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Mars Expresss

Mars Expresss

December 14, 2003, Period 3, Current Events

Problem/Objective: What is the Mars Expresss purpose? When will the Mars Express reach Mars?

Early/Pre-observations: –The Mars Express will reach Mars during Christmas

-The Mars Express is a spacecraft from Europe

-The Mars Express took a photo 5.4 million km away, which shows the camera is working.

Questions: –What will the Mars Express be doing at Mars?

-Are there any specific experiments it will perform?

-What countries are involved in this expedition?

Hypothesis: The Mars Express will probably be checking for any signs of life on Mars. This has been a heated topic over the years and I believe many scientists wish to know for certain. This spacecraft is most likely very hi-tech and will be able to distinguish any signs of life.

Experiment: The Mars Express will be heading for Mars and will be dropping the British-built Beagle 2 Lander toward the surface on a mission to probe for signs of extraterrestrial life. Then, it will put itself into orbit around Mars while taking pictures and using its radar to detect underground water. Scientists hope for the Beagle 2 to gather and sample rocks for evidence of organic matter and water.

Data Collected: The actual experiment hasnt been done yet, but so far the spacecraft had been launched on June 2. Bombarded with high-energy particles, the spacecrafts electrical power dropped 30% below normal. Controllers have been busy rehearsing in computer simulations how to solve any possible problem. Of the unmanned 34 American, Soviet, and Russian missions to Mars since 1960, two thirds have failed. The Mars Express has a working like of 687 Earth days and will probably be returning before then. Scientists think Mars once had water and appropriate conditions for life, but lost it billions of years ago. It was possibly hit by asteroids and resulted in no water. It is believed water might still exist as underground ice.

Conclusion: The Mars Express and the Beagle 2 will be exploring Mars, the red planet for some time. They will be conducting a complex experiment and determining whether or not Mars has underground ice. Before two years, theyre sure to be back and probably with a lot of information scientists could use on further voyages.

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