Tag: mars reconnaissance orbiter

Spacecraft found on Mars – and it’s ours




Computer image of the Beagle 2


Excerpt from skyandtelescope.com
By Kelly Beatty  


On December 25, 2003, a British-built lander dropped to the Martian surface and disappeared without a trace. Now we know what happened to it.  It's hard to overstate how valuable the main camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been. The craft's High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, uses a 20-inch (0.5-m) f/24 telescope to record details on the Martian surface as small as 0.3 m (about 10 inches). 

Beagle 2 seen from orbit by HiRISE
An overhead view of Beagle 2's landing site on Isidis Planitia shows a bright reflection from the long-lost spacecraft. Apparently it landed safely on December 25, 2003, and had begun to operate when it failed. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this image on December 15, 2014. NASA / JPL / Univ. of Arizona / Univ. of Leicester - See more at: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/beagle-2-lander-found-on-mars-01192015/#sthash.5KSZ8V6W.dpuf


Primarily it's a powerful tool for studying Martian geology at the smallest scales, and NASA scientists sometimes use it to track the progress (and even the arrivals) of their rovers. Beagle 2 on Mars  The clamshell-like Beagle 2 lander weighed just 30 kg, but it was well equipped to study Martian rocks and dust — and even to search for life. Beagle 2 consortium  But the HiRISE team has also been on a years-long quest to find the remains of Beagle 2, a small lander that had hitchhiked to the Red Planet with the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. It descended to the Martian surface on Christmas Day in 2003 and was never heard from again. Space aficionados have debated its fate ever since. Did parachute failure lead to a crash landing? Did strong surface winds flip the saucer-shaped craft upside down? Did the Martians take it hostage?  Now, thanks to HiRISE, we know more of the story.  
An overhead view of Beagle 2's landing site on Isidis Planitia shows a bright reflection from the long-lost spacecraft. Apparently it landed safely on December 25, 2003, and had begun to operate when it failed. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this image on December 15, 2014. NASA / JPL / Univ. of Arizona / Univ. of Leicester 


Images taken in February 2013 and June 2014 of the landing area in Isidis Planitia showed promising blips near the edge of each frame. A follow-up color view, acquired on December 15th and released three days ago, show a bright spot consistent with Beagle 2. The fully-opened lander would have been less than 2 m (6½ feet) across, so the craft is only barely resolved. Apparently the spacecraft made it to the surface intact, opened its clamshell cover, and had partially deployed its four petal-shaped solar-cell panels before something went awry. Beagle 2 seen from orbit by HiRISE  

One encouraging clue is that the bright reflection changes position slightly from image to image, consistent with sunlight reflecting off different lander panels. Two other unusual spots a few hundred meters away appears to be the lander's parachute and part of the cover that served as a shield during the 5½-km-per-second atmospheric descent...


On December 25, 2003, a British-built lander dropped to the Martian surface and disappeared without a trace. Now we know what happened to it.
It's hard to overstate how valuable the main camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been. The craft's High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, uses a 20-inch (0.5-m) f/24 telescope to record details on the Martian surface as small as 0.3 m (about 10 inches). Primarily it's a powerful tool for studying Martian geology at the smallest scales, and NASA scientists sometimes use it to track the progress (and even the arrivals) of their rovers.
Beagle 2 on Mars
The clamshell-like Beagle 2 lander weighed just 30 kg, but it was well equipped to study Martian rocks and dust — and even to search for life.
Beagle 2 consortium
But the HiRISE team has also been on a years-long quest to find the remains of Beagle 2, a small lander that had hitchhiked to the Red Planet with the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. It descended to the Martian surface on Christmas Day in 2003 and was never heard from again. Space aficionados have debated its fate ever since. Did parachute failure lead to a crash landing? Did strong surface winds flip the saucer-shaped craft upside down? Did the Martians take it hostage?
Now, thanks to HiRISE, we know more of the story. Images taken in February 2013 and June 2014 of the landing area in Isidis Planitia showed promising blips near the edge of each frame. A follow-up color view, acquired on December 15th and released three days ago, show a bright spot consistent with Beagle 2. The fully-opened lander would have been less than 2 m (6½ feet) across, so the craft is only barely resolved. Apparently the spacecraft made it to the surface intact, opened its clamshell cover, and had partially deployed its four petal-shaped solar-cell panels before something went awry.
Beagle 2 seen from orbit by HiRISE
An overhead view of Beagle 2's landing site on Isidis Planitia shows a bright reflection from the long-lost spacecraft. Apparently it landed safely on December 25, 2003, and had begun to operate when it failed. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this image on December 15, 2014.
NASA / JPL / Univ. of Arizona / Univ. of Leicester
One encouraging clue is that the bright reflection changes position slightly from image to image, consistent with sunlight reflecting off different lander panels. Two other unusual spots a few hundred meters away appears to be the lander's parachute and part of the cover that served as a shield during the 5½-km-per-second atmospheric descent.
The initial images didn't just show up. They'd been requested and searched by Michael Croon of Trier, Germany, who'd served on the Mars Express operations team. Croon had asked for specific camera targeting through a program called HiWish, through which anyone can submit suggestions for HiRISE images. Read more about this fascinating sleuthing story.
"Not knowing what happened to Beagle 2 remained a nagging worry," comments Rudolf Schmidt in an ESA press release about the find. "Understanding now that Beagle 2 made it all the way down to the surface is excellent news." Schmidt served as the Mars Express project manager at the time.
Built by a consortium of organizations, Beagle 2 was the United Kingdom's first interplanetary spacecraft. The 32-kg (73-pound) lander carried six instruments to study geochemical characteristics of the Martian surface and to test for the presence of life using assays of carbon isotopes. It was named for HMS Beagle, the ship that carried a crew of 73 (including Charles Darwin) on an epic voyage of discovery in 1831–36.
- See more at: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/beagle-2-lander-found-on-mars-01192015/#sthash.5KSZ8V6W.dpuf

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A pie on Mars? Bizarre structure baffles scientists

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has snapped an image of a mysterious circular landform that scientists say could be volcanic in origin.Excerpt from csmonitor.comA NASA Mars probe has photographed a strange Red Planet landform that resembles a fres...

