2001 Mars Odyssey
2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin and its mission is to use spectrometers and a thermal imager to detect evidence of past or present water and ice, as well as study the planets geology and radiation environment. It acts as a relay for communications between the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Science Laboratory, and previously the Phoenix lander to Earth, the mission was named as a tribute to Arthur C. Clarke, evoking the name of 2001, A Space Odyssey, Odyssey was launched April 7,2001, on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and reached Mars orbit on October 24,2001, at 02,30 UTC. It is currently in an orbit around Mars with an altitude of about 3,800 km or 2,400 miles. By December 15,2010, it broke the record for longest serving spacecraft at Mars, with 3,340 days of operation, claiming the title from NASAs Mars Global Surveyor. It currently holds the record for the longest-surviving continually active spacecraft in orbit around a planet other than Earth, ahead of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter, Mars Odyssey was originally a component of the Mars Surveyor 2001 program, and was named the Mars Surveyor 2001 Orbiter.
Subsequently, the name 2001 Mars Odyssey was selected for the orbiter as a tribute to the vision of space exploration shown in works by Arthur C. Clarke, including 2001, A Space Odyssey, the music from Mythodea by Greek composer Vangelis was used as the theme music for the mission. In August 2000, NASA solicited candidate names for the mission, which were evaluated by a committee consisting of Mark Dahl, Michael Meyer, Steve Saunders. Out of 200 names submitted, the committee chose Astrobiological Reconnaissance and Elemental Surveyor, faced with criticism that this name was not very compelling, and too aggressive, the naming committee reconvened. The candidate name 2001 Mars Odyssey had earlier been rejected because of copyright, however, NASA e-mailed Arthur C. Clarke in Sri Lanka, who responded that he would be delighted to have the mission named for his books, and he had no objections. On September 20, NASA associate administrator Ed Weiler wrote to the administrator for public affairs recommending a name change from ARES to 2001 Mars Odyssey.
Peggy Wilhide approved the name change, the three primary instruments Odyssey uses are the, Thermal Emission Imaging System. Gamma Ray Spectrometer, includes the High Energy Neutron Detector, provided by Russia, on May 28,2002, NASA reported that Odysseys GRS had detected large amounts of hydrogen, a sign that there must be ice lying within a meter of the planets surface. GRS is a collaboration between University of Arizonas Lunar and Planetary Lab. the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Russias Space Research Institute, Mars Odyssey launched from Cape Canaveral on April 11,2001, and arrived at Mars about 200 days on October 24. The spacecrafts main engine fired in order to brake the spacecrafts speed, Odyssey spent about three months aerobraking, using friction with the upper reaches of the Martian atmosphere to gradually slow down and to shrink and circularize its orbit. By using the atmosphere of Mars to slow down the spacecraft in its orbit, rather than firing its engine or thrusters, aerobraking ended in January, and Odyssey began its science mapping mission on February 19,2002
Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASAs Mars Science Laboratory mission. Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26,2011, at 15,02 UTC aboard the MSL spacecraft, the Bradbury Landing site was less than 2.4 km from the center of the rovers touchdown target after a 560 million km journey. Curiositys design will serve as the basis for the planned Mars 2020 rover, in December 2012, Curiositys two-year mission was extended indefinitely. As of April 7,2017, Curiosity has been on Mars for 1659 sols since landing on August 6,2012, the mission will help prepare for human exploration. This data would be important for a manned mission. The remaining mass of the MSL craft was discarded in the process of carrying out this task, Curiosity has a mass of 899 kg including 80 kg of scientific instruments. The rover is 2.9 m long by 2.7 m wide by 2.2 m in height, power source, Curiosity is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, like the successful Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars landers in 1976.
