Status Report

Mars Express Status Report 2 September 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
September 2, 2004
Filed under , , ,
Mars Express Status Report 2 September 2004

Solar Conjunction Period 02 Sep 2004 10:00

Overall Mission and Payload Status

The commanding of the Mars Express routine science operations through the
Payload Operations Service at RAL in the UK is proceeding well, and the
corresponding planning is being performed about 10 weeks ahead of the
execution of scientific activities. Currently the achieved planning covers
the scientific activities to be performed up to November 2004.

The first period of eclipses has ended, which allows for increased
scientific payload activities on the spacecraft. The second eclipse period
will start in January 2005 and extend into June 2005. The first occultation
period, which was beneficial to radio science measurements, has also ended.
The second occultation period will start in December 2004.

The solar conjunction period is, as expected, currently severely impacting
the payload activities. No payload operations are planned between 22 August
and 27 September 2004, during the period affecting the spacecraft
communications with the ground segment. Only solar corona measurements are
being performed by the radio science experiment. Following this period,
intense scientific activities will resume, with favourable operating
conditions for the optical imaging instruments due to improving illumination

No decision on the deployment of MARSIS has been taken yet.

Upcoming Activities

Around day 290 an opportunity exists to make changes to the current orbit of
Mars Express. The SWT will establish the programmatic and scientific need to
perform such a manoeuvre.

Data Archiving Status

The independent Mars Express Science Archive review was held at ESTEC on 12
and 13 July 2004. The payload teams are working towards delivering all
relevant scientific products in time for the Mars Express Science Archive to
be ready at the beginning of 2005.

SpaceRef staff editor.