The deployment of the second antenna boom of the Mars Express Sub-Surface Sounding Radar Altimeter (MARSIS) science experiment has been delayed pending investigation of an anomaly found during deployment of the first antenna boom.
The anomaly was discovered on 7 May towards the end of the first deployment operations. Deployment of the first boom started on Wednesday 4 May. The problem with the boom was confirmed by flight control engineers working at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, on 7 May, after which further activity was stopped pending a full assessment of the situation. The decision to delay deployment of Boom 2 pending clarification of the situation and implications was made on 8 May.
Mission controllers were able to determine that 12 of the 13 boom segments of Boom 1 were correctly locked into position. However, one of the final segments, possibly No. 10, had deployed but was not positively locked into position.
Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin | EurekAlert!
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