Start of Routine Science Operations Phase
The Payload Operations Service at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK is now fully involved in the daily running and commanding of the payload operations. The orbiter mission has reached a stable, well-understood operational condition.
Scientific Payload Operations Status
The status and performance of the orbiter payload in Mars orbit is good, and the orbit of the Mars Express spacecraft continues to be maintained very accurately.
The imaging instruments HRSC and OMEGA are at a low level of activity, because the pericentre of the orbit currently lies over the night side of Mars. Other instruments - PFS, SPICAM and ASPERA - are therefore acquiring many observations, with PFS operating in almost every orbit. The radio science experiment is also gathering significant amounts of data.
The planning of payload operations during and after the upcoming solar conjunction period is now being implemented. Since MARSIS antenna deployment has been postponed indefinitely, the planning of payload science operations is done without MARSIS.
Scientific work in the PI teams is ongoing, with numerous publications in scientific journals submitted or in preparation.