Feeds

ESA grants Mars Express another (Martian) year

A 23-month extension

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The European Space Agency (ESA) has extended its Mars Express mission by another Martian year. That's around 23 months in Earth money.

The Mars Express mission is the first fully European mission to another planet. It launched back in 2003 from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, and also carried the ill-fated Beagle2 lander.

Martian north polar ice cap showing layers of water ice and dust in perspective view

Since arriving in orbit around the red planet, the satellite has revealed that the face of Mars is much more complex than scientists had thought. It has sent back data on the present day climate system on Mars the planet's geological history, identified aurorae and has begun mapping water deposits.

It has confirmed the presence of methane in the Martian atmosphere which in conjunction with the possible detection of formaldehyde, suggests either current volcanic activity, or possibly even active biological processes.

The orbiter has also confirmed evidence of glacial processes near the equator and mapped carbon dioxide and water ice near the poles. Its analysis of the minerals in the Martian surface also suggests that lakes or seas probably existed on the planet for long periods of time.

The mission extension will mean that the satellite can continue mapping the planet's surface with its High Resolution Stereo Camera. So far, only 19 per cent of the surface has been imaged at high res. It also means the MARSIS radar can continue its subsurface studies - and in particular its hunt for water. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.