As most of you will already know, and much to our disappointment, the Schiaparelli probe failed to land successfully on Mars last Wednesday. The plan was that when it entered the Martian atmosphere, the spacecraft would immediately begin to slow down to 1700 km/h as a result of the friction caused by the atmosphere hitting its heat-shield. When it reached… Continue reading Schiaparelli on Mars -updated
Schiaparelli on Mars.
On 14 March 2016 the European Space Agency used facilities at Baikonur in Kazakhstan to launch their long awaited mission to Mars, the not so snappily named ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and, bolted onto it, a smaller probe called Schiaparelli. Although the much larger TGO will only orbit Mars, next Wednesday, 19 October, Schiaparelli will attempt… Continue reading Schiaparelli on Mars.
Giving Venus an artificial magnetic field
As discussed in a previous post, in the far future humanity may decide to terraform Venus so that the planet has a similar temperature and atmosphere to that which currently exists on the Earth. However, the lack of a global magnetic field would cause significant obstacles to humans settling on Venus. Without this protective shield inhabitants would be exposed to the… Continue reading Giving Venus an artificial magnetic field
Short post of the month – April 2016: Life on Mars?
On 14 March 2016 the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) spacecraft was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on a seven month mission to Mars. When it arrives at the red planet, it will study how the distribution of the gas methane varies according to position on the planet's surface and over the course of time. Image from ESA What is… Continue reading Short post of the month – April 2016: Life on Mars?
Venus -A Mysterious World
In The Radio Man, a 1924 science fiction by the American author Ralph Milne Farley, a radio engineer, Myles Standish Cabot, invents a radio apparatus that teleports him to another world, Venus. This version of Venus has boiling hot oceans, but the land is much cooler, and the continent he lands on is inhabited by two races. One… Continue reading Venus -A Mysterious World