Mars Categorical set a brand new file for floor missions to Mars

Mars Categorical set a brand new file for floor missions to Mars

Artist's impression of Mars Express.

Artist’s impression of the Mars Categorical spacecraft.
Illustration: ESA:

For 19 years, the Mars Categorical spacecraft has been orbiting the Purple Planet, offering breathtaking views and beneficial insights into Mars. The industrious orbiter not solely transferred his own data return to Earth, but in addition supplied a line of communication between different Mars missions and floor management.

The European Area Company’s (ESA) Mars Categorical lately set a brand new file for transmitting complete information. Seven totally different missions to the floor of Mars are serving to scientists paint an entire image of the planet’s historical past, the house company studies. announced on Friday. His final lengthy distance name was made on behalf of NASA’s Perseverance roverI digested the robotic which has been orbiting the Purple Planet since February 2021.

This isn’t the primary time a rover has taken a line from the Mars Categorical spacecraft to Earth. In 2004, the orbiter flew over NASA’s Spirit rover and despatched a sequence of instructions to the robotic whereas Spirit despatched its information to the Mars Categorical to relay again to Earth. That is marked the primary time two house companies have established a communications community round one other planet.

After a three-way name with Spirit and floor management, ESA’s Mars Categorical carried out seven communications checks with Spirit’s twin rover, Alternative, in 2008. Later in 2012, Mars Categorical transmitted valuable information NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has been touring round Mars for 10 years to watch the mission. The spacecraft did this by pointing its lander communications antenna at Curiosity for quarter-hour whereas the rover transmitted its information, then pointing its extra highly effective high-band antenna again at Earth to scatter the knowledge. The info in query was {a photograph} of a rock on Mars, and it was the primary time Mars Categorical had been used to transmit scientific information.

Along with 4 NASA robots, Mars Categorical additionally transmitted information NASA’s InSight Lander and: Chinese Zhurong rover. T:he additionally helped monitor the airplane’s touchdown NASA Phoenix Lander in Might 2008

The Mars Express spacecraft left Earth for Mars in June 2003 and entered Martian orbit following a six-month journey through space. The aging orbiter is still going strong and recently had a much-needed software program replace enhance its capability to ship and obtain alerts. Though Mars Categorical is ESA’s most cost-effective mission until immediately, it gives beneficial information about Mars in addition to it moon Phobos. After 19 years of service, the orbiter could full its mission by December this yr, and at last grasp his line to Earth.

Extra. The Mars spacecraft has been running on Windows 98 Era software for 19 years, but no more

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