ESAs Mars Express probe is scheduled to arrive at Mars at Christmas : the Beagle 2 lander is expected to touch down on the surface of the Red Planet during the night of 24 to 25 December.
Launched on 2 June 2003 from Baikonur (Kazakhstan) on board a Russian Soyuz operated by Starsem, the European probe - built for ESA by a European team of industrial companies led by Astrium - carries seven scientific instruments that will perform a series of remote sensing experiments designed to shed new light on the Martian atmosphere, the planets structure and its geology. In particular, the British-made Beagle 2 lander will contribute to the search for traces of life on Mars through exobiology experiments and geochemistry research.
On board Mars Express tests have been run to check that the instruments are functioning correctly. Mars Express has successfully come through its first power test on the whole spacecraft after the gigantic solar flare on 28 October. Since 17 November the onboard software has been frozen after several updates and the spacecraft is now quietly proceeding to its destination.
Franco Bonacina | ESA
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For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
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For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
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Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
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Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
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