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Mars Express spacecraft
- Title Mars Express spacecraft
- Released 11/04/2003 1:55 pm
- Copyright Illustration by Medialab, ESA 2001
Mars Express will leave Earth for Mars
in late May or early 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
Once Mars Express has escaped the Earth and is on course
for the Red Planet, it will begin the six-month interplanetary
cruise at a velocity of 10 800 km/h relative to Earth. Five
days before arrival in December 2003, Mars Express will
eject the Beagle 2 lander, which will make its own way to
the correct landing site on the surface. The orbiter will then
manoeuvre into a highly elliptical capture orbit, from which
it can move into its operational near-polar orbit.
- Id 230874
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