Feeds

MARSIS experiment hit by delay

Boom time

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Mission controllers are holding off deploying the second antenna boom of Mars Express's MARSIS experiment until they can explain an anomaly that ocurred during the unfolding of the first boom.

The 20m-long boom is divided into 13 sections, so that it can fold into the space available in the craft. The Mars Express team in Darmstadt, Germany, started to unfurl the boom on 4 May, but by 7 May they spotted a problem with one of the sections.

All but one of the 13 sections of the boom had correctly locked into position, but mission controllers have, so far, been unable to confirm that one piece, possibly piece 10, has positively locked into position.

The plan now is to take whatever time is needed to evaluate the impact of this on the rest of the experiment. It is possible that the last piece not being positively locked could have implications for unfolding the second boom. It is also possible that everything is fine, and that all pieces are locked in place.

The aim of the MARSIS experiment (Mars Express Sub-Surface Sounding Radar Altimeter) is to map the structure of the sub-surface of Mars, to a depth of up to five kilometres, using low frequency radio waves sent by the two 20m antennae. ®

Related stories

NASA boffins plan Venusian airline
Missing Mars lander shows up in old pics
Mars Express starts unfurling radar booms

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?