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Mysterious Mars Mound May Be Result Of Ancient Lava Flows, NASA Says

A weird circular landform recently spotted on the surface of Mars might look like a deformed waffle--or maybe the surface of a human brain. But as to what the strange feature really is--and how it got there--scientists at this point have only opinions....

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U.S., India To Collaborate on Mars Exploration, Earth-observing Mission



Source: NASA press release | Oct. 1, 2014
In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.
While attending the International Astronautical Congress, the two space agency leaders met to discuss and sign a charter that establishes a NASA-ISRO Mars Working Group to investigate enhanced cooperation between the two countries in Mars exploration. They also signed an international agreement that defines how the two agencies will work together on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, targeted to launch in 2020.
“The signing of these two documents reflects the strong commitment NASA and ISRO have to advancing science and improving life on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “This partnership will yield tangible benefits to both our countries and the world.”
The joint Mars Working Group will seek to identify and implement scientific, programmatic and technological goals that NASA and ISRO have in common regarding Mars exploration. The group will meet once a year to plan cooperative activities, including potential NASA-ISRO cooperation on future missions to Mars.
Both agencies have newly arrived spacecraft in Mars orbit. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft arrived at Mars Sept. 21. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars. ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India’s first spacecraft launched to Mars, arrived Sept. 23 to study the Martian surface and atmosphere and demonstrate technologies needed for interplanetary missions.
One of the working group’s objectives will be to explore potential coordinated observations and science analysis between MAVEN and MOM, as well as other current and future Mars missions.
“NASA and Indian scientists have a long history of collaboration in space science,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for science. “These new agreements between NASA and ISRO in Earth science and Mars exploration will significantly strengthen our ties and the science that we will be able to produce as a result.”
The joint NISAR Earth-observing mission will make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. Potential areas of research include ecosystem disturbances, ice sheet collapse and natural hazards. The NISAR mission is optimized to measure subtle changes of the Earth’s surface associated with motions of the crust and ice surfaces. NISAR will improve our understanding of key impacts of climate change and advance our knowledge of natural hazards.
NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface less than a centimeter across. This allows the mission to observe a wide range of changes, from the flow rates of glaciers and ice sheets to the dynamics of earthquakes and volcanoes.
Under the terms of the new agreement, NASA will provide the mission’s L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid state recorder, and a payload data subsystem. ISRO will provide the spacecraft bus, an S-band SAR, and the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
NASA had been studying concepts for a SAR mission in response to the National Academy of Science’s decadal survey of the agency’s Earth science program in 2007. The agency developed a partnership with ISRO that led to this joint mission. The partnership with India has been key to enabling many of the mission’s science objectives.
NASA’s contribution to NISAR is being managed and implemented by the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
NASA and ISRO have been cooperating under the terms of a framework agreement signed in 2008. This cooperation includes a variety of activities in space sciences such as two NASA payloads — the Mini-Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) and the Moon Mineralogy Mapper — on ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 mission to the moon in 2008. During the operational phase of this mission, the Mini-SAR instrument detected ice deposits near the moon’s northern pole.

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India’s Mars Probe Sends Its First Images Back to Earth


Mars orbiter Mangalyaan
India's first Mars orbiter Mangalyaan captured this photo of the Martian atmosphere just after arriving at Mars on Sept. 24, 2014 Indian Standard Time. The Indian Space Research Organisation released the image on Sept. 25.
Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation

scientificamerican.com

The India Space Research Organization unveils its first pictures of the red planet.

India's first Mars probe has captured its first photos, revealing an early glimpse of the surface and atmosphere of the Red Planet.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) unveiled the first photos of Mars from its Mangalyaan spacecraft via Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 24-25), just a day or so after the probe made it to the Red Planet.

Mars surface

"The view is nice up here," ISRO officials tweeted about one of the images, which shows a heavily cratered portion of the Red Planet's surface.

Another photo depicts the curving, orange-brown limb of Mars against the blackness of space.

"A shot of Martian atmosphere. I'm getting better at it. No pressure," ISRO officials tweeted about that one.

Mangalyaan, whose name means "Mars craft" in Sanskrit, arrived at the Red Planet on Tuesday night (Sept. 23), making India's space agency just the fourth entity — after the United States, the Soviet Union and the European Space Agency — to successfully place a probe in orbit around Mars.

Mangalyaan is the centerpiece of India's $74 million Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), which ISRO officials have described as primarily a technology demonstration. The spacecraft carries a camera and four scientific instruments that it will use to study the Martian surface and atmosphere during the course of a mission expected to last six to 10 months. 

MOM reached Mars close on the heels of NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) probe, which was captured by the Red Planet's gravity on Sunday (Sept. 21). The $671 million MAVEN mission aims to help scientists determine what happened to Mars' atmosphere, which was once relatively thick but is now just 1 percent as dense as that of Earth.

MAVEN has also taken its first images of Mars from orbit; NASA released a few false-color views of the planet's atmosphere on Wednesday.

Mars orbit now hosts five operational spacecraft; NASA's Mars Odyssey probe and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as well as Europe's Mars Express craft, share space with MAVEN and Mangalyaan. And two rovers (NASA's Opportunity and Curiosity) are actively exploriong the planet's surface.

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Spacecraft from US & India to arrive at Mars this month



Two new orbiters, including India's first Mars probe, are due to arrive at the Red Planet by the end of September.

