Mimicking the Martian surface
03-08-2015 EL CAB EN LOS MEDIOS (Physics World)

Un artículo sobre la camara MARTE titulado "Mimicking the martian surface" aparece publicado en el número especial "Focus on: vacuum technology 2015" de la revista Physics World. El artículo está firmado por los investigadores del CAB Jesús Sobrado, Juan Manuel Manchado y José Ángel Martín-Gago.

A vacuum vessel that can simulate the harsh conditions on our planetary neighbour is an ideal testing ground for space instrumentation. Jesús Sobrado, Juan Manuel Manchado and Jose Angel Martín-Gago explain.

Mars has become an important target for planetary exploration, in part because there are several theories that claim Martian conditions are ideal for prebiotic life. The question of whether life currently exists on Mars, or has existed in the past, is therefore of direct relevance to the origin of life on Earth – and a question that is still very much open.

Since the first successful Mars “fly-by” by NASA’s Mariner 4 mission 50 years ago, there have been more than 40 spaceflights to our planetary neighbour. Although many have ended in failure, these missions have changed our view of Mars. There are several spacecraft currently orbiting the red planet and collecting imaging and spectroscopic data in order to survey the Martian geology and radiation environment. The past decade has also seen several landers and rovers delivered safely to the surface of Mars, which has opened up the potential for further exploration. NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers in particular have sent back stunning pictures of the dusty Martian landscape and collected valuable information about the planet’s potential for supporting life.

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Fuente: Physics World

 

Imágenes adicionales:

Figura 1: En el CAB se desarrollan instrumentos para simular las condiciones extremas de Marte. Créditos: NASA.
Figura 2: La cámara de vacío MARTE durante la pruebas de SOLID (Signs Of Life Detector), un instrumento para detectar vida. Créditos: CAB.
 
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