Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:29 EDT
Europe goes to Mars
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Europe goes to Mars

January 18, 2005
The logo of ESA's Mars Express on the Soyuz launcher just prior to transport to the launch pad.

Mars Express will leave Earth for Mars on 2 June 2003 when the positions of the two planets make for the shortest possible route, a condition that occurs once every twenty-six months. The intrepid spacecraft will start its six-month journey from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan onboard a Russian Soyuz/Fregat launcher.