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

Graphics: AMDGPU, Radeon, Intel DRM

  • AMDGPU DC Code Lands For Linux 4.15 Kernel
    Linus Torvalds has accepted the AMDGPU DC display code pull request for the Linux 4.15 kernel. AMD Linux users can now rejoice! Overnight David Airlie sent in the AMDGPU DC pull request for Linux 4.15 and since then Linus Torvalds was active on the kernel mailing list ranting about AMD header files and other unrelated to DC code. He was also pulling in other PRs... It was getting a bit worrisome, given the DC code not being in pristine shape, but it was exciting as heck to see this evening that he did go ahead and pull in the 132 thousand lines of new kernel code to land this AMDGPU DC. Linus hasn't provided any commentary about DC on the kernel mailing list as of writing.
  • Radeon VCN Encode Support Lands In Mesa 17.4 Git
    It's an exciting day for open-source Radeon Linux users today as besides the AMDGPU DC pull request (albeit still unmerged as of writing), Radeon VCN encoding support has landed in Mesa Git.
  • The - Hopefully - Final Stab At Intel Fastboot Support
    Intel's Maarten Lankhorst has sent out what could be the final patches for enabling "fastboot" support by default within their DRM graphics driver.

Raspberry Digital Signage 10

It shows web pages from Internet, LAN or internal sources (a WordPress installation comes already installed by default on the SD card); there is no way to escape this view but rebooting the machine. Marco Buratto has released Raspberry Digital Signage 10.0 today, which comes with the latest and greatest Chromium build (featuring advanced HTML5 capabilities, Adobe Flash support and H264/AVC video acceleration), so you can display more attractive resources, more easily. Read more

Red Hat Leftovers

Latest Openwashing