Sondas en Marte

MGS Nozomi Mars Odyssey Mars Express Beagle-2 Rover Opportunity / Spirit
MGS || Nozomi || Odyssey || Mars Express || Beagle-2 || Rovers || MRO

Mars Global Surveyor (MGS images) (
Ultimas novedades: MGS News

Launch: November 7, 1996
Mars Arrival: September 12, 1997
Aerobraking I: November 7, 1997
Science Orbit: March 27, 1998
Aerobraking II: September 23, 1998
Begin Mapping: April 4, 1999

Science instruments:
Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)
Thermal Emission Spectrometer Project (TES)
Magnetometer and Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER)

Mission Overview
The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the first successful orbiter mission to Mars since the Viking program in 1976. MGS was launched in 1996 and arrived at Mars on November of 1997, a few months after Mars Pathfinder. Its mission is to comprehensively map the entire Martian surface. It also carries a laser altimeter which can measure the topography of Mars.

The Mars Global Surveyor mission was designed to use the technique of "aerobraking" for the first time as a mission-critical step. Aerobraking had been successfully demonstrated in the final days of the 1988 Magellan mission to Venus. MGS began in a highly-elliptical orbit and used its solar panels to resist the Martian atmosphere as it dipped down during the low point of its orbit. Panels at the ends of the solar panels were designed to increase drag on the spacecraft during aerobraking.

However, a problem arose when the latch on one of the solar panels appeared to crack, and the panel hinged itself past its designed position. Mission operatiors had to design an aerobraking procedure that was less stressful on the cracked solar panel. As a result, aerobraking took much longer than anticipated. Originally, the mapping phase was to begin in the spring of 1998, but because of the delay did not begin until over a year later on April 4th, 1999. Overwise, the mission has been very successful, and no other problems have been encountered to date.

Because of the longer aerobraking phase, the mission was able to return some science results and images of Mars during a few brief hiatuses from aerobraking. The probe has already made discoveries about volcanism on Mars, and has taken the best pictures yet of Martian features like Olympus Mons and Valles Marineris.

Mapping of the Martian surface took one Martian year, or 687 days. Once completed, scientists and mission planners had for the first time a first-class resource -- a complete high-resolution surface map of Mars with topographical details -- for scientific exploration and future missions.

In addition, MGS has successfully served as a data relay satellite for surface missions, such as the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Global Surveyor.

. Lanzado: 7 de noviembre de 1996
. En Marte: 12 de sept. de 1997
. Aereobraking 1: 7 de nov. de 1997
. Ciencia: 27 de marzo de 1998
. Aereobraking 2: 23 de sept. de 1998
. Mapeo: 4 de abril de 1999
* La mision del MGS es el mapeo de toda la superficie marciana, este tambien porta un altimetro laser con el cual mide la topografia del planeta.
* El MGS fue diseñado para usar la tecnica del Aereobraking como un paso critico de la mision, para pasar de una orbita altamente eliptica a una mas circular y proxima a Marte, esta tecnica fue demostrada a finales de 1988 por la sonda a Venus, Magellan.
* La sonda ha hecho descubrimientos acerca del volcanismo, asi como ha adquirido las mejores imagenes del Monte Olimpo y de Valles Marineris.
* El mapeo de la superficie tomo un año marciano, 687 dias (terrestres). Con esto las cientificos y diseñadores de misiones disponen de un recurso de primera clase, un mapa de alta resolucion de toda la superficie de Marte con detalles topologicos para misiones futuras.
* Ademas, el MGS ha servido exitosamente, como satelite para el relay de datos para las misiones en la superficie delplaneta, tales como los rovers Spirit y Opportunity.
* Actualmente, febrero de 2005, el MGS se encuentra operativo.
Ultimas novedades: MGS News

