National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Mars Express Gearing Up For Launch
Mars Express Gearing Up For Launch
2 May 2003
(Source: Alenia Spazio)

http://www.alespazio.it/news/ing/frnews.htm

Mars Express at the Baikonur cosmodrome preparing for June launch Alenia Spazio
April 30, 2003

The European Space Agency's Mars Express interplanetary probe, built with the contribution of Alenia Spazio, left Toulouse, where it underwent extensive environmental, thermal, mechanical and electrical testing, under the co-ordination of the Alenia Spazio team, in March and is now undergoing checks and tests in at the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan.

Scheduled for an early June launch on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket, and in a fixed launch window occurring only once every 17 years, Mars Express will make a 400 million kilometre, six-month journey to reach the Red Planet in December 2003.

Once inserted into an elliptical, quasi-polar orbit around Mars, the spacecraft - the first European mission to a planet - will begin the orbital and in situ study of its interior, surface and atmosphere using seven scientific instruments on the orbiter and the Beagle 2 lander that will be placed on the surface.

Alenia Spazio has played an important role in the Mars Express mission with overall responsibility for the assembly, integration and testing of the satellite, development of the dual S/X band transponder, the Sub-surface Sounding Radar Altimeter, and a pair of communication systems for the Orbiter/Lander link.

Another major Italian contribution is the radar for the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) experiment that will be used to detect the presence of water-bearing strata up to a depth of 2-5 km beneath the Martian surface.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 2 May 2003