This November, ESA's Mars Express spacecraft carried out a series of experimental communication tests with the Chinese (CNSA) Zhurong Mars rover. Mars Express successfully caught data sent up 'in the blind' by the rover and relayed them to Earth where they were forwarded to the Zhurong team in China.
13:07 CET, 7 November, Utopia Planitia. The Zhurong rover, commanded by the Tianwen-1 orbiter, points its radio up at the Martian sky. Any minute now, ESA's Mars Express will begin to pass overhead. Zhurong starts transmitting a signal up into space. It has no way of knowing if its message is being received.
Landers and rovers on Mars gather data that help scientists answer fundamental questions about the geology, atmosphere, surface environment, history of water and potential for life on the Red Planet.
To get these insights to Earth, they first transmit the data up to spacecraft in orbit around Mars. These orbiters then use their much larger, more powerful transmitters to 'relay' the data across space to Earth.
"Normally, an orbiter like ESA's Mars Express first sends down a hail signal to a rover as a 'hello,'" says James Godfrey, Mars Express Spacecraft Operations Manager.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover took this 360-degree selfie using the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, at the end of its robotic arm. The selfie comprises 81 individual images taken on Nov. 20, 2021—the 3,303rd Martian day, or sol, of the mission.
The rock structure behind the rover is "Greenheugh Pediment"; the hill that is middle distance on the right, is "Rafael Navarro Mountain." Curiosity is headed toward "Maria Gordon Notch," the U-shaped opening behind the rover to the left.
Spire Global has completed its previously announced acquisition of exactEarth Ltd., a leading provider of global maritime vessel data for ship tracking and maritime situational awareness solutions, by way of a plan of arrangement, following the completion of all closing conditions. The Arrangement, which was announced on September 14, 2021, was approved by exactEarth's shareholders at a special
Ensuring a steady supply of technical and scientific expertise for American industry and innovation has been a national priority since about 1957 when the Soviet Union launched its first Sputnik. Today, however, with the increasingly rapid pace of high technology, the need to attract young people to the field of advanced technical manufacturing has become even more critical. To meet that need, t
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BlackSky has added two satellites to its constellation following the Rocket Lab "Love at First Insight" launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on November 18. The satellites were fully operational and commercially available within six days of launch. "This was the fastest BlackSky dual-satellite commissioning process in the company's history," said Nick Merski, BlackSky chief operations o
The moon has no core dynamo magnetic field, but spacecraft detect numerous strong localized magnetic fields in the crust of the moon. Many of these magnetic anomalies are antipodal to large impact basins. Scientists at Purdue University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, led by Brandon Johnson, Purdue associate professor of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences, ran impact
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Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey joins a long list of tech gurus who've quit the companies they founded. But what makes them step aside - and is it good for business? From Microsoft's Bill Gates to Amazon's Jeff Bezos, most of the people who created the Silicon Valley giants that dominate our lives have since handed the reins to someone else. "There's a lot of talk about the importance o
The Pentagon suggests that China tested a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) earlier this year. According to US military observers, China's alleged new orbital hypersonic glide vehicle weapon poses a huge challenge to the Pentagon since the US does not have active countermeasures to these arms. China's new hypersonic weapon system is orbital in nature and could be able to stay in