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ExoMars 2016
#34
...


Quote:"It's a good spacecraft in the right place,
and
we
have
a mission around Mars," he said.


Rofl

they had better get Vladimir Hi   Putin to say that next time, because this guy is unconvincing.


quote V
Quote:It will briefly hover  Nonono
at
an
altitude 
of two metres Jawdrop
before 
cutting its engines 
and falling to the surface.  [Image: hi.gif] 


[Image: rofl.gif]


The impact Kickbut
is meant to be absorbed by a crushable structure 
[Image: tp.bmp]  in the lander's belly 
similar to a car's crumple zone.



Rofl

Roscosmos:
[Image: 8430089__vuoyvpvk0h88zhfqvvjotwades.jpg]
Reply
#35
Quote:Please understand if there is a bit of dark humor in this... can't land, can't post a simple video. Doh [b]gmalone[/b]


EXOMARS PRESS BRIEFING 20 OCTOBER
http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/...20_October


Comments from ESA press briefing video:
Quote:COMMENTS
 [Image: arw_red_on.gif]

Please login to post your comments.

gmalone
20/10/2016 20:54
Audio drops out in videos except 'source' video
The posted mp4 (92mb) and the embedded streaming video on the page both lose their audio tracks during the first minute of play and the audio does not return.

However, the source video (293mb) does have continuous audio.

Very happy that ESA has once again demonstrated the ability to get to Mars. The unfortunate failed lander is sad, though you'd get the opposite sense from the commentary in the conference... which is very strange to listen to.

Nevertheless, congratulations on a net-positive mission. Like the other comments here, I recommend a bit more 'realism' in future assessments. We can handle it.

UPDATE ABOUT VIDEO:
I spoke too soon about the source video (293mb). It is configured as a 34 min video file, but cuts out suddenly at 17 mins.

Please understand if there is a bit of dark humor in this... can't land, can't post a simple video. That's not fair at all, just barely humorous, I know, but at least fix the video so we can see the whole news conference?
:)

Win10, Chrome latest, USA

Montanaro K
20/10/2016 18:49
Congratulations (but the lander was a typical European)
First of all a Big Congratulations for putting a satellite in orbit around Mars and for the safe entry into the Martian atmosphere but I got to agree with what Mr. Groveroa just wrote.

Secondly and most importantly, as an aircraft mechanic myself, it is very obvious to me that this was designed by desktop engineers: I.E. people who are absolutely fantastic at crunching the numbers but unfortunately, miss small practical details here and there. When I watched the entry animation a few weeks ago, my first thought was "Discard the drag-chute? Is that really helpful?" also "Cut off the thrusters a few feet off the ground? I accidentally pushed my phone off the desk last week and now it's useless!" 

Yes, there are 9 thruster nozzles but if just one of them fails, that'll just cause the lander to tumble down to its final demise for sure. You don't need to be someone with a degree to notice that 9 times the thrusters = 9 times the chances that one of them will fail or fire out of sequence.

Simpler is always better no matter how advanced your technology is. If you have better technology, just add it to what you have already to make it better, just like Airbus does to its comprehensive range of aircraft. Few quick ideas off the top of my head: Ram-Air Turbines which would slow down the lander even further and at the same time charge the batteries giving it a longer battery life; Wings which can change the trajectory of the lander giving it better and more efficient control over its trajectory or just a bigger parachute which would be deployed following the deceleration to a subsonic speed.

The ESA has done a fantastic job shooting a couple of probes out there, I think putting the satellite in orbit at the right time is greatly underestimated even by people keen on the subject. I find it funny that what they have been getting wrong is something that we have mastered a century ago: landing a machine just good enough to live and tell the tale.

Keep up the good work!

jeoten
20/10/2016 16:56
I agree with Groveroa. Every mission to Mars is an experiment, so suggesting the lander was an "experiment" to suggest somehow that its less of a spacecraft or that it might not live up to its promise or something is ridiculous. We are all adults, We know landing is challenging on another planet ... you don't need to sound like you have to come up with some excuse.

Congratulations on getting to orbit and hope the lander did land intact and can be reached for further comment.

Groveroa
20/10/2016 14:11
Distasteful Political Spin
How sad it is to see senior ESA executives so clearly "coached" to say the same thing at a press briefing rather than the honest truth. Putting an orbiter in place around Mars is a fantastic achievement and I applaud it and congratulate ESA. However, if you plan to land a lander and it fails to land. This is a Failure. I accept that it is an experimental vehicle. I accept that a lot of data will have been captured. But come on ESA you failed in one of your primary objectives. There is no shame in saying so rather than these politically correct it was all a test and it was successful. Planetary exploration is hard. There will be failures. There will be missions that fall short of completing all of their objectives. Please just be honest enough to say so. Watching this briefing was extremely uncomfortable.

Total 4 comments


[Image: lilD.gif] ?Alive Crumple/Land  [Image: sheep.gif] Crash /Crumple Dead? [Image: angel.png]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#36
...
Groveroa comment segment in the last post was on the mark:


Quote:This is a Failure. 
I accept that it is an experimental vehicle. 
I accept that a lot of data will have been captured. 
But come on ESA Whip
you failed in one of your primary objectives. 

There is no shame in saying so Nonono
rather than these politically correct it was all a test and it was successful. 


Epic Fail.



Quote:It will briefly hover  [Image: nonono.gif]
at
an
altitude 
of two metres [Image: jawdrop.gif]
before 
cutting 
its
engines 
and falling to the surface.  [Image: hi.gif] 


It's was supposed to be a lion of Russian - ESA space technology  Nonono

it's a piece of shit spacecraft lander Whip
that's 
supposed to land 
just
like 

piece
of
shit 

[Image: 2015-07-Lion-Piece-of-Shit.jpg]


Rofl

...
Reply
#37
I guess my Qwerky Quantum Query was answered...  

 ?Alive Crumple/Land   Arrow  Crash /Crumple Dead! 

Новости

РОСКОСМОС и ЕКА. ПЕРВЫЕ ФОТОГРАФИИ С МЕСТА ПРЕДПОЛАГАЕМОЙ ПОСАДКИ «СКИАПАРЕЛЛИ»
[img=0x0]http://exomars.cosmos.ru/fileadmin/_processed_/csm_Schiaparelli_landing_site_node_full_image_2_0e6d3857e7.jpg[/img]
Космический аппарат NASA MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), находящийся на орбите Красной планеты, передал фотографии поверхности Марса, на которых возможно...
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!!!Eye Wander / I Wonder???

Quote:“We’re sending a message,” Mr. Biden told Chuck Todd, the show’s host. “We have the capacity to do it.”
http://exomars.cosmos.ru/
“He’ll know it,” Mr. Biden added. “And it will be at the time of our choosing. And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views Schiaparelli landing site
October 21, 2016

[Image: marsreconnai.gif]
A pair of before-and-after images taken by the Context Camera (CTX) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on 29 May 2016 and 20 October 2016 show two new features appearing following the arrival of the Schiaparelli test lander module on 19 October. One of the features is bright and can be associated with the 12-m diameter parachute used in the second stage of Schiaparelli’s descent, after the initial heat shield entry. The parachute and the associated back shield were released from Schiaparelli prior to the final phase, during which its nine thrusters should have slowed it to a standstill just above the surface. The other new feature is a fuzzy dark patch roughly 15 x 40 metres in size and about 1 km north of the parachute. This is interpreted as arising from the impact of the Schiaparelli module itself following a much longer free fall than planned, after the thrusters were switched off prematurely. The main image covers an area about 4 kilometres wide, at about 2 degrees south latitude, 354 degrees east longitude, in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. The scale bars are in metres. North is up. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA's ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module.



Schiaparelli entered the martian atmosphere at 14:42 GMT on 19 October for its 6-minute descent to the surface, but contact was lost shortly before expected touchdown. Data recorded by its mothership, the Trace Gas Orbiter, are currently being analysed to understand what happened during the descent sequence.
In the meantime, the low-resolution CTX camera on-board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) took pictures of the expected touchdown site in Meridiani Planum on 20 October as part of a planned imaging campaign.
The image released today has a resolution of 6 metres per pixel and shows two new features on the surface when compared to an image from the same camera taken in May this year.
One of the features is bright and can be associated with the 12-m diameter parachute used in the second stage of Schiaparelli's descent, after the initial heat shield entry. The parachute and the associated back shield were released from Schiaparelli prior to the final phase, during which its nine thrusters should have slowed it to a standstill just above the surface.
[Image: marsreconnai.jpg]
The landing site of the Schiaparelli module within the predicted landing ellipse in a mosaic of images from the Context Camera (CTX) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter. Below the main image are a pair of before-and-after images, taken by the CTX camera on 29 May 2016 (left) and 20 October 2016 (right), respectively. The 20 October image shows two new features appearing following the arrival of the Schiaparelli test lander module on the martian surface on 19 October. One of the features is bright and can be associated with the 12-m diameter parachute used in the second stage of Schiaparelli’s descent, after the initial heat shield entry. The parachute and the associated back shield were released from Schiaparelli prior to the final phase, during which its nine thrusters should have slowed it to a standstill just above the surface. The other new feature is a fuzzy dark patch roughly 15 x 40 metres in size and about 1 km north of the parachute. This is interpreted as arising from the impact of the Schiaparelli module itself following a much longer free fall than planned, after the thrusters were switched off prematurely. The landing ellipse is 100 km x 15 km, and is centred on 2 degrees south in latitude and 353 degrees east longitude, in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars, close to the planet's equator. The image measures about 100 km; north is up. The dark spot on the image, associated with the Schiaparelli module, is located approximately 5.4 km west of the centre of the landing ellipse. Credit: Main image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, Arizona State University; inserts: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The other new feature is a fuzzy dark patch roughly 15 x 40 metres in size and about 1 km north of the parachute. This is interpreted as arising from the impact of the Schiaparelli module itself following a much longer free fall than planned, after the thrusters were switched off prematurely.
Estimates are that Schiaparelli dropped from a height of between 2 and 4 kilometres, therefore impacting at a considerable speed, greater than 300 km/h. The relatively large size of the feature would then arise from disturbed surface material. It is also possible that the lander exploded on impact, as its thruster propellant tanks were likely still full. These preliminary interpretations will be refined following further analysis.
A closer look at these features will be taken next week with HiRISE, the highest-resolution camera onboard MRO. These images may also reveal the location of the front heat shield, dropped at higher altitude.
Since the module's descent trajectory was observed from three different locations, the teams are confident that they will be able to reconstruct the chain of events with great accuracy. The exact mode of anomaly onboard Schiaparelli is still under investigation.
[Image: 1-marsreconnai.jpg]
A NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera (CTX) image taken on 29 May 2016. This is the ‘before’ image in the pair of images taken to locate the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
The two new features are located at 353.79 degrees east longitude, 2.07 degrees south latitude on Mars. The position of the dark mark shows that Schiaparelli impacted approximately 5.4 km west of its intended landing point, well within the nominal 100 x 15 km landing ellipse.


