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Wednesday, December 24, 2003



Mars Express One Day Away

Beagle 2 lander.
Beagle 2 lander.
Credit: ESA
Mars Express is less than a day away from its destination, leaving Mars enthusiasts the world over with crossed fingers in hopes their Christmas present will arrive safely. The Mars Express orbiter will enter Mars' orbit within the day, as it is now only some 200,000 kilometers from the planet. The Beagle 2 lander, which separated last Friday, will reach the surface of Mars around 2:45 AM GMT Christmas Day, or 9:45 PM EST tonight. Unfortunately, confirmation of the landers success won't happen until a few hours afterward. The orbiter won't be able to send radio signals until January 3rd, and its first pictures aren't expected to be released until spring. In the mean time, signals from the lander will be transmitted through the Mars Odyssey, the earliest window at 12:15 AM EST.

- posted by Alex @ 9:33 EST