Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mars Express Mission Extended

Date:
September 27, 2005
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
ESA's Mars Express mission has been extended by one Martian year, or about 23 months, from the beginning of December 2005.

This close-up view of the Martian north polar ice cap shows layers of water ice and dust for the first time in perspective view. Here we see cliffs which are almost 2 kilometres high, and the dark material in the caldera-like structures and dune fields could be volcanic ash. Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Related Articles


Co-ordinated from thebeginning with the Mars science and exploration activities of otheragencies, Mars Express has revealed an increasingly complex picture ofMars.

Since the start of science operations in early 2004, newaspects of Mars are emerging day by day, thanks to Mars Express data.These include its present-day climate system, and its geological‘activity’ and diversity. Mars Express has also started mapping waterin its various states.

In building up a global data set forcomposition and characteristics of the surface and atmosphere, MarsExpress has revealed that volcanic and glacial processes are much morerecent than expected.

It has confirmed the presence of glacialprocesses in the equatorial regions, and mapped water and carbondioxide ice, either mixed or distinct, in the polar regions. Throughmineralogical analysis, it found out that large bodies of water, suchas lakes or seas, might not have existed for a long period of time onthe Martian surface.

Mars Express has also detected methane inthe Martian atmosphere. This, together with the possible detection offormaldehyde, suggests either current volcanic activity on Mars, or,more excitingly, that there are current active ‘biological’ processes.

Thishypothesis may be reinforced by the fact that Mars Express saw that thedistribution of water vapour and methane, both ingredients for life,substantially overlap in some regions of the planet.

Furthermore,the mission detected aurorae for the first time on the Red Planet. Ithas made global mapping of the density and pressure of the atmospherebetween 10 and 100 kilometres altitude, and studied atmospheric escapeprocesses in the upper layers of the atmosphere. This is contributingto our understanding of the weather and climate evolution of the planet.

Thereis still much to be discovered by the extraordinary set of instrumentson board Mars Express. First, the 23-month extension will enable theMars Express radar, MARSIS, to restart Martian night-time measurementsin December this year.

MARSIS will continue its subsurfacestudies mainly in the search for liquid and frozen water. By combiningsubsurface, surface and atmospheric data, Mars Express will provide anunprecedented global picture of Mars and, in particular, its water.

Sofar, the High Resolution Stereo Camera has imaged only 19% of theMartian surface at high resolution. In the extended phase, it will beable to continue the 3D high-resolution colour imaging. After theViking missions, Mars Express is building today’s legacy of Marsimagery for present and future generations of scientists.

Thanksto the extension, Mars Express will also be able to study for a secondyear the way the atmosphere varies during different seasons, and toobserve again variable phenomena such as frost, fog or ice.

Finally,Mars Express will be able to revisit those areas where majordiscoveries, such as new volcanic structures, sedimentary layering,methane sources, nightglow and auroras, have been made, thus allowingto confirm and understand all aspects related to these discoveries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Mars Express Mission Extended." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050926083834.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2005, September 27). Mars Express Mission Extended. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050926083834.htm
European Space Agency. "Mars Express Mission Extended." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050926083834.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Observers near Wallops Island recorded what they thought would be a routine rocket launch Tuesday night. What they recorded was a major rocket explosion shortly after lift off. (Oct 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Just hours after an American cargo run to the International Space Station ended in flames, a Russian supply ship has arrived at the station with a load of fresh supplies. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 29, 2014) A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) NASA and Orbital Sciences officials say they are investigating the explosion of an unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station. It blew up moments after liftoff Tuesday evening over the launch site in Virginia. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins