Ben’s and Dolmio.
Until recently, Narvaez was vice-president, marketing and transformation for PepsiCo’s global foods group, where he oversaw the success of names like Lays, Doritos and Cheetos.
In his new role, Mars has tasked him to take a “strategic approach” to brands marketing, innovation, digital, R&D and consumer insights for its “dinnertime” portfolio.
Based in London, he will replace Clarence Mak who held the slightly different position of global chief marketing, sales and innovation officer for the food division. Mak has stayed with the business, taking on the remit of president for Mars Wrigley in China.
Commenting on the appointment, Narvaez’s senior Fiona Dawson, global president of multisales and global customers at Mars Food, said “Rafael has a track record of delivering strong growth and brings a wealth of knowledge about the food industry.
“I am delighted that he will bring his bold thinking, leadership and rigorous focus to Mars Food so we can help billions of consumers around the world enjoy healthier food at the dinner table.”
As consumers move towards healthier lifestyles, Mars has pivoted to marketing and labelling cupboard staples like Dolmio sauce as products that should only be enjoyed “occasionally” to maintain a balanced diet, due to high levels of sugar and salt.
The company has also unveiled healthier versions of products like Uncle Ben’s rice, and low-sugar sauce variants to cater to shoppers.
The scheme is part of a larger initiative by the FMCG business to encourage healthier eating at a time when large food multinationals, or ‘Big Food’ has been coming under pressure from public health advocates and regulators struggling to fight a growing obesity epidemic.
This plan doesn’t extend to Mars’ chocolate or sweets business (which includes its flagship brand, along with Maltesers and Starburst). However, Mars has highlighted Narvaez’s experience in addressing “new consumer needs in high pressure and volatile environments through driving a strong marketing and innovation agenda, digital transformation, global agency management and marketing capability development,” as a coup for its main meal brands.
Privately owned Mars, which also produces pet care products, has undergone several changes within its marketing department over the past 18 months.
In June 2018, Mars chief marketing and customer officer Andrew Clarke took on the role of global president of Mars Wrigley confectionary. It replaced this wider chief marketing officer role with a chief growth officer in the form of Berta de Pablos following Clarke’s promotion.
Months prior, the business promoted Michelle Oliver to the newly-created role of global corporate brand and purpose director.
In the same year, the business brought marketing and sales closer together to improve effectiveness and measure how its investments were driving real sales uplift.

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NASA Tests Space Concrete for Future Mars Habitats


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NASA is looking toward a future when humans could visit Mars for an extended period, and Elon Musk is promising to send people there in the next decade. Whenever humans do set foot on Mars, they’re going to need someplace to hang their hat (or spacesuit helmet). Concrete could potentially allow explorers to build structures quickly and easily, assuming it sets correctly without Earth gravity. NASA has conducted experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to assess the strength of concrete mixed in space. 

Scientists believe concrete could be an ideal material for building on other worlds because it’s durable, offers protection from radiation, and it may be possible to make it using materials present on the moon and Mars. Being able to manufacture building materials at your destination (known as in-situ resources) makes missions cheaper and easier to design because you don’t have to launch as much mass from Earth. 

However, there’s a lot we still don’t know about the molecular structure of concrete here on Earth. Concrete is a mixture of sand and gravel with lime or silicate (cement powder). As the cement dissolves in water, it forms crystal complexes that link together the aggregate to make a solid structure. The process of mixing and building with concrete is well established on Earth, but we don’t know how microgravity could affect it. Do we need to modify the ratios? Add additional materials? That’s what the ISS experiment aims to find out. 

ISS concrete above and Earth concrete below.

The experiment, known as Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS), is the first time concrete has been mixed outside of Earth’s gravity. Astronauts aboard the ISS mixed tricalcium silicate and water in varying amounts to create a concrete paste. The astronauts added alcohol to some of the packets to stop the hydration process at set intervals as well. A separate experiment used a centrifuge simulated lunar and Martian gravity on the samples as they mixed. 

The experiment confirms that concrete can harden in microgravity, which is a good thing. That means we can build structures with concrete outside of Earth’s gravity. The primary difference is an increase in pores compared with concrete mixed on Earth, and that could reduce the material’s strength. However, lower gravity on the moon or Mars would also put it under less strain. It may be possible to develop different binders that improve the strength of lunar or Martian concrete, and that may even lead to better concrete here on Earth.

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NASA Attaches Helicopter Drone to Mars 2020 Rover


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NASA is still busy integrating the systems that will let the new Mars 2020 rover explore the red planet, but engineers took time to hook up the rover’s sole passenger this week: the Mars Helicopter. The small experimental aircraft is now installed on the belly of the rover, ready to ride the larger robot down to the surface of Mars. Once there, it will, hopefully, make history as the first-ever aircraft to fly on another planet.

 NASA began developing the Mars Helicopter Scout concept several years before rover assembly. After testing showed the design was viable, the agency secured $23 million in funding to make it a reality in time for the summer 2020 rover launch. The Mars Helicopter won’t include any scientific instruments because it’s considered a technology demonstration. NASA doesn’t want to trust any vital tasks to the first aircraft to ever fly on Mars. The solar-powered helicopter will have a camera, which could help the rover navigate around rough terrain and obstacles. 