Radioisotope power systems are generators that produce electricity from the decay of isotopes, such as plutonium-238. Heat given off by the decay of this isotope is converted into electric voltage by thermocouples, providing constant power during all seasons and through the day, waste heat can be used via pipes to warm systems, freeing electrical power for the operation of the vehicle and instruments. Curiositys RTG is fueled by 4.8 kg of plutonium-238 dioxide supplied by the U. S. Department of Energy. The MMRTG produces less power over time as its plutonium fuel decays, at its minimum lifetime of 14 years, electrical power output is down to 100 watts. The power source will generate 9 MJ each day, much more than the solar panels of the Mars Exploration Rovers, the electrical output from the MMRTG charges two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. This enables the power subsystem to meet power demands of rover activities when the demand temporarily exceeds the generator’s steady output level. Each battery has a capacity of about 42 ampere-hours, heat rejection system, The temperatures at the landing site can vary from −127 to 40 °C, the thermal system will warm the rover for most of the Martian year.
It uses fluid pumped through 60 m of tubing in the body so that sensitive components are kept at optimal temperatures. The HRS has the ability to cool components if necessary, the computers run the VxWorks real-time operating system. Each computers memory includes 256 kB of EEPROM,256 MB of DRAM, for comparison, the Mars Exploration Rovers used 3 MB of EEPROM,128 MB of DRAM, and 256 MB of flash memory. The RCE computers use the RAD750 CPU, which is a successor to the RAD6000 CPU of the Mars Exploration Rovers
Mariner 4 was the fourth in a series of spacecraft intended for planetary exploration in a flyby mode. It was designed to conduct closeup scientific observations of Mars and to transmit these observations to Earth, launched on November 28,1964, Mariner 4 performed the first successful flyby of the planet Mars, returning the first pictures of the Martian surface. It captured the first images of another planet ever returned from space, their depiction of a cratered. On December 21,1967 communications with Mariner 4 were terminated, the Mariner 4 spacecraft consisted of an octagonal magnesium frame,127 cm across a diagonal and 45.7 cm high. Four solar panels were attached to the top of the frame with a span of 6.88 meters. A116.8 cm diameter parabolic antenna was mounted at the top of the frame as well. An omnidirectional low-gain antenna was mounted on a seven foot, four inch tall mast next to the high-gain antenna, the overall height of the spacecraft was 2.89 meters. The octagonal frame housed the equipment, midcourse propulsion system. A trapped radiation detector, mounted on the body with counter-axes pointing 70° and 135° from the direction, to measure the intensity. A cosmic ray telescope, mounted inside the body pointing in direction, to measure the direction and energy spectrum of protons. A solar plasma probe, mounted on the body pointing 10° from the solar direction, a cosmic dust detector, mounted on the body with microphone plate approximately perpendicular to the plane of orbit, to measure the momentum, distribution and direction of cosmic dust. A television camera, mounted on a platform at the bottom center of the spacecraft.
This subsystem consisted of 4 parts, a Cassegrain telescope with a 1. 05° by 1. 05° field of view, a rechargeable 1200 W·h silver-zinc battery was used for maneuvers and backup. Monopropellant hydrazine was used for propulsion, via a four-jet vane vector control motor, with 222-newton thrust, the space probes attitude control was provided by 12 cold nitrogen gas jets mounted on the ends of the solar panels and three gyros. Solar pressure vanes, each with an area of 0.65 square meter, were attached to the tips of the solar panels. Positional information was provided by four Sun sensors, and a sensor for either the Earth, Mars, or the star Canopus, during this flight, both the Earth and Mars would be too dim to lock onto. Another bright source at an angle away from the Sun was needed. Subsequently, Canopus was used as a point in many following missions
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. He is best known for his work as a science popularizer and his best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan argued the now accepted hypothesis that the surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He wrote many science books, such as The Dragons of Eden, Brocas Brain and Pale Blue Dot. The most widely watched series in the history of American public television, the book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. He wrote the science fiction novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name and his papers, containing 595,000 items, are archived at The Library of Congress.