By Elizabeth Howell, SPACE.com

The planet Mars is about to have some company. Two new spacecraft, one from the United States and the other from India, are closing in on the Red Planet and poised to begin orbiting Mars by the end of this month.

The U.S.-built probe, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft, is expected to enter orbit around Mars on Sept. 21. Just days later, on Sept. 24, India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) orbiter is due to make its own Mars arrival when it enters orbit. Both MOM and MAVEN launched to space in 2013.

MAVEN is the first mission devoted to probing the Martian atmosphere, particularly to understand how it has changed during the planet's history. 

Before that happens, however, the spacecraft must burn its engines to go into orbit around the planet, and pass a commissioning phase while taking a few precautions for a "low-risk" situation where a comet will pass fairly close to Mars. 

"We've been developing MAVEN for about 11 years, and it comes down to a 33-minute rocket burn on Sept. 21," MAVEN principal investigator Bruce Jakosky, of the University of Colorado, Boulder, told Space.com.

The spacecraft can change tracks as late as 6 hours before entering orbit, but right now, it is so close to the correct path that a planned orbital maneuver on Sept. 12 won't be needed, Jakosky said.

Comet Siding Spring will pass near Mars on Oct. 19, and around that time, MAVEN will take a break from its commissioning to do observations of the comet and the planet's upper atmosphere. Although not much dust is predicted to result from the event, as a precaution, controllers will turn off nonessential instruments and move the solar panels edge-on to the dust. The spacecraft will also be behind Mars for 20 minutes during the comet's closest approach.

Where did Mars' atmosphere go?

One of MAVEN's primary scientific tasks will be to figure out how the Martian atmosphere changed during the planet's 4.5-billion-year history.

Several NASA spacecraft have found extensive evidence that water once flowed on the planet. For water to have flowed on Mars, the planet would have required a thicker atmosphere. But why and how the atmosphere got thinner, to the way it is now, is one question that puzzles scientists.

MAVEN is expected to last at least one Earth year, but with careful use of fuel, it could last a decade — long enough for controllers to watch the upper atmosphere change through almost an entire 11-year cycle of solar activity.

Most of Mars' water disappeared about 3.5 billion years ago, Jakosky said, and there will be two approaches for MAVEN to figure out how the atmosphere played into that.

One approach will be to look at the atmosphere today and try to extrapolate its changes to what it used to be billions of years ago. However, one complication of that approach is that the sun's output has changed over time. Early in the solar system's history, the sun's total output was 30 percent less than it is today. Therefore, Earth and Mars could have been colder, but the solar wind and ultraviolet energy would have been more intense.

The second approach will be to look at the ratio of stable isotopes (element types) in the atmosphere, specifically the ratio of hydrogen to its heavier cousin, deuterium. Over time, the sun pushes lighter elements out of the atmosphere, leaving the heavier ones behind.

Scientists already have gained a pretty firm understanding of the past deuterium-hydrogen ratio by examining known Martian meteorites and older Martian minerals that NASA rovers probed on the surface, Jakosky said. The next step will be to get more information on today's conditions, to make comparisons.

"It's a powerful way to determine the history of the atmosphere," he said. "We're hoping that will be one of the early results coming out of MAVEN."

India's Mars MOM on NASA's heels

The Indian Space Research Organization's Mars Orbiter Mission is India's first mission to Mars and is designed to search for elusive methane in Mars' atmosphere from orbit. Over the years, different orbital and surface missions have found variable amounts of the gas, which can be produced by nonbiological or biological means.

MOM is expected to last six to 10 months near Mars, and has five instruments on board. The spacecraft and all of its payloads are in good health, ISRO said in a Facebook update on Aug. 30.
One of the mission's greatest challenges will be to fire the liquid propulsion engine after it sat idle for nearly 300 days in space. The engine is required to bring the spacecraft into Mars' orbit. Media reports indicate that India plans to do a test fire of the engine on Sept. 22.

If the Indian space agency is successful in reaching Mars, it will be the fourth entity to have done so, following the Soviet Union, the United States and the European Space Agency.

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Richard C. Hoagland Presents a Series of Mars Anomalies

  coasttocoastam.com In tandem with his 7/2/13 appearance, Richard C. Hoagland sends a set of images & descriptions related to his presentation to the Coast To Coast radio program. 1) (Above) NASA close-up of the infamous "Face on Mars...

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NASA’s Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red Planet’s History: Here’s How

NASA's new InSight Mars Lander



By Leonard David 
space.com



A still from an animation shows NASA's new InSight Mars Lander lowering a drill onto Mars to analyze …
DENVER — NASA's next Mars lander, now under construction, will probe the inner workings and early stages of the Red Planet's development billions of years ago.
The InSight mission (short for Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), a NASA Discovery Program spacecraft, is built to respond to highly focused scientific goals.
"Things are coming together," said Stu Spath, InSight program manager here at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the aerospace firm building the Mars spacecraft for its 2016 liftoff. [The Boldest Mars Missions in History]

Powered descent

In many ways, InSight is a technological kissing cousin to the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander of 2008, which was equipped to investigate ice and soil on Mars's far-northern region.
InSight's will mirror the Phoenix mission in its blistering entry into the Martian atmosphere; parachute deployment; self-controlled, powered descent; and gentle meeting with the planet's surface on three outstretched landing legs.
"The lander structurally looks extremely similar to Phoenix," Spath told Space.com. However the new craft's internal electronics, such as its power distribution unit and command and data handling hardware, have been updated.
InSight's avionics draw from other spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin, Spath said. Specifically, it takes cues from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) en route to the Red Planet, the Juno craft headed for Jupiter, and the now-completed twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission probes that were sent to the moon.
 
