Paris, 21 May 2003
On 2 June at 19:45 CEST (Central European Summer Time, 17.45 GMT/UTC) ESA's Mars Express satellite will be launched by a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Europe's first mission to the Red Planet will reach its target in December, after a six-month journey. Mars Express will help scientists answer questions about the Martian landscape, atmosphere and the origin of life that remain open, although a wealth of information is already available.
Media representatives in Europe can follow the launch and initial orbital operations at ESA/Darmstadt (ESOC) in Germany, which will be acting as the main European press centre, or ESA/Noordwijk (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. ESA/Frascati (ESRIN) in Italy and the Italian Space Agency, ASI, are organising a joint event at the University of Rome. ESA/Villafranca (VILSPA) and the CDTI, the Spanish institution in charge of space issues, are organising a joint event in Spain at the Museo Principe Felipe de la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Valencia. At each site ESA specialists will be available for interviews.
Media representatives wishing to attend are requested to complete the attached reply form and fax it to the Communication Office at the establishment of their choice.
The ESA TV Service will provide live televised coverage of the launch and initial orbital operations with English commentary, between 19:15 and 22:00 CEST.
Satellite: Astra 2C at 19 degrees East
Reception frequency: 10832 MHz
Symbol rate: 22 Msymb/s
Service ID: 61950
Service name: ESA
Details of the transmission schedule and satellite details for the various pre-launch Video News Releases can be found on http://television.esa.int.
The launch can also be followed live on the internet at www.esa.int/marsexpresslaunch starting at 19:15 hrs. Here you can also find the launch diary, news, press releases, videos, images and more.
For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Service