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Latest Mars Express Stories

2009-02-10 12:47:09

The European Space Agency says it is extending the operations of its Mars Express, Venus Express and Cluster missions until at least Dec. 31. The ESA said the Mars Express spacecraft, launched in 2003, has produced breathtaking, high-resolution images of the planet's surface in 3-D and in color. The spacecraft, carrying the first radar instrument flown to Mars, was also the first spacecraft to detect methane in the planet's atmosphere from orbit. The Mars Express mission has been extended...

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2009-02-10 08:45:00

ESA's Science Program Committee has extended the operations of ESA's Mars Express, Venus Express and Cluster missions until December 31, 2009. The decision to extend the three successful missions was taken on February 4 this year.  Mars Express "” global view of the Red Planet Mars Express, launched in June 2003, has been orbiting the Red Planet since the end of 2003, and has produced a treasure of discoveries. The first European mission to Mars, it has taken...

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2008-12-18 09:20:00

According to New Scientist, Britain's unlucky Mars probe, Beagle 2, may have met its end due to a miscalculation. The probe, which was built to discover signs of life, disappeared in 2003 on Christmas Day. Scientists at Queensland University believe the probe lost control during a descent due to a miscalculation of the Martian atmosphere. Professor Colin Pillinger, team leader for Beagle 2, welcomed the new theory. "We are as interested as anybody to find out the truth," he said. "But until...

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2008-12-15 11:08:17

The U.S. space agency says its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed its primary, two-year science mission. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists said the spacecraft has returned 73 terabits of data -- more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The orbiter initially moved into position 186 miles above the surface of Mars in October 2006, subsequently conducting approximately 10,000 targeted observation sequences of high-priority areas. NASA scientists said the...

2008-12-11 15:48:00

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed its primary, two-year science phase. The spacecraft has found signs of a complex Martian history of climate change that produced a diversity of past watery environments. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The orbiter has returned 73 terabits of science data, more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The spacecraft will build on this record as it continues to...

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2008-11-21 09:00:00

Scientists using ESA's Mars Express have produced the first crude map of aurorae on Mars. These displays of ultraviolet light appear to be located close to the residual magnetic fields generated by Mars's crustal rocks. They highlight a number of mysteries about the way Mars interacts with electrically charged particles originating from the Sun. The aurorae on Mars were discovered in 2004 using the SPICAM ultraviolet and infrared atmospheric spectrometer on board Mars Express. They are a...

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2008-11-16 10:50:00

Imagine how difficult it is to control a spacecraft thousands of miles away, ensure it arrives at the right location and then get the scientific and photographic equipment up and running. To do this highly sophisticated software is needed; software that can also be used on Earth to manage equally complex TV terrestrial broadcasting. British company SciSys has provided software for a number of ESA missions, both for mission control on the ground and for spacecraft. This includes science...

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2008-10-20 15:00:00

Europe's flagship space mission to Mars will likely be delayed by two years.Due to the project's high cost, the ExoMars rover, which will search for signs of life on the Red Planet, will not launch until 2016.Governments say the 1.2bn-euro price tag is deemed to be too high and space officials have been asked to find ways to reduce it.One possibility would be securing more financial and technical involvement from the Americans and the Russians."This way we could retain the full splendor of...

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2008-10-16 06:55:00

European space scientists are getting closer to unravelling the origin of Mars' larger moon, Phobos. Thanks to a series of close encounters by ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, the moon looks almost certain to be a "Ëœrubble pile', rather than a single solid object. However, mysteries remain about where the rubble came from. Unlike Earth, with its single large moon, Mars plays host to two small moons. The larger one is Phobos, an irregularly sized lump of space rock measuring just...

2008-07-03 08:58:41

The Ulysses spacecraft, whose mission was expected to end on July 1, 2008, is hanging on valiantly as spacecraft controllers wait for a sign of the fuel freeze that would end the mission. This could happen any time now. Controllers will know that the fuel needed to keep the antenna pointing towards Earth has started to freeze when Earth-pointing manoeuvres become less efficient and the radio signals from the spacecraft grow weaker.  In the meantime, Ulysses is still providing...


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.'