Close encounter between a spacecraft and the Martian “fear” moon

Washington – Morocco today

The Mars Express spacecraft has penetrated into the depths of the moon Mars “Phobos”, more than ever before, and found hints of unknown structures that could be clues to the origin of this moon, according to RT quoted Mars Express, a 19-year veteran spacecraft in orbit around Mars, 51.6 miles (83 km) from Phobos on September 22, 2022, and was able to study what’s under the surface of this moon using software developed on its MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere) instrument. Understanding the internal structure of Phobos could be a key to solving the mystery of its origin, and Andrea Cecchetti, a member of the MARSIS science team at the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), noted in a statement: “We are still at an early stage in our analysis. But we have already seen possible signs of previously unknown features under the moon’s surface.” In 1877, American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered two small moons orbiting Mars, later named “Phobos” and “Deimos” meaning “fear” and “awe” on Mars. straight, according to the Greeks. But the excitement, far from “fear” and “horror”, lies in the close encounter with “Phobos”, carried out by a vehicle outer space The European Space Agency’s Mars Express in the run-up to Halloween this year and a recent flyby of this larger Mars moon provided the perfect opportunity to test one of the spacecraft’s earliest upgrades. The MARSIS instrument was originally designed to study the internal structure of Mars. As a result, it is designed for use at a typical distance between a spacecraft and the planet’s surface – more than 250 km – but it recently received a major software upgrade that allows its use at much closer distances, which could help shed light on the mysterious origin of Phobos. Andrea said: “During this flight, we used MARSIS to study Phobos at a close range of 83 km, and the approach allows us to study its structure in more detail and identify important features that we would not have been able to see from afar. In the future, we are confident that we can use MARSIS from a distance of more than 40 km, and the Mars Express orbit was tuned to get us as close to Phobos as possible on a few flights between 2023 and 2025, which will give us great opportunities to try,” said Simon Wood, Mars Express flight controller at ESOC’s Operations Center The European Space Agency, who oversaw the upload of the new software to the spacecraft, said: “We didn’t know if this was possible, and the team tested a few variations of the software, with the final successful modifications uploaded to the spacecraft just hours before the flight.”

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