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ToSeek
2002-May-31, 07:32 PM
ESA's Mars Express To Search Deeper For Water, Signs Of Life (http://unisci.com/stories/20022/0531025.htm)

Phobos
2002-May-31, 08:15 PM
Shame they are sending Beagle 2 to the equator. The recent results suggest that most of the water is at the poles.

Phobos

John Kierein
2002-Jun-01, 12:37 PM
I think it's wonderful they're going to the equator. Maybe they can answer whether the hydrogen detected there is water that "shouldn't" be there, or is really some other mineral containing hydrogen. Like a hydrocarbon??

ToSeek
2003-Mar-18, 04:36 PM
Mars Express launch delayed to replace a part, but that's a good thing. (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993513)

Nanoda
2003-Mar-19, 05:46 AM
Kewl. I look forward to more info about Mars. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif But just remember that Galileo (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/) got delayed and repacked, something which is thought to have led to the unfortunate failure (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/newsletters/lpib/lpib76/gal76.html) of it's high-gain antenna.

ToSeek
2003-Mar-19, 03:21 PM
On 2003-03-19 00:46, Nanoda wrote:
Kewl. I look forward to more info about Mars. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif But just remember that Galileo (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/) got delayed and repacked, something which is thought to have led to the unfortunate failure (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/newsletters/lpib/lpib76/gal76.html) of its high-gain antenna.


But that was a much longer delay.

ToSeek
2003-Mar-19, 06:36 PM
Next stop, Baikonur (http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEM2DO8YFDD_index_0.html)

ToSeek
2003-Apr-23, 03:48 PM
Beagle Points to Mars (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=437&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)

Should be a big year for Mars science coming up, with the two rovers and this.

Glom
2003-Apr-23, 07:17 PM
Let us pray to Cynthia for the success of Beagle 2. Being the first British probe, there's a lot more at stake for Britain than for America with MER.

tracer
2003-Apr-23, 10:56 PM
Let us pray, also, that nothing in the Mars Express package is in non-metric units, if you catch my drift.

Glom
2003-Apr-24, 12:59 PM
It's European, I'd expect it to be fully metric. It's not the use of metric or imperial that matters, it the facts that Deep Space 2 was designed in one and built in another. As long as there's uniformity, it won't matter.

ToSeek
2003-Apr-24, 03:09 PM
It's European, I'd expect it to be fully metric. It's not the use of metric or imperial that matters, it the facts that Deep Space 2 was designed in one and built in another. As long as there's uniformity, it won't matter.

The Mars Climate Orbiter problem was more that a routine in the navigation software expected metric data but was fed imperial - that and that there wasn't enough checking going on to catch the problem, either at the testing stage or during flight operations.

MCO Failure Report (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/news/mco991110.html)

Valiant Dancer
2003-Apr-24, 03:35 PM
Let us pray, also, that nothing in the Mars Express package is in non-metric units, if you catch my drift.

Hey! How else are we gonna aireate the Martian soil to help their agriculture?

:lol:

ToSeek
2003-Apr-30, 03:41 PM
Looking for water on Mars (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/marsis_radar_030430.html) with ground-penetrating radar.

Charlie in Dayton
2003-May-01, 12:50 AM
Will this ground-penetrating radar also show the Martian cities that Richard Hoaxland says are undergroud?

...man, I'm on a roll tonite...they gotta quit feeding me these straight lines... :)

ToSeek
2003-May-01, 02:29 AM
Will this ground-penetrating radar also show the Martian cities that Richard Hoaxland says are undergroud?


Sure. You just mess with the images until you start getting jpeg artifacts, then announce those as signs of Martian buildings.

ToSeek
2003-May-06, 05:25 PM
Mars Express ready for launch in less than one month (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0305/05marsexpress/)

ToSeek
2003-May-08, 09:37 PM
Beagle 2 a "miniaturized marvel of engineering" (http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/publicfeature/may03/mars.html)

First probe to look for life on Mars since Viking.