Sagan always advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the method, pioneered exobiology. He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University and he married three times and had five children. After suffering from myelodysplasia, Sagan died of pneumonia at the age of 62, Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Samuel Sagan, was an immigrant garment worker from Kamianets-Podilskyi, Russian Empire and his mother, Rachel Molly Gruber, was a housewife from New York. Carl was named in honor of Rachels biological mother, Chaiya Clara, in Sagans words and he had a sister and the family lived in a modest apartment near the Atlantic Ocean, in Bensonhurst, a Brooklyn neighborhood. According to Sagan, they were Reform Jews, the most liberal of North American Judaisms four main groups, both Sagan and his sister agreed that their father was not especially religious, but that their mother definitely believed in God, and was active in the temple. During the depths of the Depression, his father worked as a theater usher, according to biographer Keay Davidson, Sagans inner war was a result of his close relationship with both of his parents, who were in many ways opposites.
Sagan traced his analytical urges to his mother, a woman who had extremely poor as a child in New York City during World War I. As a young woman she had held her own ambitions, but they were frustrated by social restrictions, her poverty, her status as a woman and a wife. Davidson notes that she therefore worshipped her only son, Carl and he would fulfill her unfulfilled dreams. However, he claimed that his sense of wonder came from his father, in his free time he gave apples to the poor or helped soothe labor-management tensions within New Yorks garment industry
Viking 1 was the first of two spacecraft sent to Mars as part of NASAs Viking program. On July 20,1976, it became the first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars, Viking 1 held the record for the longest Mars surface mission of 2307 days or 2245 sols until that record was broken by Opportunity on May 19,2010. Following launch using a Titan/Centaur launch vehicle on August 20,1975, and a 10-month cruise to Mars, the orbiter began returning global images of Mars about 5 days before orbit insertion. The Viking 1 Orbiter was inserted into Mars orbit on June 19,1976, landing on Mars was planned for July 4,1976, the United States Bicentennial, but imaging of the primary landing site showed it was too rough for a safe landing. The landing was delayed until a site was found, and took place instead on July 20. The lander separated from the orbiter at 08,51 UTC and it was the first attempt by the United States at landing on Mars. The instruments of the orbiter consisted of two cameras for imaging, an infrared spectrometer for water vapor mapping and infrared radiometers for thermal mapping.
The orbiter primary mission ended at the beginning of solar conjunction on November 5,1976, the extended mission commenced on December 14,1976, after solar conjunction. Operations included close approaches to Phobos in February 1977, the periapsis was reduced to 300 km on March 11,1977. Operations were terminated on August 17,1980, after 1485 orbits, a 2009 analysis concluded that, while the possibility that Viking 1 had impacted mars could not be ruled out, it was most likely still in orbit. The lander and its aeroshell separated from the orbiter on July 20 at 08,51 UTC, at the time of separation, the lander was orbiting at about 5 kilometres per second. The aeroshells retrorockets fired to begin the lander de-orbit maneuver, after a few hours at about 300 kilometres altitude, the lander was reoriented for atmospheric entry. The aeroshell with its heat shield slowed the craft as it plunged through the atmosphere. During this time, entry science experiments were performed by using a retarding potential analyzer, a spectrometer, as well as pressure, temperature.
At 6 km altitude, traveling at about 250 metres per second, seven seconds the aeroshell was jettisoned, and 8 seconds after that the three lander legs were extended. In 45 seconds the parachute had slowed the lander to 60 metres per second, at 1.5 km altitude, retrorockets on the lander itself were ignited and,40 seconds at about 2.4 m/s, the lander arrived on Mars with a relatively light jolt. The legs had honeycomb aluminum shock absorbers to soften the landing, the landing rockets used an 18-nozzle design to spread the hydrogen and nitrogen exhaust over a large area. NASA calculated that this approach would mean that the surface would not be heated by more than one 1°C, since most of Vikings experiments focused on the surface material a more straightforward design would not have served
Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics and chemistry, in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, stars and comets, while the phenomena include supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, more generally, all astronomical phenomena that originate outside Earths atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject, physical cosmology, is concerned with the study of the Universe as a whole, Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. The early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Indians, Nubians, Chinese, during the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena.
