Author Topic: ESA - Mars Express updates  (Read 80765 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #140 on: 12/25/2017 11:43 AM »
Still going strong after 14 years:

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#OTD 25 December 2003, Mars Express enters martian orbit, Europe’s successful 1st attempt to send a space probe into orbit around another planet... See esa.int/Our_Activities…
https://twitter.com/esa_history/status/945217476115271680

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And #MarsExpress is staying busy this Christmas, too! Last night #MEX conducted overflight & test communication link w/ @MarsCuriosity #RedPlanet Link was live for 6 mins starting 22:35CET. Recorded signal data was downloaded at 02:33CET this AM
https://twitter.com/esaoperations/status/945251285284130816

Online redliox

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #141 on: 12/26/2017 02:57 AM »
Between the age of the spacecraft and the success Venus Express had at Venus, I wonder if aerobraking would ever be attempted with Mars Express.  I assume, with TGO in orbit now, it's unnecessary since that orbiter is optimized to handle aerobraking.  How much longer can 'Express last as is in light of it's arrival anniversary?
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #142 on: 01/18/2018 08:12 PM »
Crater Neukum named after Mars Express founder

18 January 2018

A fascinating martian crater has been chosen to honour the German physicist and planetary scientist, Gerhard Neukum, one of the founders of ESA’s Mars Express mission.

The International Astronomical Union named the 102 km-wide crater in the Noachis Terra region “Neukum” in September last year after the camera’s leader, who died in 2014. Professor Neukum inspired and led the development of the high-resolution stereo camera on Mars Express, which helped to establish the regional geology and topography of Mars.

Observations by the camera in December 2005 and May 2007 were used to create the image mosaic of Neukum Crater presented here.

Neukum Crater sits in the Noachis Terra region in the densely cratered southern highlands of Mars, some 800 km to the west of the planet’s largest impact basin, Hellas. Noachis Terra is one of the oldest known regions on the Red Planet, dating back at least 3.9 billion years – the earliest martian era, the Noachian epoch, is named after it.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Crater_Neukum_named_after_Mars_Express_founder

Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Offline Star One

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #143 on: 04/12/2018 08:06 PM »
MARS IMPACT CRATER OR SUPERVOLCANO?

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These images from ESA’s Mars Express show a crater named Ismenia Patera on the Red Planet. Its origin remains uncertain: did a meteorite smash into the surface or could it be the remnants of a supervolcano?

http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Mars_impact_crater_or_supervolcano

Offline AlexA

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #144 on: 04/13/2018 03:34 PM »
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Mars_Express_v2.0
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Mars Express v2.0

11 April 2018
Every so often, your smartphone or tablet receives new software to improve its functionality and extend its life. Now, ESA’s Mars Express is getting a fresh install, delivered across over 150 million km of space.

With nearly 15 years in orbit, Mars Express – one of the most successful interplanetary missions ever – is on track to keep gathering critical science data for many more years thanks to a fresh software installation developed by the mission teams at ESA.
...

Offline eeergo

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #145 on: 04/17/2018 02:14 AM »
All is well after the update reboot, full functionality expected to be back in a few days. Live replay of events can be found in @ESA_Operations twitter history, from this tweet: https://twitter.com/esaoperations/status/985873946401746945 to this one: https://twitter.com/esaoperations/status/985952195693559808
-DaviD-

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #146 on: 06/02/2018 09:36 AM »
https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/From_horizon_to_horizon_Celebrating_15_years_of_Mars_Express

From horizon to horizon: Celebrating 15 years of Mars Express

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The past 15 years of observations from Mars Express have significantly contributed to the newly emerging picture of Mars as a once-habitable planet, with warmer and wetter epochs that may have once acted as oases for ancient martian life. These findings have paved the way for missions dedicated to hunting for signs of life on the planet, such as ESA and Roscosmos’s two-mission ExoMars programme.   

Meanwhile, on board Mars Express, an innovative software patch has recently rejuvenated the spacecraft.