Tuckerfan
2003-May-09, 04:03 AM
Let us pray to Cynthia for the success of Beagle 2. Being the first British probe, there's a lot more at stake for Britain than for America with MER.Ye Gads! I hope Lucas didn't build the electronics for that puppy! If they did, the probe's DOA (if not on launch).

Comixx
2003-May-09, 07:40 AM
I once recreated Hoagwash's city architecture under the Cydonia surface using a jpeg of my forearm. I love how not one single picture posted in Hoagwash's name is unmanipulated and raw...he massages each and every one, often personally, until they divulge their secrets. What a huckster...

ToSeek
2003-May-14, 08:02 PM
Space.com's writeup on Mars Express (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/mars_express_030514.html)

ToSeek
2003-Jun-02, 05:00 PM
More about Beagle 2 and Mars Express (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/mars/marsexpress/030528beagle2.html), with some nice photos.

waynek
2003-Jun-02, 07:24 PM
Up up and away (http://www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/index.html)

Mellow
2003-Jun-05, 09:20 AM
Hi,

do we consider it a shame or pragmatism that ME was not launched from an Ariane?

I just wonder if the ESA should concentrate on paylod design and construction and let TTO and beyond to be the domain of someone who has already gone through the strain of proving their technology?

Just a thought.

Pinemarten
2003-Jun-05, 11:15 AM
I feel a rocket is a rocket.

The designs are still based on the 'brute force' approach: push the button, and hope it makes orbit.
Steering may be the biggest problem after the launch; and launch/steering problems are not caused by bad tech, but mostly unforeseen glitches.
Any group in the 'space race' nowadays wishes for a good flight; they do their best.

A perfect flight is gravy.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-05, 12:20 PM
Hi,

do we consider it a shame or pragmatism that ME was not launched from an Ariane?


Extreme pragmatism.

First, Soyuz is a highly reliable launcher (albeit the Fregat stage was only tested four times up till the launch)

Second, it's very inexpensive.

Third, ME was scheduled to be launched using Soyuz well before the Ariane 5ECA explosion last year.

Fourth, Ariane 5 is what is currently known as a 'heavy-lift' vehicle. You would not dedicate an entire Ariane to this probe - ridiculously costly. You could go for a multiple-payload launch, but matching up the payloads years in advance is not something you'd want to do - not when one of them is a Mars probe that must be scheduled a long time in advance.

Fifth, and I don't think many people are are aware of this, Starsem, (http://www.starsem.com), which runs the commercial Soyuz programme is 50% owned by Western European concerns (EADS and Arianespace - its HQ is in Paris and its CEO is French). Soyuz is becoming increasingly integrated with Western European programmes, and is having a launch facility built for it in a few years time in Kourou. It is likely to become ESA and Europe's standard medium-lift launcher - the equivalent of the USA's Delta 2.



I just wonder if the ESA should concentrate on paylod design and construction and let TTO and beyond to be the domain of someone who has already gone through the strain of proving their technology?

ESA does concentrate on payload design and construction (and space infrastructure etc etc). It is not a launch provider. But it has a special relationship with Arianespace as a launch provider. Assuming you mean Europe, though, I completely disagree. Soyuz (see above) is possibly the most proven launch technology on the planet. As for Ariane 5 - yes, I'd agree that some aspects of its design may have been misconceived (for example it was overspecified to be able to handle the now-defunct Hermes spaceplane).

However Ariane 5 basic was fairly well proven. The ECA heavy model that went down did so on its maiden flight - not a reason you should write off a launcher (it was probably a mistake carrying commercial payloads on it, though). I'd note that Arianespace has a pretty healthy order book in what is currently a market with considerable over-capacity. Arianespace has been feeling the pinch, but then all launch providers are worried. (Though Boeing and Lockmart are more diversified and have lucrative USAF contracts.)

Mellow
2003-Jun-05, 02:40 PM
Thanks Grand Vizier,

I had recalled the split between ESA and Ariannespace and it was the integration of the former Soviet programe with the west that prompted my thoughts.

I take the point about the heavy lift capability versus the Soyuz type launch vehicle.

Bear with me, I'm comming back up to speed after around 10-15 years with my head stuck firmly in business rather than spending an appropriate amount of time on science.