Nozomi (Hope) (

Launch: July 4, 1998.
Lunar swing-by-1: September 24, 1998
Lunar swing-by-2: December 18,1998
Earth swing-by-1: December 20,1998
Mars orbit insertion: October 11, 1999 (was abandoned)
Earth swing-by-2: On December 21, 2002
Earth swing-by-2: June 19, 2003
Mars orbit insertion: end of 2003 (was abandoned)

Mission Overview
The nation of Japan launched its first interplanetary mission on July 4, 1998 (local time), with the M-V launch vehicle, from Uchinoura Space Center (USC), a date which served as a tribute to the US Mars Pathfinder mission, which had landed exactly one year previous. The Japanese mission, known as Planet-B throughout the planning and building phases, was renamed "Nozomi" (the Japanese word for "Hope") immediately after launch.

The $80 million dollar probe is designed to study the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, and carries fourteen instruments from five nations, including a NASA Neutral Mass Spectrometer. It's hoped that the Nozomi's results from this instrument can be compared with the results of the NASA Pioneer Venus mission, which used a similar instrument in the 1960s. By comparison, its hoped that the results will help scientists better understand the interactions between planetary atmospheres and ionospheres and the solar wind.

The primary scientific objective of the PLANET-B program is to study the upper atmosphere of Mars, with an emphasis on its interaction with the solar wind. Mars has no intrinsic magnetic field strong enough to resist the solar wind, and so its upper atmosphere is considered to be under the strong control of the solar wind, leading to a large flux of Martian atmosphere escaping into space. The flux level is so high that the planet’s interaction with the solar wind is one of major processes that drive the evolution of Martian atmosphere. Data from the U.S. Viking Probe and the Soviet Phobos 2 spacecraft suggested that the Martian upper atmosphere deserves extensive study by spacecraft. NOZOMI will become the first spacecraft dedicated to that task. An on-board camera will take pictures of Martian weather systems and of the planet’s two satellites, Phobos and Deimos, which will help us to learn how sandstorms and clouds are generated and to monitor the growth and retreat of the polar ice caps.

Unfortuately, the spacecraft used up too much fuel during a trajectory correction maneuver and will have to fly a circuitous route to get to Mars. As a result, it will not arrive until 2003, four years later than planned. It will circle Mars in an oval orbit that will range from 96 miles above the surface to 27,000 miles away.

Nozomi Japonesa.

* Originalmente esta mision fue conocida como Planet-B, pero luego del lanzamiento fue rebautizada Nozomi (esperanza en japones).
* Lanzada el 4 de julio de 1998, con el vehiculo lanzador M-V, desde el Centro Espacial Uchinoura (USC) (o Centro Espacial de Kagoshima?). Debio entrar en orbita marciana el 11 de octubre de 1999. Pero, debido al fallo de una valvula durante los sobrevuelos que efectuo antes de ser impulsado hacia Marte, su trayectoria debio corregirse, quedando con poco combustible para ser insertado en orbita marciana en la fecha prevista, por lo tanto esto se postergo.
* Entonces los ingenieros de vuelo planearon una ruta mas larga para su insercion en orbita marciana, plan que lo dejo en orbita solar, debiendo hacer dos sobrevuelos a la Tierra, en 2002 y 2003 para poder llegar a Marte a fines de 2003.
* Despues de los intentos fallidos de enviarle comandos durante el 2003, para entrar en orbita marciana, esta nave fue oficialmente abandonada en una orbita solar el 9 de diciembre de 2003.
* El objetivo cientifico primario del programa Planet-B era estudiar las capas altas de la atmosfera marciana, con un enfasis en su interaccion con el viento solar. Marte no tiene un campo magnetico intrinseco lo suficientemente fuerte para resistir el vienso solar, y su atmosfera superior esta bajo un fuerte control del viento solar, conduciendo a que haya un gran flujo de atmosfera al espacio. El nivel del flujo es tan alto que la interaccion del planeta con el viento solar es considerada como el principal evento que conduce la evolucion de la atmosfera marciana.