Meanwhile, the teams continue to decode the data extracted from the recording of Schiaparelli descent signals recorded by the ExoMars TGO in order to establish correlations with the measurements made with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), an experimental telescope array located near Pune, India, and with ESA's Mars Express from orbit.
A substantial amount of extremely valuable Schiaparelli engineering data were relayed back to the TGO during the descent and is being analysed by engineers day and night.
The ExoMars TGO orbiter is currently on a 101 000 km x 3691 km orbit (with respect to the centre of the planet) with a period of 4.2 days, well within the planned initial orbit. The spacecraft is working very well and will take science calibration data during two orbits in November 2016.
[Image: 2-marsreconnai.jpg]
A NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera (CTX) image taken on 20 October 2016. This is the ‘after’ image in the pair of images taken to locate the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, which shows two new features appearing following the arrival of the module on 19 October. One of the features is bright and can be associated with the 12-m diameter parachute used in the second stage of Schiaparelli’s descent, after the initial heat shield entry. The parachute and the associated back shield were released from Schiaparelli prior to the final phase, during which its nine thrusters should have slowed it to a standstill just above the surface. The other new feature is a fuzzy dark patch roughly 15 x 40 metres in size and about 1 km north of the parachute. This is interpreted as arising from the impact of the Schiaparelli module itself following a much longer free fall than planned, after the thrusters were switched off prematurely. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
It will then be ready for the planned aerobraking manoeuvres starting in March 2017 and continuing for most of the year, bringing it into a 400-km altitude circular orbit around Mars.
The TGO will then begin its primary science mission to study the atmosphere of Mars in search of possible indications of life below the surface, and to act as a telecommunications relay station for the ExoMars 2020 rover and other landed assets.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Schiaparelli descent data—decoding underway
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-mars-reconnaissance-orbiter-views-schiaparelli.html#jCp[/url]




Photos show European Mars probe crashed, may have exploded (Update)
October 21, 2016 by Frank Jordans

[Image: photosshoweu.jpg]
A rendering of the Schiaparelli Space Module and of the planet Mars is displayed on a movie screen during an event organized by Italy's Space Agency on the occasion of the insertion of the Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit around Mars, and the landing of Schiaparelli module on the surface of of the planet, in Rome, Friday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Europe's experimental Mars probe hit the right spot—but at the wrong speed—and may have ended up in a fiery ball of rocket fuel when it struck the surface, scientists said Friday.



Pictures taken by a NASA satellite show a black spot in the area where the Schiaparelli lander was meant to touch down Wednesday, the European Space Agency said. The images end two days of speculation following the probe's unexpected radio silence less than a minute before the planned landing.
"Estimates are that Schiaparelli dropped from a height of between 2 and 4 kilometers (1.4-2.4 miles), therefore impacting at a considerable speed, greater than 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph)," the agency said.
It said the large disturbance captured in the NASA photographs may have been caused by the probe's steep crash-landing, which would have sprayed matter around like a blast site on Earth.
"It is also possible that the lander exploded on impact, as its thruster propellant tanks were likely still full," the agency said.
Schiaparelli was designed to test technology for a more ambitious European Mars landing in 2020. The European Space Agency said the probe's mother ship was successfully placed into orbit Wednesday and will soon begin analyzing the Martian atmosphere in search for evidence of life.
"In my heart, of course I'm sad that we couldn't land softly on the surface of Mars," ESA chief Jan Woerner told The Associated Press. "But the main part of the mission is the science that will be done by the orbiter."
Woerner said engineers received a wealth of data from the lander before the crash that will prove valuable for the next attempt in four years' time. He described the mission as "a 96 percent success."
[Image: 1-photosshoweu.jpg]
Italian Space Agency President Roberto Battiston holds a pamphlet reading in Italian 'Colonize Mars, Friday, Oct. 19, 2016, in front of a rendering showing the Schiaparelli Space Module and the planet Mars as they follow during an event organized by Italy's Space Agency, the insertion of the Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit around Mars, and the landing of the Schiaparelli module on the surface of the planet. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Still, the crash-landing was a painful reminder of how hard it is to put a spacecraft on the surface of the red planet.
Its resting place was photographed by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which also spotted Europe's last ill-fated mission to the surface of the planet. The Beagle 2 probe landed on Mars in 2003 but failed to deploy its solar panels properly, preventing it from functioning.
There have only been seven successful robotic landings on Mars, all by NASA. The last landing was in 2012, when the Curiosity rover touched down in a Martian crater.
Landing on Mars is notoriously difficult because of the planet's thin, dusty atmosphere. Inbound spacecraft hit the atmosphere at 12,000 mph (19,300 kph) and have only minutes to slow down and land.


With the loss of Schiaparelli, only two spacecraft are currently roaming the Martian surface—Curiosity and Opportunity, which landed in 2004.
ESA said that, according to what its scientists have been able to piece together so far, Schiaparelli suffered problems during the last 50 seconds of its descent through the harsh Martian atmosphere.
The picture taken by NASA's orbiter shows two features that weren't visible on the surface when the spacecraft photographed the area in May. The first is a bright spot of about 12 meters diameter, likely to be Schiaparelli's parachute, ESA said.
The second was described as "a fuzzy dark patch roughly 15 by 40 meters in size and about 1 kilometer north of the parachute" and is likely to be the lander.
[Image: 2-photosshoweu.jpg]
A model of Schiaparelli· the mars landing device , is on display at the European Space Agency, ESA, in Darmstadt, Germany Wednesday Oct. 19, 2016. Schiaparelli will enter the martian atmosphere at an altitude of about 121 km and a speed of nearly 21 000 km/h. Less than six minutes later it will have landed on Mars. The probe will take images of Mars and conduct scientific measurements on the surface, but its main purpose is to test technology for a future European Mars rover. Schiaparelli's mother ship ,TGO, will remain in orbit to analyze gases in the Martian atmosphere to help answer whether there is or was life on Mars, ( Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

"These preliminary interpretations will be refined following further analysis" and a high-resolution picture in the coming days, the agency said.
While Schiaparelli was able to beam back some 600 megabytes of data before the crash, scientists won't get any of the close-up photos the probe took during its descent. Those were meant to be transmitted after the landing.
ESA said the other part of the ExoMars mission—the Trace Gas Orbiter—was "working very well and will take science calibration data during two orbits in November."
The spacecraft will then descend to an altitude of about 400 kilometers and begin its study of Mars next year. The orbiter is also going to act as a radio relay for the next stage of the ExoMars mission and other future attempts to land on the planet.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-european-sp...e.html#jCp[url=http://phys.org/news/2016-10-european-space-agency-mars-probe.html#jCp]




Quote:WASHINGTON — Since the Obama administration formally accusedRussia about a week ago of trying to interfere in the election, there has been intense speculation about whether President Obama has ordered theNational Security Agency to conduct a retaliatory cyberstrike.
The strongest hint so far has come from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who either revealed American plans for a strike or engaged in one of the better bits of psychological warfare in recent times.
Taping an interview for NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Biden was asked whether the United States was preparing to send a message to the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. Days before, the American intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security declared that the Russian leadership was responsible for attacks on the Democratic National Committee and the leaking of stolen emails.
“We’re sending a message,” Mr. Biden told Chuck Todd, the show’s host. “We have the capacity to do it.”
“He’ll know it,” Mr. Biden added. “And it will be at the time of our choosing. And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”
Later, after Mr. Biden said he was not concerned that Russia could “fundamentally alter the election,” Mr. Todd asked whether the American public would know if the message to Mr. Putin had been sent.
“Hope not,” Mr. Biden responded.
His warning seems to suggest that Mr. Obama is prepared to order — or has already ordered — some kind of covert action after the stolen emails were published online. That would require what is known in the intelligence agencies as a finding — a presidential determination authorizing covert action.
Such a finding would allow the United States to make use of its newly developed arsenal of cyberweapons, which are under the control of the military’s Cyber Command, the N.S.A. and, in some circumstances, theC.I.A.
Mr. Biden’s statement does not exclude the possibility of a response outside the realm of cyberspace.


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/us/pol....html?_r=0
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#38
I betya its through the JOKER POKER LIARS club that did it.

Not wanting "Official Never A Straight Answer" involved, the JPL has ALWAYS been the CIA of NASA and Outer Space Communications.  It is THROUGH the JPL network of Deep Space Antennas that ALL NASA mission data is received AND sent.

Since the ESA was likely SHARING the decent data of the lander through the atmosphere with NASA, simple to hack into lander coding and give a "glitch" to the lander's software.

Biden's Fuck You Everybody Military Policy Horsepoop


Bob... Ninja Atombomb
"The Light" - Jefferson Starship-Windows of Heaven Album
I'm an Earthling with a Martian Soul wanting to go Home.   
You have to turn your own lightbulb on. ©stevo25 & rhw007
Reply
#39
LOL, yet ANOTHER failure at Mars, this time a big ka-boom by the ESA/Russian clownfest. It's either sickening or hilarious ...... it's hard to decide which.

Mike
Reply
#40
Someone, on this world, or perhaps another, does not want us to get too close to Mars. I have no idea as to why, but there are just too many "accidents" for my liking.
Reply
#41
(03-19-2016, 10:46 PM)EA Wrote:
Quote:ExoMars was programmed to autonomously step through its initial post-separation sequence Naughty  without anyone watching.

Thankfully sum-one was watching the injection maneuver Pre-seperation for the "Send off"



Quote:Making its final close pass of the planet,   Briz-M re-started its engine at Arrow   19:47 UTC,
[Image: Schiaparelli_on_Trace_Gas_Orbiter-1-1-512x333.jpg]
ten hours and 19 minutes after liftoff, for a boost of 12 minutes and 30 seconds.  The Trans-Martian Injection maneuver began when the vehicle was flying over the Great Lakes, heading over Canada and all the way across the Atlantic Ocean for shutdown over North Africa.

A good burn was swiftly confirmed based on reading’s from Briz-M’s navigation sensors and the upper stage began preparing for the big finale of its mission – the separation of the ExoMars spacecraft.   


[img=441x0]http://spaceflight101.com/exomars/wp-content/uploads/sites/79/2016/03/ExoMars2016_TGO_EDM_Launch_Separation_20160229_2k-512x288.jpg[/img]Image: ESA/ATG Medialab

The 4,332-Kilogram ExoMars probe was sent on its way ten hours and 41 minutes after liftoff, after a seemingly flawless mission of Proton and Briz-M.
But the long wait for the Mission Control Team at the European Space Operations Center was not over at that point because ExoMars was programmed to autonomously step through its initial post-separation sequence without anyone watching.

This was due to power limitations –
[Image: rooster-crowing-2.jpg]
the spacecraft had to wait  19:47 UTC... ===>>>
  ...until entering daylight to power-up its transmitter.

“We’re sending a message,” Mr. Biden told Chuck Todd, the show’s host. “We have the capacity to do it.”
http://exomars.cosmos.ru/
“He’ll know it,” Mr. Biden added. “And it will be at the time of our choosing. And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.

