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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ESA Picks Up Signal From Defunct Mars Probe
23 November 2011 8:38 am
The European Space Agency (ESA) has reported that last night it received a signal from the stricken Mars probe Phobos-Grunt. The Russian mission was launched on 8 November but failed to fire engines that would send it from Earth orbit en route to Mars, and ground controllers had so far been unable to establish contact with it. ESA says that at 20:25 GMT on 22 November, its tracking station in Perth, Australia—whose 15-meter dish had been specially adapted to improve its chances of contacting the probe—picked up the signal. Details have been passed to engineers at the Russian Federal Space Agency. ESA says it will use its other tracking stations, in French Guiana, Spain, and the Canary Islands to try to keep in touch with the craft.
Phobos-Grunt aims to land on Mars's larger moon Phobos and return samples of its soil to Earth (grunt is Russian for soil). It also carries numerous instruments for in situ measurements of the moon and Mars and, before landing, is due to release a Chinese-built Mars orbiter, Yinghuo-1. The Russian controllers of the mission hope that the malfunction is in only the craft's software; in that case, they might be able to reestablish contact, upload a correction, and get its engines started. It is, however, only a matter of days or possibly weeks before Mars and Earth will have moved too far apart and the launch window is missed.