Mars Express Status Report - July 2003
08 Jul 2003 12:41Spacecraft platform subsystems (thermal, power, attitude and orbit control, on-board data handling) behave in a nominal manner. Spacecraft commissioning will continue into the end of July. Payload commissioning, including the Beagle-2 lander checkout, will be completed by mid-July.
All orbiter payload instruments are in good health. The initial checkouts and calibrations have revealed very satisfying results. The Beagle-2 lander has been successfully switched on for the first time in flight on 4 and 5 July and has been communicating with the orbiter. On the 2nd of July, the Mars Express Science Working Team decided to modify the baselined reference orbit, adopting a G3u-type orbit starting with a pericentre at the equator. This new reference orbit is taking into account the post-launch delta-V budget, and allows for an optimisation of the science return from the Mars Express mission.