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A Beagle In The Pound and a MARSIS Wing-Clipped

  1. May 18, 2004 #1
    A Beagle “In The Pound” and a MARSIS “Wing-Clipped”

    MARSIS Derailed (Deployment Delayed – Yet Again!)

    “Also not under open discussion at this session were the latest developments with Marsis.”

    MARSIS derailed (Yet another JPL anomaly);

    When JPL/NASA test instruments – they do a half-arse job…
    Postponed, hey? (April 29 2004);

    Oh……the CCSDS. That explains everything.
    The secret N(a)SA conversation might go something like this, -
    “We hijacked the SSMM – lets do the CCSDS as well!”

    The MARSIS team has advised ESA to delay the deployment of the MARSIS radar instrument on board Mars Express, scheduled for this week. New and improved computer models suggest that, during deployment, the radar booms may swing back and forth with larger amplitudes than previously expected. If this happened, the booms might come too close to the spacecraft body. Further simulations and tests are under way to better understand the situation. Based on the results, expected within a few weeks, ESA will decide when and how to activate MARSIS. The two main radar booms are 20-metre long hollow cylinders, of 2.5 centimetres diameter, folded up in a box like a concertina (accordion). When the box is opened, the elastic energy of the compressed glass-fibre booms will let them unfold like a jack-in-the-box. The deployment procedure of each boom is expected to last about 10 minutes. MARSIS will study the sub-surface of Mars to a depth of a few kilometres. The instrument's antennas will send radio waves towards the planet and analyze how they are reflected by any surface that they encounter. In this way, MARSIS can investigate the sub-surface mineralogical composition and reveal the presence of any underground reservoir of water or ice. [ESA 04/29/2004]”

    Well, we have another physical probe “hijacking” (or at least – the data from MARSIS) in progress. The Europeans should know better than to look for water and artificial structures. Our friendly neighbourhood Agency has firmly put them in their place.

    Even if they “allow MARSIS” to be deployed now, the damage (to publically available data) has already been done...

    My thoughts regarding Beagle 2 Lander's Demise;
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2004 #2
    Further to Beagle 2 Lander's Demise

    Very interesting, 8.4 gigahertz range is more susceptible to “interference” than was previously recognised.

    From an article dated 12 March 2003;
    “The MODIS direct broadcast signal transmits using what is called X-band,” Kozon explains. “The main radio frequency is about 8.2 gigahertz, but it doesn’t transmit exclusively on that frequency. The signal has side lobes that cause the transmission to spill over into the 8.4-gigahertz range or higher.”
    That spill over created a problem: NASA reserves the 8.4-gigahertz frequency for communicating with its deep space missions, such as the Voyager spacecrafts. NASA operates three Deep Space Network stations spaced roughly 120 degrees of longitude apart across the Earth. When Terra flew within radio “earshot” of a Deep Space Network antenna, the MODIS direct broadcast signal had the potential to cause radio frequency interference if NASA were communicating with one of its more far-flung progeny.”

    The Bushfires here provided a great chance for "testing interception/diversion" techniques...
  4. Jun 2, 2004 #3
    MARSIS "Going The Same Way As Beagle 2"

    MARSIS Schedule WAS pushed back by JPL/NASA;
    U.S. Participation During Orbiter Operations. From;
    “U.S. scientists on the instrument teams will be working with their European colleagues on the overall science goal of this mission: to understand the possibilities for past or present life on Mars by conducting a thorough search for water. U.S. scientists will help research by understanding what geological structures and minerals on Mars might have been formed by water, the extent of subsurface water, and what the atmosphere can tell us about the martian climate and how much water might have been lost to space in the past.”

    “Simulations carried out four years ago by the radar boom's manufacturer, Astro Aerospace, California, USA, indicated that the deployment should be smooth, without significantly swinging back and forth. However, the radar team has now advised ESA that a new and refined analysis of the boom dynamics indicates that a sort of "backlash" might take place before the boom locks into its position.”

    JPL IS VERY Involved.
    “Co-Principal Investigator - JEFFREY PLAUT "JET PROPULSION LABORATORY" Earth and Space Sciences Division plaut@jpl.nasa.go Pasadena – California
    Planetary Radar Sounder Office wtkjohnson@jpl.nasa.gov Pasadena – California”

    Antenna Deployment Proceedings;
  5. Jul 8, 2004 #4
    MARSIS Censorship So Predictable!

    I called it from the start, and I’m spot on.
    MARSIS won’t be deployed until October now, if at all (funny that!)…

    “The system won't now be deployed until October, if then.”