NASA's Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red …
NASA's InSight lander mission would add to the number of successful touchdowns on the Red Plan…

Two chief instruments

The InSight mission will last a Mars year, or roughly two Earth years. That is 630 days longer than the Phoenix mission lasted, which means that the lander will have to endure a wider range of environmental conditions on the Martian landscape, Spath said.
InSight will study a different aspect of planetary history with instruments never previously used on Mars, Spath said.
The Mars lander's scientific payload consists of two chief instruments:
  • The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure provided by the French Space Agency.
  • A Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package provided by the German Space Agency.
Additionally, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will use the lander's X-band radio system to make ultra-precise measurements of planetary rotation.
Wind and temperature sensors from Spain's Centro de Astrobiologia and a pressure sensor will monitor weather at the landing site. A lander magnetometer will measure magnetic disturbances caused by the Martian ionosphere.

Come together

"It is very exciting, seeing the flight hardware start to come together," said Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator for the InSight mission to Mars at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
 
NASA's Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red …
NASA's InSight lander mission would add to the number of successful touchdowns on the Red Planet…
"At the same time, this is a very nerve-wracking period in the project, as testing of our instruments and spacecraft subsystems uncover subtle design and manufacturing problems that inevitably occur, and that must be corrected in the short time, just over one and a half years, before launch," Banerdt told Space.com via email.
The cost of the InSight mission, excluding the launch vehicle and related services, is capped at $425 million in 2010 dollars.

California to Mars

An upcoming milestone for the project, in aerospace lingo, is Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO), Spath said. That evaluation begins in early November. Next June, the InSight spacecraft will face a suite of critical tests, with ship and shoot dates in December of 2015 and March of 2016, respectively, Spath said.
After those tests, InSight won't see a speedy sendoff from Florida.
Rather, the lander will travel to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will give the craft a boost. This will be the first interplanetary mission ever to launch from California — although in 1994, the joint Ballistic Missile Defense Organization/NASA Clementine spacecraft that studied the moon and an asteroid headed off from that launch area. 
Once Mars-bound, InSight will fly a quick trip. After roughly 6.5 months in transit, the craft will stick a landing in the southern Elysium region of Mars in September 2016.
 
InSight mission logo.
The specific touchdown zone is still under discussion, with Mars researchers making use of super-sharp imagery from the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) to decide InSight's precise destination.

Work space

In August of last year, researchers trimmed the number of candidate landing sites for InSight from 22 down to four.
JPL's Banerdt said that NASA has a lot of HiRISE images now that largely confirm that the candidate sites are safe for landing.
NASA is looking for the same sort of landing features as Phoenix used. "We're using the same rock-abundance measurements that we used on Phoenix. Same with the slope requirements," Spath said. "So not too sloped, not too rocky, then it's fine to land and do the science there."
Once down on Mars, after a few days of spacecraft checkout, the lander will begin compiling pictures of the "work space," the available terrain suitable for setting up scientific equipment.
Then InSight's real legwork begins: making use of the lander's robotic arm.
 
NASA's Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red …
The Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft…
"The robotic arm is critical to the success of the mission," said Spath. That camera-equipped arm will pick up the seismic and heat flow hardware from the lander's topside deck, then set it on the Martian surface.

Mars gets hammered

The first measurement tool to be placed on the Martian surface will be the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) device.
"It's a top priority. We'll pick a nice, level spot. It has a self-leveling mechanism inside, but we want to get it on a flat area," Spath said. Following seismometer checkout, the lander will place a JPL-built wind and thermal shield over the device to protect it from the environment.
"We don't want the seismometer buffeting in the wind," Spath said. Such wind effects would make the device falsely record quakes or even meteorite hits on the Martian surface.
Then, the lander's robot arm will deploy the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3). This device consists of a so-called "mole" that will spend a few weeks hammering itself 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) deep into Martian terrain. [Quiz: Mars Myths and Misconceptions]
"We're allocated something like 30 to 40 days to drill down to the final depth," Spath said.
From there, the device will monitor heat coming from the planet's interior. The mole pulls an instrumented tether behind it, a ribbon that is equipped with temperature sensors to find out the thermal gradient in the ground — the rate of temperature change with distance. A second cable provides an electrical connection to the lander.

Mix of investigations

InSight will study a mix of Red Planet vital signs, including seismic, geodetic and thermal features. That will help scientists characterize the Martian crust and mantle, as well as the properties of the Martian core.
But the findings will shed light on more than just the Red Planet, Spath said.
"Even though we're going to Mars, this is not a Mars mission … as much as it is a terrestrial planet mission," Spath said. "This mission is applicable to Mercury, Venus, Earth, the moon and Mars.”
Mars is big enough to have undergone most of the early processes that fundamentally shaped the terrestrial bodies in the solar system, yet small enough in stature to have retained the signature of those processes for the next 4 billion years, signs that Earth has lost.
Indeed, in that sweet-spot sense, InSight is a mission to a "Goldilocks" planet, Spath said. "It"s a world not too big, not too small. It's just right."

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The Real Agenda of NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Mission ~ Richard C. Hoagland




By Richard C. Hoagland
enterprisemission.com 

"It Only Takes ONE White Crow ..." 

For over twenty years, The Enterprise Mission has pursued an extraordinary scientific and political hypothesis ....
That the Earth orbits the Sun, not as "the only lush oasis amid a host of lifeless other worlds ..." but as, potentially, the lone planetary survivor of a long-forgotten ancient solar system epoch, shaped by "an extraordinarily advanced, Type II ET Civilization" -- which, after literally remaking this entire planetary system ... collapsed in a catastrophic, ancient War--
Leaving only scattered, arcane clues behind to its existence -- including, some evidence suggests, the human race itself ....



* * *

The scientific origins of this still-evolving Enterprise hypothesis trace back to the seminal discovery by NASA, in the"Viking Summer" of 1976, of an extraordinary Martian surface "artifact" -- first photographed from orbit by the Viking unmanned mission ....
The highly controversial "face on Mars."






