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After 7½ months of flight involving one midcourse maneuver on 5 December 1964, the spacecraft flew by Mars on July 14 and July 15, 1965. Planetary science mode was turned on at 15:41:49 UT on 14 July. The camera sequence started at 00:18:36 UT on July 15 (7:18:49 p.m. EST on July 14) and 21 pictures using alternate red and green filters, plus 21 lines of a 22nd picture were taken. The images covered a discontinuous swath of Mars starting near 40° N, 170° E, down to about 35° S, 200° E, and then across to the terminator at 50° S, 255° E, representing about 1% of the planet's surface. The closest approach was 9,846 km from the Martian surface at 01:00:57 UT 15 July 1965 (8:00:57 p.m. EST 14 July). The images taken during the flyby were stored in the onboard tape recorder. At 02:19:11 UT Mariner 4 passed behind Mars as seen from Earth and the radio signal ceased. The signal was reacquired at 03:13:04 UT when the spacecraft reappeared. Cruise mode was then re-established.
Transmission of the taped images to Earth began about 8.5 hours after signal reacquisition and continued until 3 August. All images were transmitted twice to ensure no data was missing or corrupt.
The spacecraft performed all programmed activities successfully and returned useful data from launch until 22:05:07 UT on 1
October 1965, when the distance from Earth (309.2 million km) and the antenna orientation temporarily halted signal
Data returned by the Mars 6 descent module allowed a profile of tropospheric structure from the base of the stratosphere at 25 km altitude at 150 K to the surface at 230 K and atmospheric density from 82 km to 12 km. A surface pressure of 6 mb and temperature of (230 K) -43 C were measured. Instruments also indicated "several times" more atmospheric water vapor than previously reported. The mass spectrometer data were stored on-board during the descent and scheduled to be transmitted after landing and were therefore lost. The current to the vacuum pump was transmitted as an engineering parameter, however, and a steep increase in current was found. It was hypothesized to indicate an inert gas which could not be removed by the pump, leading to an estimate of argon abundance in the atmosphere of 25% to 45%. (The actual value is now known to be about 1.6%.)
The Mars 6 flyby bus performed a radio occultation experiment and the results, in concert with results from Mars 4 and 5
occultation measurements, showed the existence of a nightside ionosphere with a maximum electron density of 4600 per cubic cm
at an altitude of 110 km and a near surface atmospheric pressure of 6.7 mbar.
The Phobos Mystery Object (PMO) as it was referred to was soon believed to be a UFO by some. It was also speculated that the Russian mission had been deliberately terminated by aliens unwilling to let Phobos 2 approach the moon, supposed to be an artificial avant-poste of alien visitors on their way to earth. This scenario fit with the other mysteries: the supposed
hollow nature of the moon suggested by its strange gravitational behaviour, its strange closeness to the Martian surface, its visionary discovery by Jonathan Swift, the failure of Hershell and others to discover it and the sudden discovery by Hall that suggested it was not there before, the failure of Phobos 1, and all the other more famous Martian mysteries.
The Jan/Feb 1993 issue of the Planetary Society's "The Planetary Report" contains a brief note written by A.S. Selivanov and U.M. Gektin of the Institute of Space Device Engineering, Moscow, on the mysterious end of Phobos 2.
Read this paper about the consequences of the russian Phobos probes failures from 'The Sun', Flagstaff, Arizona, Sunday,
April 16, 1989: CONSEQUENCES OF PHOBOS FAILURES: .
The final infrared picture photo of Phobos occurred just three days before the communication failure, it reveals the outlines of both Phobos and the PMO. All surface detail is washed out on both objects which is very common in infrared pictures.
The Coffey Board report stated that the most probable cause of the loss of communications with the spacecraft on Aug. 21, 1993, was a rupture of the fuel (monomethyl hydrazine (MMH)) pressurization side of the spacecraft's propulsion system, resulting in a pressurized leak of both helium gas and liquid MMH under the spacecraft's thermal blanket. The gas and liquid would most likely have leaked out from under the blanket in an unsymmetrical manner, resulting in a net spin rate. This high spin rate would cause the spacecraft to enter into the "contingency mode," which interrupted the stored command sequence and thus, did not turn the transmitter on.
WASHINGTON - After studying Mars four times as long as originally planned, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter appears to have succumbed to battery failure caused by a complex sequence of events involving the onboard computer memory and ground commands.
The causes were released today in a preliminary report by an internal review board. The board was formed to look more in-depth into why NASA's Mars Global Surveyor went silent in November 2006 and recommend any processes or procedures that could increase safety for other spacecraft.