[Image: csm_Schiaparelli_landing_site_node_full_...3857e7.jpg]
Quote:This is interpreted as arising from the impact of the Schiaparelli module itself following a much longer free fall than planned, after the thrusters were switched off prematurely.


One of the features is bright and can be associated with the 12-m diameter parachute used in the second stage of Schiaparelli’s descent, after the initial heat shield entry. The parachute and the associated back shield were released from Schiaparelli prior to the final phase, during which its nine thrusters should have slowed it to a standstill just above the surface.



You don't say... [Image: arrow.png] Recall:





[Image: exomars.jpg]  

Europe's Mars orbiter is healthy says 'relieved' ESA (Update)

UPDATE: Ground controllers re-established full links Sunday with a European-Russian Mars orbiter which worryingly stopped sending status updates after releasing a lander on a three-day trek to the Red Planet's surface

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-europe-mars...ieved.html





[Image: 10-anartistsimp.jpg]  



Europe steers lander towards Mars surface



Europe sent a tiny lander on a three-day, million-kilometre (621,000-mile) trek to the Martian surface Sunday to test-drive technology for a daring mission to scout the Red Planet for evidence of life.

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-europe-land...rface.html



Juno Jupiter Probe's Final Engine Burn Delayed by  Glitch   

By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | October 17, 2016 03:21pm ET




[Image: juno-jupiter-north-pole.jpg?interpolatio...00:200;*,*]



NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this view of Jupiter's north polar region during a close flyby on Aug. 27, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Reply
#42
...

Mike DeTorrice:
Quote:LOL, yet ANOTHER failure at Mars, 
this time a big ka-boom by the ESA/Russian clownfest Lol
 

It's either sickening or hilarious ...... it's hard to decide which.


It's hilarious.
see:
Quote:... after the thrusters were switched off prematurely  Doh


Rofl

Quote:Woerner said engineers received a wealth of data from the lander Tp  before the crash 
that will prove valuable 
for the next attempt in four years' time Naughty  

He described the mission as "a 96 percent success."


Rofl

96 percent success is lol ridiculous.

This mission has 96% success in predictable comedy.
It's the Funny Bone Mars mission.

To have been able to be right there and witness,
when that POS dropped out of the sky and impacted would have been excellent amusement. 

From what I can read between the lines in the damage control press releases,
it appears that those "thrusters were prematurely switched off",
50 seconds too early.

Quote:Schiaparelli suffered problems during the last 50 seconds 
of its descent through the harsh Martian atmosphere.

Estimates are that Schiaparelli dropped from a height of between 2 and 4 kilometres, 
therefore impacting at a considerable speed, 
greater than 300 km/h


impact at  300 Rofl  km  Rofl per hour Rofl 


I fully expect more funny bones to emerge in this mission.
...
Reply
#43


Schiaparelli crash site in colour
November 4, 2016

[Image: schiaparelli.png]
Composite of the ExoMars Schiaparelli module elements seen by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on 1 November 2016. Both the main impact site (top) and the region with the parachute and …more
New high-resolution images taken by a NASA orbiter show parts of the ExoMars Schiaparelli module and its landing site in colour on the Red Planet.



Schiaparelli arrived in the Meridiani Planum region on Mars on 19 October, while its mothership began orbiting the planet. The Trace Gas orbiter will make its first science observations during two of its highly elliptical circuits around Mars – corresponding to eight days – starting on 20 November, including taking its first images of the planet since arriving.
The new image of Schiaparelli and its hardware components was taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, on 1 November. The main impact site is now captured in the central portion of the swath that is imaged by the high-resolution camera through three filters, enabling a colour image to be constructed.
In addition, the image of 1 November was taken looking slightly to the west, while the earlier image was looking to the east, providing a contrasting viewing geometry.
Indeed, the latest image set sheds new light on some of the details that could only be speculated from the first look last week.
For example, a number of the bright white spots around the dark region interpreted as the impact site are confirmed as real objects – they are not likely to be imaging 'noise' – and therefore are most likely fragments of Schiaparelli.
Interestingly, a bright feature can just be made out in the place where the dark crater was identified in last week's image. This may be associated with the module, but the images so far are not conclusive.
[Image: 4-schiaparelli.jpg]
A comparison of the 25 October image taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera with that taken on 1 November. In the week that elapsed, the outline of Schiaparelli’s parachute on the martian surface has apparently changed, which is interpreted as movement due to local wind. The parachute has a maximum diameter of 12 m, and it is attached to the rear heatshield, which measures about 2.4 m across. Aside from the obvious difference of the 1 November being in colour, the images have slightly different projections: in the colour image north is about 7º west of straight up. In addition, the 25 October image was looking to the east, while the 1 November image was taken looking slightly to the west. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
A bright fuzzy patch revealed in the colour image alongside the dark streaks to the west of the crater could be surface material disturbed in the impact or from a subsequent explosion or explosive decompression of the module's fuel tanks, for example.
About 0.9 km to the south, the parachute and rear heatshield have also now been imaged in colour. In the time that has elapsed since the last image was taken on 25 October, the outline of the parachute has changed. The most logical explanation is that it has been shifted in the wind, in this case slightly to the west. This phenomenon was also observed by MRO in images of the parachute used by NASA's Curiosity rover.
A stereo reconstruction of this image in the future will also help to confirm the orientation of the rear heatshield. The pattern of bright and dark patches suggest it is sitting such that we see the outside of the heatshield and the signature of the way in which the external layer of insulation has burned away in some parts and not others – as expected.


Finally, the front heatshield has been imaged again in black and white – its location falls outside of the colour region imaged by MRO – and shows no changes. Because of the different viewing geometry between the two image sets, this confirms that the bright spots are not specular reflections, and must therefore be related to the intrinsic brightness of the object. That is, it is most likely the bright multilayer thermal insulation that covers the inside of the front heatshield, as suggested last week.
Further imaging is planned in about two weeks, and it will be interesting to see if any further changes are noticed.
The images may provide more pieces of the puzzle as to what happened to Schiaparelli as it approached the martian surface.
Following its successful atmospheric entry and subsequent slowing due to heatshield and parachute deceleration, the internal investigation into the root cause of the problems encountered by Schiaparelli in the latter stages of its six-minute descent continues. An independent inquiry board has been initiated.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Detailed images of Schiaparelli and its descent hardware on Mars
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-schiaparelli-site-colour.html#jCp[/url][url=http://phys.org/news/2016-11-schiaparelli-site-colour.html#jCp]
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#44
...


Quote:For example,
a number of the bright white spots around the dark region interpreted as the impact site
are confirmed as real objects –
they are not likely to be imaging 'noise' – and therefore are most likely fragments of Schiaparelli.

Schiaparelli crash site in colour!


Mission success!


Rofl

...
Reply
#45
I believe the lander would have basically ended itz official mission by now in time alloted if it was successful, wich it was not.

Thread evolves Arrow Trace Gas Orbiter’s (TGO) LilD


I wish them luck in detecting the first possible 'real-time'(as far as that goes quarterly) reports of possible(likely) bio-signatures.

It would be nice to get unambiguos hits of methane release etc . that triggers a definate mission to go to the best extant source early so they can re-plan and land the next follow-up rovers there (even if it means retargeting any landing elipses/ coordinates)

I feel a loss for Schiaparelli and his namesake has literally left itz mark on Mars.

What ifs are exactly that.

Go TGO!!!
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#46
...
Quote:Go TGO!!! 

TGO
Trace Gas Orbiter 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales_Alenia_Space
Manufacturer Thales Alenia Space
Quote:Thales Alenia Space is a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer formed after the Thales Group 
bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint-ventures between Alcatel and Finmeccanica, 
Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio.
The company is Europe's largest satellite manufacturer.


home link
https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/worldwide/space/space
Quote:from November 2 to 5, 
Thales Alenia Space will be at Indo Defence 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia


In the near future,
rich Earth to Mars entrepreneaurs will start collecting the relic spacecraft of this early 21st century.
Ceres Dawn will be plucked out of orbit,
and sold at an interplanetary antique spacecraft auction on Mars in the year 2116,
for a whole lot of Martian blueberries.

Imagine what price a vintage NASA 2012 Mars Rover might fetch from 22nd century Barsoom billionaires.

Go TGO !!!
I'm placing a solid absentee bid on the TGO at the antique spacecraft auction in 2116 on Mars. 
...
Reply
#47
The base energy sources in habitable zone ecosystems... Methane? Cry

Quote:Methow River floodplain in Winthrop, Washington.
 Vic is this anywhere near your crick-neck of the woods?

Here is an article we can use as a benchmark for years ahead Arrow concerning methane producing or Methane Consuming???

that may help distinguish between biologic or geologic.

Logically Levin will have his day.
Quote: Either methane source was likely consumed by bacteria first before being directly or indirectly consumed by the stoneflies themselves.



Researchers document ancient and methane-derived carbon in stoneflies
November 10, 2016

Quote:Methane is not ANCIENT currently now under present Mars conditions. Naughty

New research by scientists at the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station has documented the first example of freshwater consumers using ancient methane-derived carbon and the most extensive example of a methane-derived carbon contribution to a river ecosystem.


The research - conducted by FLBS researchers Amanda DelVecchia and Jack Stanford, along with Xiaomei Xu from the University of California at Irvine - was recently published in the open access journal, Nature Communications.
The team's research focused on the Nyack floodplain on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River in Montana; the main stem of the Flathead River in Kalispell, Montana; the Jocko River floodplain near Arlee, Montana; and the Methow River floodplain in Winthrop, Washington. The work helped helps to explain a decades-old question in groundwater ecology: How do thousands of large-bodied stoneflies survive in the barren (carbon-poor) and dark environment of gravel aquifers underlying river floodplains?
The researchers found that up to 67 percent of the carbon in stonefly biomass (body tissue) across entire floodplains came from methane. Furthermore, the methane carbon in the Nyack floodplain ranged from modern to millennial-aged (6,900 years old) to ancient (greater than 50,000 years old).
The millennial-aged methane carbon could have come from organic matter deposited during the retreat of the last glaciation 7,000-10,000 years ago, or the ancient carbon could have come from a shale methane source, as the Kishenehn shale formation underlies the floodplain. Either methane source was likely consumed by bacteria first before being directly or indirectly consumed by the stoneflies themselves.
River floodplains are some of the most valuable and most threatened ecosystems in the world. The findings of this study advance scientific understanding of the base energy sources in freshwater ecosystems and underscore the value of pristine river floodplains for maintaining biodiversity, productivity and ecosystem services such as maintained water quality.
The researchers continue to research the role of methane in the food web and community ecology of the Nyack aquifer and expect subsequent findings to be published over the next one to two years.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: For nature, gravel-bed rivers most important feature in mountainous western North America
More information: Amanda G. DelVecchia et al. Ancient and methane-derived carbon subsidizes contemporary food webs, Nature Communications (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13163 
Journal reference: Nature Communications [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Montana



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-document-ancient-methane-derived-carbon-stoneflies.html#jCp[url=http://phys.org/news/2016-11-document-ancient-methane-derived-carbon-stoneflies.html#jCp][/url]
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#48
Researchers use novel analysis technique to help solve Beagle 2 mystery
November 11, 2016

[Image: 47-researchersu.jpg]
Image showing image from HiRISE, Simulated Beagle 2 at same scale in close up and comparison between real image and simulated image using HiRISE sized pixels in close-up. Credit: De Montfort University/University of Leicester/Beagle 2/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Scientists in Leicester have moved one step closer to understanding exactly what happened to the ill-fated Mars Lander Beagle 2, thanks to an innovative research technique.



