Fact Sheet

Mars Express, so called because of the rapid and streamlined development time, represents ESA's first visit to another planet in the Solar System. The spacecraft borrowed technology from ESA's Rosetta mission (currently accompanying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko along its orbit) and the Mars 96 mission. Since beginning science operations in 2004, the durable orbiter has given scientists an entirely new view of Earth's intriguing neighbour, and is helping to answer fundamental questions about the geology, atmosphere, surface environment, history of water and potential for life on Mars.

News

News

Calibrated VMC data now available in the Planetary Science Archive
16 October 2020

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.

Mars Express helps uncover the secrets of Perseverance landing site
1 July 2020

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.

Space missions return to science
2 April 2020

After a brief shutdown of science instruments and a period in 'safe standby', ESA's planetary missions are getting back to what they do best, gathering science data from around the Solar System.

ESA scales down science mission operations amid pandemic
24 March 2020

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.

ESA's Mars orbiters did not see latest Curiosity methane burst
13 November 2019

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.

Dark meets light on Mars
12 August 2019ESA’s Mars Express has captured the cosmic contrast of Terra Cimmeria, a region in the southern highlands of Mars marked by impact craters, water-carved valleys, and sand and dust in numerous chocolate and caramel hues.
Dust storms swirl at the north pole of Mars
4 July 2019ESA's Mars Express has been keeping an eye on local and regional dust storms brewing at the north pole of the Red Planet over the last month, watching as they disperse towards the equator.
23-Oct-2020 02:42 UT

ShortUrl Portlet

Shortcut URL

https://sci.esa.int/mars-express