For the past 20 years, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express has been orbiting REd blanet and send precious data that reveal the nature of Mars. However, our views of Mars have always suffered from little idiomatic Delays, taking hours or sometimes days to travel all the way back to Earth. this It is set to change with the first live broadcast of Mars broadcast live from the Red Planet.
On Friday, ESA will broadcast a live broadcast of the photos it took Mars Express to celebrate the anniversary of the space agency’s spacecraft announce this week. The images will be broadcast live from the spacecraft The Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC), also known as the Mars Webcam, will display a new image approximately every 50 seconds for the duration of the hour-long event.
The live broadcast is scheduled to begin on June 2. It’s 12:00 p.m. ET. You can set live broadcast on Mars through it ESA YouTube channel or through the feed below.
The Mars Webcam was originally designed for one mission: to monitor the separation of the Beagle 2 lander from the Mars Express spacecraft. After I turned in the initial data set, March WebCI be It is turned off. About four years later, the camera was initially repurposed for outreach activities, but was later repurposed as a science tool on its own.
“We have developed new and more sophisticated methods of operations and image processing, to get better results from the camera, and turn it into Mars Express’ eighth scientific instrument,” Jorge Hernandez Bernal, part of the VMC team, said in the ESA statement.
Pictures of Mars taken by the camera are stored onboard the spacecraft and link it to mission control once every two days. After that, it is processed and made available for viewing. This is quite typical for most spacecraft because most data collection tends to occur when they are not in direct contact with the antenna of a ground station on Earth. The spacecraft could either be on the far side of Mars or the sun, or its antennas could be farther away from Earth, according to the European Space Agency.
This is why when we see an image of a celestial body, it doesn’t really reflect what it looks like at that particular moment. Instead of an Instagram Live, we usually get a “late gram,” or one of those photo dumps featuring highlights taken weeks ago.
However, during our hour-long live broadcast on Friday, we’ll be treated to images captured from Mars orbit just 18 minutes before they appear on our screens. This is the time it takes for a signal to travel from Mars to Earth, Plus an extra minute to pass data through wires and servers on the ground. The ESA added a disclaimer in their announcement that this had never been done before, so the timing may be a bit off, If it works at all.
“This is an old camera, which was originally planned for engineering purposes, at a distance of about three million kilometers from Earth—It hasn’t been tried before, and to be honest we’re not 100% sure it will work,” said James Godfrey, director of spacecraft operations at the European Space Agency’s Mission Control Center in Darmstadt, Germany, in the release. “But I am very optimistic.”
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