The nice folks over at The Planetary Society are commissioning a set of three fantastic posters celebrating robotic spacecraft. And get this: The three missions to be featured will be chosen by public vote! Naturally, the team here on the Mars Express blog believe passionately that Europe’s first mission to another planet should be one of the selectees, but we need help to do it. Obviously, here’s where you come in… 🙂

Why vote for us?

Mars Express - 10 year mission highlights Credit: ESA

Mars Express – 10 year mission highlights Credit: ESA


In the 10 years we’ve spent orbiting Mars, there have been many mission highlights and achievements. These include:

  • Detecting water ice at the Martian Poles
  • Performing the closest ever flyby of Phobos (58km)
  • Supported the landers and rovers Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix and MSL
  • Imaged the Martian surface in stereo to produce results like this fantastic fly through of the Valles Marineris
  • VMC – the Mars Webcam – supporting public outreach and providing great images of the entire planet with new updates going online as soon as they arrive on ground

… plus many more fabulous highlights (see our poster here)!

The Planetary Society contest website is located: http://www.planetary.org/get-involved/contests/poster/

Remember, every vote counts! #VoteMEX

Mars Full Orbit Video 2.0: Kepler rocks the Red Planet

Just in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mars Express: a new and enhanced Full Orbit Video delivered by the VMC camera – the Mars Webcam!

The version below is a special ‘MEX birthday preview’ – we’ll post a somewhat extended version late next week (along with a more detailed explanation on how this video was produced), to coincide with the next expected VMC image set arriving from Mars.

What’s the ‘Full Orbit video’, you ask? Access the original FO video produced in 2010 for the full description.

Thanks to the Mars Express Science & Operations teams for generating a fabulous, unique-in-our-Solar-System view of the Red Planet.

Happy Birthday, Mars Express!

Mars Express profiled in Holland’s Space Society magazine

The Mars Express 10-year anniversary is being celebrated in the magazine Ruimtevaart of the Netherlands Space Society.

NL Ruimtevaart Magazine Credit: Netherlands Space Society

NL Ruimtevaart Magazine Credit: Netherlands Space Society

The 2013/2 edition contains an overview of the most stunning HRSC pictures. Later this year, a more in-depth article about the full mission is planned based on inputs from the MEX project scientist and mission manager.

Thanks, Mars Express operations engineer Kees van der Pols at ESOC for this!


MEX 10-year celebration: We’d like to invite a few of our friends

On 3 June 2013, ESA will host a small in-house event to mark ten years of success at the Red Planet. The event will take place at ESOC, home of the Mars Express mission operations team.

Mars Express over water-ice crater Credit: ESA/DLR/FU-Berlin-G.Neukum

Mars Express over water-ice crater Credit: ESA/DLR/FU-Berlin-G.Neukum

As a way to say ‘thank you’ for following our mission, we’re delighted to invite a small number of Twitter followers to ESA/ESOC on Monday, 3 June. The programme starts at 15:00 CEST and will include expert presentations from the MEX science and operations teams, followed by a small reception:

14:30 – Doors open/arrival
15:00 – Presentations, including

** Olivier Witasse: Host welcome/introduction
** Michael McKay: Mars Express in the international picture
** Alain Clochet: The industrial perspective
** Michel Denis: Mars Express 10 years of operations
Short break
** Jeff Plaut: The US role in Mars Express
** Ernst Hauber: HRSC highlights
** Agustin Chicarro: The Mars Express legacy
Open contributions

17:15 – End of formal programme
17:30 – Reception
~19:00 – Event ends

As much as we’d like to invite all 120k followers of our various Twitter channels, we can’t! 🙁 But we do have a small number of seats available and we’d like to invite you apply for an invitation via the form below. Please apply by 12:00 CEST on 29 May.

NOTE: 29.05: Applications are now closed. Thx to all who submitted!

We’ll contact the selected invitees by email around 16:00 CEST on 29 May, and will look forward to seeing you on the 3rd.

Questions/queries? Contact us via @esaoperations or @esa_de