Press Release

Call for Media: Celebrating 10 years of Mars Express discoveries

By SpaceRef Editor
May 28, 2013
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Media representatives are invited to a briefing at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany on Monday 3 June, marking the tenth anniversary of the launch of ESA’s Mars Express. The event will highlight the key scientific discoveries of the mission and will unveil a new mineral atlas that charts the geological history of Mars.

The role of the new atlas in the future of European Mars exploration will also be discussed.

Mars Express was launched on 2 June 2003 with a nominal mission lifetime of 687 days (1 martian year). Ten years later it is still monitoring all aspects of the martian environment, from the subsurface to the upper atmosphere and beyond to the planet’s two tiny moons, providing an in-depth analysis of the history of Mars and taking stunning 3D images.

Media representatives wishing to attend the event are kindly requested to register at:

The briefing will be broadcast on


A decade of Mars Express observations at the Red Planet
Media Briefing, 3 June 2013

10:30 Doors open

11:00 Mars, a challenging target for human and robotic operations, Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations

11:15 Europe as a key player in the exploration of Mars, Alvaro Gimenez, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration

11:30 Scientific discoveries of Mars Express, Olivier Witasse, ESA Mars Express project scientist

11:45 History of Mars encrypted in its minerals, Jean-Pierre Bibring, Principal Investigator for the OMEGA instrument on Mars Express, IAS Orsay

12:00 Questions & answers
Opportunities for individual interviews

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU and is discussing an Agreement with the one remaining (Bulgaria). Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working actively with the EU, for the implementation of the programmes Galileo and Copernicus.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
Learn more at

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99
Fax: +33 1 53 69 76 90

SpaceRef staff editor.