Probe “ExoMars-TGO” received the first color pictures of Mars
MOSCOW, 26 APR — RIA Novosti. The CaSSIS camera, installed on Board of Russian-European probe “ExoMars-TGO”, received the first full-color pictures of the surface of Mars, reports the press service of the University of Bern.
“During the inspection tools we found and solved several small problems with the camera. We completely rewrote it firmware, and now the tool is in excellent condition and ready to make new discoveries. Surprisingly, we managed to completely change soft stuffing chamber, remote from us at 100 million kilometers,” said Nicholas Thomas (Nicholas Thomas) from the University of Bern (Switzerland).
A joint Russian-European mission “Eczemas-TGO” arrived to the red planet on 19 October 2016. The orbital part of the mission successfully coped with the task of rapprochement with Mars and entering a stable orbit, and landing demonstration module “Schiaparelli” on the plateau of Meridian near the equator of Mars failed.
In addition to solving scientific problems and unlock the mysteries of Mars atmosphere, the TGO will perform as well another important task — to play the role of a bridge between the Earth on the one hand, and the European Rover “Paster”, and a landing platform on the other, which will be sent to Mars roughly in 2020.
About half a year ago “ExoMars-TGO” began a long braking procedure, in which he used the friction produced during the passage through the upper atmosphere of Mars, in order to slow itself and enter the calculated trajectory. The braking procedure was completed at the end of February and in April, the probe officially began scientific work.
Camera “ExoMars-TGO”, as stated by Oleg Korablev, one of the co-leaders of the program, in an interview with RIA Novosti received during this procedure a new version of the firmware, which allows it to obtain higher quality images. It was included at the end of March and received the first photos two weeks ago, on April 15.
The first character of such photos became the Queen crater is a giant crater with a diameter of 84 km from the North pole of Mars. A firmware update allowed the CaSSIS to achieve fantastic resolution of 5 meters per pixel images, allowing scientists for the first time saw a clear boundary deposits of ice on the edges of the crater.
These images are the first full-color images, which were obtained by the camera of the Russian-European probe past photos were or black and white, or had a truncated color range.
In the future, as noted by Thomas, the camera resolution will be even higher once the orbit of the probe stabiliziruemost.
As scientists hope, CaSSIS, along with the main scientific instruments of the mission will help solve the mystery of the Martian methane and to find traces of seasonal changes on its surface, potentially associated with life.