News archive

News archive

What is the fastest Ferrari's distinctive red paint has ever travelled? Next year it will be 10800 km/h! Mars Express, to be launched in May/June 2003, the first European spacecraft to visit the Red Planet, will be speeding on its way accompanied by the very essence of Ferrari: a sample of its distinctive red paint.
Published: 21 July 2002
Blinding dust storms can seriously ruin your plans for a landing on Mars. ESA is adapting the global climate models that we use to forecast our weather on Earth for the turbulent conditions that Mars offers its future visitors.
Published: 3 July 2002
"The presence of such a large amount of water ice under Mars's surface is very surprising. Especially so close to the surface!" says Gerhard Schwehm, Head of the Planetary Missions Division at ESA. The team working on ESA's Mars Express, the next mission to the Red Planet, is thrilled by NASA's Mars Odyssey detection of hydrogen-rich layers under the Martian surface. This hydrogen indicates the presence of water ice in the top surface of the Martian soil in a large region surrounding the planet's south pole. ESA's Mars Express, ready for launching in June 2003, has the tools for searching much deeper below the surface, down to a few kilometres.
Published: 30 May 2002
Are dark spots that appear near the south pole of Mars in early spring, a sign of life on the Red Planet? No-one can say for sure, according to a group of scientists who met at ESTEC, ESA's technical centre in the Netherlands. But the spots are certainly fascinating, the meeting agreed, and well worth a detailed look by Mars Express, the European Space Agency's Mars mission, when it goes into orbit around the Red Planet in late 2003.
Published: 12 March 2002
Dramatic landscapes.
Published: 6 March 2002
In two year's time, the planet Mars will receive a Christmas present from planet Earth - a flotilla of spacecraft. Gifts from different nations, the spacecraft will share communications channels to solve a problem which will intensify as Mars exploration gathers pace: how to relay the data gathered by so many missions back to Earth.
Published: 20 December 2001
Listen to the soundtrack accompanying this movie and you may think it reminiscent of some avant-garde music. The sound is, in fact, representative of the vibration the Mars Express spacecraft will experience during launch.
Published: 1 November 2001
The Mars Society, the US-born group lobbying for the human exploration of Mars, is expanding into Europe.
Published: 8 October 2001
By studying lunar samples meteoriticists have contributed hugely to our understanding of the Moon. A sample-return mission to Mars would provide the community with a rich resource with which to investigate our nearest neighbour.But when will there be a such a mission? A meeting to be held in Rome will provide the meteoritical community with an opportunity to express their interest in a sample-return mission to Mars.
Published: 3 September 2001
The structural model of the Mars Express spacecraft arrived at Intespace, Toulouse on 29 August to begin its first system level test campaign. During this six-week campaign, the spacecraft will be subjected to mechanical qualification tests to ensure the integrity of the structure during launch.
Published: 30 August 2001
Geologists poring over the latest images from Mars keep on turning up new and tantalising evidence that water once flowed freely on the planet's surface - and may still flow from time to time. If their interpretation is right, underground aquifers or ice layers should be commonplace on the planet. Yet no spacecraft flown so far has been capable of identifying them.
Published: 27 August 2001
As space engineers and scientists met last month for a final review of the Mars Express spacecraft design, the spacecraft itself was taking shape at the premises of Alenia, Torino, Italy. "Normally, we would have the critical design review (CDR) after tests of the spacecraft structural model (SM tests) have been completed. But because of the tight schedule for Mars Express, most of the review had to be completed early. We've done all the reviewing we can. A few items have to wait until after the SM tests," says Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express Project Manager.
Published: 10 August 2001
The European Space Agency solicits the participation of the scientific community in the Mars Express Orbiter and Lander Programme to further increase the scientific return of the selected investigations and of the mission as a whole, through this Announcement of Opportunity (AO).
Published: 23 June 2001
Members of the Mars Express project and industrial teams travelled to the steppes of Kazakhstan last month to inspect the Baikonur cosmodrome where Mars Express will be launched on board a Soyuz-Fregat rocket in June 2003.
Published: 20 June 2001
Phobos, the tiny innermost moon of Mars, is to come under unprecedented scrutiny after Europe's mission to Mars goes into orbit around the Red Planet late in 2003. Mars Express is due to pass within 3000 km of the 22 km diameter moon a few hundred times during its two-year nominal mission lifetime.
Published: 7 June 2001
Updated: A list of submitted proposals for the re-use of the Mars Express platform has been added.27-Mar-2001 A briefing to interested parties on the Call for Ideas for the re-use of the Mars Express platform took place at ESA Headquarters, Paris, on 23 March 2001.
Published: 22 May 2001
If you live in Europe, there's almost certainly a research institute or industrial company near you that is contributing materials or expertise to Mars Express, Europe's first mission to the Red Planet. Under the umbrella of the European Space Agency, at least 25 companies from 15 European countries are building hardware or software for the spacecraft, or otherwise contributing their expertise; and more than 200 scientists from research institutes in all ESA member states and beyond are contributing towards the scientific payload. "The Mars Express project is providing about 1000 jobs throughout Europe," estimates Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express Project Manager at ESTEC, the European Space Agency's technical centre in the Netherlands.
Published: 6 April 2001
It was standing room only for the "Water and life on Mars" session at the European Geophysical Society's General Assembly in Nice last week. "This shows that the life issue is by no means dead. This was a very lively session," commented Agustin Chicarro, Project Scientist for ESA's Mars Express mission.
Published: 5 April 2001
If youre travelling on Europe's roads this year, you may spot a very large vehicle (5m long and 3.5m wide), bearing the Mars Express logo. It will be making slow progress and will be accompanied by a police escort. Inside the clean, air-conditioned environment will be the Mars Express spacecraft in transit between industrial contractors in Switzerland, the UK, Italy or France.
Published: 13 March 2001
To be launched in 2005Note that the briefing for the Call for Ideas for the re-use of the Mars Express platform will take place on 23 March 2001, in Paris Headquarters, room Cinema, from 13h00 to 15h00.The search for more efficiency is a constant concern of the Science Directorate since the initiation of the Horizon 2000 programme. As shown to ESA's SSAC and SPC, a number of scientific missions have led to considerable savings achieved by adopting newmanagement procedures, exploiting cheaper industrial costs (especially the re-using platforms or subsystems developed for the other missions), and accessing cheaper launchers.
Published: 9 March 2001
15-Jul-2020 09:57 UT

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