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NEWS: Return To Mars - NASA Prepares For Wednesday Launch

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posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 05:31 PM
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A fourth Mars Orbiter is heading for Mars on Wednesday, a year and a half after the twin rover missions and will be carrying the most sophisticated science instruments ever launched into space. The latest probe has a range of mission tasks including searching for evidence of water and scanning the surface for future landing sites. The Phoenix lander will explore the planet's north pole using a long robotic arm and more photographs will be taken of the surface at six times the resolution of previous images.
 



seattletimes.nwsource.com
The Reconnaissance Orbiter will also try to find two ill-fated spacecraft — NASA's Mars Polar Lander and Britain's Beagle 2 lander — which lost contact during separate landing attempts.

Earlier this year, the company that operates a camera aboard one of the current Mars orbiting spacecraft, the Global Surveyor, spotted what appeared to be the wreckage of Polar Lander on grainy black-and-white images.

The Reconnaissance Orbiter should reach Mars orbit in mid-March next year.

Along with its telescopic camera, the orbiter's payload includes ground-penetrating radar that can probe up to a third of a mile beneath surface rock and ice for evidence of water. Other instruments can track weather changes and identify minerals.

Mars is cold and dry with large caps of frozen water at its poles. But scientists think the planet was a wetter and possibly warmer place eons ago, conditions that might have been conducive to life.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Hopefully this mission will make new discoveries about the red planet and disclose more of it's secret including the long awaited answer for "Is there life on Mars".

News Links
Tucson Citizen

[edit on 8-8-2005 by Mayet]




posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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Thanks for the reminder!

All this other space stuff going on, I almost forgot about the launch..



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 07:20 PM
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Looking forward to another launch. Hopefully we can continue to gain more information. Perhaps I should start looking at real estate deals up there.



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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Aye this is good news!

HUZZAH!



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 09:47 PM
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Does this new lander have an instrument on it that detects life? No? Surprise, surprise.



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 12:25 AM
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This is great news the more mars mission the better. I can't wait till the upcoming years when the new generation of space craft are launched. Can only wonder at the new technology and designs planned. Maybe permanent bases on the moon and mars arn't far away
. *hopefull*




Originally posted by Flinx
Does this new lander have an instrument on it that detects life? No? Surprise, surprise.


The detection of water is one of the ways of the detection of life, through convential science...

The only other gadgets they could use to detect life, that I can think of, is thermal scanning for body temp' and pulse/noise detectors for the detection of pulses/heat beats at long range. But hey if theres life that sophisticated we should of spotted it by now. Hopefully when theres a manned mission they can take drilling equipment incase life is subterranean. Maybe they added that equipment im not sure. If only they had a nice trekkie tricorder eh?

Vorta



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 01:26 AM
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Thanks for the reminder on it. This launch just is not making the news very much. I wonder why?

Now that I use the Google Map service for looking around on planet Earth with the sat. feature, it makes me think that they should add Mars to the service.
All the high res. surface mapping that will come back from this craft should be incorporated into a "Google Mars" type feature. It would attract more attention to Mars and make a few bucks for NASA through licencing fees.

Anyone at Google or NASA reading this????????????



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 01:40 AM
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Originally posted by Vorta
The only other gadgets they could use to detect life, that I can think of, is thermal scanning for body temp' and pulse/noise detectors for the detection of pulses/heat beats at long range. But hey if theres life that sophisticated we should of spotted it by now.


I was really talking about microbial life...I doubt there's Martian Bison.

But didn't Viking 1 and 2 have some kind of life detection equipment? I believe it heated up the sample and looked for the release of some chemical. Beagle 2 had an instrument to detect life as well...I think that was it's primary purprose. Of course it failed.

Why is NASA always looking at everything that might indicate life was or is on Mars, but not life itself? It just seems to me that they're avoiding the issue.



[edit on 8/9/2005 by Flinx]



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 11:59 AM
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Can't wait to see this Atlas hardware combo go interplanetary...
News conference stated a 12 inch per pixel resolution way better than Clementine 1Kilo/px... I wonder if it will make the airbrushing any easier for the "NASA?" Photoshop/ Alias Wavefront crews?... LOL
This unit is gonna have a unique orbital stabilization period too - pretty extreme apogee and aperigee...



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 03:51 PM
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I love a good Mars probe as much as the next guy, but isn't this a bit redundant considering the success of Britain's Mars Global Surveyor?

Shouldn't we work on more ground based operations? The gliders that were being tested to fly in the thin Martian atmosphere..probes with inflatable outer shells that bounce around along with the wind and then deflate to do research, then pump up to move on?

Only so much research can be done by observation. I wonder if we're reaching the saturation point of that yet. We need to get our feet (wheels, pads, treads) dirty and dig in. I'd much rather see a proble that can drill core samples out of rocks or other soil down more than a few inches-gimme *feet*!



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 10:30 AM
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Launch delayed till Thursday!


From nasa.gov
Tomorrow morning's launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been postponed by at least one day. At present, liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 7:50 a.m. on August 11.

The mission will lift off from Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and is the first government launch of Lockheed Martin's Atlas V launch vehicle. The orbiter will study Mars to understand the planet's water riddles and to advance the exploration of the mysterious red planet.


Link To Full Story!


Mic


Edit: Edit to remove all Bold!


[edit on 10/8/2005 by MickeyDee]



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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When are they finally going to send the mars flyer "mars UAV"?
I thought it was supposed to be cruising the mars valleys as we speak, but find that it hasn't even been sent yet?

are they having trouble finding a way to keep it in the turbulent air perhaps?



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