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Latest Mars Express Stories

New Research Shows Ocean Existed On Ancient Mars
2012-02-06 10:40:33

The European Space Agency's Mars Express has revealed strong evidence that an ocean once covered part of Mars. The spacecraft detected sediments reminiscent of an ocean floor within the boundaries of previously identified shorelines on Mars. Researchers working with MARSIS radar analyzed two years of data and found that the northern plains are covered in low-density material. "We interpret these as sedimentary deposits, maybe ice-rich," researcher Dr Mouginot said in a statement. "It...

Image 1 - Mars Express Finds Water Supersaturation In Martian Atmosphere
2011-09-30 10:03:36

New analysis of data sent back by the SPICAM spectrometer on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft has revealed for the first time that the planet's atmosphere is supersaturated with water vapor. This surprising discovery has major implications for understanding the Martian water cycle and the historical evolution of the atmosphere. Although numerous spacecraft have visited Mars over the past half a century, very few direct measurements of the vertical structure of the planet's atmosphere...

Ariane 5 To Launch BepiColombo Mercury Explorer
2011-09-16 07:19:04

  Reaching one of the most mysterious planets in our Solar System takes enormous power and finesse. ESA has now firmly entrusted its precious Mercury explorer to Europe´s largest rocket — the Ariane 5. ESA today signed the contract with Arianespace to launch its BepiColombo mission on an Ariane 5 from Europe´s Spaceport in French Guiana. Europe's first mission to probe the Solar System's innermost planet will depart in July 2014. BepiColombo's sensors will...

Image 1 - NASA Mars Tech Aids In Search For Earth's Hidden Water
2011-09-15 12:36:48

  [ View the Video ] A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of airborne sounding radar for aquifer mapping. The research may help scientists better locate and map Earth's desert aquifers, understand current and past hydrological conditions in Earth's deserts and assess how climate change is impacting them. Deserts...

Ancient Lake Delta Found On Mars
2011-09-02 11:36:31

  The European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday that it has discovered a crater on Mars that was once filled by a lake. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft was first to identify the lake.  ESA said this delta structure is characteristic of the presence of a lake in the crater. The delta is an ancient fan-shaped deposit of dark sediments that is laid down in water, according to the space agency. The extinct lake is in the 40-mile-diameter Eberswalde crater that formed...

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2011-06-10 10:41:56

ESA and NASA have announced the scientific investigations selected for their 2016 ExoMars lander demonstrator. They will probe the atmosphere during the descent, and return the first ever data on electrical fields at the surface of Mars. The EDM Entry, descent, and landing Demonstrator Module is part of the joint ESA/NASA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission to be launched in 2016 for arrival at Mars nine months later. Although its main goal is to demonstrate European entry, descent and landing...

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2011-06-05 10:53:43

On June 8, mission controllers will have the first opportunity to switch ESA's Rosetta comet-hunter into deep-space hibernation for 31 months. During this loneliest leg of its decade-long mission, Rosetta will loop ever closer toward comet 67-P, soaring to almost 1000 million km from Earth. Marking one of the most dramatic and distant stages of the probe's 10-year journey to rendezvous with Comet 67-P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ground controllers at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations...

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2011-03-21 08:43:14

When engineers come up with a super-strong new material for building shipping containers, trucking trailers and aircraft parts, it is a major challenge to simulate its strength and reliability accurately. So a Belgian company turned to ESA. A super-strong new material presents engineers with tricky challenges. The good news? They have a super-strong new building material. The bad news? If it is brand new and high-tech, there is no design or production experience, and it can be difficult to...

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2011-03-08 10:06:33

Nine days from now "“ on March 17 "“ the MESSENGER spacecraft will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place it into orbit about Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet. Starting Monday, antennas from each of the three Deep Space Network (DSN) ground stations began a round-the-clock vigil, allowing flight control engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in...

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2010-11-23 07:30:37

ESA has decided to extend the productive lives of 11 of its operating space science missions. This will enable ESA's world-class science missions to continue returning pioneering results until at least 2014. ESA's Science Program Committee (SPC) had to make significant decisions at its 18-19 November meeting in Paris: 11 science missions, all of them still working beyond their planned lifetimes, all of them still delivering exceptional science, and yet all coming to the end of their funding....


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'