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: Italy's first female astronaut heads to ISS in Russian craft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Comet-chasing probe to be roused from sleep

Jan 16, 2014

One of the most ambitious missions in the history of space goes into high-risk mode on Monday when Europe rouses a comet-chasing probe from years of hibernation.

NASA Mars research helps find buried water on Earth

Sep 15, 2011

A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of ...

Recommended for you

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

European space plane set for February launch

Nov 21, 2014

Europe's first-ever "space plane" will be launched on February 11 next year, rocket firm Arianespace said Friday after a three-month delay to fine-tune the mission flight plan.

Space station rarity: Two women on long-term crew

Nov 21, 2014

For the 21st-century spacewoman, gender is a subject often best ignored. After years of training for their first space mission, the last thing Samantha Cristoforetti and Elana Serova want to dwell on is the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.