Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Martian 'divining rod' deploys its first boom

Filed under
Sci/Tech

The first of three radar booms that will search for underground water on Mars has apparently deployed successfully aboard Europe's Mars Express spacecraft, despite fears that the boom would whip back and strike the craft. But the radar will not be functional until its twin deploys, an event currently scheduled for Sunday.

On Wednesday, mission officials in Darmstadt, Germany, commanded the first of two 20-metre-long antennae on the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) experiment to pop out of its storage box. It had been folded there since before the mission's launch in June 2003.

The antenna will form a "T" consisting of the two long booms and a third, 7-metre-long antenna, and was originally scheduled to be deployed in April 2004. But European Space Agency (ESA) officials postponed the date over concerns the antennae could endanger the mission by hitting or getting snagged on the spacecraft during deployment.

Now mission members confirm the first deployment appears to have gone without a hitch, with initial data suggesting the boom popped out as planned.

Team members contacted by New Scientist say they are pleased with the apparent success but remain cautious. More tests of the spacecraft's behaviour will continue on Friday to confirm the boom did indeed straighten out as required. The radar will not be able to function until the second 20-metre boom is deployed.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Tumbleweed Update

  • Tumbleweed Rolls Forward with New versions of Mesa, Squid, Xen
    This week provided a pretty healthy amount of package updates for openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed. There were three snapshots released since the last blog and some of the top packages highlighted this week are from Mesa, Squid, Xen and OpenSSH. The Mesa update from version 17.2.6 to 17.3.2 in snapshot 20180116 provided multiple fixes in the RADV Vulkan driver and improvements of the GLSL shader cache. The Linux Kernel provides some fixes for the security vulnerabilities of Meltdown in version 4.14.13 and added a prevent buffer overrun on memory hotplug during migration for KVM with s390. The snapshot had many more package updates like openssh 7.6p1, which tightened configuration access rights. A critical fix when updating Flatpak packages live was made with the gnome-software version 3.26.4 update. File systems package btrfsprogs 4.14.1 provided cleanups and some refactoring while wireshark 2.4.4 made some fixes for dissector crashes. Xen 4.10.0_10 added a few patches. Rounding out the snapshot, ModemManager 1.6.12 fixed connection state machine when built against libqmi and blacklisted a few devices to include some Pycom devices.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Rolls To Mesa 17.3, Linux 4.14.13
    OpenSUSE has continued rolling in the new year with several key package updates in January. Exciting us a lot is that openSUSE Tumbleweed has migrated from Mesa 17.2 to now Mesa 17.3. Mesa 17.3.2 is the version currently in openSUSE's rolling-release.

India Digital Open Summit 2018

Compact Quark-based embedded computer sells for $120

Advantech’s “UBC-222” is an embedded computer that runs Yocto Linux on an Intel Quark X1000 with up to 1GB DDR3, dual 10/100 LAN ports, and a mini-PCIe socket with LTE-ready SIM slot. Read more

Press Coverage About Wine 3.0

  • Windows apps on Linux: Wine 3.0 is out now with Direct3D 10, 11 support
    Wine 3.0 is now available to help you run Windows applications and games on Linux, macOS, and BSD systems. Wine -- or 'Wine is Not an Emulator' -- is a compatibility layer that implements the Windows API on top of Unix and Linux, to help you run Windows apps when needed. Currently, about 25,000 applications are compatible with Wine, with the most popular all being games, including Final Fantasy XI, Team Fortress 2, EVE, and StarCraft.
  • Wine 3.0 is here to run Windows software on your Linux box
    When people make the switch from Windows to Linux, they often experiment with Wine. If you aren’t familiar, it is a compatibility layer that can sometimes get Windows software to run on Linux and BSD. I say "sometimes" because it isn’t a flawless experience. In fact, it can be quite frustrating to use. I suggest using native Linux software as an alternative, but understandably, that isn’t always possible. If you depend on Wine, or want to start trying it out, I am happy to say that version 3.0 is finally available. It is quite the significant update too, as it features over 6,000 changes!
  • Have three WINEs this weekend, because WINE 3.0 has landed
    Version 3.0 of Wine Is Not an Emulator – aka WINE – has arrived, and offers all sorts of new emulation-on-Android possibilities. WINE lets users run Windows applications on Linux, MacOS, Solaris, and FreeBSD, plus other POSIX-compliant operating system. To do so it “translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly”, an arrangement its developers rate as more efficient than virtualization while “allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.”
  • Wine 3.0 Released To Run Windows Apps On Linux Efficiently — Download It Here
    Just recently, we told you that the support for Linux distros in VirtualBox is about to get a lot better with the release of Linux kernel 4.16. But, what if you wish to run Windows apps on your host Linux system? For that, Wine has got your back.