Mars Express Status Report - May 2006
Good progress is being made by ESOC and industry in identifying additional power margin required for the fall 2006 eclipse season. The overall power budget for this period however, still has a margin (± 10W) which is smaller than the known daily variation. More drastic savings scenarios are being examined to create sufficient power margin.
Operations and Archiving
Science operations are proceeding well, albeit that the MARSIS commissioning operations put a relatively heavy burden on the Mars Express flight control team. Planning of future observations is progressing smoothly although the limited power and ground station availability for the period, which is currently being planned, necessitates choosing between different kinds of science observations.
With Cebreros coming online NASA has informed the Mars Express mission manager that they assume there will be a much reduced need for DSN Madrid coverage in support of Mars Express. The use of Cebreros however was not foreseen in the Mars Express Cost-at-Completion (CaC).
Further instrument data deliveries were recently made to the mission's data archive, and a new level of HRSC data products (map projected data) has been added.
A very successful session, entitled 'Mars Express: probing the depths', was held at the 13-17 March 2006 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). Exciting results from MARSIS and the other instruments were presented, which are now being written up for publication.