NASA's Odyssey to Mars (2001 Mars Odyssey) (

Launch: April 7, 2001
Mars Arrival: October 23, 2001
Circular Orbit: January 2002

Science instruments:
Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS)
Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS)
Martian Radiation Environment Experiment

Mission Overview
The 2001 Mars Odyssey mission was designed to orbit Mars to study the planet's composition, search for water, and measure solar and cosmic radiation. It carries some of the instruments lost on the failed Mars Observer.

The Mars Odyssey arrived at Mars in October 2001 and achieved a stable mapping orbit in January 2002. Odyssey successfully used an "aerocapture" technique for the first time. The techniques of aerocapturing and aerobraking use the Martian atmosphere to bring a spacecraft from a planetary approach, into an elliptical orbit, then to a final circular orbit over the course of several months.

The Mars Odyssey mission carries two primary science instruments, the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) which will create a map of the minerals and terrain on Mars, and a Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) will map the global elemental composition and search for water & hydrogen below the surface. The probe also carries a Mars Radiation Environment Experiment provided by NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) which tests the space radiation environment and collects data to assist with the planning of future missions sending Human to Mars.

So far, Mars Odyssey has discovered conclusive evidence of water all throughout the planet. The map below shows in red the presence of hydrogen, one of the main components of water (H2O). The southern polar ice cap showed a reduced signal which could mean the ice there is mostly carbon dioxide.

Since completing its primary science mission, Odyssey now acts as a data relay satellite for surface missions, such as the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers.

Mars Odyssey
Mars Odyssey.

. Lanzamiento: 07-04-2001
. Insersion: 23-10-2002
. Orbita circular: enero 2002
* Fue diseñado para orbitar Marte y estudiar la composicion del paneta, buscar agua, y medir la radiacion cosmica y solar.
* El Mars Odyssey uso por primera vez y en forma exitosa la tecnica de "Aereocaptura". Las tecnicas de aereocaptura y aereobraking, usan la atmosfera de un planeta para la insersion en orbita y luego para reducir la orbita altamente eliptica a una circular y de baja altura en el curso de varios meses.
* Transporta el THEMIS (Sistema de Imagenes de Emision Termica), que crea un mapa de minerales y del terreno, y el GRS (Espectrometro de Rayos Gamma), que mapea la composicion global elemental y busca agua e hidrogeno bajo la superficie, y ademas otro que mide la radiacion medioambiental espacial, para uso en futuros viajes de seres humanos.
* Ha descubierto agua en diversas zonas del planeta, mediante la deteccion de Hidrogeno, principal componente de esta. El polo sur muestra una baja cantidad de hidrogeno, lo que indicaria que esta formado principalmente de hielo de CO2
* Aun a fines de febrero de 2005, luego de haber finalizado su mision primaria, se encuentra operativa y sirviendo de relay para los Mars Rovers.

Mars Express ( ESA) (

Launch: June 2003
Rocket: Russian Soyuz
Mars Arrival: December, 2003
Launch Mass: around 2,000 kg

Science instruments:
Energetic Neutral Atoms Analyser (ASPERA)
High Resolution Stereo Colour Imager (HRSC)
IR Mapping Spectrometer (OMEGA)
Atmospheric Fourier Spectrometer (PFS)
Radio Science Experiment (RSE)
UV Atmospheric Spectrometer (SPICAM)
Sub-surface Sounding Radar/Altimeter (SSRA)
Lander communications package

For a quicker journey using less fuel, Mars Express will make maximum use of the favourable positioning of Earth with relation to Mars in 2003. Following launch, on 2 June 2003, Mars Express will arrive at Mars on 26 December 2003.

Before a sequence of manoeuvres places the main spacecraft in Martian orbit, the Beagle-2 lander will separate and descend on its own trajectory to the surface.

For the orbiting spacecraft, a specially devised polar orbit will provide periods of daytime observation for optical instruments, specifically for the high-resolution stereoscopic camera, as well as periods of night time observation (at roughly six month intervals) for the radar instrument.

