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Latest Mars Express Stories

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2007-02-07 18:40:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft this month is set to surpass the record for the most science data returned by any Mars spacecraft. While the mission continues to produce data at record levels, engineers are examining why two instruments are intermittently not performing entirely as planned. All other spacecraft instruments are operating normally and continue to return science data. Since beginning its primary science phase in November 2006, the orbiter has returned enough data...

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2007-02-02 15:57:43

If a satellite encounters high-energy particles or other 'space weather' phenomena before ground controllers can take action, on-board electronics could be disrupted, scientific instruments damaged and, in very rare and extreme cases, spacecraft may even be lost. A sophisticated tool in development at ESOC promises to provide effective monitoring and forecasting for any type of mission. But since early 2005, SEISOP (Space Environment Information System for Operations), a space-weather...

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2006-11-29 15:30:00

This month the team working on ESA's Rosetta mission have been particularly busy. Activities are underway to set the spacecraft's trajectory and prepare the on-board instruments ready for the next major mission milestone: the swing-by of planet Mars in February 2007. Since its launch in March 2004, Rosetta has been bouncing around the inner solar system on a trajectory that will eventually lead it to its final destination in the first half of 2014 "“ comet 67P...

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2006-11-10 18:40:00

By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES - NASA's Mars Global Surveyor has been out of contact with Earth for nearly a week and engineers tried Friday to re-establish communication with the craft, which may be showing its age after 10 years in space. The space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena lost contact with the probe for two days last week, then received a weak carrier signal with no data on Sunday. Since then, Surveyor has not confirmed receiving a command to...

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2006-11-08 10:19:58

Engineers are striving to restore full communications with NASA's Mars Global Surveyor on the 10th anniversary of the spacecraft's Nov. 7, 1996, launch. The orbiter is the oldest of five NASA spacecraft currently active at the red planet. Its original mission was to examine Mars for a full Martian year, roughly two Earth years. Once that period elapsed, considering the string of discoveries, NASA extended the mission repeatedly, most recently on Oct. 1 of this year. The orbiter has operated...

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2006-10-21 00:00:00

Every day for the past decade, the U.S. has had a presence at Mars, using spacecraft to understand this extreme world and its potential as a past or present habitat for life. During that time, all spacecraft have become virtually incommunicado for about two weeks every two years. The reason is solar conjunction, which occurs again from October 18-29, 2006. Solar conjunction is the period when Earth and Mars, in their eternal march around the Sun, are obscured from each other by the fiery orb...

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2006-10-16 15:40:00

For a number of decades now, astronomers have wondered about water on Mars. Thanks to ESA's Mars Express, much of the speculation has been replaced with facts. Launched on 2 June 2003, Mars Express has changed the way we think of Mars. Since the Viking missions of the 1970s, planetary scientists have changed their perception of water on Mars several times, passing from the picture of a dry planet to that of a warmer and wetter one. Mars Express's data are now shading a new light on the...

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2006-09-30 10:00:00

Mars is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars is returning low-altitude images to Earth from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Rocks and surface features as small as armchairs are revealed in the first image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter since the spacecraft maneuvered into its final, low-altitude orbital path. The imaging of the red planet at this resolution heralds a new era in Mars exploration. The image of a small fraction of Mars' biggest...

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2006-09-26 08:52:54

The Mars Express spacecraft has emerged from an unusually demanding eclipse season introducing a special, ultra-low-power mode nicknamed 'Sumo' - an innovative configuration aimed at saving the power necessary to ensure spacecraft survival. This mode was developed through tight teamwork between ESOC mission controllers, principal investigators, industry and mission management. In the past weeks, Mars Express faced an unusually demanding solar eclipse season running from end-August until late...

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2006-09-25 09:40:00

ESA's Mars Express has obtained images of the Cydonia region, site of the famous 'Face on Mars.' The High Resolution Stereo Camera photos include some of the most spectacular views of the Red Planet ever. After multiple attempts to image the Cydonia region from April 2004 until July 2006 were frustrated by altitude and atmospheric dust and haze, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board Mars Express finally obtained, on 22 July, a series of images that show the famous 'face' on Mars...


Word of the Day
drawcansir
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.
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