The American Space Agency on Monday April 25 decided to extend the life of seven planetary probes and a rover according to a new assessment. It is common to increase the duration of planetary missions as long as the probes are in good condition to provide data. Advanced missions overview.
All these probes have already yielded scientific results during their existenceInitial life or are in . Barring exceptions, authorities generally intend to use the probes well beyond their original mission duration. For example the Opportunity had an initial lifetime of 90 days. In the end he rode for almost fourteen years until . The extensions were decided on the advice of a panel of independent experts from academies and the space industry.
Expansion of Mars missions
Multiple probesher term of office was extended. This is the case first of all with the Maven probe. Since its inception in September 2014 the probe , especially when it’s at its peak of activity. This was the case in 2014 when the probe reached Mars. The next peak in solar activity is expected in 2023-2024. Therefore, Maven’s mission has been extended by three years.
respondents(MRO) and Mars Odyssey were also renewed for three years. These two probes are quite old. MRO entered orbit around the Red Planet in 2006 and continues to do so with the HiRISE instrument. Mars Odyssey is the oldest spacecraft around Mars (all nations combined), with more than 20 years mission! ( .) The two probes also serve as relays between Earth and the Curiosity rovers and . MRO and Odyssey will continue to study Martian ice and rock as they follow suit of the planet.
It is on the floorCuriosity benefiting from a further three-year extension. The rover is scheduled to roll on Mars for ten years next August . He has traveled more than 27 kilometers and will continue to climb into Gale Crater in search of sulfate layers. Studying the latter gives us exclusive information about the history of water on Mars. Finally, that posed in November 2018, and the records of Martians with the French instrument Seis, has been extended to the end of 2022. However, the solar panels are covered with too much and dust unless a ” dust devil” come and clean everything.
New mission for Osiris-Rex
As a reminder, the probetook many samples from the surface of the Bennu in October 2020. Today, to set down the sample capsule there on September 24, 2023. After that, she is assigned to a new mission: to orbit the asteroid Apophis. The latter with a diameter of almost 370 meters, . Shortly thereafter, the probe goes into orbit around it. This will be the opportunity to examine and see an S-type asteroid up close for the first time . Therefore, the mission has been extended by nine years and is called Osiris-Apex Apophis Explorer.
The famous missionwas also extended. According to in 2015, (formerly Ultima Thule) of the Kuiper Belt in 2019. Its mission is now to probe the boundaries of the Kuiper Belt , more than 63 times the Earth-Sun distance (63 astronomical units). So it’s no wonder that New Horizons has been extended by three years.
Finally, the last mission to be extended is the lunar probe(LRO). This probe on the lunar surface since June 2009. Extended for three years, LRO must specifically target the permanently shadowed zones of the moon’s south pole where water ice may exist. His observations will continue to prepare for the United States’ return to the moon.