Mars Express will orbit Mars every 6.7 hours, coming to within 250 kilometres of the surface from a high point of 11 583 kilometres, which will be lowered to 10 243 kilometres after 440 days.

Contact with ground stations on the Earth will not be continuous and, because of the communications delay of eight minutes between Mars and Earth, there will be no real-time command operations from base. It will, however, be possible to modify activities by uploading predefined sequences of software commands for automatic execution at specific times.

Data collected by both the orbiting spacecraft and lander will be stored on board Mars Express and 'dumped' back to Earth at specific times.

Mars Express
Mars Express.

. Lanzado: 2 de junio de 2003
. En Marte: 26 de dic. 2003
* Antes de iniciar las maniobras para entrar en orbita, liberara al Beagle-2 para que descienda en la superficie marciana.
* La nave entrara en una orbita polar determinada especialmente para dar periodos de observacion diurna a los instrumentos opticos, especificamente para la camara estereoscopica de alta resolucion, asi como periodos de observacion nocturna (a intervalos de mas menos 6 meses) para el radar
* El Mars Express orbitara Marte cada 6,7 horas, con una minima altura de 250 km hasta una maxima de 11.583km, la que sera bajada a 10.243 despues de 440 dias.
* Dado que la comunicacion con la nave no sera continua, los datos cientificos seran almacenados en ambas sondas (Mars Express y Beagle-2), y reembiadas a Tierra en periodos determinados
* El Mars Express a fines de febrero de 2005, se encuentra aun operativa.

Mars Express Beagle-2 Lander (Beagle 2 homepage)

Mars Express is the first 'flexible' mission of ESA's long-term science exploration programme. The launcher lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 2 June 2003. Arrival at Mars is planned for late December 2003.

As well as the remote observation payload the orbiter will carry a lander communications package to support international Mars lander missions from 2003 to 2007.

Postcards from the surface
Once on the surface of Mars, the Mars Express Beagle 2 lander will have to survive temperatures down to as low as -100°C. It will carry a variety of scientific experiments powered by solar cells and a rechargeable battery.

Like any self-respecting tourist visiting a new destination for the first time, Beagle 2 will take photographs. Panoramic and wide field cameras will be used for pictures of the landing site to guide further exploration as the mission progresses.

A microscope will look closely at the rocks and soil with a high degree of magnification. Fragments of rocks within reach of Beagle 2's small robotic arm will be analysed for the existence of organic matter, water and aqueously-deposited minerals.

The busy lander will also deploy a mole capable of crawling short distances across the surface at 1 cm every 6 seconds (the relative equivalent of 6 metres an hour) and burrowing beneath large boulders to collect soil samples for a gas analysis system. The primary aim of these experiments will be to see if any evidence of past life processes near the landing site remains.


. Lanzamiento: 2 de junio de 2003
. En Marte: 25 de dic. de 2003
* Viajo adosada al Mars Express y se separo de ella antes que entrara en orbita, el orbitador haria de relay de comunicaciones entre 2003 al 2007 para el Beagle.
* Luego de separarse de su portador, el 25 de diciembre de 2003, y descender en la superficie marciana, no se pudo establecer contacto con ella y se dio por perdida.
* El Beagle-2 tenia la capacidad para desarrollar una variedad de experimentos cientificos y de tomar vistas de su alrrededor, instrumentos energizados por paneles solares y baterias recargables.

Mars Rover Opportunity / Spirit. ( (Rovers)

Spirit Launch: June 10th, 2003
Opportunity Launch: July 7th, 2003
Spirit Landing: January 3rd, 2004
Opportunity Landing: January 24th, 2004
End of Primary Mission: Summer/Fall 2004

Science instruments:
Panoramic Camera
Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer
Mössbauer Spectrometer
Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer
Microscopic Imager

Mission Overview
Two powerful new Mars rovers have landed on the red planet. With far greater mobility than the 1997 Mars Pathfinder rover Sojourner, these robotic explorers are able to trek up to 100 meters (about 110 yards) across the surface each Martian day. Each rover carries a sophisticated set of instruments that allows it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. The rovers are identical to each other, but have landed on opposites sides of the planet Mars.