Instantly dismissed as merely "a trick of light and shadow," the exploration of the Face's potentially "game changing" scientific origins has been center stage in the Enterprise Mission's subsequent investigation of "Cydonia" (the name of the geographic location of this amazing Martian feature) for more than 30 years ....





Subsequent NASA unmanned Mars missions (after a series of much-publicized national media "campaigns," led by Enterprise, to secure far better imagery of "the face on Mars" than Viking), finally succeeded in the early 1990's in returning startling new evidence -- of additional "statue-like" details of "the Face" -- that are impossible to scientifically "explain away" now as "merely tricks of lighting"--
Including, this stunning 2003 NASA composite (created by Enterprise from official NASA data - below) -- consisting of a black and white Mars Surveyor image (taken with afternoon light coming from the west), coupled with a "pre-dawn" Mars Surveyor color image, with pre-dawn lighting coming from the east.
The result is clearly an unbelievably ancient ... heavily eroded ... artificial monument -- its eastern side inexplicably "glowing," even in the early Martian twilight -- with obvious geometric ... prismatic ... crystalline glass structure ....





Was this enigmatic "Face on Mars" deliberately left behind, then, as a haunting "clue" to our own, in many ways, still baffling existence ... on this planet?
A Clue--
In the form of an ancient, uniquely human monument of mile-wide "mega-engineering" to our own literal creation ... left amid a "city" of equally staggering examples of "mega-engineering pyramids" (below) ... on the reddish sands of Mars--
By this same, long-vanished "Type II Civilization?"





As Enterprise, across more than thirty years, has assembled more and more compelling evidence supporting this radical idea ... the science behind the even larger hypothesis -- that this entire solar system was, somehow, in the dim and distant past, deliberately "rearranged" to support the existence of human life itself -- has also quietly evolved ....
Recent, peer-reviewed astronomical observations and analysis -- stemming from NASA's revolutionary Kepler space telescope "exo-planetary" observations of the numbers and types of "super-earth planets" found orbiting even "near-by, sun-like stars" -- have recently reached a startling "mainstream" conclusion:


"... it seems clear that our [own] Solar System — which contains no planet interior to Mercury’s P = 88 day orbit — did not participate in a major if not the dominant mode of planet formation in the Galaxy ...
"Super-earths [planets in the range of 5 to 10 times the Earth's mass] are not anomalous; they are the rule that our Solar System breaks. In a sense, the burden of explaining planetary system architectures rests more heavily on the Solar System [now] than on the rest of the Galaxy’s planet population at large [emphasis added] ...."

This gradually dawning scientific "paradigm shift" -- that there is something uniquely "wrong" (or, right!) about this solar system -- even at the level of simple planetary orbits and formation -- in our opinion, takes our 30-year-old Enterprise idea from merely being "a far-out possibility"--
To the level of a scientifically-supported model -- that could be the likely explanationfor the extraordinary solar system discoveries that NASA (and the other space agencies ...) have quietly ... secretly ... been finding, and then rigidly suppressing--
For more than fifty years!


* * *

Which brings us to what potentially could be the climax, now, of these last five decades of unprecedented solar system exploration ... and deception:
The increasingly inexplicable NASA actions going on around its latest planetary probe -- a new robot, sent just last year to once again explore another region on the surface of the planet Mars ....
A robot named appropriately "Curiosity."
And what Enterprise has now discovered of Curiosity's REAL (if still unspoken ...) "Mars Science Laboratory" Mission:
Of officially (if we're reading the murky "tea leaves" correctly ...)"discovering" ... and then,finally, revealing--
The existence of "an ancient, intelligently-inhabited epoch" on the Planet Mars!
Which, if it comes to pass, will mark the beginnings of the eventual unwinding and confirmation of our much larger Enterprise Mission, solar-system-wide, "Type II ET Hypothesis."
An impending political and scientific revolution which -- if our analysis continues to bear out -- could become visible, even to the general public and the media, as early as this year--

2013.
Which would, of course--
Change everything ....






* * *



Some further background ....

As readers of Enterprise should remember, this entire turgid tale of official "space agency deception" -- over what it's REALLY been finding (then hiding!) in the solar system for these past 50 years -- traces back, in part, to ONE specific document, revealed by our political investigations decades ago ... a "high-level" government Report to NASA (below) -- commissioned at the end of the Eisenhower Administration (in the late 1950’s) by a newly-founded "NASA."
Researched and delivered to NASA in 1960 by the famed “Brookings Institution” (a well-known, private Washington “policy think-tank”), the Report that was eventually (under the Kennedy Administration) delivered to the Eighty-Seventh Congress in 1961 and then made public, specifically warned that--
“Premature disclosure of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life ... or even, the proven existence of their ruins elsewhere in the solar system ..." – could, literally--
Destroy human civilization!








Faced with such dire political projections at the literal "Dawn of the Space Age," the US Space Agency (according to our Enterprise analysis ...) half a century ago began a "global, political, secret scientificcampaign" (documented in "The Monuments of Mars" and "Dark Mission: the Secret History of NASA") to eliminate -- from all scientific publications and mainstream discussions of its data -- any and all evidence of itsearly confirmationof the accumulating reality of “extraterrestrial ruins ... all across the solar system.”

Further--

Any evidence politically proving that "acquiring that crucial confirmation first hand" -- via a flurry of manned and unmanned early NASA interplanetary missions -- was, in fact, the ultimate reason for "the creation (in 1958, by President Eisenhower) of NASA (as a secret adjunct to the DOD) itself, was also ruthlessly suppressed!"