Mars Global Surveyor last communicated with Earth on Nov. 2, 2006. Within 11 hours, depleted batteries likely left the spacecraft unable to control its orientation.
"The loss of the spacecraft was the result of a series of events linked to a computer error made five months before the likely battery failure," said board Chairperson Dolly Perkins, deputy director-technical of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) science investigation used 3 instruments: a narrow angle camera that obtained grayscale (black-and-white) high resolution images (typically 1.5 to 12 m per pixel) and red and blue wide angle cameras for context (240 m per pixel) and daily global imaging (7.5 km per pixel). MOC operated in Mars orbit between September 1997 and November 2006. It returned more than 240,000 images spanning portions of 4.8 Martian years.
The MOLA works by transmitting a laser pulse down towards the surface. The pulse is reflected off the surface (or cloud) back to the instrument, where the return is detected. The two-way travel time is recorded, giving a measure of the distance between the spacecraft and the surface. Corrections are made to this distance based on atmospheric effects and accurate tracking of the spacecraft position allows an estimate of the surface altitude or cloud height. A large number of surface altimetry measurements will be taken, and combined to produce a global topographic map.
The MOLA consists of a diode pumped, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser transmitter with a pulse energy of 40-45 mJ. It can send continuous bursts of 10 pulses/sec, each pulse having a beam diameter of 1 cm and a divergence of 0.45 mrad. The reciever is a 50 cm parabolic antenna with a Si APD detector and four electronic filters (20, 60, 180, and 540 ns). The reciever field of view is 0.85 mrad with a 10 degree cone about the mirror exclusion. The vertical resolution is 2 m local (relative) and 30 m
global (absolute). The horizontal resolution is 160 m. The altimeter is run by a 80C86 microprocessor with 54HC family logic.
The altimeter is mounted to the Mars Global Surveyor instrument panel.
Global slice of the crustal structure of Mars along 0° E longitude as derived from gravity and topography data from the
Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft: the south pole is at the far right and the north pole is at the far left. For illustrative purposes the crustal structure is vertically exaggerated and is about 40 km thick under the northern plains and 70 km thick at high southern latitudes.
Additional analysis of the topography and gravity indicates that the northern lowlands was likely a zone of high heat flow early in Martian history, relecting vigorous convection of the Martian interior. This rapid heat loss could have released gases trapped within the planet to the atmosphere and underground ice or water to the surface, helping to produce a warmer, wetter climate than present on Mars today.
Circum-Mars profiles of crustal thickness along longitude lines of (A) 0° to 180° E and (B) 70° to 250° E. Light grey represents crust, and dark grey represents mantle. In the figures the south pole is at both ends of the plot, the north pole is at the center, and the lower longitude profiles (0° E and 70° E) are on the left sides of the plots. Apparent crustal
thickening beneath the north and south polar regions is an artifact of the assumption that layered terrains and ice caps are composed of material with the same density as the crust rather than less dense ice plus dust. The arrows in (A) show the location of the hemispheric dichotomy boundary. The vertical exaggeration is 30:1.
The TES instrument systematically measured and monitored the Martian surface and atmosphere throughout all phases of the mission. The TES spectrometer collected over 206 million infrared spectra, and the TES bolometer was in continual full-time use throughout the entire mission.
TES was and is both an instrument and a technique. The Thermal Emission Spectrometer was a scientific instrument that first
flew aboard the Mars Observer spacecraft. Following the loss of that spacecraft, TES was rebuilt and launched along with five
of the original seven Mars Observer instruments aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The purpose of TES was to measure
the thermal infrared energy (heat) emitted from Mars. This technique, called thermal emission spectroscopy, can tell us much
about the geology and atmosphere of Mars. TES data provided the first detailed look at the composition of Mars.
NASA scientists have discovered additional evidence that Mars once underwent plate tectonics, slow movement of the planet's
crust, like the present-day Earth. A new map of Mars' magnetic field made by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft reveals a
world whose history was shaped by great crustal plates being pulled apart or smashed together.
This high resolution magnetic field map, the first of its kind, covers the entire surface of Mars. The new map is based on
four years of data taken in a constant orbit. Each region on the surface has been sampled many times. “The more measurements
we obtain, the more accuracy, and spatial resolution, we achieve," said Dr. Jack Connerney, co-investigator for the Mars
Global Surveyor magnetic filed investigation at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
said Dr. Norman Ness of the Bartol Research
This map lends support to and expands on the 1999 results,
Institute at the University of Delaware, Newark.Each stripe represents a magnetic field pointed in one
Where the earlier data showed a "striping" of the magnetic field in
one region, the new map finds striping elsewhere. More importantly, the new map shows evidence of features, transform faults,
that are a "tell-tale" of plate tectonics on Earth.
directionpositive or negativeand the alternating stripes indicate a "flipping" of the direction of the magnetic field from
one stripe to another.
