Mars Express Status Report - October 2003
15 Oct 2003 10:30The Mars Express spacecraft is in good health and is operating normally.
Some payload activities were executed on 30 September 2003, involving the SPICAM and OMEGA spectrometers. SPICAM and OMEGA were turned on in order to check the mechanisms of these instruments. The PFS and HRSC Interplanetary Cruise checkouts were conducted successfully on 6 October 2003. The remaining orbiter instruments checkouts to be done during the Interplanetary Cruise phase will be completed by the end of October.
The first Interplanetary Cruise checkout of the Beagle-2 lander was conducted on 7 October 2003. The second and final Beagle-2 checkout for this phase is scheduled for the 3rd of November.
On the spacecraft side, preparations and simulations for Beagle-2 ejection and Mars Orbit Insertion are proceeding well.
The ESA Mars Express spacecraft will perform the Beagle-2 lander separation on 19 December 2003 and will go into Mars orbit insertion on 25 December 2003. The Beagle-2 lander will descend through the martian atmosphere and land on the planet on 25 December 2003.
Today, Mars Express is 71 days from Mars Orbit Insertion.
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