Latest Mars Express Stories

2010-08-27 08:55:00

One of the instruments on a 2016 mission to orbit Mars will provide daily maps of global, pole-to-pole, vertical distributions of the temperature, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere. The joint European-American mission, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, will seek faint gaseous clues about possible life on Mars. This instrument, called the ExoMars Climate Sounder, will supply crucial context with its daily profiling of the atmosphere's changing structure. The European Space...

2010-08-02 09:40:00

ESA and NASA have selected the scientific instruments for their first joint Mars mission. Scheduled for 2016, it will study the chemical makeup of the Martian atmosphere, including methane. Discovered in 2003, methane could point to life on the Red Planet. NASA and ESA have embarked on a joint program of Martian exploration, an unprecedented new alliance for future ventures to Mars. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is the first in a planned series of joint missions leading to the return of a...

2010-03-15 09:20:00

Images from the recent flyby of Phobos, on March 7, 2010, have been released today. The images show Mars' rocky moon in exquisite detail, with a resolution of just 4.4 meters per pixel. They show the proposed landing sites for the forthcoming Phobos-Grunt mission. ESA's Mars Express spacecraft orbits the Red Planet in a highly elliptical, polar orbit that brings it close to Phobos every five months. It is the only spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars whose orbit reaches far...

2010-03-03 15:47:01

NASA's newest Mars orbiter, completing its fourth year at the Red Planet next week, has just passed a data-volume milestone unimaginable a generation ago and still difficult to fathom: 100 terabits. That 100 trillion bits of information is more data than in 35 hours of uncompressed high-definition video. It's also more than three times the amount of data from all other deep-space missions combined -- not just the ones to Mars, but every mission that has flown past the orbit of Earth's moon....

2010-03-03 11:00:00

ESA's Mars Express will skim the surface of Mars' largest moon Phobos on Wednesday evening. Passing by at an altitude of 67 km, precise radio tracking will allow researchers to peer inside the mysterious moon. Mars Express is currently engaged in a series of 12 flybys of Phobos. At each close pass, different instruments are trained towards the mysterious space rock, gaining new information. The closest flyby will take place on March 3 at 21:55 CET (20:55 GMT). From close range, Mars Express...

2010-02-19 12:40:00

New measurements of ozone in the atmosphere of Mars are being obtained in a coordinated observation campaign with Mars Express and a Hawaiian-based telescope. The combined observation set covers a longer time period and broader range of regions on Mars than previous campaigns, thereby improving the ability to verify and refine detailed models of the Martian atmosphere. The Martian atmosphere has played a key role in shaping the planet's history and surface. Observations of the key...

2010-01-18 09:15:00

ESA and NASA are inviting scientists from across the world to propose instruments for their joint Mars mission, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Scheduled for launch in 2016, the spacecraft will focus on understanding the rarest constituents of the martian atmosphere, including the mysterious methane that could signal life on Mars. Establishing whether life ever existed, or is still active on Mars today, is one of the outstanding scientific quests of our time. Both missions in the ExoMars...

2009-12-11 07:35:00

For the very first time, the martian moons Phobos and Deimos have been caught on camera together. ESA's Mars Express orbiter took these pioneering images last month. Apart from their "Ëœwow' factor, these unique images will help the HRSC team validate and refine existing orbit models of the two moons. The images were acquired with the Super Resolution Channel (SRC) of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The camera took 130 images of the moons on 5 November at 9:14 CET over...

2009-10-16 08:45:00

Direct communication between Earth and Mars can be strongly disturbed and even blocked by the Sun for weeks at a time, cutting off any future human mission to the Red Planet. An ESA engineer working with engineers in the UK may have found a solution using a new type of orbit combined with continuous-thrust ion propulsion. The European researchers studied a possible solution to a crucial problem affecting future human missions to Mars: how to ensure reliable radio communication even when Mars...

2009-06-05 07:09:18

The High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA's Mars Express orbiter has obtained images of Hephaestus Fossae, a region on Mars dotted with craters and channel systems. Hephaestus Fossae lies at about 21° North and 126° East on the Red Planet. Named after the Greek god of fire, it extends for more than 600 km on the western flank of Elysium Mons in the Utopia Planitia region. Obtained on 28 December 2007, the images have a ground resolution of about 16 m/pixel. They show that the region...

Word of the Day
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'