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Monday, June 20, 2005



MARSIS Radar Successfully Deployed

Mars Express deploying the radar booms.
Mars Express deploying the radar booms.
Credit: European Space Agency
The European Space Agency is reporting that the MARSIS subsurface-sensing radar system on the Mars Express has been successfully deployed. The deployment was delayed over concerns that extending the long booms used to generate the radar would destabilize the spacecraft and damage it.

MARSIS will be critical in understanding the distribution of water on Mars, something which is necessary for almost any activity we could want to conduct there. Previous studies have used hydrogen spectroscopy to guess where water is, but MARSIS will provide much more accurate results, able to penetrate deep beneath the surface of Mars.

The system will also be used to study the ionosphere, which also has important implications for future projects.

(More info: ESA)


- posted by Brian @ 13:46 EST