The probe was discovered on the Red Planet in November 2014 but uncertainty surrounded what had caused its failure to communicate with Earth.
Now, a collaboration between De Montfort University and the University of Leicester, has used 3D modelling technology to reveal for the first time that Beagle 2 deployed at least three, and possibly all four, of the solar panels it was supposed to after touching down on the planet's surface.
The finding will rewrite scientific knowledge about the stricken Lander—it was previously thought that perhaps only (as few as) two of the four solar panels had deployed.
Beagle 2 was part of the ESA Mars Express Mission launched in June 2003. Mars Express is still orbiting Mars and returning scientific data on the planet. Beagle 2 was successfully ejected from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft on 19 December 2003 but failed to send a signal on Christmas Day - its scheduled landing day on Mars. It was presumed lost until over a decade later when the mystery of what happened to the mission was solved through images taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Despite its detection, due to the small size of the lander and the resolution of the HiRISE camera on the MRO, the exact configuration of the lander on Mars was not clear—despite collection of 8 images of the lander and use of advanced image processing techniques.
Now the researchers from De Montfort University and the University of Leicester have worked together to come up with a new way to detect the configuration of the lander.
Professor Mark Sims, former Beagle 2 Mission Manager and Professor of Astrobiology and Space Instrumentation at the University of Leicester came up with the concept of "reflection analysis" - of matching simulated and real images of Beagle 2.
[Image: 48-researchersu.jpg]
Image showing Lander Orientation, and Tilt that enables best match. Credit: De Montfort University
The technique is based on simulating possible configurations of the lander on the surface and comparing the light of the Sun reflected by the simulated lander with the unprocessed images available from the HiRISE camera at a number of different sun angles.
Professor Sims turned to a team at De Montfort University to realise his concept. Commercially available software used for 3D modelling, animation, visual effects and simulation design was adapted to enable this analysis.


Nick Higgett leader of the De Montfort University Simulation team said: "This has been an exciting collaboration with the University of Leicester's Space Research Centre. The De Montfort team were responsible for all the 3D simulation work to test the reflection analysis concept. In order to do this, our visualisation specialist Teodora Kuzmanova had to create a physically accurate 3D model of the Beagle 2 Mars Lander with surfaces that would accurately reflect virtual sunlight. The angle of the sun had to be simulated along with position of a virtual camera that could take pictures equivalent to NASA's Reconnaissance Orbiter. Finally these images had to be pixelated to match the resolution of the Orbiter's images.
"The visual comparison between the real and simulated images could then begin to identify which landing configuration (1, 2, 3 or 4 deployed solar panels) was the best fit. This was originally a proof of principle project. However, we are delighted to say that we have gone way beyond this original plan to reach this exciting conclusion that Beagle 2 did not crash but landed and probably deployed most of its panels. Hopefully these results help to solve a long held mystery and will benefit any future missions to Mars."
Professor Mark Sims added: "Although the concept of the "reflection analysis" was mine I didn't know it would work. Thanks to the effort of the team at De Montfort University they proved that this concept could work and we have gathered more information on the failure of Beagle 2 to communicate and we are one step closer to knowing what happened. In reality we may of course never know exactly what caused its failure to communicate after what has been confirmed as a successful landing, which was a fantastic achievement by the Beagle 2 team. The work shows frustratingly that Beagle 2 came so close to working as intended on Mars.
"This unique University collaboration between space scientists and digital designers allowed this reflection analysis concept to be put into practice and tested and ultimately produce these exciting results."
[Image: 49-researchersu.jpg]
Image showing simulated heat shield, real images of heat shield and simulated image using HiRISE pixels. Credit: De Montfort University/University of Leicester/Beagle 2/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Nick Higgett, leader of the MA Digital Design group at DMU, together with 3D specialists Teodora Kuzmanova and Dr Eric Tatham, used 3D software to model the scene in three dimensions, adjusting the position of the sun and the resting angle and orientation of the Beagle 2, unfolding the four solar panels at different angles taking in the illumination conditions on the planet until they found the best visual match to what the NASA original images showed. These simulations were then adjusted to reproduce the resolution and view point of the NASA spacecraft.
Mark Sims, Professor of Astrobiology and Space Instrumentation at the University of Leicester (UL), former Beagle 2 Mission Manager who derived the concept and Dr Jim Clemmet, former Beagle 2 Chief Engineer, advised the DMU team on the technical details of the lander and Mars. Professor Sims and colleagues at UL compared the images (simulated and real) at a detailed level and derived the close matches.
This work confirmed that antenna transmission would probably have been hampered by one of the panels failing to unfold correctly, confirming the previously supposed theory.
Mr Higgett said it was as close to a definitive explanation as would be possible without landing on the planet itself.
The best match four panel configuration is at a different tilt angle—in terms of angle of the panels with respect to the lid of Beagle 2—from the 3 panel configuration. This analysis also confirms that the Beagle 2 front heat shield has been detected on Mars and its configuration and orientation is now also known. This work contributes further information to the analysis of why Beagle 2 failed to transmit from the surface of Mars and complements other techniques such as super-resolution imaging as conducted by Professor Jan-Peter Muller and his team at University College London announced in April 2016.
The researchers, who plan to publish their findings, add: "The current analysis is we believe fully consistent with this other work which combines data from all the different sun angles.
"This work (further) confirms that the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) sequence for Beagle 2 worked as expected and the lander did successfully touchdown on Mars on Christmas Day 2003.
"However, for an as yet unconfirmed and undetected reason it failed to communicate following landing, although incomplete deployment for an unknown reason continues to be the likely primary cause, particularly in the case of three panel deployment where the RF antenna would be unable to transmit through the fourth un-deployed panel."
The scientists add that the "reflection analysis" technique used for this research could find applications in other fields where an illumination source is present and the target has a limited set of configurations and is highly reflective in nature. "Further analysis of the Beagle 2 images using the technique, subject to additional funding and ideally other images at a variety of sun angles, might further define the configuration of the 1st UK ESA lander to land on Mars," they state.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: New highest resolution images of long-lost Beagle 2 lander
More information: beagle2.our.dmu.ac.uk/ 
Provided by: University of Leicester


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-analysis-te...y.html#jCp[/url][url=http://phys.org/news/2016-11-analysis-technique-beagle-mystery.html#jCp]
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Reply
#49
...
EA:

Quote:is this in your neck of the woods?

Methow River floodplain in Winthrop, Washington.

That is up over the North Cascades about a 3 hour drive on I-20,
and I do go there now and then for the fishing country.
Winthrop is a nice spot being so close to Washington Pass about 30 minutes away,
offering great hiking and mushroom picking,
but the highway over the mountains is closed all winter.
...
Reply
#50
Computer glitch blamed for European Mars lander crash
November 24, 2016

[Image: theesasschia.jpg]
The ESA's Schiaparelli lander had travelled for seven years and 496mn kms (308mn miles) before a computer glitch sent it crashing onto the surface of Mars
A tiny lander that crashed on Mars last month flew into the Red Planet at 540 kilometres (Just over ~333 miles) per hour instead of gently gliding to a stop, after a computer misjudged its altitude, scientists said.



Schiaparelli was on a test-run for a future rover meant to seek out evidence of life, past or present, but it fell silent seconds before its scheduled touchdown on October 19.
After trawling through mountains of data, the European Space Agency said Wednesday that while much of the mission went according to plan, a computer that measured the rotation of the lander hit a maximum reading, knocking other calculations off track.
That led the navigation system to think the lander was much lower than it was, causing its parachute and braking thrusters to be deployed prematurely.
"The erroneous information generated an estimated altitude that was negative—that is, below ground level," the ESA said in a statement.
"This in turn successively triggered a premature release of the parachute and the backshell (heat shield), a brief firing of the braking thrusters and finally activation of the on-ground systems as if Schiaparelli had already landed. In reality, the vehicle was still at an altitude of around 3.7 km."
The 230 million-euro ($251-million) Schiaparelli had travelled for seven years and 496 million kilometres (308 million miles) onboard the so-called Trace Gas Orbiter to within a million kilometres of Mars when it set off on its own mission to reach the surface.
After a scorching, supersonic dash through Mars's thin atmosphere, it was supposed to glide gently towards the planet's surface.
[Image: theplanetmar.jpg]
The planet Mars as seen by the webcam on the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express orbiter
For a safe landing, Schiaparelli had to slow down from a speed of 21,000 kilometres (13,000 miles) per hour to zero, and survive temperatures of more than 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,730 degrees Fahrenheit) generated by atmospheric drag.
It was equipped with a discardable, heat-protective shell to shield it, a parachute and nine thrusters to decelerate, and a crushable structure in its belly to cushion the final impact.
Sniffing for signs of life
The crash was Europe's second failed attempt to reach the alien surface.
The first attempt, in 2003, also ended in disappointment when the British-built Beagle 2 robot lab disappeared without trace after separating from its mothership, Mars Express.


Since the 1960s, more than half of US, Russian and European attempts to operate craft on the Martian surface have failed.
Schiaparelli and the Trace Gas Orbiter comprised phase one of a project dubbed ExoMars through which Europe and Russia are seeking to join the United States in operating a successful rover on the planet.
The next part of the mission is the start of the Trace Gas Orbiter's mission in 2018, sniffing Mars' atmosphere for gases potentially excreted by living organisms.
[Image: thecrashofth.jpg]
The crash of the Schiaparelli on Mars in October was the European Space Agency's second failed attempt to reach the alien surface
The rover will follow, due for launch in 2020, with a drill to search for remains of past life, or evidence of current activity, up to two metres deep.
While life is unlikely to exist on the barren, radiation-blasted surface, scientists say traces of methane in Mars' atmosphere may indicate something is stirring underground—possibly single-celled microbes.
European space officials have insisted that any problems encountered by Schiaparelli were part of the trial-run and would inform the design of the future rover.
"In some ways, we're lucky that this weakness in the navigation system was discovered on the test landing, before the second mission," ESA's Schiaparelli manager Thierry Blancquaert, told AFP.
The ESA said that data gleaned from the instruments aboard Schiaparelli during the entry would help to better understand the Red Planet and especially its atmosphere.
"This is still a very preliminary conclusion," David Parker, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, said of Wednesday's findings.
"The full picture will be provided in early 2017 by the future report of an external independent inquiry board," he added.
"But we will have learned much from Schiaparelli that will directly contribute to the second ExoMars mission being developed with our international partners for launch in 2020."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: European craft crashed on Mars, possibly exploded: ESA


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-glitch-blam...r.html#jCp[/url][url=http://phys.org/news/2016-11-glitch-blamed-european-mars-lander.html#jCp]
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#51
...

