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back to article Mars Express' 10th birthday celebrated with Martian atlas

Ten years after the Mars Express first launched into the skies from Asian steppes, the European Space Agency has released a full-planet atlas of the distribution of Martian volcanos, mineral fields, and dust dunes. "The history of Mars is encoded in its minerals," said Alvaro Giménez, ESA's director of science and robotic …

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Surely

The Bradbury Academy of Sciences.

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NASA and 'finding' Beagle 2...

I don't get the inference that NASA 'found' Beagle. They don't claim to have done that. Some British sources have offered that some NASA-released pictures could be of Beagle.

Fair enough.

NASA isn't sure enough to confirm that analysis, though. If you see the pictures, you would find it a 'reach' to offer it as confirmation.

Landing on Mars is hard. Beagle 2 tried to improve on what-Viking-did with much less money. They just didn't instrument it enough to track descent AND make it robust enough to survive. We should always try to do these things with less cost. Too much stuff got cut from the cost-matrix for Beagle.

It is a shame. It would have save USA taxpayers TONS of dough if it actually found a way to land, at that price.

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Re: NASA and 'finding' Beagle 2...

I had a chat with one of the amazing blokes at Astrium who built Beagle and they were down to shaving fractions of a gram from the design by the end. They wanted a transmitter that would broadcast for the the whole ejection from ME to landing, but they just couldn't get the mass.

But yes, the UK as always tried to do things on a shoestring, that mass was available on ME so it was worth Colin Pillinger's team having a go. Had it worked it would have been awesome.

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Alien

Beagle did find intelligent life on Mars!!!

Unfortunately it pancaked directly on top of it. However, if you pick up the remains of the probe you can extract some very interesting DNA samples from the underside!

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Re: Beagle did find intelligent life on Mars!!!

P.S.--Congrats to the Mars Express team for keeping the probe going so long!! Mars Express plays second fiddle to Voyager/Opportunity's "little trains that could" act, but a decade in orbit over Mars is quite an accomplishment!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Beagle did find intelligent life on Mars!!!

after they shot it down, shurely?

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This is what you need if you want the *big* picture

Rover sticks drill in soil and finds some water.

Good.

ME finds water in thousands of square kilometers.

The former is an interesting scientific discovery. The later is essential if you're going to do serious ISRU and not have to keep carting not just your propellant for Mars orbit insertion but also your return journey.

Thumbs up for its 10 year mission.

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Yag
Trollface

"the parachutes (...) weren't large enough to slow the Beagle 2 to a safe speed"

Well... was it due to the transition of the UK to the metric system ?

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FAIL

Carbon ice?

"It has also confirmed that there are patches of water and carbon ice on the planet's polar ice caps."

"Carbon ice"? WOW!!! That would be 'diamonds' then? Rihanna knows all about "diamonds in the sky". But sadly for budding entrepreneurs and pop stars the writer is just being lazy and means ice made of frozen carbon dioxide and not "carbon". Perhaps the writer has been brainwashed by all the "carbon trading" nonsense when they mean licence to pollute Earth with carbon dioxide!

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Stop

Re: Carbon ice?

"Carbon ice"? WOW!!! That would be 'diamonds' then?

Really? Really? Are you sure? Aren't Diamonds caused by heating compression and cooling?

I found this in 1 minute, not hard to research:

1. Bury carbon dioxide 100 miles into Earth.

2. Heat to about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Squeeze under pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch.

4. Quickly rush towards Earth’s surface to cool.

Carbon Ice as in Carbon Dioxide Ice (the same stuff diamonds are made from) is surely what the writer meant?

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Re: Carbon ice?

Bah,

'Carbon Ice' was supposed to say 'dry ice,' fail for me.

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Joke

The "occasional trips into reset mode" didn't happen just after the second Tuesday of the month by any chance?

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Coffee/keyboard

Or June 4th if the bits were sourced from "genuine UK stock" chinese fleabay merchants

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/04/chinas_internet_maintenance_day_shutters_sites/

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Pint

And here's to the engineers and support team for a their decade of success.

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Childcatcher

These projects are truly scary.

In the amount of time they take from a person's life and then if it fails....

Did anyone else see that documentary on the Titan probe? What was it about 20 years in the making, the guy leading the project ended up getting a divorce etc. due to this devotion to the project, you saw him get older and older.

Then the day of arrival happened and watching them waiting for the data to come in and it didn't....at first.

Those were a few very tense minutes to watch. Imagine the despair you must feel after 20 years of your life just went out with nothing more to show than a blank monitor screen.

I don't think I could do it. I doff my cap to you all!

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