After the successful activation of new software loaded on the spacecraft on 16 April, followed by a series of in-flight tests, Mars Express resumed science operations on 27 April. The new software, developed by ESA, was needed to compensate for the potential old-age run-down of the satellite's six gyroscopes, which measure how much Mars Express rotates about any of its three axes. Since 16 May, the spacecraft has been operating with its gyros mostly switched off. Fine-tuning of the new software will take place over the coming months.

This implementation is a major operational milestone for the mission, as it gives Mars Express an extended lifeline, possibly through the mid-2020s.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #147 on: 07/20/2018 08:48 AM »
A unique view of Mars Express

In this unique image, one satellite orbiting Mars records the presence of another. The narrow blur against a black backdrop is in fact ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera on the Mars Global Surveyor. It is the first-ever successful image of any spacecraft orbiting Mars taken by another spacecraft in a Martian orbit.

Mars Express, still in operation, represents ESA’s first visit to another planet in the Solar System. Launched in 2003 with seven instruments, a lander, a network of ground and data processing stations and a launcher, Mars Express marked the beginning of a new era for Europe’s planetary exploration.

The Mars Global Surveyor was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and launched in 1996. It mapped the entire Martian planet from the ionosphere down through the atmosphere to its red, rocky surface, but it also caught this glimpse of another spacecraft dedicated to revealing the secrets of one of Earth’s nearest neighbours.

From a distance of 250-370 km, the Mars Global Surveyor captured this remarkable shot of Mars Express, but unfortunately ESA’s satellite could not return the favour.

On 2 November 2016 the NASA spacecraft failed to respond to messages and commands. Three days later a faint signal was detected, indicating the spacecraft had gone into safe mode and was awaiting further instruction. Attempts to re-contact the Mars Global Surveyor and resolve the problem failed, and the mission ended officially in January 2007.

Following this loss of contact, the Mars Express team was requested by NASA to perform actions in the hope of visually identifying the American spacecraft. Two attempts were made to find it, but both proved unsuccessful.

Credits: Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) team, NASA/JPL/MSSS

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #148 on: 07/22/2018 02:13 PM »
MARTIAN ATMOSPHERE BEHAVES AS ONE

18 July 2018

New research using a decade of data from ESA’s Mars Express has found clear signs of the complex martian atmosphere acting as a single, interconnected system, with processes occurring at low and mid levels significantly affecting those seen higher up.

Understanding the martian atmosphere is a key topic in planetary science, from its current status to its past history. Mars’ atmosphere continuously leaks out to space, and is a crucial factor in the planet’s past, present, and future habitability – or lack of it. The planet has lost the majority of its once much denser and wetter atmosphere, causing it to evolve into the dry, arid world we see today.

However, the tenuous atmosphere Mars has retained remains complex, and scientists are working to understand if and how the processes within it are connected over space and time.

A new study based on 10 years of data from the radar instrument on Mars Express now offers clear evidence of a sought-after link between the upper and lower atmospheres of the planet. While best known for probing the interior of Mars via radar sounding, the instrument has also gathered observations of the martian ionosphere since it began operating in 2005.

http://sci.esa.int/mars-express/60510-martian-atmosphere-behaves-as-one/

"Spatial, seasonal and solar cycle variations of the Martian total electron content (TEC): Is the TEC a good tracer for atmospheric cycles?" by Sánchez-Cano et al. is published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1029/2018JE005626

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018JE005626

The study is based on data collected by the Mars Express MARSIS instrument, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding.

Image credit:  ESA/Mars Express/MARSIS/B. Sánchez-Cano et al 2018

Offline eeergo

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Re: ESA - Mars Express LIQUID water update
« Reply #149 on: 07/25/2018 02:21 PM »
If this interpretation holds, this discovery by MARSIS -apart from being huge by itself- will shift exobiology and direct sampling strategies for decades to come, although the ice in the area is 1.5 km thick and the 1-2 m-deep brine is at -68ºC.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/07/24/science.aar7268


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/25/huge-underground-lake-discovered-on-mars-say-astronomers


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Huge underground lake raises prospects of life on Mars, say astronomers


Scientists have spotted a 12 mile-wide stretch of water underneath a slab of ice at the Martian south pole
-DaviD-