Thanks again

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-05, 03:07 PM
I had recalled the split between ESA and Ariannespace and it was the integration of the former Soviet programe with the west that prompted my thoughts.

Yes - that unfolding story is what fascinates me. Wish we had payloads for their Energia vehicle (if it could be put back into production). Now that would be an off-the-shelf Saturn V-type capability...


I take the point about the heavy lift capability versus the Soyuz type launch vehicle.

I haven't seen it stated - but I suspect that the 'move to Soyuz' might have been thought out a while back, which explains why Arianespace abandoned Ariane 4 (which some people consider to be a foolish mistake, leaving Europe with no medium-lift capacity). It's likely that A4 wouldn't be cost-competitive with Soyuz on a level-playing field - that may be why. Can't be certain that it was that thought out, though. The thing with Europe is that there are always a lot of players and a lot of compromises going on behind the scenes, I'm sure.


Bear with me, I'm comming back up to speed after around 10-15 years with my head stuck firmly in business rather than spending an appropriate amount of time on science.


Hey - I know what you mean. I've just had to play catch-up recently, and I'm always being caught out (particularly by the real experts on sci.space.* groups). :)

Mellow
2003-Jun-09, 10:20 AM
Can't be certain that it was that thought out, though. The thing with Europe is that there are always a lot of players and a lot of compromises going on behind the scenes, I'm sure.

I'm an Englishman living in London, working in UK Govt, so believe me, I totally understand and am frustrated with the EU dynamic.

Bring back "Black Knight"

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-09, 11:52 AM
Bring back "Black Knight"

Now you're talking. It always gives me a melancholy feeling to see that one surviving Black Arrow in the Science Museum. Pretty successful program by the lights of the time, too - orbited a satellite on second (orbital attempt). We should have gone on to Black Knight.

But you know, I don't think it was Europe that was the essential problem, it's that we should have gone on to play a greater role and not leave all the launcher stuff to the others. Instead Britain just went off in a huff after ELDO - even though the British Blue Streak was the most successful rocket stage. The French just went indigenous and developed Diamant that led to Ariane. Well, good for them.

The UK's always behaving like that with regard to Europe, but if you're going to get anywhere you have to play the political game, not sulk in your tent.

Ah, history - mustn't let it start one ranting, eh, what? :)

Mellow
2003-Jun-09, 02:35 PM
tee hee,

let's not even mention TSR 2 etc....

Could you imagine an Englishman being first on the moon? I paraphrase from Eddie Izzard... First momentous words... "Ooh it's all fluffy"

Tuckerfan
2003-Jun-10, 02:36 AM
tee hee,

let's not even mention TSR 2 etc....

Could you imagine an Englishman being first on the moon? I paraphrase from Eddie Izzard... First momentous words... "Ooh it's all fluffy"You do know that in the 1930's Arthur C. Clarke and the other members of the British Interplanetary Society designed a lunar rocket, powered by solid fuel. So it could have happened....

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-10, 03:56 AM
You do know that in the 1930's Arthur C. Clarke and the other members of the British Interplanetary Society designed a lunar rocket, powered by solid fuel. So it could have happened....

Well, maybe. But it took the war for the Germans to build the V2, which is the foundation of everything that happened afterwards. Clarke and the BIS were still coming up with streams of great ideas after the war. But by that time, British pockets were empty, so all their good ideas, like geostationary satellites, fell to others to do.

Tuckerfan
2003-Jun-10, 04:06 AM
You do know that in the 1930's Arthur C. Clarke and the other members of the British Interplanetary Society designed a lunar rocket, powered by solid fuel. So it could have happened....

Well, maybe. But it took the war for the Germans to build the V2, which is the foundation of everything that happened afterwards. Clarke and the BIS were still coming up with streams of great ideas after the war. But by that time, British pockets were empty, so all their good ideas, like geostationary satellites, fell to others to do.Of course, if it hadn't been for the Soviets, the US might never have begun it's space program.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-23, 09:41 PM
Orbiter not communicating with Beagle lander (http://en.rian.ru/rian/index.cfm?prd_id=160&msg_id=3286082&startrow=1&date=2003-06-23&do_alert=0)

BigJim
2003-Jun-23, 10:02 PM
Seems that that article exaggerated the problem. space.com provides a better picture. (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/beagle2_check_030623.html)



Now you're talking. It always gives me a melancholy feeling to see that one surviving Black Arrow in the Science Museum. Pretty successful program by the lights of the time, too - orbited a satellite on second (orbital attempt). We should have gone on to Black Knight.

