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Mars Exploration Present


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Title: Mars Exploration Present

Mars Exploration Present (2006)
Mars Odyssey
Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Exploration Rovers
Mars Express
Mars Exploration Present (2008)
Mars Exploration Rovers (NASA)
Mars Odyssey (NASA)
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (NASA)
Mars Express (ESA)
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Mars Global Surveyor 1996-2006
Sedimentary Rocks?
Liquid Water?
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Mars Global Surveyor MOLA
Hellespontus region of Mars, west of the Hellas
Basin. This pair of narrow-angle images from the
Mars Orbiter Camera shows the dune as it appeared
on July 17, 2002, (left) and as it appeared on
April 27, 2005, (right).
The new crater is located on the southern rim of
the summit crater, or caldera, of the
intermediate-sized martian volcano, Ulysses
Patera. The site was imaged by the Viking 2
orbiter in 1976 (left, an enlarged portion of the
image) and in narrow-angle views by the Mars
Orbiter Camera in 1999 (center) and 2005 (right).
The new crater, about 25 meters (82 feet) across,
is marked by a distinct dark, rayed pattern of
ejected material, or ejecta, which is seen to
have faded somewhat between 1999 and 2005.
Inca City
Mariner 9
Face on Mars
Viking Orbiter 1976
Face on Mars
Mars Global Surveyor 2001
Mars Odyssey Orbiter 2001-present
The mission will map the amount and distribution
of chemical elements and minerals that make up
the Martian surface. The spacecraft is measuring
hydrogen, most likely in the form of water ice,
in the shallow subsurface of Mars. It will also
records the radiation environment in low Mars
orbit to determine the radiation-related risk to
any future human explorers who may one day go to
2001 Mars Odyssey launched on April 7, 2001, and
arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. Odyssey's
primary science mission took place February 2002
through August 2004, and the orbiter began its
extended mission on August 24, 2004.
THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) is a
camera that images Mars in the visible and
infrared parts of the spectrum in order to
determine the distribution of minerals on the
surface of Mars. GRS (Gamma Ray Spectrometer),
uses the gamma-ray part of the spectrum to look
for the presence of 20 elements from the periodic
table (e.g., carbon, silicon, iron, magnesium,
etc.). Its neutron detectors look for water and
ice in the soil by measuring neutrons. MARIE
(Mars Radiation Environment Experiment), measured
the radiation environment of Mars using an
energetic particle spectrometer.
Gamma Ray Spectrometer
When exposed to cosmic rays (charged particles in
space that come from the stars, including our
sun), chemical elements in soils and rocks emit
uniquely identifiable signatures of energy in the
form of gamma rays. The gamma ray spectrometer
looks at these signatures, or energies, coming
from the elements present in the Martian soil.
By measuring gamma rays coming from the martian
surface, it is possible to calculate how abundant
various elements are and how they are distributed
around the planet's surface. Gamma rays, emitted
from the nuclei of atoms, show up as sharp
emission lines on the instrument's
spectrum. While the energy represented in these
emissions determines which elements are present,
the intensity of the spectrum reveals the
elements concentrations.
By measuring neutrons, it is possible to
calculate the abundance of hydrogen on Mars, thus
inferring the presence of water. The neutron
detectors are sensitive to concentrations of
hydrogen in the upper meter of the surface.
Mars Exploration Rovers
Mission MER-A "Spirit" Launch Date June 10,
2003 Launch Time 15847 p.m. EDT Launch
Vehicle Delta II Launch Pad 17-A
Mission MER-B "Opportunity" Launch Date July
7, 2003 Launch Time 111815 p.m. EDT Launch
Vehicle Delta II Launch Pad 17-B
Rocks and soils are analyzed with a set of five
instruments on each rover, and a special tool
called the "RAT," or rock abrasion tool, is used
to expose fresh rock surfaces for study. Each
rover has a mass of nearly 180 kilograms (about
400 pounds) and has a range of up to 100 meters
(about 110 yards) per sol, or Martian day.
Requirement for surface operations duration was
for a total of 90 sols. Presently both rovers are
at 1831 and 1811 sols respectively.
MER Instruments
Panoramic Camera (Pancam) for determining the
mineralogy, texture, and structure of the local
terrain. Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer
(Mini-TES) for identifying promising rocks and
soils for closer examination and for determining
the processes that formed Martian rocks. The
instrument will also look skyward to provide
temperature profiles of the Martian
atmosphere. Mössbauer Spectrometer (MB) for
close-up investigations of the mineralogy of
iron-bearing rocks and soils. Alpha Particle
X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for close-up analysis
of the abundances of elements that make up rocks
and soils. Magnets for collecting magnetic dust
particles. The Mössbauer Spectrometer and the
Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer will analyze
the particles collected and help determine the
ratio of magnetic particles to non-magnetic
particles. They will also analyze the composition
of magnetic minerals in airborne dust and rocks
that have been ground by the Rock Abrasion
Tool. Microscopic Imager (MI) for obtaining
close-up, high-resolution images of rocks and
soils. Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) for removing
dusty and weathered rock surfaces and exposing
fresh material for examination by instruments
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Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT)
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Rovers launched on Delta IIs (Boeing)
Deltas are expendable launch vehicles (ELVs)
Spirit in Gusev Crater
Landing 1135 PM EST on January 3, 2004
This image shows a hole drilled by Spirit in the
rock dubbed "Humphrey."
Heading for Columbia Hills
View from Columbia Hills
Wheel tracks left by NASA's Mars Exploration
Rover Spirit, and even the rover itself, are
visible in this image from the Mars Orbiter
Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.
Spirits Climb up the Columbia Hills
Columbia Hills Summit
Spirit Gets Energy Boost from Cleaner Solar
NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this
image using the left eye of its navigation camera
during the 1,811th Martian day, or sol, of
Spirit's mission on Mars (February 5, 2009)
Opportunity at Merdiani Planum
Landing 1205 AM EST on January 25, 2004
Coming to rest in small crater 20 meters across
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Mars Express European Space Agency (ESA)
During the journey, Mars and Earth were closer
than they had been in 60,000 years.
The orbiter successfully entered Martian orbit on
25 December 2003, six days earlier Beagle 2 was
deployed, but lost.
Mars Express
  • The Mars Express Orbiter objectives
  • Image the entire surface at high resolution (10
    meters/pixel) and selected areas at super
    resolution (2 meters/pixel)
  • Produce a map of the mineral composition of the
    surface at 100 meter resolution
  • Map the composition of the atmosphere and
    determine its global circulation
  • Determine the structure of the sub-surface to a
    depth of a few kilometers
  • Determine the effect of the atmosphere on the
  • Determine the interaction of the atmosphere with
    the solar wind.

