Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA radio delivered for Europe's 2016 Mars orbiter

Date:
July 3, 2014
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
The first of two NASA Electra radios that will fly aboard the European Space Agency's next mission to Mars has been delivered for installation onto the ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

The European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, being assembled in France for a 2016 launch, will carry two Electra UHF relay radios provided by NASA.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/TAS

The first of two NASA Electra radios that will fly aboard the European Space Agency's next mission to Mars has been delivered for installation onto the ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

The TGO is being assembled at Thales Alenia Space, in Cannes, France, for a 2016 launch opportunity. It will study the Martian atmosphere for the presence of methane and other gases that may be present in small concentrations. It will also deploy the ESA Schiaparelli Mars landing demonstration craft and provide communications support for ESA ExoMars Rover and a Russian Lander planned for launch in 2018.

Twin Electra ultra-high frequency (UHF) radios on the TGO will provide communication links with robots on the Martian surface -- rovers or landers. Relay of information from Mars-surface craft to Mars orbiters, then from Mars orbit to Earth, enables receiving much more data from the surface missions than would otherwise be possible.

"We are fortifying our partnership with Europe to strengthen the Mars relay network together," said Phillip Barela of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, project manager for NASA's participation in ExoMars.

The Electra radio design from JPL includes special features for relay use between an orbiter and a rover or stationary lander. For example, it can actively adjust the data rate during a communication session -- slower when the orbiter is near the horizon from the surface robot's perspective, faster when it is overhead.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter already use Electra technology for relay of data. A NASA orbiter currently on the way to Mars, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, also carries an Electra radio. Plans call for the TGO to use its Electra radios for communication with ESA's 2018 ExoMars Rover and Russia's Lander as well as with NASA's 2016 Mars lander and 2020 Mars rover. The first Electra radio for the TGO was delivered June 17, 2014. The second is on track for delivery in September.

The planned orbit for the TGO is an advantageous one for providing relay duty. It is similar to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's at about 250 miles (400 kilometers) in altitude and nearly circular in shape. The mission will make use of Earth-based radio antenna networks operated by ESA, NASA and Russia.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages NASA's role in the ESA ExoMars program for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

For more about the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, visit: http://exploration.esa.int/mars/46475-trace-gas-orbiter/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA radio delivered for Europe's 2016 Mars orbiter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703102758.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2014, July 3). NASA radio delivered for Europe's 2016 Mars orbiter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703102758.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA radio delivered for Europe's 2016 Mars orbiter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703102758.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
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