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View Full Version : Discussion: Nozomi is on a Collision Course ...



Fraser
2003-Nov-14, 11:16 PM
SUMMARY: The Mars-bound Japanese spacecraft Nozomi, which has been plagued with problems since its launch in 1998, could be on a collision course with the Red Planet, and might crash into it if engineers can't change its trajectory. Officials from the Japanese space agency will attempt to fire the spacecraft's engines on December 8 to kick it into a safer orbit. But before that, they need to fix the spacecraft's malfunctioning electrical. One worry is that Nozomi was never intended to enter Mars' atmosphere, so it wasn't carefully decontaminated - it could deliver Earth-based microbes to the Martian surface.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Josh
2003-Nov-15, 02:34 AM
The up side to that is that if there is no life on Mars before the japanese get there ... there will be after.

Haglund
2003-Nov-15, 08:35 AM
I think that if they can't guarantee a safe trajectory they should at least try to throw it out of Mars way. Maybe it can bump into something they can observe instead. Anyway, I think that decontamination should be carried out on orbiters as well, because even if they're not supposed to enter the atmosphere, it can still happen.

AusJosh
2003-Nov-15, 11:20 AM
I concur, although it would be a terrible waste of money to send it off elsewhere to die on the chance that they cant get it on the right trajectory.

Perhaps we need to install self-destruct devices on interplanetary missions so we can blow them up to save contamination.

Of course, i am completely kidding.



-Josh

Haglund
2003-Nov-15, 11:43 AM
Of course they should do anything they can to make it arrive safely at Mars. It would mean we would have more active probes, at the same time, at Mars than ever before. I wish them all good luck!

Planetwatcher
2003-Nov-15, 01:58 PM
If only H.G. Wells could see this. Would he consider it poetic justice that we are about to live the story War of the Worlds in reverse?

Guest_Mark
2004-Jan-08, 11:07 PM
:unsure: Anyone found any further info on what happened to the Nozimo?

According to the Nov. 14th article, it has already crashed into Mars by now...