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.



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.
Mars Express matches methane spike measured by Curiosity
1 April 2019A reanalysis of data collected by ESA's Mars Express during the first 20 months of NASA's Curiosity mission found one case of correlated methane detection, the first time an in-situ measurement has been independently confirmed from orbit.
First evidence of planet-wide groundwater system on Mars
28 February 2019Mars Express has revealed the first geological evidence of a system of ancient interconnected lakes that once lay deep beneath the Red Planet's surface, five of which may contain minerals crucial to life.

ESAs Mission To The Red Planet - The Mars Express Blog

ESAs Mission To The Red Planet - The Mars Express Blog

Mars Express – from worry, to water
2 August 2018In 2004, a year after Europe's first mission to Mars was launched, the flight dynamics team at ESA's operations centre encountered a serious problem. New computer models showed a worrying fate for the Mars Express spacecraft if mission controllers continued with their plans to deploy its giant MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and...
Mars Express is good to go
17 April 2018A tired but very happy Mars Express flight control team pulled shift through the night between 16 and 17 April, overseeing the successful reboot and recovery of ESA's nearly 15-year-old Red Planet explorer following the installation of significant updates to the spacecraft's operating system.
VMC went pro and goes great
29 September 2017In the past fortnight, the VMC camera on Mars Express has delivered some of the best images ever, showing the Martian surface in excellent detail, colour and contrast.
Keeping Mars Express warm
24 October 2016Details, register to attend or watch live: Mars Express - Open Data Day 28 October 2016
3-Jun-2020 00:02 UT

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