We've spent decades pursuing this unique Enterprise "extraterrestrial archaeological and political investigation," with increasing evidence supporting these startling conclusions; amid our redundant, geometric discoveries laid out in the Intelligently-Designed Complex at Cydonia, we eventually also realized that, in parallel with the shattered remains of this "ancient, solar system-wide civilization" ... there was a parallel, even more important, long-lost "Hyperdimensional Physics" in those ruins ... also waiting to be rediscovered--
A Physics -- directly "coded" (via its unmistakable "tetrahedral geometry") ... all across Cydonia itself (below)!










As has also been presented many times on Enterprise -- the latest recitation here -- this extraordinary, rediscovered field of "Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Physics" leads, in turn, directly to an equally-extraordinary Torsion Field Technology ....

Machines which can affect -- and fundamentally transform -- not only all known interactions between "energy and matter" (such as tapping into a source of limitless, non-polluting energy ...) -- via direct manipulation of the underlying "torsion field" (aether) of three-dimensional Reality--

But a technology which, based on unlimited matter transformation, can fundamentally re-engineer entire solar systems -- literally building "artificial worlds" (below) ... if not "terraforming" natural ones into any new environment the Terraforming Engineers desire ....










It is only the existence of "Hyperdimensional Physics" that makes possible the very concept of "a Type II Civilization."

But, there was more ....

Coded in the arcane, multi-dimensional mathematics and geometry spread across the long-abandoned ruins at Cydonia were not only the keys to the Physics for rearranging the existence of all matter and energy in 3-D "physical reality" ....
But--

Potentially, of proving the hyperdimensional basis ofConsciousness itself!

In recently reported science, there is accumulating evidence of major consciousness increases, long term, among all human populations -- based on the global results of standardized "IQ tests," going back at least a hundred years ....

Termed "the Flynn Effect," these documented changes are attributed (by some ...) to actual advances in "IQs"; we, on the other hand, have analyzed the published data NOT as "increases in fundamental human intelligence" (actually, the least likely interpretation of the data ... given the lack of any other supporting evidence for such an on-going intellectual "Renaissance!"), but as potential biological side-effects of "a changing background solar system HD/Torsion Field"--

And its fundamental "connection" to the human brain.

An"HD process," we project, which is actually increasing human intuition -- and thereby, increasing intuitive abilities for taking "IQ tests!"
If true, this continuing increase in human intuitive responses (the ability to successfully "know" the truth at an increasing rate, regardless of "logical" information to the contrary) leads us to an imminent political and social opportunity:

An increasing capability -- for an increasing percentage of the globe -- to "see through" long-standing official lies and deliberate deceptions (like, NASA's ...) -- to the underlying "truths."

If this expanded model for "the Flynn Effect" is accurate, there should also be a "consciousness window" coming, a window (based on the "rising background HD Physics") where efforts to "change the status quo" -- based on "what is REALLY going on" versus "the lies we're being told"--

Could actually break through -- based, again, on the solar system's measurably changing HD/Torsion Field ....
A "heightened conscious window ..." opening, so our HD/Torsion Model predicted, near the end of the much-hyped "Long Count Mayan Calendar" ....

If any of this preceding analysis was true, it raised the important question of "the ultimate purpose" of the Long- Count Calendar itself--

A Calendar obviously counting down to ... Something.

Could that "something" be, in part, a return to a too-long delayed, global realization of "who we really are?"

Beginning with the Truth--

On Mars?










We should soon know ....

Enter--






NASA's latest Martian rover -- "Curiosity" ....


* * *

"Curiosity" -- the first nuclear-powered "roving vehicle" to be sent to the surface of another planet -- made a successfully "miracle landing" on the the planet Mars, Monday morning, August 6, 2012 ... at 05:17:57.3 UTC -- in a ~100-mile-wide, ancient Martian crater known as "Gale."
IF all the diverse elements of our extended scientific and political analysis (above) have been correctly figured out ... NASA’s latest and most powerful unmanned “Mars Science Laboratory” rover mission -- which has been exploring the deepest sections of Gale Crater now for almost a full year -- is poised to finally, officially, reveal (and possibly, within the next few months ...) its "secret" Mission to Gale Crater:
To publicly expose -- after almost forty years -- the reality of "the ancient, inhabited history of Mars" ....
Now, political projections (as opposed to scientific analyses ...) are always "dangerous" for journalists, politicians ... and certainly for scientists; as I have often cautioned readers here at Enterprise (to say nothing of countless "Coast" audiences I've also tried to warn ...), when you "step outside the box" and attempt to make a bold "political prediction" in this business -- especially, re the continuing NASA Cover-Up -- a LOT can go wrong ... specifically designed (by those behind that Cover-Up) to make you look "uncredible", i.e.--
"Really stupid."
Not the least of which -- once you've "blown" NASA's political strategy, vis a vis a coming, dramatic CHANGE in this decades-long "hiding of the REAL solar system" strategy ....

They may ... JUST to "spite you"--
Simply change the time frame ... of their planned, carefully "spun," unveiling!
With that crucial caveat out of the way, here goes our own "best guess" as to what MAY happen ... "shortly" -- vis a vis NASA's remarkable, on-going "Curiosity" Mars mission--
Which, in total contradiction to decades of repeated lies and cover-up, is quietly making public -- even as we write! -- indisputable imaging evidence proving the existence of "a former, ancient, high-tech Type II Civilization on the planet Mars" ....
All that's been missing, up'til now, has been an "official" NASA declaration--

That that's what we are looking at!
And that is our "dangrous" political prediction:
That -- within the next few months -- NASA is going to finally do--
Exactly that.
Officially declare--
"We have now discovered robust scientific evidence ... of a former Martian civilization!"
When (and if!) this remarkable political development DOES take place, it will only be belated confirmation of an early Enterprise Mission assessment we made last year, re "Curiosity's" REAL mission (during one of our many appearances on "Coast"); it was then that we first publicly anticipated thiseventual "political unveiling" of the REAL Mars ... as the ultimate goal behindthe entire Curiosity Mission!
Including, its carefully chosen landing site ellipse (below) -- inside an equally carefully-selected ancient location on Mars ... called "Gale Crater."






