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December 21-27, 2015 / Vol 34, No 51 / Hawai`i Island, USA

18 Dec 2015, 20:26 UTC
December 21-27, 2015 / Vol 34, No 51 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Steps into the Solar System: Mars Express Enters 13th Year at Mars, Hawai`i HI-SEAS Simulation Ongoing

The European Space Agency spacecraft Mars Express will enter its 13th year at Mars on December 25. It is one of 7 operating at the Red Planet alongside ISRO MOM, and NASA’s MAVEN, Odyssey, MRO, Curiosity Rover, and Opportunity Rover. Mars Express, with 8 science payloads weighing 116 kg, is collecting images of surface features to map terrain, mineralogy and geologic activity, monitoring brief ultraviolet auroras produced in the atmosphere, and mapping global atmospheric circulation / identifying ozone layers. The Beagle 2 lander, a 60-kg craft which was deployed by Mars Express in 2003 and failed to communicate, was finally located by MRO early this year showing it was on Mars surface intact. As the robotic craft gather information from the Mars, the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission 4 on the slopes on Mauna Loa Hawaii is studying the human element of space exploration. Simulating missions over a 365-day period, ending August 28, 2016, Commander Carmel Johnston (L-R) is leading Christiane Heinicke, Sheyna Gifford, Andrzej Stewart, Cyprien Verseux and Tristan Bassingthwaighte on EVAs, experiments and psychological studies which can be applied ...

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