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Mars Express En Route to the Red Planet

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

The European Mars Express spaceprobe has been placed successfully in a trajectory that will take it beyond the terrestrial environment and on the way to Mars – getting there in late December. This first European Space Agency probe to head for another planet will enter an orbit around Mars, from where it will perform detailed studies of the planet’s surface, its subsurface structures and its atmosphere. It will also deploy Beagle 2, a small autonomous station which will land on the planet, studying its surface and looking for possible signs of life, past or present.

More: ESA - Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

Mars Exploration Rover MER-A Scheduled to Launch June 8

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

MER-A is planned for launch at 2:05:55 p.m. or 2:44:07 p.m. EDT, June 8, 2003 from Cape Canaveral. The mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. The program seeks to take advantage of each launch opportunity to go to Mars, which comes around every 26 months as the planets move around the Sun. Scheduled for two separate launches, the two rovers will be delivered in landing craft to separate sites on Mars in January 2004.

More: NASA KSC - MER Mission News

Link: NASA Direct - Web broadcasting site will feature special MER programming, including a pre-launch program

Link: NASA TV - Tune in to see the launch as it happens

Link: USGS Astro - Mars Exploration Rover Project

Link: USGS Astro - Mars Pathfinder and 2003 Rover Missions