Surface/subsurface instruments HRSC (High
Resolution Stereo Camera) OMEGA (Visible and
Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer)
MARSIS (Sub-surface Sounding Radar Altimeter)
High Resolution Stereo Camera
The HRSC on board ESA's Mars Express will image
the entire planet in full colour, 3D and with a
resolution of about 10 meters. Selected areas
will be imaged at 2-meter resolution. One of the
camera's greatest strengths will be the
unprecedented pointing accuracy achieved by
combining images at the two different
This image of yardangs, features sculpted by
wind-blown sand seen here near Olympus Mons on
Mars, was obtained by the High Resolution Stereo
Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express
The region seen here is situated on the
southwestern Tharsis bulge and shows the mouth of
the Mangala Valles and Minio Vallis outflow
channels. The source of the outflow channel is
related to the Mangala Fossa, a fissure running
east-west for several hundred kilometres.
This perspective view of Olympus Mons has been
calculated from the digital elevation model
derived from the stereo channels and combined
with the nadir- and color- channels of the HRSC.
South is up.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will reach Mars
and entered orbit in March 2006. After gradually
adjusting the shape of its orbit for half a year,
it began its primary science phase in November
2006. Every 112 minutes, the spacecraft will make
a complete circuit of Mars, flying a nearly
circular orbit that will range from about 255
kilometers (160 miles) over the South Pole to 320
kilometers (200 miles) over the North Pole.
The mission will examine Mars in unprecedented
detail from low orbit, returning several times
more data than all previous Mars missions
combined. Scientists will use its instruments to
gain a better understanding of the history and
current distribution of Mars' water. By
inspecting possible landing sites and by
providing a high-data-rate relay, it will also
support future missions that land on Mars.
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The HiRISE camera will provide the
highest-resolution images yet from martian
orbit.  These high resolution images will enable
scientists to resolve 1-meter (about 3-foot)
sized objects on Mars and to study the morphology
(surface structure) in a much more comprehensive
manner than ever before. Mars Express HRSC gives
at best 2-meter resolution.