Mars Express

Quick Reference

An ESA space probe launched in 2003 June which went into polar orbit around Mars in 2003 December to study the planet's atmosphere and geology, including searching for signs of subsurface water. Mars Express carries a high-resolution stereoscopic camera (HRSC) to image the entire planet in full colour and in 3D at a resolution of 10 metres, and 2 metres in selected areas; a visible and infrared mineralogical spectrometer (OMEGA) to map the surface composition; two spectrometers, SPICAM and PFS, to analyse the composition and structure of the atmosphere; a sensor for neutral and charged particles, ASPERA, to study the interaction of the outer atmosphere with the solar wind; and a radar (MARSIS) to probe the upper 2–3 km of crust. Mars Express released the Beagle 2 lander but nothing was heard from it.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=9 ESA mission website.

Subjects: astronomy and cosmology.

Reference entries