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Mars Express Update
Mars Express Update
20 Feb 2004
(Source: European Space Agency)

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=34711

Mars Express
Spacecraft Commissioning Continues
European Space Agency
February 19, 2004

Overall Mission Status

The mapping orbit of Mars Express was reached on 28 January 2004. All manoeuvres leading to that orbit were executed with very high accuracy. The operational performance of the spacecraft and payload is excellent, and all instruments have been successfully checked out. Remaining commissioning activities will be performed until about mid-April, when the MARSIS radar will be deployed and subsequently fully commissioned.

A software upload required before the start of the eclipse season was performed on the spacecraft on 6 February. This operation has had some impact on the collection of scientific data.

The planning of the next few weeks of payload commissioning activities and science operations is ongoing and being prepared with the goal of optimising the scientific return while keeping within the limits of the power budget in a constrained operational environment with eclipses lasting up to 90 minutes per orbit.

18 February 2004
HRSC - Kasei Vallis
The part of the outflow channel seen in this image has most probably been carved by glaciers or gigantic water-related outflows from terrestrial subglacial lakes. The blackish-bluish colour is related to sediments. The bright streaks oriented NE-SW are related to wind forces.

11 February 2004
HRSC - Olympus Mons
This vertical view shows the complex caldera at the summit of Olympus Mons on Mars, the highest volcano in our Solar System. Olympus Mons stands 24 km tall and the caldera has a depth of about 3 km.

Orbit and Surface Coverage Information

The orbit of the Mars Express spacecraft is very stable. The mapping orbit has been achieved, and the focus of science data acquisition will shortly be extended to global coverage, mosaic and map construction.

The orbit viewer has been recently updated on the Mars Express Internet page, and now shows the precise evolution of the Mars Express orbital configuration around the planet.

The table below shows the orbital parameters for the spacecraft for the coming week.

??? Event UTC PERI??? Inc??? Ecc?? Lon Node? Arg Per? SM Axis
??? 040219 07:02:29?? 86.60? 0.608 226.35??? 338.16?? 9327.98
??? 040219 14:37:08?? 86.60? 0.608 226.33??? 337.97?? 9337.41
??? 040219 22:11:46?? 86.60? 0.608 226.32??? 337.80?? 9327.99
??? 040220 05:46:24?? 86.59? 0.608 226.30??? 337.60?? 9334.49
??? 040220 13:21:13?? 86.57? 0.608 226.27??? 337.45?? 9337.66
??? 040220 20:55:58?? 86.57? 0.608 226.26??? 337.28?? 9332.11
??? 040221 04:30:48?? 86.57? 0.608 226.23??? 337.11?? 9343.71
??? 040221 12:05:40?? 86.56? 0.608 226.21??? 336.99?? 9333.73
??? 040221 19:40:27?? 86.57? 0.608 226.19??? 336.81?? 9335.25
??? 040222 03:15:18?? 86.57? 0.608 226.16??? 336.65?? 9339.34
??? 040222 10:50:01?? 86.58? 0.608 226.14??? 336.49?? 9327.42
??? 040222 18:24:41?? 86.59? 0.608 226.12??? 336.30?? 9334.65
??? 040223 01:59:23?? 86.59? 0.608 226.10??? 336.13?? 9328.97
??? 040223 09:33:58?? 86.60? 0.608 226.08??? 335.94?? 9324.90
??? 040223 17:08:37?? 86.60? 0.608 226.06??? 335.75?? 9333.92
??? 040224 00:43:16?? 86.60? 0.608 226.05??? 335.58?? 9324.84
??? 040224 08:17:54?? 86.59? 0.608 226.02??? 335.38?? 9330.43
??? 040224 15:52:43?? 86.57? 0.608 226.00??? 335.22?? 9334.32
??? 040224 23:27:28?? 86.57? 0.608 225.98??? 335.06?? 9328.69
??? 040225 07:02:17?? 86.57? 0.608 225.96??? 334.88?? 9339.27
??? 040225 14:37:09?? 86.56? 0.608 225.93??? 334.76?? 9330.64
??? 040225 22:11:56?? 86.57? 0.608 225.92??? 334.59?? 9331.70
??? 040226 05:46:48?? 86.57? 0.608 225.89??? 334.42?? 9335.79
??? 040226 13:21:31?? 86.58? 0.608 225.87??? 334.27?? 9324.37
??? 040226 20:56:12?? 86.59? 0.608 225.85??? 334.07?? 9331.00
??? Event UTC PERI = Time of Perihelion Passage yymmdd hh:mm:ss
??? Inc = Inclination (degrees)
??? Ecc = Eccentricity (degrees)
??? Lon Node=Longitude of Ascending Node (degrees)
??? Arg Per = Argument of Pericenter (degrees)
??? SM Axis = Semi-Major Axis (km)

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Last Updated: 20 Feb 2004