The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain the results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results. Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can play an active role, especially in the discovery. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, Astronomy means law of the stars. Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two share a common origin, they are now entirely distinct. Generally, either the term astronomy or astrophysics may be used to refer to this subject, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could actually be called astrophysics. Few fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than astrophysics, some titles of the leading scientific journals in this field includeThe Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal and Astronomy and Astrophysics.
In early times, astronomy only comprised the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye, in some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that possibly had some astronomical purpose. Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye, most of early astronomy actually consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, and the nature of the Sun, the Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the model of the Universe, or the Ptolemaic system. The Babylonians discovered that lunar eclipses recurred in a cycle known as a saros
Seismometers are instruments that measure motion of the ground, including those of seismic waves generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other seismic sources. Records of seismic waves allow seismologists to map the interior of the Earth, the seismometer was invented by the Chinese polymath Zhang Heng in AD132 during the Han dynasty. The first Western description of a comes from the French physicist and priest Jean de Hautefeuille in 1703. The modern seismometer was developed in the 19th century by John Milne, James Alfred Ewing, seismograph is another Greek term from seismós and γράφω, gráphō, to draw. The concerning technical discipline is called seismometry, a branch of seismology, a simple seismometer that is sensitive to up-down motions of the earth can be understood by visualizing a weight hanging on a spring. The spring and weight are suspended from a frame that moves along with the earthʼs surface, as the earth moves, the relative motion between the weight and the earth provides a measure of the vertical ground motion.
Any movement of the moves the frame. The mass tends not to move because of its inertia, early seismometers used optical levers or mechanical linkages to amplify the small motions involved, recording on soot-covered paper or photographic paper. In some systems, the mass is held nearly motionless relative to the frame by a negative feedback loop. The motion of the relative to the frame is measured. The voltage needed to produce this force is the output of the seismometer, in other systems the weight is allowed to move, and its motion produces a voltage in a coil attached to the mass and moving through the magnetic field of a magnet attached to the frame. This design is used in the geophones used in seismic surveys for oil. Professional seismic observatories usually have instruments measuring three axes, north-south, east-west, and the vertical, if only one axis is measured, this is usually the vertical because it is less noisy and gives better records of some seismic waves. The foundation of a station is critical. A professional station is mounted on bedrock.
The best mountings may be in deep boreholes, which avoid thermal effects, ground noise and tilting from weather, other instruments are often mounted in insulated enclosures on small buried piers of unreinforced concrete. Reinforcing rods and aggregates would distort the pier as the temperature changes, a site is always surveyed for ground noise with a temporary installation before pouring the pier and laying conduit. Originally, European seismographs were placed in an area after a destructive earthquake
The Mars 2 was an unmanned space probe of the Mars program, a series of unmanned Mars landers and orbiters launched by the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. The Mars 2 and Mars 3 missions consisted of identical spacecraft, each with an orbiter, the orbiter is identical to the Venera 9 bus or orbiter. They were launched by a Proton-K heavy launch vehicle with a Blok D upper stage, the lander of Mars 2 became the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars, although the landing system failed and the lander was lost. On May 19,1971, the proton-k-2 blasted from Baikonur Cosmodrome, after the first stage separated the second stage started. The third stage engine blasted Mars 2 into parking orbit the Blok-d sent Mars 2 to Mars, scientific instruments were generally turned on for about 30 minutes near periapsis. By coincidence, a large dust storm on Mars adversely affected the mission. The Mars 2 orbiter sent back data covering the period from December 1971 to March 1972 and it was announced that Mars 2 and Mars 3 had completed their missions by 22 August 1972, after 362 orbits.
The probe, combined with Mars 3, sent back a total of 60 pictures, the images and data revealed mountains as high as 22 km, atomic hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere, surface temperatures ranging from −110 °C to +13 °C, surface pressures of 5. The images and data enabled the creation of surface relief maps, the orbiter remains in Martian orbit. The Mars 2 descent module was mounted on the bus/orbiter opposite the propulsion system and it consisted of a spherical 1.2 m diameter landing capsule, a 2.9 m diameter conical aerodynamic braking shield, a parachute system and retro-rockets. The entire descent module had a mass of 1210 kg. An automatic control system consisting of gas micro-engines and pressurised nitrogen containers provided attitude control, four gunpowder engines were mounted to the outer edge of the cone to control pitch and yaw. The main and auxiliary parachutes, the engine to initiate the landing, foam was used to absorb shock within the descent module. The landing capsule had four triangular petals which would open after landing, righting the spacecraft and it contained a pennant with the State Emblem of the Soviet Union.
