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N° 82–2003: Christmas on Mars: be there with ESA

15 December 2003

Launched on 2 June 2003, after a six-month cruise at an average speed of about 10 kilometres per second and covering a distance of about 400 million kilometres, ESA’s Mars Express will arrive at Mars on Christmas Day. After a very complicated and challenging series of operations during the night of 24/25 December 2003, the probe will be injected into an elliptical orbit near the poles of the Red planet, while the Beagle 2 lander – released from the mother craft six days earlier – is expected to touchdown on the surface of Mars.

The exciting event can be followed at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, on Thursday, 25 December, from 01:30 to 14:00, together with the mission managers, the operation teams, scientists and top ESA management, including ESA’s Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director of Science David Southwood and ESA’s Director of Technical and Operational Support Gaele Winters.

The highlights of the night will be also webcast over the internet http://mars.esa.int. As well as live streaming of key events, the Mars Express site will have daily news, features, images, videos and more.

The ESA TV Service will provide live coverage of operations, from the Operations Control Centre at ESOC. All transmission and satellite details are published online at http://television.esa.int

All live transmissions are also carried free-to-air on Astra 2 C at 19 degrees East, transponder 57, horizontal, (DVB-MPEG-2), frequency 10832 MHz, Symbol Rate 22000 MS/sec, FEC 5/6. The service name is ESA

Media wishing to attend are asked to complete the attached reply form and fax it back to ESA Media Relations Service: +33 (0)1 53 69 76 90.

For further information, please contact :

ESA Media Relations Service

Tel: +33 (0)1 53 69 71 55

Fax: +33 (0)1 53 69 76 90

Mars Express Media Event - 25 December 2003

Programme

01:00 (CET) - Door open for media

01:30- 02:15 - Opportunity for individual interviews and filming in main control room

02:25-02:40 - ESA TV programme part 1. Opening/welcome.

03:40-03:56 - ESA TV programme part 2. Animation/graphics of upcoming milestones:

03:45 - Expected landing of Beagle 2

03:47-04:18 - Mars Express Orbit Insertion - main engine burn

04:15-04:20 - ESA TV programme part 3

04:30-07:00 - Early breakfast and possibility of interviews

05:30-05:40 - ESA TV programme part 4. Mission update

07:30 - Expected Mars Odyssey overfly results (overfly at 06:15). Possible first signals from Beagle 2.

08:45-09:20 - ESA TV programme part 5. Confirmation of Mars Express Mars Orbit Injection and Beagle 2 landing. Mission results/official statements.

09:30-10:00 - Press conference at ESOC (not televised, audio can be followed on phone link by dialling + 49 69 40 35 96 81).

10:30 -13:00 -Christmas brunch

Individual interview opportunities for media.

14:00 - End of the event

Press Center at ESA/ESOC : +49.6151.90.22.66

MARS EXPRESS LANDING - Wednesday 24 to Thursday 25 December

ESA/ESOC - Robert Bosch Strasse, 5 - Darmstadt (Germany)

Name : _____________________ Surname :_______________________

Media : _____________________________________________________

Address :____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

Tel: _______________________ Fax:____________________________

Mobile : ___________________ E-mail: ________________________

Passport N° ________________ Issued by : ____________________

On :________________________ Expriring date :________________

Please fax back or e-mail this form to:

Anne-Marie Rémondin

Tel: +33 (0)1 53 69 71 55

Fax: +33 (0)1 53 69 76 90

E-mail: anne-marie.remondin@esa.int

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Service
Tel: +33(0)1.53.69.7155
Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690



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