ESA Science & Technology - Mars Express
Data from the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) instrument onboard ESA's Mars Express is now available in the Planetary Science Archives (PSA). The data come from observations taken of Mars between 2007 to mid-2020, as well as of the release of the Beagle 2 lander in 2003, and are calibrated for scientific use.
Two studies based on ESA's Mars Express observations of Jezero crater, the future landing site for NASA's 2020 Mars Perseverance rover, have shed light on how and when this intriguing area formed – and identified the regions most likely to reveal signs of ancient life.
In response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic, ESA has decided to further reduce on-site personnel at its mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The new adjustments require temporarily stopping instrument operation and data gathering on four Solar System missions: Cluster, ExoMars TGO, Mars Express and Solar Orbiter.
In June, NASA's Curiosity rover reported the highest burst of methane recorded yet, but neither ESA's Mars Express nor the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter recorded any signs of the illusive gas, despite flying over the same location at a similar time.