Why? Black Arrow was a teeny-tiny little rocket. Ariane, or practically any othe launcher on the planet, is more capable. But then again, I'm American so I may harbor prejudices.

Glom
2003-Jun-24, 11:33 AM
So let me get this straight. The problem is with the Euro bit and not the British bit.

snowcelt
2003-Jun-24, 02:13 PM
P**s on the Brit old rocket. Instead of that, let us all get togeather and do what we have now. Canada used to have a great fighter program. We chose to forget this dream and went on to become part of the US program. What is the problem? Let us go!

ToSeek
2003-Jun-24, 04:45 PM
Update from SpaceRef.com (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=9593)

ToSeek
2003-Jun-25, 04:35 PM
And New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993866)

nebularain
2003-Jun-25, 04:52 PM
And New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993866)

Dick Dasterdly is foiled again! (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=103547#103547)

::Muttley snicker::

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-25, 06:12 PM
Seems that that article exaggerated the problem. space.com provides a better picture. (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/beagle2_check_030623.html)



Now you're talking. It always gives me a melancholy feeling to see that one surviving Black Arrow in the Science Museum. Pretty successful program by the lights of the time, too - orbited a satellite on second (orbital attempt). We should have gone on to Black Knight.

Why? Black Arrow was a teeny-tiny little rocket. Ariane, or practically any othe launcher on the planet, is more capable. But then again, I'm American so I may harbor prejudices.

It's not a case of being American. You're not thinking historically. There was no Ariane in 1969 - Ariane evolved later out of Diamant, which was also a teeny-tiny rocket (though with a stated payload capacity twice that of BA):

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/blaarrow.htm (73kg to LEO)
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/diamant.htm (160kg to LEO)

However, the largest Diamant payload weighed 42kg, whereas the British Prospero satellite weighed 66kg, so I'd call it a draw :)

Incidentally, though, I was incorrect in referring to Black Knight as the next in line. Black Knight was the sounding rocket that Black Arrow evolved out of - an uprated Black Arrow would have been Black Prince. In any case, even if the government hadn't lost interest, I admit it would have been more likely that a medium-lift indigenous launcher would have been designed around Blue Streak - which is indeed what happened with the ill-fated ELDO project.

But if one went little further in evolving the vehicle (some increase in throw weight, better reliability), small satellite launchers have served us well in the past - look at the highly successful US Scout program, and the fact that ESA is launching Vega next year to fill this gap - which isn't covered by Ariane 5 and Soyuz.

The small satellite area should be of particular interest to users of this forum, because as with Scout (Scout 4: http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/scoutx4.htm) and, to some extent Pegasus (though, as Scout did, this carries commercial and military payloads, too, and it's an expensive beast in terms of $ per kg), many of the payloads have been small astronomy satellites.

ToSeek
2003-Jul-02, 07:21 PM
Mars Express passes initial checkout (http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMKSZWO4HD_index_0.html)

There's a problem such that only 70% of the power from the solar arrays is available for use, but apparently this is not a major issue.

ToSeek
2003-Jul-09, 04:23 PM
Beagle 2 checks out (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=9713)

Apparently the problems initially reported have been dealt with.

ToSeek
2003-Jul-09, 04:32 PM
The world goes to Mars (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 520&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0) - nice summary of all the current Mars missions now enroute.

Argos
2003-Jul-09, 06:12 PM
You do know that in the 1930's Arthur C. Clarke and the other members of the British Interplanetary Society designed a lunar rocket, powered by solid fuel. So it could have happened....

The incredible AC Clarke. In the short story “The Pressure Within” he also described a device that probed the heart of the planet through sonic waves, much like the radar method to be used in Mars.