Four aerials protruded from the top of the sphere to provide communications with the orbiter via a radio system. The equipment was powered by batteries which were charged by the prior to separation. Temperature control was maintained through thermal insulation and a system of radiators, the landing capsule was sterilised before launch to prevent contamination of the Martian environment. Mars 2 lander had a small 4.5 kg Mars rover on board, two small metal rods were used for autonomous obstacle avoidance, as radio signals from Earth would take too long to drive the rovers using remote control
Mariner 9 was an unmanned NASA space probe that contributed greatly to the exploration of Mars and was part of the Mariner program. After months of dust storms it managed to send clear pictures of the surface. Mariner 9 returned 7329 images over the course of its mission, an infrared radiometer was included to detect heat sources in search of evidence of volcanic activity. It was to study changes in the Martian atmosphere and surface. Mars two moons were to be analyzed, Mariner 9 more than met its objectives. NASA still held out hope that another Mariner probe and Atlas-Centaur could be readied before the 1971 Mars launch window closed, Convair had an available Centaur stage on hand and could have an Atlas readied in time, but the idea was ultimately abandoned for lack of funding. Mariner 9 was mated to Atlas-Centaur AC-23 on May 9 with investigation into Mariner 8s failure ongoing, all testing came back negative and on May 22, a tested and verified rate gyro package arrived from Convair and was installed in the Centaur.
Liftoff took place on May 30 at 5,23 PM EST, all launch vehicle systems performed normally and the Mariner separated from the Centaur at 13 minutes and 18 seconds after launch. Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet, when Mariner 9 arrived at Mars on November 14,1971, planetary scientists were surprised to find the atmosphere was thick with a planet-wide robe of dust, the largest storm ever observed. Mariner 9s computer was reprogrammed from Earth to delay imaging of the surface for a couple of months until the dust settled. The main surface imaging did not get underway until mid-January 1972 and this unexpected situation made a strong case for the desirability of studying a planet from orbit rather than merely flying past. It highlighted the importance of flexible mission software, the images revealed river beds, massive extinct volcanoes, evidence of wind and water erosion and deposition, weather fronts and more. Mars small moons and Deimos, were photographed, the findings from the Mariner 9 mission underpinned the Viking program.
The enormous Valles Marineris canyon system is named after Mariner 9 in honor of its achievements, after depleting its supply of attitude control gas, the spacecraft was turned off on October 27,1972. The ultraviolet spectrometer aboard Mariner 9 was constructed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, the ultraviolet spectrometer team was led by Professor Charles Barth. The Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer team was led by Dr. Rudolf A. Hanel from NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, the IRIS instrument was built by Texas Instruments, Texas. The Infrared Radiometer team was led by Professor Gerald Neugebauer from the California Institute of Technology, to control for errors in the reception of the grayscale image data sent by Mariner 9, the data had to be encoded before transmission using a so-called error-correcting code. Each image pixel was represented as a 6-bit binary value, which had 64 possible grayscale levels, because of limitations of the transmitter, the maximum useful data length was about 30 bits
A lander is a spacecraft which descends toward and comes to rest on the surface of an astronomical body. For bodies with atmospheres, the landing occurs after atmospheric entry, in these cases, landers may employ parachutes to slow down and to maintain a low terminal velocity. Sometimes small landing rockets are fired just before impact to reduce the impact velocity, landing may be accomplished by controlled descent and setdown on landing gear, with the possible addition of a post-landing attachment mechanism for celestial bodies with low gravity. Some missions used inflatable airbags to cushion the landers impact rather than a traditional landing gear. When a high velocity impact is planned not for just achieving the surface but for study of consequences of impact, the spacecraft is called an impactor. Several terrestrial bodies have been subject of lander and/or impactor exploration, among them Earths Moon, the planets Venus and Mercury, the Saturn moon Titan, the asteroids and comets. A number of Moon probes, such as members of the Soviet Luna program.
