SETI [ASTRO] Mars Express Launch Contract Signed At Le Bourget

Larry Klaes (
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 10:24:44 -0400

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender to owner-astro using -f >Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 22:08:01 GMT >From: Ron Baalke <> >To: >Subject: [ASTRO] Mars Express Launch Contract Signed At Le Bourget >Sender: >Reply-To: Ron Baalke <> > >ESA Science News > > >Mars Express launch contract signed at Le Bourget > >15 Jun 1999 > >At the Paris Air Show yesterday the contract for the launch of ESA's Mars >Express by the Euro-Russian Starsem was signed by Roger Bonnet, ESA's >Director of the Scientific Programme and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of >Starsem. With the signing of this launch contract the major constituents >of Europe's first mission to Mars are in place. > >"... I'm very happy to sign this contract with Starsem and to have a launcher >for Mars Express, the first European mission to the red planet", said Roger >Bonnet. > >Mars Express will be launched by the Soyuz-Fregat launcher in June 2003 >from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch window opens >on 1 June and lasts until 11 June 2003, maximising use of the favourable >positioning of Earth with relation to Mars at that time. When it arrives at >the red planet six months later, it will begin to map the planet, to study >the crust and to search for water. Seven instruments, provided by space >research institutes throughout Europe, will make observations from the >main spacecraft as it orbits the planet. Just before the spacecraft arrives, >it will release a small lander, Beagle II, that will journey on to the surface >to look for signs of life. > >This is the second launch contract awarded by ESA to Starsem, the first >being for the launch of the four Cluster II satellites, in two pairs by >Soyuz-Fregat vehicles, in summer 2000. > >The partners in the joint European-Russian Company Starsem, founded in >1996 to perform the launch services of the Soyuz launcher family, are >Aerospatiale, Arianespace, the Russian Space Agency (RKA) and the Samara >Space Centre. > >USEFUL LINKS FOR THIS STORY > >More about Mars Express > > >The journey to Mars > > >The search for water and life > > >Starsem homepage > > >

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