To install the helicopter and its deployment system, engineers at NASA JPL had to flip Mars 2020 on its back. The rover is upside-down in the image above, giving the team access to the bottom surface for helicopter mounting. The rover will drop the Mars Helicopter Scout on the surface after its landing at Jezero Crater in 2021. In the meantime, a cover shield will remain in place to protect the helicopter during launch and landing. 

NASA has tested the helicopter in a vacuum chamber here on Earth. The chamber dropped to Mars-like atmospheric pressure, which makes it harder to generate lift. However, the Mars Helicopter Scout is just 4 pounds (1.8 kg). While we can’t change gravity, NASA used a “gravity offload system” that tugs upward on the rover to make it behave as if it were lighter. The helicopter successfully hovered in the chamber, so the team thinks it will be able to fly on Mars. 

After deployment on the surface, the Mars Helicopter Scout will fly up to five times over a month. Although, NASA has a habit of designing robots that far outlive their original mission parameters. The helicopter might take more flights than anyone is expecting. A successful test of the helicopter on Mars could mean much more ambitious flying robots will head to the red planet in the future. A flying probe could reach perilous cliffs, deep craters, and other locations inaccessible to a wheeled rover.

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NASA taps SpaceX, Blue Origin and 11 more companies for Moon and Mars space tech – gpgmail


NASA has selected 13 companies to partner with on 19 new specific technology projects it’s undertaking to help reach the Moon and Mars. These include SpaceX, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin, among others, with projects ranging from improving spacecraft operation in high temperatures to landing rockets vertically on the Moon.

Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin will work with NASA on developing a navigation system for “safe and precise landing at a range of locations on the Moon” in one undertaking, and also on readying a fuel cell-based power system for its Blue Moon lander, revealed earlier this year. The final design spec will provide a power source that can last through the lunar night, or up to two weeks without sunlight in some locations. It’ll also be working on further developing engine nozzles for rockets with liquid propellant that would be well-suited for lunar lander vehicles.

SpaceX will be working on technology that will help move rocket propellant around safely from vehicle to vehicle in orbit, a necessary step to building out its Starship reusable rocket and spacecraft system. The Elon Musk-led private space company will also be working with Kennedy Space Center on refining its vertical landing capabilities to adapt it to work with large rockets on the Moon, where lunar regolith (aka Moon dust) and the low-gravity, zero atmosphere environment can complicate the effects of controlled descents.

Lockheed Martin will be working on using solid-state processing to create metal powder-based materials that can help spacecraft deal better with operating in high-temperature environments, and on autonomous methods for growing and harvesting plants in space, which could be crucial in the case of future long-term colonization efforts.

Other projects will tap Advanced Space, Vulcan Wireless, Aerogel Technologies, Spirit AeroSystem, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Anasphere, Bally Ribbon Mills, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Colorado Power Electronics and Maxar; you can read about each in detail here.

NASA’s goals with these private partnerships are to both develop at speed, and decrease the cost of efforts to operate crewed space exploration, as part of its Artemis program and beyond.


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NASA Tests Mars 2020 Robotic Arm With ‘Biceps Curls’


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Slowly but surely, the Mars 2020 rover is taking shape at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Engineers have attached some of the rover’s many cameras, its wheels, and now it’s time to give its robotic arm a test run. This arm will have to do some heavy lifting on the red planet, so NASA is having it do some biceps curls on Earth. It’s actually studying how the rover will maneuver its hefty sensor turret, but the action looks a whole lot like the rover pumping iron. 

The Mars 2020 rover will have a 7-foot (2.1 meters) robotic arm similar to the one on Curiosity. It sports five electrical motors and five joints: the shoulder azimuth, shoulder elevation, elbow, wrist, and turret. NASA has to make sure it all works perfectly before launch because the arm isn’t just there for pumping iron.

At the end of the rover’s arm, engineers have mounted a raft of important tools and sensors like the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) and Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL). The arm is also home to the WATSON camera, which will provide us with Curiosity-style selfies of Mars 2020. We certainly can’t have that fail. 

The instrument package at the end of the arm weighs in at 88 pounds (40 kilograms) here on Earth. The new test, which you can see in video form below, was JPL’s first opportunity to see how the arm behaved with all the components connected. The arm moved smoothly between a deployed and stowed configuration. The arm will only weigh about a third as much on Mars, but the team is still making sure it’s robust enough to operate under Earth gravity. A great deal of Mars 2020’s science will depend on that arm reaching out and touching the red planet with its sensors and percussive drill. 

NASA still has a lot of work ahead of it before the rover can head off in search of adventure. If everything goes as planned. Mars 2020 will launch from Earth in July 2020 during an advantageous alignment of Earth and Mars. It will reach Mars in February 2021 to begin its one-year mission (687 Earth days). If Mars 2020 is anything like Curiosity, on which it is based, this rover will outlast the initial mission duration.

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