* * *

Gale is a remarkable, 96-mile-wide ancient impact "scar" -- lying just below the Martian equator, at 4.5 degrees south.
This color-coded NASA topographic map (above/below) depicts the range of altitude and depth exhibited by the geological features surrounding (and within) Gale Crater, compared to the "average datum" on Mars (essentially, the equivalent of distance above or below "sea level"); the depth and heights inside Gale range from over 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) below the Martian "datum" (coded in blue ...) to 0.9 miles above it (seen in rusty orange ...).
What makes Gale "remarkable" however, is not its diameter ... or depth ... but what lies in its center:
A vast, multi-layered "mountain" (higher than the surrounding crater rim, in some places!) -- nicknamed by NASA, "Mt. Sharp" (ostensibly, in honor of an almost legendary early space-age Cal Tech "planetary geologist," the late Robert Sharp); in truth, when I first heard "what" the Curiosity Team had nicknamed the ~3.5-miles-high, mysterious accumulation of "something" in the center of Gale Crater [its formal IAU designation is "Aeolis Mons"], my first thought was that the JPL folks were making a cute, inside "play on words" ... regarding Mt. Sharp's unmistakably obvious "tetrahedral summit" (below)!





Three-D computer modeling by NASA of Aeolis Mons (below), makes it even more apparent just how accurate that informal designation -- "Mt. Sharp" -- as applied to this enigmatic "structure" inside Gale, truly is ....
Initially, in fact, it was this blatant "tetrahedral" appearance of the summit of "Mt. Sharp" which called my own attention to the possibility that the "mysterious, ~3.5 mile high 'mountain'" taking up the bulk of Gale Crater could, in fact, be the ancient and decaying remains of yet another ... this time, truly gargantuan--
"Martian arcology" ....





Previous examples of "tetrahedral geometry" have been found elsewhere on Mars, of course -- on multiple NASA (and ESA) images, taken of many different regions, by many successive orbital missions ... stretching now over more than 30 years; these Martian "tetrahedral" discoveries began with our own extensive research on Cydonia -- in the form of indentifying the Giza-sized "tetrahedral mounds" located southeast of "the City, that I first discovered in 1983 on enhanced and recitified versions of the original NASA Viking imagery (below).




A related, more advanced form of "Martian tetrahedral geometry" -- known as a "Reuleaux Tetrahedron" -- was found on an early Mars Surveyor image (by an individual nicknamed "Mosco"), taken more than 20 years after Viking (below) -- curiously, also in the Martian geographic region called "Cydonia" (but, located quite a distance from "the City" and "the Face").





A Reuleaux Tetrahedron is a three-dimensionalconstruct, stemming from expanding into another dimension its base two-dimensional "tetrahedral" plane geometry -- a Reuleaux Triangle (below).





The redundancy across Mars of multiple variants of this specific geometric form -- the Tetrahedron -- is consistent, of course, with the overarching "Message of Cydonia" that we also figured out in 1983; that, the underlying tetrahedral mathematics and geometry echoed time and time again in "Martian architecture," found now all around the planet, is THE "code key" to understanding (and ultimately utilizing ...) the vast powers and understandings inherent in "Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Physics" itself ....
Essential to creating any truly advanced planetary (or solar system) civilization ....
Here (below) is the most spectacular and best preserved 3-D version of this crucially significant "geometry" yet found -- a fully three-dimensional Reuleaux Tetrahedral Pyramid, discovered by the late Wilmer Faust on Mars Surveyor image E06002 -- taken July 7, 2001 in West Candor Chasma (one of the smaller, northern side canyons of the vast ~3000-mile-long "Vallis Marineris" system).





Measuring on the original NASA image almost 300 feet across, the feature (above) looks almost pristine -- the apparent result of being fairly "recently" exhumed ... after an unknown period (millions of years?) of deep "overburden" burial at the bottom of Candor Chasma -- the receding dunes still visible around it, partially covering (and thus concealing and still protecting) its northern base (upper right) ....
Eventually, geologists might be able to estimate an age for this astonishing example of "tetrahedral Martian architecture" -- if a reliable geological date for when it was initially buried could be derived from satellite measurements; if that turns out not to be possible, an in-person visit someday by a human expedition certainly seems warrented -- if, for no other reason ... than to find out what's been (deliberately?) preserved ... INSIDE.
On higher resolution Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) images (PSP_3896_1740 and PSP_002841_1740 - below), taken in early 2007, the initial impressions of "newness" from the Mars Surveyor image is tempered by better evidence of "significant erosion" ... including, realization that major portions of the northern "face" of this fascinating structure have, in fact, collapsed ... leaving a deep "talus slope" of bright, pyramid construction materials slumped against its northern base!








In this side-by-side comparison (below), the heavy damage and burial of the northern face (and the northern end of the southwestern face) of this extraordinary construct is readily apparent -- by comparing the MRO vertical (within a few degrees ...) image (left) with the geometric base outline of an undamaged Reuleaux Tetrahedrom (right) ....









In this second comparison (below) -- the ancient West Candor Pyramid (left) ... and a three-D physical model of the same tetrahedral geometry (right) -- notice on the latter, how the curve of the vertex edge closest to the camera precisely echos the mirrored "curving vertex" of the actual "Reuleaux Tetrahedron Pyramid" (in this black & white version of PSP_002841_1740RGB), to the left.

Further note, as illustrated by the model, that the most reliable means of constructing such an exotic 3-D geometry is to build it vertically in carefully-shaped(decreasing diameter) layers ... a key structural detail that will be confirmed on the actual Martian "Candor Pyramid, as we soon examine close-up MRO images of its best survivng "western face" ....










