The Mars Express orbiter will carry instruments that will study the red planet's atmosphere in great detail. Looking for trace gases might help us answering the question whether water (and life) once existed on Mars, and why it disappeared.
7-minute A-roll with split audio (english commentary/international sound) and 20-minute B-roll with clean international sound.
Mars Express studying the atmosphere and climate
Soundbite Prof. Vittorio Formisano IFSI Frascati Italy
(first off with Formisano walking at Frascati and working on the PFS and than in)
Mars is fascinating here and today, because we have to recognise that, most likely, life on Mars has been present in the past. Searching for life in the universe is certainly fascinating. Even to learn how life on Mars has been destroyed would be of enormous interest for us. So Mars has this aspect, which is irrational but is appealing very much.
16 years ago, Prof Vittorio Formisano started to work on the development of the Planetary Fourier spectrometer or PFS, an instrument that should bring better understanding of the Martian atmosphere. Today, with ESAÕs mission Mars Express, his work is passing from theory to practice.
Today we know that the Martian atmosphere is about 100 times less dense than the Earth's at ground level, that it's composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide with trace to s