Quote:After a scorching,
speedy gonzales supersonic dash 
through Mars's thin atmosphere, 
it was supposed to glide gently towards the planet's surface.


 "scorching supersonic" splash --->  Horsepoop  ---> did not glide gently to the surface Nonono

Nonono
...
Reply
#52
Shame about the crash-lander.

but now we've got ANU eye in the sky.


First views of Mars show potential for ESA's new orbiter

November 29, 2016

[Image: firstviewsof.jpg]
A 25 km-wide image strip over a structure called Arsia Chasmata, which lies on the flank of the large volcano Arsia Mons. The formation is volcanic in origin and many pit craters, possibly caused by subsidence, can be seen. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE; mosaicking tool: AutoStitch (University of British Columbia).


ESA's new ExoMars orbiter has tested its suite of instruments in orbit for the first time, hinting at a great potential for future observations.



The Trace Gas Orbiter, or TGO, a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos, arrived at Mars on 19 October. Its elliptical orbit takes it from 230–310 km above the surface to around 98 000 km every 4.2 days.
It spent the last two orbits during 20–28 November testing its four science instruments for the first time since arrival, and making important calibration measurements.
Data from the first orbit has been made available for this release to illustrate the range of observations to be expected once the craft arrives into its near-circular 400 km-altitude orbit late next year.
TGO's main goal is to make a detailed inventory of rare gases that make up less than 1% of the atmosphere's volume, including methane, water vapour, nitrogen dioxide and acetylene.
Of high interest is methane, which on Earth is produced primarily by biological activity, and to a smaller extent by geological processes such as some hydrothermal reactions. 
The two instruments tasked with this role have now demonstrated they can take highly sensitive spectra of the atmosphere. During the test observations last week, the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite focused on carbon dioxide, which makes up a large volume of the planet's atmosphere, while the Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery instrument homed in on water.


Video:    http://phys.org/news/2016-11-views-mars-potential-esa-orbiter.html#jCp

First images from ExoMars. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE
They also coordinated observations with ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as they will in the future.
Complementary measurements by the orbiter's neutron detector, FREND, will measure the flow of neutrons from the planet's surface. Created by the impact of cosmic rays, the way in which they are emitted and their speed on arriving at TGO points to the composition of the surface layer, in particular to water or ice just below the surface.
The instrument has been active at various times during the cruise to Mars and on recent occasions while flying close to the surface could identify the relative difference between regions of known higher and lower neutron flux, although it will take several months to produce statistically significant results.
Similarly, the instrument showed a clear increase in neutron detections when close to Mars compared to when it was further away.


The different capabilities of the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System were also demonstrated, with 11 images captured during the first close flyby on 22 November.
[Image: 1-firstviewsof.jpg]
LilD The first stereo reconstruction of a small area in a region called Noctis Labyrinthus. The image gives an altitude map of the region with a resolution of less than 20 m. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE
At closest approach the spacecraft was 235 km from the surface, and flying over the Hebes Chasma region, just north of the Valles Marineris canyon system. These are some of the closest images that will ever be taken of the planet by TGO, given that the spacecraft's final orbit will be at around 400 km altitude.
The camera team also completed a quick first test of producing a 3D reconstruction of a region in Noctis Labyrinthus, from a stereo pair of images.
Although the images are impressively sharp, data collected during this test period will help to improve the camera's onboard software as well as the quality of the images after processing.
"We are extremely happy and proud to see that all the instruments are working so well in the Mars environment, and this first impression gives a fantastic preview of what's to come when we start collecting data for real at the end of next year," says Håkan Svedhem, ESA's TGO Project Scientist.
"Not only is the spacecraft itself clearly performing well, but I am delighted to see the various teams working together so effectively in order to give us this impressive insight.
"We have identified areas that can be fine-tuned well in advance of the main science mission, and we look forward to seeing what this amazing science orbiter will do in the future."
[Image: 2-firstviewsof.jpg]
Close-up of the rim of a large unnamed crater north of a crater named Da Vinci, situated near the Mars equator. A smaller, 1.4 km-diameter crater is seen in the rim along the left hand side of the image. The image scale is 7.2 m/pixel. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: ESA's new Mars orbiter prepares for first science
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-views-mars-potential-esa-orbiter.html#jCp
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Reply
#53
Moc had better resolution, lol

this thing doesn't have a true color camera either.

pfft.
On a satellite I ride. Nothing down below can hide.
Reply
#54
[Image: 1-firstviewsof.jpg]

But this would be a wicked tool when utilized on the D & M Penta-Pyramid or The Face on Mars.

We Can only Trust ESA et all Arrow  as far as we can throw a Neukum... Atombomb

And as far as this craft goes itz lead by the nose so to speak.

This might be the vessel that holds within it traces of aeromas definite.

Pfft. exactly designed for that and is hopefully the exhalation of aspiration .

The "Resolution" is less about visual accuity and more about atmosphere?



I hope the data is revelant and Levin has his day.

compare that to older products...

[Image: Cydonia_region_colour_image_large.jpg]

all you get is:

                     N ->
____________________________

                  10 km



I Like 3-D Strata/Data  LilD
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#55
Quote:Posted by Keith - Thursday, December 1st, 2016, 12:59 am

Moc had better resolution, lol 

this thing doesn't have a true color camera either

pfft.

well... at least sum-thing was salvageable,Eye'll take what I can get.
This orbiter and itz other capabilities may vindicate Levin and possibly Wickramasinghe.

ExoMars orbiter images Phobos
December 7, 2016

[Image: exomarsorbit.jpg]
Colour composite of Phobos taken with the ExoMars orbiter’s Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) on 26 November 2016. The observation was made at a distance of 7700 km and yields a resolution of 87 m/pixel. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has imaged the martian moon Phobos as part of a second set of test science measurements made since it arrived at the Red Planet on 19 October.


The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos, made its first scientific calibration measurements during two orbits between 20 and 28 November.
Example data from the first orbit were published last week, focusing on Mars itself. During the second orbit, the instruments made a number of measurements of Phobos, a 27×22×18 km moon that orbits Mars at a distance of only 6000 km.
The camera imaged the moon on 26 November from a distance of 7700 km, during the closest part of the spacecraft's orbit around Mars. TGO's elliptical orbit currently takes it to within 230–310 km of the surface at its closest point and around 98 000 km at its furthest every 4.2 days.
A colour composite has been created from several individual images taken through several filters. The camera's filters are optimised to reveal differences in mineralogical composition, seen as 'bluer' or 'redder' colours in the processed image.
An anaglyph created from a stereo pair of images captured is also presented, and can be viewed using red–blue 3D glasses.
[Image: 1-exomarsorbit.jpg]
A red–blue anaglyph image of Phobos composed from the stereo pair acquired by the ExoMars orbiter’s Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) on 26 November 2016. The image should be viewed using red-blue 3D glasses. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS
"Although higher-resolution images of Phobos have been returned by other missions, such as ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, this provided a good test of what can be done with our data in a very short time," says Nick Thomas, principal investigator of the CaSSIS camera team at the University of Bern.
"The images have given us a lot of useful information about the colour calibration of the camera and its internal timing."
Two other instruments also made calibration measurements of Phobos, and the teams are analysing their data.
"We're very happy with the results of both test science orbits and will be using these calibration data to improve our measurements once we begin the main science mission later next year," adds Håkan Svedhem, ESA's TGO Project Scientist.
The focus of the mission now returns to preparations for aerobraking required to bring the spacecraft towards its near-circular science orbit by the end of 2017. More details on the upcoming operations will be provided soon.
[Image: 2-exomarsorbit.jpg]
In November 2016, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter tested its four science instruments during two orbits of Mars. This figure shows when the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS), the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS), and the Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery (NOMAD) operated during the second orbit, 24–28 November. The neutron detector FREND collected data during the entire period. For ACS, CaSSIS, and NOMAD, dashed lines indicate periods of testing and solid lines are when scientific measurements were made. Mars’ innermost moon Phobos is also indicated; a number of measurements focused on this moon during the second orbit. Credit: ESA
TGO's main scientific goal is to make a detailed inventory of rare gases that make up less than 1% of the atmosphere's volume, including methane, water vapour, nitrogen dioxide and acetylene.
Of high interest is methane, which on Earth is produced primarily by biological activity, and to a smaller extent by geological processes such as some hydrothermal reactions. 
The spacecraft will also seek out water or ice just below the surface, and will provide colour and stereo context images of surface features, including those that may be related to possible trace gas sources.
TGO will also act as a data relay for present and future landers and rovers on Mars, including the second ExoMars mission that will feature a rover and surface science platform, and which is scheduled for launch in 2020.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: ESA's new Mars orbiter prepares for first science
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-12-exomars-orbiter-images-phobos.html#jCp[url=http://phys.org/news/2016-12-exomars-orbiter-images-phobos.html#jCp][/url]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#56
...


Quote:"Although  higher-resolution images of Phobos  have been returned by other missions
such as ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, 
this provided a good test of what can be done with our data in a very short time,"
 says Nick Thomas, 
principal investigator of the CaSSIS camera team at the University of Bern.


More mission epic fail,
uses the excuse of shitty images,
to present more bullshit as birthday cake.

Those blur vision Phobos images are what you would expect from the late 70's.

Perhaps the methane gas testing will be better mission science.
But it looks more like a perpetual playhouse of excuses draped in double talk still.
..
Reply
#57
ExoMars prepares to dip into the Mars atmosphere to reach its final orbit
December 19, 2016

[Image: exomarsprepa.jpg]
Artist’s impression of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter at Mars. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab
After the smooth arrival of ESA's latest Mars orbiter, mission controllers are now preparing it for the ultimate challenge: dipping into the Red Planet's atmosphere to reach its final orbit.



The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is on a multiyear mission to understand the tiny amounts of methane and other gases in Mars' atmosphere that could be evidence for possible biological or geological activity.
Following its long journey from Earth, the orbiter fired its main engine on 19 October to brake sufficiently for capture by the planet's gravity.
It entered a highly elliptical orbit where its altitude varies between about 250 km and 98 000 km, with each circuit taking about four Earth days.
Ultimately, however, the science goals and its role as a data relay for surface rovers mean the craft must lower itself into a near-circular orbit at just 400 km altitude, with each orbit taking about two hours.
Aerobraking: the ultimate challenge
Mission controllers will use 'aerobraking' to achieve this, commanding the craft to skim the wispy top of the atmosphere for the faint drag to steadily pull it down.
"The amount of drag is very tiny," says spacecraft operations manager Peter Schmitz, "but after about 13 months this will be enough to reach the planned 400 km altitude while firing the engine only a few times, saving on fuel."











