Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smooth deployment for second MARSIS antenna boom

17.06.2005


Artist’s impression of Boom 2 deployed


The second 20-metre antenna boom of the MARSIS instrument on board Mars Express was successfully – and smoothly – deployed, confirmed today by the ground team at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre.

The command to deploy the second MARSIS boom was given to the spacecraft at 13:30 CEST on 14 June 2005. Shortly before the deployment started, Mars Express was set into a slow rotation to last 30 minutes during and after the boom extension. This rotation allowed all the boom’s hinges to be properly heated by the Sun.

Just after, an autonomous manoeuvre oriented the spacecraft towards the Sun, to have the spacecraft recharge its batteries and for a further heating of the hinges.



A first positive sign reached ground in the afternoon of 14 June, at 16:20 CEST, when Mars Express was able to properly re-orient itself and point towards Earth to transmit data.

The data received in the following hours confirmed that the initial spacecraft behaviour was consistent with two fully and correctly deployed booms and that the deployment had not induced disturbance frequencies that may have been dangerous for the spacecraft.

A series of tests during the following 48 hours was necessary to verify that the long boom was successfully locked and that the deployment did not affect the integrity of the spacecraft systems.

The complete success of the operation was announced today at 14:00 CEST, when the ground team had completed all tests on the spacecraft systems. This confirmed that the spacecraft is in optimal shape and under control, with the second MARSIS boom straight and locked into the correct position.

With the two MARSIS 20-metre radar booms fully deployed, Mars Express is already in principle capable of ‘looking’ beneath the Martian surface, and also studying its ionosphere (the upper atmosphere). The third 7-metre ‘monopole’ boom, to be deployed perpendicularly to the first two booms, will be used to correct some surface roughness effects on the radio waves emitted by MARSIS and reflected by the surface.

The third boom deployment, not considered critical because of its orientation and shorter length, will take place on 17 June 2005. It will be followed by further tests on the spacecraft and the MARSIS instrument for a few more days.

The radar, with its long booms, will allow Mars Express to continue its search for water on Mars. By night, it will be used to make soundings for water below the surface. By day, it will probe the structure of the ionosphere.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, said: "This is a great success following some tense moments and careful judgements. The result shows the power of the teamwork between ESA, European industry and ESA’s partners in the scientific community in Europe and elsewhere."


For more information:

Fred Jansen
ESA Mars Express Mission Manager
fjansen @ rssd.esa.int

Fred Jansen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMT1T1DU8E_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht The moon is front and center during a total solar eclipse
24.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Superluminous supernova marks the death of a star at cosmic high noon
24.07.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>