Mars echo from Italian radar reported

Sep 19, 2006

Italian and U.S. space agency officials say they've received the first signals from an Italian radar orbiting Mars to search for water or ice on the planet.

The radar signals from the SHARAD (shallow subsurface radar) system showed it was working perfectly, Italian officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., said.

The head of the Italian Space Agency, Sergio Vetrella, told the Italian news agency ANSA the signals confirmed "Italy's leadership in the sector." SHARAD is mounted on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Observer, the second probe to visit Mars in two years.

Another Italian radar system aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft is MARSIS -- Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding. It maps wide areas at about 16.5 feet under the surface, while SHARAD scans in greater detail to a depth of about 6.5 feet, officials told ANSA.

"The two radars were designed to work in tandem," said SHARAD project coordinator Enrico Flamini of the Italian Space Agency. MARSIS, he explained, is designed to find oceans deep under Mars' surface, while SHARAD looks for pools or rivers just under the planet's crust.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: France raises heat on decision for next Ariane rocket

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Congress: Safety agency mishandled GM recall

5 minutes ago

Both houses of Congress scolded the U.S. highway safety agency Tuesday over its tardy handling of a deadly problem with General Motors cars, questioning whether it is competent to guarantee the safety of ...

New Apple mobile software arrives Wednesday

35 minutes ago

New-generation Apple software for powering its coveted mobile devices is set for release on Wednesday, two days ahead of the arrival of its latest iPhones.

Alibaba post-IPO structure gives insiders control

15 minutes ago

Control over Alibaba Group will stay in the hands of founder Jack Ma and other company veterans after the Chinese e-commerce giant goes public on the New York Stock Exchange in a record busting share sale.

Recommended for you

Miranda: An icy moon deformed by tidal heating

4 hours ago

Miranda, a small, icy moon of Uranus, is one of the most visually striking and enigmatic bodies in the solar system. Despite its relatively small size, Miranda appears to have experienced an episode of intense ...

The latest observations of interstellar particles

10 hours ago

With all the news about Voyager 1 leaving the heliosphere and entering interstellar space you might think that the probe is the first spacecraft to detect interstellar particles. That isn't entirely true, ...

User comments : 0