The radial magnetic field measured is color coded on a global perspective view that shows measurements derived from
spacecraft tracks below 200 km overlain on a monochrome shaded relief map of the topography.
This image shows especially strong Martian magnetic fields in the southern highlands near the Terra Cimmeria and Terra
Sirenum regions, centered around 180 degrees longitude from the equator to the pole. It is where magnetic stripes possibly
resulting from crustal movement are most prominent. The bands are oriented approximately east - west and are about 100 miles
wide and 600 miles long, although the longest band stretches more than 1200 miles.
The false blue and red colors represent invisible magnetic fields in the Martian crust that point in opposite directions. The
magnetic fields appear to be organized in bands, with adjacent bands pointing in opposite directions, giving these stripes a
striking similarity to patterns seen in the Earth's crust at the mid-oceanic ridges.
The radio science investigation used data provided by the Mars Global Surveyor's telecommunications system, high-gain
antenna, and onboard ultra-stable oscillator (an ultra-precise clock) to map variations in the gravity field. These
measurements also enabled scientists to determine the atmospheric pressure at specific locations as the spacecraft sent its
signal through the atmosphere while disappearing behind the planet and re-emerging every orbit.
This is a panorama of the first set of images returned by the Mars Pathfinder engineering model during ORT 6. The purpose of the mosaic is to assess the position of the deflated airbags at the base of the lander. Determining this is of crucial importance for judging whether or not the rover can safely traverse off the lander on to the Martian surface. The images were taken at a wavelength of 965 nanometers, (in the near infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum). The numbers on the images are frame IDs. The coordinate system, shown by the white squares, is in degrees of elevation (vertical) and azimuth (horizontal). There are no airbags visible, indicating that they have been safely retracted. Note that there are two images labeled "1". Image #1 at an azimuth of 320-335 degrees was taken through the right camera. All other frames were imaged through the left camera. Parts of the lander can be seen in the foreground. A radiometric calibration target is visible in frames 7 and 8 and the solar panels are seen in the other image
This image is the first view of Mars taken by the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI). It was acquired on 7 September 1999 at about 16:30 UTC (9:30 AM PDT), when the spacecraft was approximately 4.5 million kilometers (2.8 million miles) from the planet. This full-scale medium angle camera view is the highest resolution possible at this distance from Mars. At this point in its orbit around the sun, MCO is moving slower than, and being overtaken by, Mars (the morning side of the planet is visible in this picture). The center longitude is around 240° W.
The last telemetry from the Mars Polar Lander was sent just prior to atmospheric entry on December 3, 1999. No further signals have been received from the lander. The cause of this loss of communication is unknown.
According to the investigation that later followed, the most likely cause of the failure of the mission was a software error that mistakenly identified the vibration caused by the deployment of the lander's legs as being caused by the vehicle touching down on the Martian surface, resulting in the vehicle's descent engines being cut off while it was still 40 meters above the surface, rather than on touchdown as planned. Another possible reason for failure was inadequate preheating of catalysis beds for the pulsing rocket thrusters: hydrazine fuel decomposes on the beds to make hot gases that throttle out the rocket nozzles; cold catalysis beds caused misfiring and instability in crash review tests.
Attempts were made in late 1999 and early 2000 to search for the remains of the Mars Polar Lander using images from the Mars
Global Surveyor. These attempts were unsuccessful, but re-examination of the images in 2005 led to a tentative identification described in the July 2005 issue of Sky and Telescope. However, higher resolution photos taken later in 2005 revealed that this identification was incorrect, and that the Mars Polar Lander remains lost. NASA is hoping that the higher resolution
cameras of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, currently in Martian orbit, will finally locate the lander's remains.
Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001 on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and reached Mars on October 24, 2001, 0230 Universal Time (October 23, 7:30 p.m. PDT/ 10:30 EDT). The spacecraft's main engine fired to brake the spacecraft's speed and allowed it to be captured into orbit around Mars. Odyssey used a technique called "aerobraking" that gradually brought the spacecraft closer to Mars with each orbit. By using the atmosphere of Mars to slow down the spacecraft in its orbit rather than firing its engine or thrusters, Odyssey was able to save more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of propellant. Aerobraking ended in January, and Odyssey began its science mapping mission on February 19, 2002.
NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano.
The find is fueling interest in potential underground habitats and sparking searches for caverns elsewhere on the Red Planet.