 

An overview animation of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s expected path around Mars between October 2016 and December 2017. Credit: ESA
During aerobraking, the team at ESA's mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, must carefully monitor the craft during each orbit to ensure it is not exposed to too much friction heating or pressure.
The drag is expected to vary from orbit to orbit because of the changing atmospheric, dust storms and solar activity. This means ESA's flight dynamics teams will have to measure the orbit repeatedly to ensure it does not drop too low, too quickly.
The aerobraking campaign is set to begin on 15 March, when Mars will be just over 300 million km from Earth, and will run until early 2018.
Stepping up to the start
Mission controllers are now working intensively to prepare the craft, the flight plan and ground systems for the campaign.
First, on 19 January, they will adjust the angle of the orbit with respect to the Mars equator to 74º so that science observations can cover most of the planet.

Next, to get into an orbit from where to start aerobraking, the high point will be reduced on 3 and 9 February, leaving the craft in a 200 x 33 475 km orbit that it completes every 24 hours.
ESA mission controllers have some previous experience with aerobraking using Venus Express, although that was done at the end of the mission as a demonstration. NASA also used aerobraking to take the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and other spacecraft into low orbits at Mars.
[Image: 1-exomarsprepa.jpg]
Flight dynamics experts at ESA’s ESOC operations centre work on every ESA mission, from those in very low orbits, like Swarm and CryoSat, to those exploring our Solar System, like Rosetta and ExoMars. They are involved from the first steps of a mission’s conception to the last command sent. Credit: ESA/J. Mai
"This will be our first time to use aerobraking to achieve an operational orbit, so we're taking the extra time available now to ensure our plans are robust and cater for any contingencies," says flight director Michel Denis.
Beginning to slow down
Aerobraking proper will begin on 15 March with a series of seven thruster firings, about one every three days, that will steadily lower the craft's altitude at closest approach – from 200 km to about 114 km.
"Then the atmosphere can start its work, pulling us down," says Peter Schmitz. "If all goes as planned, very little fuel will then be needed until the end of aerobraking early in 2018, when final firings will circularise the 400 km orbit."
No date has been set, but science observations can begin once the final orbit is achieved. In addition, the path will provide two to three overflights of each rover every day to relay signals.
Spacecraft A-OK
Overall, the spacecraft is in excellent health. On 30 November, it received an updated 'operating system'. To date, only one 'safe mode' has been triggered, when a glitch caused the craft to reboot and wait for corrective commands. That happened during preliminary testing of the main engine, when a faulty configuration was quickly identified and fixed.
"We are delighted to be flying such an excellent spacecraft," says Michel. "We have an exciting and challenging mission ahead of us."
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: ESA's new Mars orbiter prepares for first science
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-12-exomars-dip...t.html#jCp[/url][url=http://phys.org/news/2016-12-exomars-dip-mars-atmosphere-orbit.html#jCp]



Full go-ahead for building ExoMars 2020

December 19, 2016



[Image: fullgoaheadf.png]
The second part of the ExoMars programme, comprising a rover and surface science platform, is planned to launch to Mars in 2020. The image was taken by the webcam on ESA’s Mars Express orbiter on 16 October 2016. Credit: ESA – CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
The first ExoMars mission arrived at the Red Planet in October and now the second mission has been confirmed to complete its construction for a 2020 launch.





ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed a contract today that secures the completion of the European elements of the next mission.
The main objective of the ExoMars programme is to address one of the most outstanding scientific questions of our time: is there, or has there ever been, life on Mars?
The Trace Gas Orbiter will soon be exploring this question from orbit: it will take a detailed inventory of trace gases, such as methane, that might be linked to biological or geological processes. The first test of the orbiter's science instruments was recently completed.
It will also act as a communications relay for various craft – in particular for 2020's rover and surface platform.
ESA's rover will be the first capable of drilling 2 m into Mars, where ancient biomarkers may still be preserved from the harsh radiation environment on the surface.
The Russian platform will carry instruments focused on the local atmosphere and surroundings.
ExoMars is a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos, with important contribution from NASA.
[Image: fullgoaheadf.jpg]
Artist’s impression of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter at Mars. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab
The contract signed in Rome, Italy, secures the completion of the European elements and the rigorous tests to prove they are ready for launch.
These include the rover itself, which will be accommodated within the Russian descent module, along with the carrier module for cruise and delivery to Mars.
ESA is also contributing important elements of the descent module, such as the parachute, radar, inertial measurement unit, UHF radio elements, and the onboard computer and software.
The science instruments for the rover and surface platform are funded by national agencies of ESA member states, Roscosmos and NASA following calls to the scientific community.
The structural models of the carrier and rover are expected to be delivered in January and February 2017, respectively, along with structural and thermal models of the various descent module elements.
"ExoMars is a cornerstone of ESA's exploration programme," says David Parker, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration. "Using its miniaturised life-search laboratory and advanced robotic technology, the mission will explore the Red Planet in search of new evidence to answer questions that have long fascinated humanity.



"Following the renewed support demonstrated by ESA member states in the recent Ministerial Council, this new contract allows us to complete the flight models of the European elements and keeps us on track for a July 2020 launch."
"The steadfastness and tenacity of both the European and Italian space agencies has reassured all program partners, and enabled us to continue our production work so we can go ahead with this new and very complex mission," says Donato Amoroso, Deputy CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
The landing site for the mission is still under consideration, with Oxia Planum a strong candidate. The target region shows evidence for a past wet environment that may have had suitable conditions for preserving ancient biosignatures. ESA and Roscosmos are expected to confirm the landing site around six months before launch.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: ExoMars 2016 set to complete construction
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-12-full-go-ahead-exomars.html#jCp
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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#58
...
ExoMars prepares to dip into the Mars atmosphere to reach its final orbit

Quote:Aerobraking: the ultimate Uhoh challenge


Lol


 ...  Uhoh is a low pay Roscosmos scientist attached to ESA but starving in Russia, no doubt ...

Reefer
...
Reply
#59
Mars Odyssey orbiter recovering from precautionary pause in activity
December 29, 2016 by Guy Webster

[Image: marsodysseyo.jpg]
NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft passes above Mars' south pole in this artist's concept illustration. The spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since October 24, 2001. Credit: NASA
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, which has been in service at Mars since October 2001, put itself into safe mode—a protective standby status—on Dec. 26, while remaining in communication with Earth.


The Odyssey project team has diagnosed the cause—an uncertainty aboard the spacecraft about its orientation with regard to Earth and the sun—and is restoring the orbiter to full operations. Odyssey's communication-relay service for assisting Mars rover missions is expected to resume this week, and Odyssey's own science investigations of the Red Planet are expected to resume next week.
The orbiter's knowledge of its orientation was restored Dec. 26 by resetting the inertial measurement unit and the circuit card that serves as interface between that sensor, the flight software and the star tracker, for determining spacecraft attitude. The mission last experienced a similar fault and solution in December 2013.
Mars Odyssey left Earth on April 7, 2001, entered orbit around Mars on Oct. 24, and began systematically examining Mars in February 2002. In December 2010, it surpassed the previous record for longevity of a robotic mission at Mars. The Mars Odyssey Project has been extending that record daily for more than six years.
In addition to its direct contributions to planetary science, Odyssey provides important support for other missions in NASA's Journey to Mars through communication-relay service and observations of candidate landing sites.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Orbiter enters, then exits, standby safe mode
More information: For more information about Odyssey, visit mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey 
Provided by: NASA


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-12-mars-odysse...y.html#jCp[url=http://phys.org/news/2016-12-mars-odyssey-orbiter-recovering-precautionary.html#jCp][/url]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#60
that may somewhat explain the recent rarity of new curiosity images, Oddy is it's main relay back to earth
MRO can do it faster perhaps, but it has its own things it needs to be beaming back.
On a satellite I ride. Nothing down below can hide.
Reply
#61
ExoMars science checkout completed and aerobraking begins  LilD
March 16, 2017

[Image: exomarsscien.jpg]
Test images of Mars acquired by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s high-resolution CaSSIS camera on 5 March 2017. The mosaic comprises 40 individual image frames captured using the near-infrared filter. The images were taken just as the orbiter was crossing the boundary between day and night, in the southern hemisphere of Mars. To the top left of the image is the centre of Mellish crater (26ºW, 73ºS). The image scale is 38 m/pixel. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS , CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed another set of important science calibration tests before a year of aerobraking gets underway.


The mission was launched a year ago this week, and has been orbiting the Red Planet since 19 October. During two dedicated orbits in late November, the science instruments made their first calibration measurements since arriving at Mars.
The latest tests were carried out 5–7 March from a different orbit, and included checking procedures associated with taking images and collecting data on the planet's atmosphere.
For example, the Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery (NOMAD) instrument made test observations to help determine the best settings to make future measurements of trace gases in the atmosphere.
Methane in particular is of high interest. On Earth it is produced primarily by biological activity, and to a smaller extent by geological processes, such as some hydrothermal reactions. Understanding how the Red Planet's methane is produced therefore has extremely exciting implications.
NOMAD also had the opportunity to test joint measurements with the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite, which together will take highly sensitive measurements of the atmosphere to determine its constituents.
[Image: 1-exomarsscien.jpg]
Test measurements of the martian atmosphere by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s NOMAD spectrometer, made on 6 March 2017. The spectra were acquired in with the infrared channel of the instrument, by looking at the sunlight reflected from the planet’s surface. It shows the presence of water vapour. The three colours represent three spectra taken at different times, as indicated in the legend. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/NOMAD/BISA/IAA/INAF/OU
Meanwhile, the FREND detector continued to collect more on the flow of neutrons from the surface. Eventually, these data will be used to identify sites where water or ice might be hidden just below the surface.
The high-resolution Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System was commanded to take a number of images, including star calibrations, and several pointing at Mars.
An example is presented here, taken just as the orbiter was crossing the boundary between day and night, over the southern hemisphere.
"These dress rehearsals enable our science teams to fine-tune their data acquisition techniques including pointing commands, iron out any software bugs, and get used to working with the data, well in advance of the start of the main mission starting next year," says Håkan Svedhem, ESA's project scientist. "What we're seeing so far is really promising for our science goals."
[Image: 2-exomarsscien.jpg]
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s Atmospheric Chemistry Suite, ACS, made test measurements of the martian atmosphere between 28 February and 7 March 2017. An example spectra is shown in the plot, made at thermal-infrared wavelengths. The deep and wide spectral band at the left of the plot is due to carbon dioxide, the main component of the martian atmosphere. Information held in the centre of this band corresponds to the temperature of the upper layers of the atmosphere, while the ‘wings’ correspond to the lower layers. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/ACS/IKI
Starting next year, the craft will make its observations from a near-circular 400 km-altitude orbit, circling the planet every two hours.