The landing for each rover resembled that of the Pathfinder mission. A parachute deployed to slow the spacecraft, rockets fired to slow it further just before impact, and airbags inflated to cushion the landing. Upon reaching the surface, the spacecraft bounced several times, and rolled to a stop on the Martian surface. Spirit rolled to a stop on its base petal, and Opportunity on one of its side petals. Then for each lander, the airbags deflated and retracted, and the petals opened up, bringing the lander to an upright position and revealing the rover.

The landed portion of the mission features a design dramatically different from Mars Pathfinder mission. Where Pathfinder had scientific instruments on both the lander and the small Sojourner rover, these larger rovers carry all their instruments with them. Immediately after landing, each rover began reconnaissance of the landing site by taking a 360-degree visible color and infrared image panorama. After leaving the lander, they drive off to begin exploration of their landing sites.

Using images and spectra taken daily from the rovers, scientists command the vehicle to go to rock and soil targets of interest and evaluate their composition and their texture at microscopic scales. Initial targets are close to the landing sites, but later targets can be far afield. These rovers will be able to travel almost as far in one Martian day as the Sojourner rover did over its entire lifetime.

Rocks and soils will be analyzed with a set of five instruments on each rover, and a special tool called the "RAT," or rock abrasion tool, will be used to expose fresh rock surfaces for study. Each rover has a mass of nearly 150 kilograms (about 300 pounds) and has a range of up to 100 meters (about 110 yards) per sol, or Martian day. Surface operations will last for at least 90 sols, extending to late May 2004, but could continue longer, depending on the health of the vehicles.

Mars Rover Opportunity / Spirit
Mars Rover Opportunity / Spirit.

. Lanzamiento: 10 de junio de 2003
. En Marte: 3 de enero de 2004
. Lanzamiento: 7 de julio de 2003
. En Marte: 24 de enero de 2004
* Ambos rovers tienen mayor movilidad que el Mars Pathfinder rover Sojourner de 1997, ya que son capaces de avanzar hasta 100 metros en cada dia marciano, y poseen un set de sofisticados instrumentos capacitados para la busqueda de evidencias de agua en el pasado de Marte. Ambos rovers son identicos y descendieron en lados opuestos de Marte
* El descenso de los rovers fue similar al de la mision Pathfinder, despues del ingreso a la atmosfera marciana, se despliega un paracaidas y son disparados cohetes para bajar aun mas la velocidad, desplegandose los airbags para disminuir el impacto contra la superficie.
* A diferencia del Mars Pathfinder, que tenia instrumentos cientificos, tanto en el lander como el el rover, los rovers Spirit y Opportunity de mayor tamaño tienen todos los instrumentos cientificos en los rovers.
* Usando las imagenes y espectroscopias tomados en forma diaria desde los rovers, los investigadores los comandan para dirigirse a los blancos elegidos y usar en su estudio los instrumentos cientificos que poseen. Estos rovers seran capaces de andar en un dia tanto como el Sojourner se desplazo en toda su vida util.
* Las rocas y el suelo seran analizados por un set de 5 instrumentos en cada movil, y por una herramienta especial llamada RAT (herramienta de abracion de rocas), la que es usada para exponer una superficie fresca de las rocas para su estudio.
* Ambos rovers tienen una masa de aproximadamente 150 kg. y una capacidad de desplazarse de hasta 100 metros por dia marciano con una duracion de su mision primaria de 90 dias, sin embargo, al 6 de febrero de 2005 la Nasa aprovo la extension de sus misiones por 18 meses, hasta septiembre de 2006.

HOME || Space || E-Mail || Luis Vargas, Puente Alto, Chile, 15 de febrero de 2005