Flash Cards

Words related to Mars

Term Definition
Astrotelescope A device that uses a laser to measure the distance to objects by timing how long it takes a beam of light to travel to an object and return.
Chryse Station This is the location of the permanent base and Mars Control. It was established at the site of the first Viking landing in 1976.
Deimos Literally means "fear". A natural satellite and moon of Mars; Deimos is the smaller of the two moons.
Geiger counter A device used to measure radioactivity.
Isolation chamber An airtight, enclosed work area.
Multiplexer Accepts signals from all probe components.
Planitia The Latin word for "plane" or an area having no elevations or depressions.
TDS Total Dissolved Solids; how much material is dissolved in water.
Trajectory The path of a projectile or other moving body through space; the path a falling object follows.
Valles Marineris A four mile deep canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris is the largest known canyon in the solar system that would reach all the way across North America.
Olympus Mons The largest volcano on Mars.
Sojourner Truth The first rover on Mars.
Mars Global Surveyor A spacecraft orbiting Mars observing the geography of Mars.
Escape velocity The velocity an object must travel to escape the planet's gravitational pull.
Aerobraking The way a spacecraft can slow down by using the atmospheric drag of a planet.
Astronomical Unit Astronomical Unit: The measuring unit for distances in the Solar System. One A.U. is equal to the mean distance from the Sun to the Earth (approx. 93,000,000 miles
TES The Thermal Emission Spectrometer instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft that is studying the minerals, rocks, and atmosphere of Mars.
Payload Anything that a flight vehicle (like a spacecraft) carries beyond what is required for its operation during flight. This includes the scientific instruments and planetary rovers on the Mars missions.
FIDO The prototype rover being tested to get ready for the 2003 and 2005 Mars Return Sample Missions. The initials stand for Field Integrated Design and Operations.
Athena The name of the 2003 and 2005 rovers that will be the rolling "field geologists" of the Mars Sample Return Missions.
APXS The Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer instrument that was on the Sojourner and Marie Curie rovers. This instrument was able to indicate what kind of minerals were in the rocks that it tested.
Mojave Desert This is where the FIDO rover was tested to see if the instruments and software could operate correctly before the Athena rover (the rover that FIDO is being tested for) was sent to Mars.
Navcam The camera that is used to navigate (to help steer) the FIDO and Athena rovers.
Mini-Corer The instrument on FIDO and Athena that will drill into rocks. These drill cores are about the diameter of a pencil. The drill cores collected on Mars will be returned for study here on Earth in 2008.
Mars Sample Return Missions The 2003 and 2005 Mars missions that will be returning Mars rocks samples (drill cores) and Mars soils to Earth in 2008. Scientists will study these samples to learn more about Mars.
Mossbauer Spectrometer The instrument on the FIDO and Athena rovers that can detect iron minerals in soil and rocks. It has been tested on Earth and will be sent to Mars in 2003 and 2005.
Color Microscopic Imager The instrument on the FIDO and Athena rovers that is able to give scientists a very close and detailed picture of rocks and soils and will aid scientists in the interpretation of the minerals within the rocks.
Mars Surveyor 2001 Mission The mission which will launch from Earth in 2001 and arrive in 2002. This mission will carry the Marie Curie rover, have a robotic arm that can scoop Mars soil for experiments, and carry a camera calibration target that is also a Martian sundial.
Sol One day on Mars.
Ares Vallis The Mars Pathfinder landing site. Scientists think this is an area on Mars that experienced a very large flood in its ancient history. Mars Pathfinder landed here on July 4, 1997.
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


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