It is currently in a one-day, 200 x 33 000 km orbit but will use the atmosphere to adjust the orbit gradually by 'aerobraking'. It will repeatedly surf in and out of the atmosphere at closest approach, pulling down its furthest point over the course of the year.
Earlier this week, the first commands for aerobraking were uploaded, ready to be executed starting yesterday. Over the next few weeks it will make seven engine burns that will adjust its orbit as part of a 'walk-in' period before the main aerobraking. This will first see the closest point of the orbit reduced to about 113 km.
"It's not ESA's first experience with aerobraking, but it is the first time we've used this technique to achieve a planned science orbit, repeating it for such a long duration," says flight director Michel Denis.
[Image: 3-exomarsscien.jpg]
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s neutron detector FREND was switched on between 24 February and 2 March, and 5–7 March 2017 and collected data during eight orbits of the planet, with three of its detectors. The data complement those obtained during the first test campaign, and will be used to estimate the spacecraft internal background radiation and the level of neutron signal from Mars. Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/FREND/IKI
"The mission controllers have worked intensively with our flight dynamics experts to prepare for this challenging phase – we're go for aerobraking.
"We'll closely monitor the solar array temperature and the acceleration of the spacecraft, not only during the first few passages through the atmosphere but throughout the rest of 2017, and adjust the trajectory as needed."
The final orbit is also designed for relay and communications with rovers and landers on the surface. In particular it will act as a relay for the 2020 ExoMars mission of a stationary surface platform and a rover.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Science checkout continues for ExoMars orbiter
Provided by: European Space Agency


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-exomars-science-checkout-aerobraking.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-03-exomars-science-checkout-aerobraking.html#jCp]
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Reply
#62
There’s Mysteriously Large Amounts of Methane on Mars
POSTED BY SUSHIL K. ATREYA & CHRISTOPHER R. WEBSTER ON MAR 26, 2017 Holycowsmile 

[Image: 11962_e8c1bdc555e17fd06b44ea4d3b4adbda.jpg]
The mystery isn’t just that we see methane when we shouldn’t. It’s also that, in a sense, we see too much of it.

f you want to detect life on another planet, look for biomarkers—spectroscopic signatures of chemicals that betray the activity of living things. And in fact we may have already found a biomarker. In 2003 Earth-based astronomers caught glimpses of methane in the Martian atmosphere. The discovery was initially controversial, so much so that the discoverers themselves held back from publishing it. But the two of us and our colleagues recently confirmed the presence of methane using NASA’s Curiosity rover. It is the most tangible evidence we have ever collected that we may not be alone in the universe.

Almost no matter where the methane comes from, it’s an intriguing discovery. If you dropped a molecule of methane into the atmosphere of Mars, it would survive about 300 years—that’s how long, on average, it would take for solar ultraviolet radiation and other Martian gases to destroy the molecule. By rights, the Martian atmosphere should have been scrubbed of its methane eons ago. So, the methane we see must come either from a source that is producing methane today or from a subsurface reservoir that is venting methane produced sometime in the past. On Earth, 95 percent of methane is biological in origin. The class of bacteria known as methanogens feeds on organic matter and excretes methane. They populate our planet’s wetlands, which account for nearly a quarter of the methane present in the Earth’s atmosphere globally. Cows’ gut bacteria are the second largest producers. It is the possibility of microbial life that has propelled the search for methane on Mars.

But even if the methane there comes from geologic processes, it would give us a profound new respect for what looks outwardly like a geologically dead world. Methane can be produced by the geochemical process of serpentinization, which is widespread in Earth’s crust, especially at warm and hot hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor known as Lost City and Black Smokers. This process requires a source of geologic heat as well as liquid water. Those happen to be two main ingredients of life, as well.

Quote:Mars is indeed active and has the potential of harboring past or present microbial life.

[Image: 11960_deb18dd9b750fc8c4a032172265537aa.jpg]The Arabia Terra region was the site of methane detected by the Mars Express spacecraft in 2004.Photograph by NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The mystery isn’t just that we see methane when we shouldn’t. It’s also that, in a sense, we see too much of it. The Mars methane abundance varies dramatically in location and time, implying not only an unknown source, but also an unknown sink. The variation was evident in the very first detections from telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, reported by NASA astronomer Michael Mumma at a meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences in 2003. The following year, Vittorio Formisano of the Institute for Interplanetary Space Physics in Rome and his team (including one of us, Atreya) published findings from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter. Like Mumma, Formisano’s team observed variations in methane abundance, although the values measured from Mars Express were much lower, about 15 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) global average. By comparison, the methane abundance on Earth is 1875 ppbv. (Gas concentrations are commonly measured by the volume a gas occupies, as opposed to its mass.)

Both sets of observations sought the infrared spectral fingerprint of methane in sunlight reflected from the Martian atmosphere. The ground-based telescopic observations looked out through Earth’s own air, which also contains methane, so the analysis had to separate the Martian and terrestrial methane signals. Although the orbital data did not suffer from this problem, they had their own confounding factors, such as the presence of other gases with overlapping spectral lines in the same region. Both teams were very careful, but their observations remain controversial to this day.

To resolve the issue, NASA decided in 2004 to dedicate an instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory mission (with its rover, Curiosity) to the methane question. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument package, built and operated by a team led by Paul Mahaffy of NASA, included a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). The TLS performs an in-situ measurement of methane in a well-defined atmospheric volume of known temperature and pressure. The instrument first ingests Martian air into a cell about the size of a coffee cup. Then it fires an infrared laser into the gas to see how much light is absorbed. The laser scans across wavelengths to look for the distinctive fingerprint of methane and other gases. On its own, the TLS can measure methane to within about 2 ppbv. To achieve even higher sensitivities, SAM flows the ingested gas slowly over a compound that scrubs out the dominant carbon dioxide gas, thereby enriching the methane signals, and reducing the measurement uncertainty to about 0.1 ppbv. On Earth, the TLS technique has been used since the 1980s and produced the first airborne measurements of chlorine reservoirs in the ozone hole, the deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio in cirrus clouds, and methane measurements at numerous locations.

[Image: 11961_0a97e4f47718632c556e9ac591d5f3c2.jpg]A tunable laser spectrometer onboard the Mars Curiosity rover detected pulses of methane.Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech

The instrument does have one potential source of error. In the weeks prior to launch, it is normal for a spacecraft and its instruments to be exposed to Earth’s air during assembly test and launch operations at the launch site. In our case, the instrument foreoptics chamber (through which the laser beam passes before entering the sample chamber) took in a small amount of Florida air containing Earth methane. We compensate for this contamination by taking each measurement on Mars three times. First, we pump out all the Martian air, so that the sample chamber is a vacuum; that way, the only methane we measure will be the Floridian stowaway. Then, we let in the Martian air and measure again. Finally, we again empty the sample chamber and measure once more. In this way, we can isolate and subtract the Earth contaminants. Furthermore, we have seen no sign of leakage from the foreoptics chamber over its years on Mars. Because the effect of the contaminants remains constant, they cannot account for any variation we observe.

Our instrument began its work when the Curiosity rover landed in Gale Crater on Mars in August 2012. Over a three-year period on the surface of Mars, the TLS-SAM generally observed low background levels (about 0.5 ppbv). The background levels oscillated with the Martian seasons, which was the first time that any Mars methane measurement has showed any repeatability. This background methane could have originated in comets and meteorites that crash periodically onto Mars. Or it could have come from interplanetary dust particles that flutter down to the Martian surface, bringing organic material that the sun’s ultraviolet radiation breaks down into methane. The seasonal pattern seems to correlate with the ultraviolet light flux reaching the surface and will tell us a lot about the delivery of organic material to the Martian surface.

Surprisingly, during a single two-month period, four sequential observations reported a spike of 7 ppbv. These values were much too high to explain by comets, meteorites, or dust. They must have been of Martian origin—perhaps a burp from a relatively small and localized subsurface source to the north of the landing site. The Martian winds would blow that methane away over several months, explaining why the signal went away when it did. Alternatively, that pulse could be from a distant and much bigger source, which would require some other unknown mechanism to remove methane quickly. Like the earlier observations of plumes, the spikes seen by Curiosity remain a tantalizing clue to a still-enigmatic Mars.

The methane data have shown that Mars is indeed active and has the potential of harboring past or present microbial life. But many puzzles remain, demonstrating how any potential biomarker we see will always require meticulous follow-up work. The European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which reached Mars last month, includes powerful instrumentation for sensing methane, looking either straight down or at the limb of the planet when backlit by the sun. The pair of methods can measure how the abundance varies with altitude and is spread out across the planet. As Curiosity continues its near-surface measurements with ExoMars peering down from above, we will be able to answer the question: To what extent are the rover measurements representative of the whole planet? And then we can begin to understand whether we share our solar system with Martian microbes.

Sushil K. Atreya is a professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. A specialist on the origin and evolution of planetary atmospheres, he has worked on Voyager, Galileo, Cassini-Huygens, Venus Express, Mars Express, Mars Science Laboratory, and Juno missions.
[i]Christopher R. Webster is the director of the Microdevices Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He has pioneered the development of tunable laser spectrometers for balloons, aircraft, and spacecraft. He has led over 500 aircraft and 20 high-altitude balloon missions for Earth studies, leading up to the selection of his spectrometer for the Mars Curiosity rover.[/i]


[i] geological source[/i]Horsepoopmethane.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#63
...
If methane is emerging from any large source of micro organism on or subsurface Mars,
a good possibility is that ice worms are in specific subsurface environments available.
Probably subsurface in the northern plains where NASA will not go,
due to their evasion tactic called Planetary Protection Guidelines.
...
Reply
#64
ESA may go there though?

Two possible landing sites for ExoMars mission
March 29, 2017 by Laurence Coustal

[Image: theexomarsmi.jpg]
The ExoMars mission
The ExoMars mobile rover, tasked with recovering evidence of life on the Red Planet, will touch down in 2021 at one of two sites, scientists announced Wednesday.



"After intense discussions, we have voted for the sites Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis," Frances Westhall, head of research at the Center for Molecular Biophysics in Orleans, France, told journalists.
The final decision—to be made a few months before the 2020 lauch—will in some ways pit scientists against engineers: one site is more varied geologically, while the other is less rocky, and thus easier for the rover to navigate.
Both locations, however, are rich in clay, which makes them promising environments "that may contain traces of past life," said Westhall, a member of the Mars Analogue for Space Exploration (MASE) consortium.

"We like clay because it attracts organic matter and preserves it."

Life forms are unlikely to exist on Mars' barren, radiation-blasted surface.
But traces of methane in the planet's atmosphere suggest something may have once stirred under the surface, possibly single-celled microbes.

The multi-billion dollar mission will look for signs of life from Mars ancient past when it had water, at least 3.6 billion years ago.
The compact car-sized rover—equipped with a drill, wheels and legs—is designed to execute eight excavations over a six month period, travelling a total of a dozen kilometres (seven or eight miles) in the process.