In 1959 the first impact on Moon intended to be by Luna 1 probe but occurred by Luna 2 probe, the Soviet Luna 9 was in 1966 the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth. The Altair spacecraft, previously known as the Lunar Surface Access Module or LSAM, was the lander for Project Constellation. As of August 2012 NASA is developing vehicles that use a rocket descent engine permitting them land on the Moon and these vehicles include the Mighty Eagle lander and the Morpheus lander. The Project Morpheus lander may have sufficient thrust to propel a manned ascent stage, a first Boomerang-class lunar sample return mission plans under open source OpenLuna program. Russia has plans for Luna-Grunt mission to return samples from the Moon by 2021, the Chinese Change 3 mission and its Jade Rabbit rover landed on 14 December 2013. Then China plans to repeat lander with rover in Change 4 mission after 2015 that will followed by Change 5 and Change 6 sample return missions in 2017 and before 2020.
The Soviet Venera program included a number of Venus landers, some of which were crushed during descent much as Galileos Jupiter lander, Venera 3 in 1966 and Venera 7 in 1970 became the first impact and soft landing on Venus. The Soviet Vega program placed in 1985 two balloons in the Venusian atmosphere, they were the first aerial tools on other planets, the Soviet Unions Mars 1962B was the first Earth based mission intended to reach the surface as impact on Mars in 1962. Three other landers, Mars 2 in 1971 and Mars 5, Mars 6 in 1973, all four landers used an aeroshell-like heat shield during atmospheric entry. Mars 2 and Mars 3 landers carried the first small skis-walking Martian rovers that did not work on the planet. The Soviet Union planned the heavy Marsokhod Mars 4NM mission Mars sample return Mars 5NM mission, a double-launching Soviet Mars 5M sample return mission was planned for 1979 but cancelled due to complexity and technical problems
Delta II is an American expendable launch system, originally designed and built by McDonnell Douglas. Delta II is part of the Delta rocket family and entered service in 1989, Delta II vehicles included the Delta 6000, and two Delta 7000 variants. In the early 1980s, all United States expendable launch vehicles were planned to be phased out in favor of the Space Shuttle, production of Delta, Atlas-Centaur, and Titan 34D had ended. McDonnell Douglas, at time the manufacturer of the Delta family. These were intended to launch a series of GPS Block II satellites, the Air Force exercised additional contract options in 1988, expanding this order to 20 vehicles, and NASA purchased its first Delta IIs in 1990 for the launch of three Earth-observing satellites. The first Delta II launch occurred in 1989, with a Delta 6925 boosting the first GPS Block II satellite into a 20,000 km high orbit, the first Delta II 7000-series flew in 1990, replacing the RS-27 engine of the 6000-series with the more powerful RS-27A.
Additionally, the steel-cased Castor 4A solid boosters of the 6000 series were replaced with the composite-cased GEM40, all further Delta II launches except three were of this upgraded configuration, and the 6000-series was retired in 1992. McDonnell Douglas began Delta III development in the mid-90s as increasing satellite mass required more powerful launch vehicles, the upgraded boosters would still find use on the Delta II, leading to the Delta II Heavy. In total, the Delta II family has launched 153 times, no one was injured, and the launch pad itself was not seriously impacted, though several cars were destroyed and a few buildings were damaged. In 2007, Delta II completed its 75th consecutive successful launch, with the launch of SMAP in 2015, the Delta II has enjoyed 98 consecutive successful launches, with two more scheduled in 2017 and 2018. Should these launches be successful, the Delta II would achieve an unprecedented 100 consecutive launch successes, the first stage of the Delta II is propelled by a Rocketdyne RS-27 main engine burning RP-1 and liquid oxygen.
