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Wednesday, December 6

Some news at last!

As you've probably gathered from the lack of posting over the last few weeks there has been little news around. Today that seems to have changed with quite a few things happening over the next few days.

Firstly the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team have released some more spectacular images of landers on the surface of Mars. This time they are the Spirit rover and the Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers.

NASA has also announced plans for a lunar base to be constructed on the moon (obviously) once the next generation of launch vehicles are available to take astronaunts back to the moon. Read the story on the BBC News site with more details on the plans at Universe Today. You can also read some comments from some of the top space bloggers at Bad Astronomy and Cosmic Variance.

Rumours are that although it looks almost certain that Mars Global Surveyor has been lost, the MGS team are preparing to announce some important news of discoveries on Mar tomorrow (Wednesday). Not sure what it is but Stuart has some ideas. Watch this space.

Also this week should see the launch of shuttle mission STS-116 to the international space station.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I'm piecing this together now - the Mars press conference news, I mean - and think I've got it. Although some people are speculating that MGS has imaged standing bodies of water on Mars, such as puddles, ponds or rivers, I think it is something to do with the gullies seen on the inner slopes of craters, usually in the southern hemisphere. Why? Well, seeing as the press briefing panel includes Eggett and Christensen, two of the researchers most involved in the study of these gullies, I think it's more likely we're going to hear news about gullies and the formation of gullies. Those two researchers have had several papers published on the subject and are the "main movers" behind gully research, both of them convinced that liquid water is responsible for the gullies' creation, either by a) seeping up from below and weakening the dust layer enough to allow it to basically "cave in", forming a kind of meandering trough, or b) by running down the slopes after somehow breaking out of the crater wall...

    If I was to stick my neck out I'd say they've either captured images of very recent changes within known gullies, or have even captured a gully being formed...

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