SSAC recommends Mars Express baseline mission be implemented
30 September 1998At its 29 September meeting, ESA's Space Science Advisory Committeeunanimously recommended the implementation of the Mars Express baseline mission.
The Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) met yesterday, 29 September 1998. A key item on its agenda concerned the recommendation to implement the Mars Express Mission. The Committee was informed by the ESA Executive that the baseline mission (an orbiter with a nominal mission lifetime of one Martian Year) could be implemented within the stringent cost cap of 150 MECU that had been specified. Following advice by the Solar System Working Group, the SSAC unanimously recommended that the baseline mission be implemented. An extension of the mission beyond the nominal lifetime is feasible but requires contributions from other partners.
The Committee also endorsed the proposal for the inclusion of the Beagle-II Lander, under certain conditions.
The final decision now lies with the Science Programme Committee, which next meets on 2-3 November. Subject to their decision, mission implementation would commence on 25 February 1999.