Very dark, nearly circular features ranging in diameter from about 100 to 250 meters (328 to 820 feet) puzzled researchers who found them in images taken by NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters. Using Mars Odyssey's infrared camera to check the daytime and nighttime temperaturof the circles, scientists concluded that they could be windows into underground spaces.
When exposed to cosmic rays (charged particles in space that come from the stars, including our sun), chemical elements in soils and rocks emit uniquely identifiable signatures of energy in the form of gamma rays. The gamma ray spectrometer looks at these signatures, or energies, coming from the elements present in the Martian soil.
By measuring gamma rays coming from the martian surface, it is possible to calculate how abundant various elements are and how they are distributed around the planet's surface. Gamma rays, emitted from the nuclei of atoms, show up as sharp emission lines on the instrument's spectrum. While the energy represented in these emissions determines which elements are present, the intensity of the spectrum reveals the elements concentrations. The spectrometer has added significantly to the growing understanding of the origin and evolution of Mars and the processes shaping it today and in the past.
How are gamma rays and neutrons produced by cosmic rays? Incoming cosmic rays--some of the highest-energy particles--collide with atoms in the soil. When atoms are hit with such energy, neutrons are released, which scatter and collide with other atoms. The atoms get " excited" in the process, and emit gamma rays to release the extra energy so they can return to their normal rest state. Some elements like potassium, uranium, and thorium are naturally radioactive and give
off gamma rays as they decay, but all elements can be excited by collisions with cosmic rays to produce gamma rays. The HEND
and Neutron Spectrometers on GRS directly detect scattered neutrons, and the Gamma Sensor detects the gamma rays.
The instrument, with a 68-degree field of view, collected data during Odyssey's cruise from Earth to Mars. It stored large amounts of data for downlink whenever possible, and operated in orbit around Mars until a large solar event bombarded the
Odyssey spacecraft on October 28, 2003. MARIE h been unable to collect data since that time, and engineers believe the most
likely cause is that a computer chip was damaged by a solar particle smashing into the MARIE computer board. Odyssey
engineers will attempt to turn on MARIE again in the winter of 2005, after enough time has passed that MARIE may have
recovered itself, like it did during a similar incident during cruise.
Mars Express arrived at Mars after a 400 million km journey and course corrections in September and in December 2003.
On December 20 Mars Express fired a short thruster burst to put it into position to orbit the planet. The Mars Express
Orbiter then fired its main engine and went into a highly elliptical initial-capture orbit of 250 km × 150,000 km with an
inclination of 25 degrees on December 25 at 03:00 UT (10:00 p.m., December 24 EST).
Although the Beagle 2 craft successfully deployed from the Mars Express "mother ship", confirmation of a successful landing
was not forthcoming. Confirmation should have come on 25 December 2003, when the Beagle 2 should have contacted NASA's Mars
Odyssey spacecraft that was already in orbit. In the following days, the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank also failed to pick
up a signal from Beagle 2. The team said they were "still hopeful" of finding a successful return signal.
Attempts were made throughout January and February of 2004 to contact Beagle 2 using Mars Express. The first of these
occurred on January 7, 2004, but ended in failure. Although regular calls were made, particular hope was placed on
communication occurring on January 12, when Beagle 2 was pre-programmed to expect the Mars Express probe to fly overhead, and
on February 2, when the probe was supposed to resort to the last communication back-up mode: Autotransmit. However, no
communication was ever established with Beagle 2.
The HRSC on board ESA's Mars Express will image the entire planet in full colour, 3D and with a resolution of about 10
metres. Selected areas will be imaged at 2-metre resolution. One of the camera's greatest strengths will be the unprecedented
pointing accuracy achieved by combining images at the two different resolutions.
The Camera Head is the light grey unit in the middle and the top rectangular aperture. The Super Resolution Channel (SRC) is
the black cylindrical aperture at lower right. The Camera Head and SRC together measure 515 x 300 x 260 mm. The Digital Unit
is the black box at the back. The complete HRSC weighs 20.4 kilograms and consumes about 48.7 Watts with both camera and SRC
MARSIS will map the sub-surface structure to a depth of a few kilometres. The instrument's 40-metre long antenna will send
low frequency radio waves towards the planet, which will be reflected from any surface they encounter.
For most, this will be the surface of Mars, but a significant fraction will travel through the crust to be reflected at
sub-surface interfaces between layers of different material, including water or ice.
The PFS is determining the composition of the Martian atmosphere from the wavelengths of sunlight (in the range 1.2-45
microns) absorbed by molecules in the atmosphere and from the infrared radiation they emit.
