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The Russian device Hand, installed on the American space vehicle Odyssey will orbit Mars
The Russian device Hand, installed on the American space vehicle Odyssey, successfully completed its principal mission but is continuing to work in the orbit of Mars, official spokesman for the Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) Vyacheslav Davidenko said. This information is placed on the News of Science site. "The principal scientific mission of Odyssey was formally completed on August 24, 2004 but already at the beginning of the year all the participants in the project submitted their proposals to NASA, substantiating the necessity to extend the time of the scientific programme of this very successful mission," a developer of Hand - laboratory chief with the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Igor Mitrofanov said. On the basis of these proposals the US space agency extended the time limit of scientific research on the Odyssey space vehicle till September 2006. During its operation in orbit Odyssey discovered huge reserves of water above the surface of Mars and established important basic phenomena of the changes of the natural environment. According to the Hand instrument's data it was found out that about 4,000 and 6,000 cubic km of snow from carbonic acid fell in the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars respectively last winter. Researchers have now got a chance to find out if weather on Mars changes from year to year. "Hand has been working without fail already for more than three years," Mr. Mitrofanov stressed. The Hand instrument was made on Roskosmos' order on Russian money.
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