This stage is referred to as the Extra-Extended Long Tank Thor. The RS-27 used on the 6000-series Delta II produced 915 kN, the stage is 26 meters long and 2.4 meters wide, weighs over 100 t when fueled, and burns for 260 seconds. In addition, two LR101-NA-11 vernier engines provide guidance for the first stage, for additional thrust during launch, the Delta II uses solid boosters. For the 6000-series, Delta II used Castor 4A boosters, while the 7000-series uses Graphite-Epoxy Motors manufactured by ATK, the vehicle can be flown with three, four, or, most commonly, nine boosters. The second stage of Delta II is the Delta-K, powered by a restartable Aerojet AJ10-118K engine burning hypergolic Aerozine-50 and these propellants are highly toxic and corrosive, and once loaded the launch must occur within approximately 37 days or the stage will have to be refurbished or replaced. This stage contains a combined platform and guidance system that controls all flight events. The Delta-K stage is 6 meters long and 2.4 meters wide, contains up to 6 t of propellant, for low Earth orbit, Delta II is not equipped with a third stage
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
The Trace Gas Orbiter delivered the Schiaparelli lander and will start atmospheric mapping in 2017. A key goal is to gain an understanding of methane. The landers radio signal was lost during the descent through the Mars atmosphere, investigations with space and Earth-based observatories have demonstrated the presence of a small amount of methane on the atmosphere of Mars that seems to vary with location and time. This may indicate the presence of life on Mars, or a geochemical process such as volcanism or hydrothermal activity. ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter was born out of the nexus of ESAs Aurora programme ExoMars flagship and it became a flexible collaborative proposal within NASA and ESA to send a new orbiter-carrier to Mars in 2016 as part of the European-led ExoMars mission. On the ExoMars side, ESA authorized about half a billion Euros in 2005 for a rover and mini-station, NASAs Mars Science Orbiter was originally envisioned in 2008 as an all-NASA endeavour aiming for a late 2013 launch.
NASA and ESA officials agreed to pool resources and technical expertise, with NASAs funding for this project cancelled, most of ExoMars plans had to be restructured. The Trace Gas Orbiter and descent module Schiaparelli completed testing and were integrated to a Proton rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in mid-January 2016, the launch occurred at 09,31 UTC on 14 March 2016. Four rocket burns occurred in the following 10 hours before the descent module, a signal from the spacecraft was received at 21,29 UTC that day, confirming that the launch was successful and the spacecraft were functioning properly. Briefing reporters in Moscow, the head of Roscosmos denied any anomaly, the Schiaparelli lander separated from the TGO orbiter on 16 October 2016, three days before it arrived on Mars, and entered the atmosphere at 21,000 km/h. The landers radio signal was lost during the descent through the atmosphere, and as of 20 October 2016, the FREND instrument will map hydrogen levels to a maximum depth of 1 m beneath the Martian surface.
Locations where hydrogen is found may indicate water-ice deposits, which could be useful for future crewed missions, the mission will characterise spatial, temporal variation, and localisation of sources for a broad list of atmospheric trace gases. If methane is found in the presence of propane or ethane, however, if methane is found in the presence of gases such as sulfur dioxide, that would be an indication that the methane is a byproduct of geological processes. Detection The nature of the methane source requires measurements of a suite of trace gases in order to characterise potential biochemical and geochemical processes at work. Detection sensitivities are at levels of 100 parts per trillion, improved to 10 parts per trillion or better by averaging spectra which could be taken at several spectra per second, to achieve the spatial resolution required to localise sources might require tracing molecules at parts-per-billion concentrations. Like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Trace Gas Orbiter is a hybrid science and its scientific payload mass is about 113.8 kg and consists of, The Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery has two infrared and one ultraviolet spectrometer channels.
The Atmospheric Chemistry Suite has three infrared spectrometer channels, NOMAD and ACS will provide the most extensive spectral coverage of Martian atmospheric processes so far. Twice per orbit, at sunrise and sunset, they will be able to observe the Sun as it shines through the atmosphere