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The European Space Agency's Mars Express mission has won unanimous approval. It will be the first mission Europe has sent to the red planet.The Agency's Science Programme Committee (SPC) approved Mars Express after ESA's Council, meeting at ministerial level in Brussels on 11 and 12 May, had agreed the level of the science budget for the next 4 years, just enough to make the mission affordable. "Mars Express is a mission of opportunity and we felt we just had to jump in and do it. We are convinced it will produce first-rate science," says Hans Balsiger, SPC chairman.
Published: 11 June 1999
ESA's Scientific Programme Committee (SPC), which met in Bern on 19-20 May, took an optimistic view of the decisions taken at Ministerial level in Brussels on 11-12 May. The SPC judged that the level of resources was sufficient to proceed with the approved projects of the Science Programme. After review of the available means and of the Council's assumptions, the SPC confirmed in particular Mars Express, scheduled for launch in 2003. "Following the conditional approval of Mars Express in November 1998, and given the Executive's assessment that the conditions are fulfilled up to the end of 2001, the SPC confirms that Mars Express can proceed", the text of the Resolution states.
Published: 21 May 1999
On a clear night over the coming week, you should be able to spot the planet Mars shining brightly with a reddish glow in the direction of the constellation Virgo in the south of the northern sky. Only the Moon and Venus will outshine it. Mars is making its closest approach to Earth for nine years, so viewing conditions will be good - but not as good as they can be.
Published: 27 April 1999
The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract on Tuesday 30 March with Matra Marconi Space (MMS), that pioneers a more flexible way of building space science missions and is, in this way, the first trial as an element of a new and ambitious implementation concept which is currently under development for ESA's Scientific Programme. The contract, worth about 60 million Euro, is to design and build the Mars Express spacecraft in time for launch in June 2003. Mars Express will allow European space scientists to investigate whether there is, or ever was, life on the red planet.
Published: 30 March 1999
On Tuesday 30 March, the Director General of ESA, Antonio Rodota, and the President and CEO of Matra-Marconi Space, Armand Carlier, will sign a contract that entrusts MMS with the task of building the Mars Express spacecraft for launch in June 2003.
Published: 29 March 1999
More than 400 planetary scientists from 18 countries, including a strong participation from the US scientific community, are attending the International Symposium on 'Mars Exploration Programme & Sample Return Missions', which is being held this week, in Paris, in the conference centre of the Ministry of Education, Research and Technology.
Published: 1 February 1999
The spacecraft design phase (Phase B) started with Matra-Marconi Space, France, on Thursday 7 January.
Published: 7 January 1999
At its meeting of 26 November ESA's Industrial Policy Committee (IPC) approved the ESA Executive's proposal to place the contract to develop and build the Mars Express spacecraft with Matra-Marconi Space, France.
Published: 26 November 1998
All fourteen national delegations in the European Space Agency's Science Programme Committee have backed the project to send a spacecraft to Mars in 2003. Support for Mars Express, as this exciting mission is called, is qualified by concern about the long-term budget of ESA's science programme.
Published: 4 November 1998
At its 29 September meeting, ESA's Space Science Advisory Committeeunanimously recommended the implementation of the Mars Express baseline mission.
Published: 30 September 1998
On Friday 4 September, 13:00 hours, ESA received all the industrial proposals (Phases B/C/D) for building the Mars Express spacecraft.
Published: 8 September 1998
The first Mars Express Science Working Team (SWT) meeting is being held at ESTEC, Noordwijk, 3 and 4 September.
Published: 3 September 1998
The Invitation to Tender for Mars Express has been issued to European Industry.
Published: 27 July 1998
ESA's Science Programme Committee confirmed the payload for Mars Express, at its meeting 28 May. Seven instruments have beenselected for the orbiter and the possibility left open to add a small lander.
Published: 23 June 1998
Any scientists wanting to send instruments to the surface of the planet Mars have until 3 July to offer a small lander that might be carried aboard the European Space Agency mission Mars Express. The selection of a lander, if any, will then be the last stage in defining the scientific payload of Mars Express, which is intended to go into orbit around the Red Planet at the end of 2003. The choice of instruments for the orbiting spacecraft was recently ratified by ESA's Science Programme Committee. This month ESA is inviting tenders to build the spacecraft from three industrial competitors, Alenia/Aerospatiale, Dornier and Matra-Marconi, who have already studied the mission. The project must be fully defined in time for the Science Programme Committee to finally confirm Mars Express.
Published: 19 June 1998
22-Jan-2021 04:49 UT

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