And the winner is...
It will dig to a depth of two metres (six feet) twice, and to a depth of 1.5 metres (four-and-a-half feet) six times.
Onboard instruments will analyse the samples to look for signs of past life.
One problem, however, is that scientists are not sure what they are looking for.
Unlike Earth, Mars essentially lacks oxygen, an essential ingredient for most life on our planet.
To anticipate what microscopic fossils of anaerobic organisms on the Red Planet might look like, Westhall and her team did experiments.

"In the laboratory, we tried to duplicate the likely conditions of ancient Mars in terms of temperature, mineral composition and atmosphere," she said.
The candidate landing sites are cratered, and at low altitudes, to ensure that the rover's parachute will have time to open properly.
The two-part mission saw a spacecraft successfully placed into orbit in mid-October, but a companion lander designed to pave the way for a mobile-lab rover in 2020 smashed into the planet's surface.
So will it be Oxia Planum or Mawrth Vallis?
"There is always a tug-of-war between the engineers and the scientists, because the latter want to go where things are interesting, and the former are generally more interested in a safe landing," Westhall joked.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-sites-exomars-mission.html#jCp[url=https://phys.org/news/2017-03-sites-exomars-mission.html#jCp][/url]
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Reply
#65
Quote:...
If methane is emerging from any large source of micro organism on or subsurface Mars,
a good possibility is that ice worms are in specific subsurface environments available.


Solving the mystery of the Arctic's green ice
March 29, 2017

[Image: solvingthemy.jpg]
Melt ponds on the surface of Arctic ice. Credit: NASA
In 2011, researchers observed something that should be impossible—a massive bloom of phytoplankton growing under Arctic sea ice in conditions that should have been far too dark for anything requiring photosynthesis to survive. So, how was this bloom possible?



Using mathematical modeling, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) found that thinning Arctic sea ice may be responsible for these blooms and more blooms in the future, potentially causing significant disruption in the Arctic food chain.
The research is described in Science Advances and is a collaboration between researchers from SEAS, University of Oxford and University of Reading.
Phytoplankton underpins the entire Arctic food web. Every summer, when the sea ice retreats, sunlight hitting the open water triggers a massive bloom of plankton. These plumes attract fish, which attract larger predators and provides food for indigenous communities living in the Arctic.
Phytoplankton shouldn't be able to grow under the ice because ice reflects most sunlight light back into space, blocking it from reaching the water below.
But over the past decades, Arctic ice has gotten darker and thinner due to warming temperatures, allowing more and more sunlight to penetrate to the water beneath. Large, dark pools of water on the surface of the ice, known as melt ponds, have increased, lowering the reflectivity of the ice. The ice that remains frozen is thin and getting thinner.
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Areas of the Arctic Ocean capable of permitting blooms of phytoplankton under sea ice in July. Credit: Christopher Horvat
"Our big question was, how much sunlight gets transmitted through the sea ice, both as a function of thickness, which has been decreasing, and the melt pond percentage, which has been increasing," said Chris Horvat, first author of the paper and graduate student in applied mathematics at SEAS. "What we found was that we went from a state where there wasn't any potential for plankton blooms to massive regions of the Arctic being susceptible to these types of growth."
The team's mathematical modeling found that while the melt ponds contribute to conditions friendly to blooms, the biggest culprit is ice thickness.
Twenty years ago, only about 3 to 4 percent of Arctic sea ice was thin enough to allow large colonies of plankton to bloom underneath. Today, the researchers found that nearly 30 percent of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean permits sub-ice blooms in summer months.
"The meter decline in sea ice thickness in the Arctic in the past 30 years has dramatically changed the ecology in that area," said Horvat. "All of a sudden, our entire idea about how this ecosystem works is different. The foundation of the Arctic food web is now growing at a different time and in places that are less accessible to animals that need oxygen."
The researchers hope their model will be helpful for planning future expeditions to observe these blooms and measuring the impact this shift will have on ecosystems.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Climate change linked to unexpected 'blooms' under Arctic ice, research says
More information: "The frequency and extent of sub-ice phytoplankton blooms in the Arctic Ocean," Science Advancesadvances.sciencemag.org/content/3/3/e1601191 
Journal reference: Science Advances [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-mystery-arctic-green-ice.html#jCp[url=https://phys.org/news/2017-03-mystery-arctic-green-ice.html#jCp][/url]
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#66
There’s Mysteriously Large Amounts of Methane on Mars
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Quote:Tree trunks and methane fluxes

While tree trunks have been known to release carbon dioxide, this research showed that they were also releasing methane.

Researchers discover tree trunks act as methane source in upland forests
March 30, 2017 by Adam Thomas

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Credit: Notneb82, Wikimedia Commons
A new study from the University of Delaware is one of the first in the world to show that tree trunks in upland forests actually emit methane rather than store it, representing a new, previously unaccounted source of this powerful greenhouse gas.



Methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, with some estimates as high as 33 times stronger due to its effects when it is in the atmosphere.
Because of methane's global warming potential, identifying the sources and "sinks" or storehouses of this greenhouse gas is critical for measuring and understanding its implications across ecosystems.
Upland forest soils usually take up and store methane, but this effect can be counteracted by methane emissions from tree trunks, the research team from UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources found. Their work is published in the scientific journal Ecosystems.
"We believe our work can help fill in some gaps in methane budgets and environmental processes in global ecosystem models," said the study's leader, Rodrigo Vargas, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Shreeram Inamdar, professor of watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry, is co-investigator on the project with Vargas, and doctoral student Daniel Warner is the lead author of the paper. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with additional support from Delaware's Federal Research and Development Matching Grant Program.
Maryland study site
In a 30-acre area of upland forest at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in nearby Cecil County, Maryland, the researchers tested a cluster of trees, soil and coarse woody debris (CWD)—dead wood lying on the forest floor in various stages of decomposition—to measure fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide.
The researchers used a state-of-the-art greenhouse gas analyzer based on laser absorption technology, called Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (OA-ICOS), which looks similar to a proton pack from the movie "Ghostbusters."
Warner visited the site over the course of one growing season, April to December, and measured the carbon dioxide and methane fluxes of the soil, tree trunks and CWD to determine whether those three components were sources or sinks of these greenhouse gases.


Soils and CWD fluxes
In terms of carbon dioxide, research on the fluxes of tree trunks, known as stem respiration, and soil, known as soil respiration, has been done for decades, but research to determine the importance of carbon fluxes with regard to CWD still lags behind.
For methane, however, it's a different story. While studies have been done on methane fluxes in connection to soils, which usually consume the methane and are considered methane sinks, there are very few that deal with CWD and tree trunks in upland soils.
"What research has been done is generally lab incubations of wood where they measure how much methane is released over time. What we've found in this study is that some coarse woody debris acts kind of like the soil and consumes methane while other pieces of coarse woody debris emit small amounts of methane, which is also what we saw with living tree trunks," said Warner.
To understand the differences between the actions of the CWD, Warner and colleagues found that fresher CWD has a positive methane flux, which is similar to how a living tree behaves.
"When a tree falls over, it's still functionally the same in terms of methane emissions. Over time, as it decays, my theory is that it gets colonized by soil bacteria that consume methane and it shifts to behave more like the soil, resulting in a methane sink," said Warner.
The researchers also found that CWD had a high rate of variability when it came to methane emissions.
"As it decays it becomes a lot more variable. Some of the super-decayed wood was still releasing methane but a lot of it was consuming methane," said Warner. "If you have a CWD pool with less diversity regarding the degree of decomposition, you can expect it to play a more uniform role in terms of methane emissions or sinks."
Tree trunks and methane fluxes
While tree trunks have been known to release carbon dioxide, this research showed that they were also releasing methane.


Dan Warner, doctoral student at the University of Delaware, talks about his field research on methane gas emissions from trees. Credit: University Of Delaware/Jeffrey Chase
"The tree trunks constantly have low but detectable emissions of methane. Soils are providing an environmental service of sequestering this potent greenhouse gas, but the trunks are releasing methane equivalent to 4 percent of what could be captured by CWD and soils at the ecosystem scale," said Vargas.
Overall, the tree trunks acted as a source of carbon dioxide and as a small source of methane, but the magnitude of gases emitted varied with the species.
Tulip poplar was one species that released a lot of methane and carbon dioxide, whereas beech trees released the most methane within the forest but emitted very little carbon dioxide.
"It might be some species-specific trait that's controlling the flux," said Warner.
Temperature threshold
Temperature also played a key role in regulating the magnitude of the fluxes.
"Methane in soils seem to follow a temperature gradient where higher temperatures are related to higher uptake of methane but that's not necessarily the case for CWD or for tree trunks," said Vargas.
Warner said it's hard to develop a temperature relationship with methane because there are two processes that oppose each other.
"You have things in the soil producing methane—known as methanogenesis—things consuming it—known as methanotrophy—and so as you warm up, it's more kind of like a shot gun where the magnitudes of methane scatter out more as it gets warmer; suggesting that other factors beyond temperature regulate methane emissions," said Warner.
They found that beyond a threshold of 17 degrees Celsius for soil temperature, the variability of methane consumption expands dramatically.
"Under 17 degrees, temperature is a key driver of methane flux but above 17 degrees, there are other drivers that will influence methane production," said Vargas.
Soil hot spots
As for where the methane originated, Warner said it's still a science frontier, but this study provides enough clues to give the researchers some theories.
The first one is that methane is produced in hot spots in the soil.
"By hot spot, we mean a place where conditions are conducive to methane production and then that methane is sucked up by the tree roots, transported through its vascular system and released out of its trunk," said Warner. "We know that happens in wetlands but in uplands, maybe it happens in one specific spot and nowhere else."
The other mechanism that could be causing methane fluxes from trunks is internal rotting or infection inside the tree, which produces an environment where methanogenic bacteria can survive and then methane diffuses out of the tree.
"At this moment, the mechanisms of methane production in upland forests are not clear. Methane can be either transported from the soils upward inside the stem and diffused to the atmosphere or produced inside the stem by fungi or archaea—single-celled microorganisms," said Vargas.
Next steps
Both Warner and Vargas agreed that the next steps should be to test the generality of these observations across different forests, and identify the mechanisms of methane production and transport in tree trunks. Finally, they suggest that global and ecosystem models should take into account methane produced from tree trunks as a new source of methane to the atmosphere.
"When people develop ecosystem to global scale methane budgets, there's always a chunk in which it is uncertain from where that methane is coming. Methane emissions by vegetation and tree trunks are seen as a newly-considered source that might bring that budget closer in to our estimates. It's good to keep chipping away at that," said Warner.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Scientists discover how essential methane catalyst is made
More information: Daniel L. Warner et al, Carbon Dioxide and Methane Fluxes From Tree Stems, Coarse Woody Debris, and Soils in an Upland Temperate Forest, Ecosystems (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10021-016-0106-8 
Journal reference: Ecosystems [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Delaware



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-tree-trunks-methane-source-upland.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-03-tree-trunks-methane-source-upland.html#jCp]
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