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Mars Express Update
Mars Express Update
15 Oct 2003
(Source: European Space Agency)

Latest on Mars Express
European Space Agency
October 15, 2003

The Mars Express spacecraft is in good health and is operating normally.

Some payload activities were executed on 30 September 2003, involving the SPICAM and OMEGA spectrometers. SPICAM and OMEGA were turned on in order to check the mechanisms of these instruments. The PFS and HRSC Interplanetary Cruise checkouts were conducted successfully on 6 October 2003. The remaining orbiter instruments checkouts to be done during the Interplanetary Cruise phase will be completed by the end of October.

The first Interplanetary Cruise checkout of the Beagle-2 lander was conducted on 7 October 2003. The second and final Beagle-2 checkout for this phase is scheduled for the 3rd of November.

On the spacecraft side, preparations and simulations for Beagle-2 ejection and Mars Orbit Insertion are proceeding well.

The ESA Mars Express spacecraft will perform the Beagle-2 lander separation on 19 December 2003 and will go into Mars orbit insertion on 25 December 2003. The Beagle-2 lander will descend through the martian atmosphere and land on the planet on 25 December 2003.

Orbital/Trajectory Information

Today, Mars Express is 71 days from Mars Orbit Insertion. Information on the spacecraft's position and remaining distance to Mars can be accessed under "Orbit View" on the sidebar navigation.

Scientific Payload Status

Instrument Activities since last report Status
ASPERA None Nominal
HRSC Checkout Nominal
MARSIS None Nominal
OMEGA Checkout Nominal
PFS Checkout Nominal
SPICAM Checkout Nominal
BEAGLE-2 Checkout and Software Upload Nominal

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Last Updated: 17 Oct 2003