    “If by that time there's a consensus on a specific source region for the methane, the case for deployment would, I suspect, be seen as stronger still.
    Another issue that might conceivably factor into the decision would be the risk of getting scooped.”
    “The Marsis radar altimeter will search for water up to 5km (3 miles) beneath the surface of the Red Planet.”
    Take note of the “nice blue oceans” in the picture, contained within this article. Nice…

    Again, from the same link;
    ““Marsis is designed to discern boundaries between layers of material as deep as 5km under the surface.”
    This is what has NASA worried. They don’t care about the water…

    This will give NASA/NSA ample opportunity to “stick to their timetable of admission”.
    The truth about the origin of Methane on Mars is scheduled to come out September.

    IF (and only IF), NASA “comes clean” about the Origin of Methane on Mars in September and/or Life On Mars, will MARSIS be deployed.
    If NASA does not make one or both of these admissions in September , MARSIS will NEVER be deployed.

    I stake my gonads on it…

    I wonder whether these little fellas have anything to do with churning out the Martian Methane.
  6. Jul 12, 2004 #5
    Precursors To CH4 Life (The Methane Detection Scandal)

    Precursors To CH4 Life (The Methane Detection Scandal)

    First, a VERY INTERESTING POLICY THAT I FOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    “If any methane is detected, there’s a very good chance life exists on Mars”

    “The British Beagle 2 lander is set to touch down on Mars in 2003, and its primary aim, like the Viking landers, is to look for life. This time, the Beagle 2 has been armed with an entirely new set of tests for life.
    One relatively easy way to tell whether life has existed on Mars in the past is looking for the remains of micro-organisms. These remains will be composed of organic material that is composed of carbon compounds. However, carbon compounds can be produced by other methods than biochemical reactions (which is one of the reasons why scientists dispute the fact that ALH 84001 showed there was life on Mars). Fortunately, by looking at the different isotopes of carbon that make up the carbon compounds, you can tell whether they were produced by life, since organisms use the ‘lighter’ carbon-12 preferentially over the ‘heavy’ carbon-13.
    By burning carbon compounds that are taken from rocks on the surface and examining the carbon dioxide that is produced, scientists will be able to determine the isotopic composition of the carbon, and so discover whether life existed (this will be carried out by an incinerator and a mass spectrometer).
    The one experiment that will attract the greatest attention from the public is the search for methane in the Martian atmosphere. Methane is solely produced by biological processes, and is quickly destroyed by light. Therefore, if any methane at all is found in the atmosphere, we can be almost certain that life exists on Mars right now. The equipment used to perform this experiment has already proven its worth in helping us understand the process of global warming, and perhaps it will make similarly ground-breaking discoveries on Mars.”

    Viking 2 Lander DETECTED CH4 in “Labeled Release” Experiment!
    Biology experiments detected strange signs of activity in the Martian soil - akin to microbes giving off gas.”

    “The LR experiment moistened a 0.5-cc sample of soil with 1 cc of a nutrient consisting of distilled water and organic compounds. The organic compounds had been labeled with radioactive carbon-14. After moistening, the sample would be allowed to incubate for at least 10 days, and any microorganisms would hopefully consume the nutrient and give off gases containing the carbon-14, which would then be detected. (Terrestrial organisms would give off CO2, carbon monoxide (CO), or methane (CH4).)”

    The Results of the “LR”;
    “The gas exchange experiment did not use radioactive-labeled nutrients; instead it used ordinary nutrients and tested for the creation of oxygen or methane, which would be expected if plant-like organisms were present. Finally, the gas chromatograph heated the soil and tested for the emission of organic vapors.
    The results were mixed. While the pyrolitic release, labeled release, and gas exchange experiments tested positive, the gas chromatograph found no organic material.”

    Beagle, joins the “Club”;
    From an article in July 2001;
    “Outfitted with the most sophisticated analysis system built to date, "Beagle 2 far exceeds what Viking was doing," Gibson said. Among its abilities, equipment on the lander can spot the presence of methane. Detecting methane would point to what amount to a Martian organism's "exhalations," a product of metabolism, he said.
    "Beagle 2 has the potential of answering the life on Mars question," Gibson said.
    Finding that methane signature would also shore up the notion that Mars may harbor a subsurface biota, Gibson said.”

    And, from;
    Beagle 2 was designed to sniff out traces of methane on the surface, and look for other evidence of life. The gas was detected by Beagle 2's mothership, Europe's Mars Express spacecraft and by telescopes on Earth at concentrations of around 10 or 11 parts per billion. On Earth, methane released by bacteria in the ground or in animals is found in the atmosphere at concentrations of 1.7 parts per million.”

    Methane, as I said (all along), is the “Holy Grail” of Life Detection on MARS.
    NASA agrees with me, for once!
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