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The second Mars robot finally launched this morning

The spacecraft carries a space vehicle that will explore the surface of the star; About an hour before launch, the countdown stopped seven seconds before takeoff due to a malfunction

Avi Blizovsky

"Opportunity" space vehicle. Will send results of soil and rock samples

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The American space agency (NASA) successfully launched this morning (Tuesday) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a spacecraft carrying a space vehicle, whose purpose is to explore the planet Mars. The first launch attempt, which was conducted about an hour before the successful launch, was canceled seven seconds before takeoff due to a malfunction in one of the seals in the launch vehicle. NASA scientists overcame the glitch quickly, and resumed the countdown. In the last two weeks, the launch of the ferry has been postponed numerous times.

The spacecraft carries a robot designed to search for water sources on the surface of the planet closest to Earth. The robot is one of two Mars Rovers - a device in the shape and size of a golf cart, which is suitable for a three-month stay on the surface of the planet. The robot, called "Opportunity", is supposed to join the first space vehicle of its kind, "Spirit", which was launched on June 10, and the two will reach Mars together in early January.

NASA does not expect the spacecraft to find signs of life on Mars. However, if they manage to find evidence of the existence of water sources, scientists will be able to understand if in the past there were conditions on the planet that allowed the formation of life. The two six-wheeled robots have the ability to collect rock and soil samples, perform various tests on them, and send the results for analysis to a laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the mission's command center is located.

The launch of the Mars rover has been postponed again - until early Tuesday morning

The launch of the second Mars rover, the opportunity of its name, has been postponed again in a day, this time the possible launch dates are 22:35 and 23:18 tonight (Monday) US time, or 05:35 and 06:18 Tuesday morning Israel time. This time it is about replacing a battery used to charge electricity to a system that will detonate the missile if it deviates from its trajectory.
Yesterday it was also reported that there are problems with the isolation system as well.

Problems with the insulation of the SUV for Mars will not delay the launch tonight

Avi Blizovsky
NASA has discovered additional problems in the isolation system of the launch vehicle that carries the "Opportunity" SUV to Mars, but the agency continues preparations for the long-delayed launch, which is scheduled to take place during the day (Sunday) or overnight (between Sunday and Monday) . In the tests conducted, it became clear that the thermal insulation system had loosened.
Opportunity, the second of the pair of robotic all-terrain vehicles making their way to Mars, has already lost two launch windows. The spacecraft is supposed to be launched this evening at 22:43 EST (05:43 Monday morning, Israel time) and a second chance will be given about three quarters of an hour later (23:26).
The launch has been postponed until now due to bad weather and problems with the isolation systems of the Delta 2 launch rocket. Last Sunday, shortly before the planned launch, technicians performed tests of the isolation system. The tests included loading the missile with cryogenic liquid oxygen to see how the insulation system was attached to the missile. The experiment resulted in the removal of the attachment in several places in one area of ​​the missile. said NASA spokesman George Diller.
The Opportunity spacecraft was supposed to be launched as mentioned on June 25 and join its sister "Spirit" which was launched on June 10. Severe weather caused a postponement to June 29 and the problem with the isolation system delayed the launch again. The spacecraft must be launched by July 15. After this length, the Earth is further away in its orbit around the Sun and the spacecraft will not be able to reach Mars using the fuel it has. If the spacecraft fails to take off by this date, the launch will be postponed for four years - a date when the Earth and Mars will once again stabilize in the appropriate positions.
A successful launch tonight will allow the spacecraft to reach the Terra Meridian Crater on Mars by January 25th.

And in the meantime, it was reported that problems were also discovered in the European Mars Express spacecraft, which has been making its way to Mars since the beginning of June 2003. The fault is in the power system, and it was reported that the spacecraft is only operating at seventy percent of its energy output, but nevertheless there are high chances that it will reach its destination and succeed in fulfilling its mission.

Ydan Mars

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