Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this frost-tinged scene, imaged by ESA’s Mars Express during winter in the southern hemisphere.
Corrosion resistance and high strength put stainless steel high on the list of essential materials for satellite and rocket designers. Now ESA plans to investigate an alternative, environmental-friendly method of readying this important metal.
Rosetta’s lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites.
ESA has joined forces with other leading research institutions and more than 180 European companies in a billion-euro effort developing new types of metals and manufacturing techniques for this century.