In particular, it will measure the vertical pressure and temperature profile of carbon dioxide which makes up 95% of the
martian atmosphere, and look for minor constituents including water, carbon monoxide, methane and formaldehyde.
SPICAM is determining the composition of the atmosphere from the wavelengths of light absorbed by the constituent gases. An
ultraviolet (UV) sensor will measure ozone, which absorbs 250-nanometre light, and an infrared (IR) sensor will measure water
vapour, which absorbs 1.38 micron light.
ASPERA is measuring ions, electrons and energetic neutral atoms in the outer atmosphere to reveal the numbers of oxygen and
hydrogen atoms (the constituents of water) interacting with the solar wind and the regions of such interaction.
Constant bombardment by the stream of charged particles pouring out from the Sun, is thought to be responsible for the loss
of Mars's atmosphere. The planet no longer has a global magnetic field to deflect the solar wind, which is consequently free
to interact unhindered with atoms of atmospheric gas and sweep them out to space.
MaRS will use the radio signals that convey data and instructions between the spacecraft and Earth to probe the planet's
ionosphere, atmosphere, surface and even the interior.
Information on the interior will be gleaned from the planet's gravity field, which will be calculated from changes in the
velocity of the spacecraft relative to Earth. Surface roughness will be deduced from the way in which the radio waves are
reflected from the Martian surface.
MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover - A), known as Spirit, is the first of the two rovers of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission.
It landed successfully on Mars on 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin Opportunity (MER-B) landed
on the other side of the planet. Its name was chosen through a NASA-sponsored student essay competition.
The rover has continued to function effectively over seventeen times longer than NASA planners expected, allowing it to
perform extensive geological analysis of Martian rocks and planetary surface features; as of 2008 its mission is ongoing. An
archive of approximately weekly updates on its status can be found at the NASA/JPL website. Initial scientific results from
the first phase of the mission (roughly, the 90-sol prime mission) were published in a special issue of the journal Science
MER-B (Mars Exploration Rover - B), known as Opportunity, is the second of the two rovers of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover
Mission. It landed successfully at Meridiani Planum on Mars on January 25, 2004 05:05 Ground UTC (circa 13:15 local time),
three weeks after its twin Spirit (MER-A) had landed on the other side of the planet. Its name was chosen through a
NASA-sponsored student essay competition. The rover has continued to function effectively over fifteen times longer than NASA
planners expected, allowing it to perform extensive geological analysis of Martian rocks and planetary surface features; as
of 2008 its mission is ongoing. An archive of updates on its status can be found at the NASA/JPL website; the updates were
weekly initially but were reduced to six per year as the mission progressed.
The first test images of Mars from NASA's newest spacecraft provide a tantalizing preview of what the orbiter will reveal when its main science mission begins next fall.
Three cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter were pointed at Mars at 8:36 p.m. PST Thursday, while the spacecraft collected 40 minutes of engineering test data. The cameras are the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, the Context
Camera and the Mars Color Imager.
These high-resolution images of Mars are thrilling, and unique given the early morning time-of-day. The final orbit of
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will be over Mars in the mid-afternoon, like Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey,
Alfred McEwen, University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science
Originally posted by Element-115
First of all, let's ask a few questions :
1. WHY oh WHY are we going back to the moon?
2. If we've BEEN to the moon in the 60s and 70s, why will it take SO long to get back?
3. If we've already landed on the moon shouldn't it be a piece of cake with modern technology to send a few people up there and show the world in HD quality ONCE and for all that we DID land on the moon?
4. WHY has it taken SO long to get BACK to the moon?
5. Could they be sending people to the moon to plant evidence that the US did in fact land on the moon?
6. Why are we investing so much to go to the moon now when we could go to Mars?
I can't help but think of the phrase which I think applies for NASA's so called Space Race... "IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT... FAKE IT".
Yep, the controlled environment they've been in and how they've televised the event just didn't make sense. But then that's a entirely different story, if we've landed on the moon or not. I'm very skeptical about that mainly because of the era it was in and now the announcement that it's so difficult to go to the moon that we need over 10 years (from the date of announcement) to get back... makes no sense.
I mean the way we landed on the moon with the primitive technology compared to ours today is simply put fantastic. If we could pull that off then... why is it so hard for us to do it now?
That's the real question.
(I don't want to start a "did we land on the moon or not" debate, I just wish to know what happened to the Mission to Mars in 2018? And why is it so hard to get BACK to the moon?)
Originally posted by GorehoundLarry
reply to post by Element-115
No probs, I could be wrong and it could all really just be a big conspiracy, but who knows. Meh!!!