Offline Eric Hedman

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Online meekGee

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Re: ESA - Mars Express LIQUID water update
« Reply #151 on: 07/25/2018 03:17 PM »
If this interpretation holds, this discovery by MARSIS -apart from being huge by itself- will shift exobiology and direct sampling strategies for decades to come, although the ice in the area is 1.5 km thick and the 1-2 m-deep brine is at -68ºC.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/07/24/science.aar7268


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/25/huge-underground-lake-discovered-on-mars-say-astronomers

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Huge underground lake raises prospects of life on Mars, say astronomers


Scientists have spotted a 12 mile-wide stretch of water underneath a slab of ice at the Martian south pole

I certainly hope not!   "Shift strategies", for sure.   But "for decades to come" implies we won't have more significant results and more significant ground capabilities for decades...

This reservoir was an expected find.  Wait till we get to the unexpected finds...



ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online redliox

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #152 on: 07/25/2018 04:45 PM »
Well this might raise the potential of the Icebreaker or some other probe to the South Pole now.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #153 on: 07/25/2018 05:03 PM »
Mars Express detects water buried under the south pole of Mars

ESA’s Mars Express has used radar signals bounced through underground layers of ice to find evidence of a pond of water buried below the south polar cap.

Twenty-nine dedicated observations were made between 2012 and 2015 in the Planum Australe region at the south pole using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument, MARSIS. A new mode of operations established in this period enabled a higher quality of data to be retrieved than earlier in the mission.

The 200 km square study area is indicated in the left-hand image and the radar footprints on the surface are indicated in the middle image for multiple orbits. The greyscale background image is a Thermal Emission Imaging System image from NASA’s Mars Odyssey, and highlights the underlying topography: a mostly featureless plain with icy scarps in the lower right (south is up).

The footprints are colour-coded corresponding to the ‘power’ of the radar signal reflected from features below the surface. The large blue area close to the centre corresponds to the main  radar-bright area, detected on many overlapping orbits of the spacecraft.

A subsurface radar profile is shown in the right hand panel for one of the Mars orbits. The bright horizontal feature at the top represents the icy surface of Mars in this region. The south polar layered deposits – layers of ice and dust – are seen to a depth of about 1.5 km. Below is a base layer that in some areas is even much brighter than the surface reflections, highlighted in blue, while in other places is rather diffuse. Analysing the details of the reflected signals from the base layer yields properties that correspond to liquid water.

The brightest reflections are centred around 193°E/81°S in the intersecting orbits, outlining a well-defined, 20 km-wide zone.

- Related ESA's article: Mars Express detects liquid water hidden under planet's south pole

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/07/Mars_Express_detects_water_buried_under_the_south_pole_of_Mars

Image credit Context map: NASA/Viking; THEMIS background: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University; MARSIS data: ESA/NASA/JPL/ASI/Univ. Rome; R. Orosei et al 2018

Offline TomH

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #154 on: 07/25/2018 05:38 PM »
Mars Express detects water buried under the south pole of Mars

WaPo, CNN, Time, Newsweek, and US News on same topic.
« Last Edit: 07/25/2018 06:07 PM by TomH »

Online dsmillman

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #155 on: 07/26/2018 07:47 PM »
There is a press conference on this discovery at:

http://www.asitv.it/media/vod/v/4892/video/latest-news-from-marsis-radar


Offline Dalhousie

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #156 on: 07/26/2018 11:33 PM »
The actual paper is public access http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/07/24/science.aar7268

People have been predicting subsurface water on Mars for over 40 years, and sub-polar water for about30.It is good to discovery at last.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Mars Express updates
« Reply #157 on: 09/21/2018 06:37 PM »
Mars Express view of Cerberus Fossae

This image, taken on 27 January 2018 during orbit 17813 by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on ESA’s Mars Express, shows a portion of the Cerberus Fossae system in Elysium Planitia near the martian equator.

The image was created using data from the nadir channel, the field of view which is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, and the colour channels of the HRSC. The ground resolution is approximately 16 m/pixel and the images are centred at about 159°E/10°N.

Related article: Recent tectonics on Mars

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/09/Mars_Express_view_of_Cerberus_Fossae

Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

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