Here (below - right) is that full resolution, color MRO close-up of Wil Faust's astonishing discovery -- as seen on PSR_003896_1740.

The view reveals a host of new, tell-tale structural elements of this remarkable ruin -- including details of its (now) missing former casing on the lower-right hand "face," and the massive structural damage caused when the northern "face" (upper right) literally collapsed ... resulting in debris cascading down the surviving, exposed interior "shelves" ... to form a deep "talus" completely covering (and thus distorting) the northern base.
The third "face" (left), however, appears far more intact, including, much of its original external, brilliant casing (inset) -- the latter appearing as a series of "highly reflective, closely-spaced, horizontal sequences of parallel layers ... " seen stubbornly still clinging to much of the western face's lower expanse ....





Because significant portions of the northen face have, for unknown reasons, "sheered away" -- leaving major interior elements exposed -- we are now able to see some key structural details that would otherwise be hidden by the bulk of the previously undamaged Pyramid ... including, one remarkable, highly precise geometric feature ... positioned exactly on the northwest "tetrahedral vertex":
What appears to be a large (~20-foot ...), perfectly square doorway (arrow - below) -- seen (from MRO's vertical orbital perspective ...) diagonally.
An apparent deliberate opening ... into the Candor Pyramid's mysterious interior!





The MRO view of this extraordinary object provides not only ample confirmation of the artificiality of Faust's amazing "find" ... but, firmly puts to rest the idea that this precise geometric form could, in any way, be merely a geological "coincidence"; the still recognizable tetrahedral symmetry of this amazing ruin, despite the damaged sides -- obviously created to the exacting specifications of "a geometrically and mathematically precise Reuleaux Tetrahedron ..." -- is witness, once again, to the timelessness and universality of this ONE recurring Martian Theme--
The overarching importance of "Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Physics."


* * *

Which brings us back to Curiosity ....
Based on these striking, multiple examples of Martian "tetrahedral pyramids," and recalling (above) the observed "Martian penchant" for echoing, redundantly, this almost obsessive "tetrahedral meme" -- it suddenly occurred to me, looking at the NASA topographic map of Gale (below), that the eroding outlines of the much larger "mountain" in the middle of Gale Crater -- beneath that clearly tetrahedral apex -- could also be tracing out the (now) almost totally degraded millions-of-years-old form (below) ....
Of a truly extraordinary--
"Reuleaux Triangle!"





Remarkably ... NASA's projected "Gale landing ellipse" for Curiosity -- even in the earliest planning stages -- fell EXACTLY on the northern demarcation boundary of such a projected "Reuleaux Triangle" -- the line separating the potentially "buried remains of a MAJOR, ancient arcological Reuleaux form ..." occupying most of Gale, from the even deeper (bluer ...) northern crater floor.

Projecting further ....

What if, the ancient "Gale arcology" we were proposing was NOT limited to the "~20-mile-diameter equilateral apex structure, still visible as Mt. Sharp's 'tetrahedral' summit," but was, instead ....

A full-blown--

Reuleaux Tetrahedron?





The possibilities stagger the imagination ....
For one thing, if built to scale ... the pointed apex of this "Gale Reuleaux Tetrahedron" would extend far above the Martian surface (below) ... and out of the atmosphere itself!
To the dizzying height of over--
~50 miles!





Now, before our critics go totally ballistic--
"But -- no such monstrous BUILDING could possibly even be constructed ... under all the laws of physics ... let alone, rise to such impossible heights!!"
I would gently remind those folks that the largest shield volcano in the solar system -- "Olympus Mons" (below) -- rises over 15 miles above the Mars "mean datum." And, it is composed, layer upon layer(from millions of years of successive eruptions at "19.5" on Mars ... )of simple volcanic basalt -- which is NOT known as "the strongest of structural materials" ....





A bona fide "Type II Civilization" would, undoubtedly, have both the exotic materials ... AND the exotic constructional techniques ... necessary to create artificial structures "impossible to even contemplate with OUR limited technology ...."
Such a massive, "coded" Symbol -- a towering planetary Monument to the Fundamental Physics which made their Civilization possible -- would be well within their reach ....
As would the sheer desire of such a "god-like Civilization" to "show off" -- by not only "rearranging entire solar systems" ... and creating "entire artificial planets" ... but, by erecting structures ON those planets that would be visible from literally thousands of miles away ....
Even ... into space itself.






* * *


In our on-going research into this extraordinary "ancient solar system civilization" scenario ...
After a currently unknown epoch of "reigning supreme" -- both on Mars, and across the entire solar system -- for some currently unknown reason ... this extraordinary Type II Civilization apparently--
Collapsed.
Leaving behind a vast array of material artifacts -- not only all across the planet Mars ... but, from Mercury to Neptune ....
Which (on Mars) the current "NASA Curiosity Mission" is now in a unique position to both discover ... and to scientifically investigate--

In an unprecedented fashion.
In Part II of this "Curiosity Investigation," which we'll publish soon, we shall lay out some of the extraordinary evidence that Curiosity -- even at this early stage of its projected "two-year nominal mission" -- has now uncovered ... overwhelmingly demonstrating the reality of our "ancient Martian advanced civilization" hypothesis.
For, remember the old Apache saying--

"It only take ONE white crow ... to PROVE all crows aren't black!"




* * *

In the end, in seeking the plausibility of our "extraordinary Gale Arcology hypothesis" ... we must be driven solely by the forensic evidence that Curiosity herself is, even now, quietly collecting ....
And, if our equally audacious political hypothesis -- regarding Curiosity's REAL Mission -- is also accurate--
Will soon, for the first time, officially make public.
Stay tuned ....

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