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Mars Express Status Report - March 2008

Mars Express Status Report - March 2008

Overall Mission, Payload, and Science Planning StatusOn 2 October 2007 Mars Express successfully performed a close flyby of Phobos coming to within ~140 km of the moon. During the flyby a number of the HRSC observations were unfortunately lost due to an overload of the system. The impact of this is relatively small as HRSC already has acquired a lot of detailed Phobos data during past observations. The data from MARSIS for this close flyby, which are unique, are being analyzed.

Starting 18 November and ending 19 December five manoeuvres were executed to bring the spacecraft from its previous 11:3 resonance orbit to its new 18:5 resonance orbit. This change was necessary to guarantee a proper day-time/night-time distribution for future Mars Express observations.

Preparations for the 2008 eclipse season, once again almost coincident with aphelion (as in 2006) and consequently power wise very challenging have started. First indications are that some power margin exists, but science operations will have to be severely restricted, if not fully stopped (like in 2006). The scientific impact is big as this covers a period where the planet’s surface during pericentre passages will be well illuminated. The planned Phoenix landing support will also take place during this eclipse season.

A so-called deep-discharge test, used to characterize the batteries in great detail, was prepared for January 2008, as part of the preparations for the 2008 eclipse season.

Following a recent agreement between ESA and the HRSC PI on the release of high-resolution DTM, Orthophoto and Mosaic data in the Mars Express science archive, the first data were released on 5 February 2008 (see related links).

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the January SPC submission. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (bottom of this page) for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
27-Feb-2024 02:19 UT

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