Europe’s mission to Mars is assuming a tangible form at the Astrium SAS (formerly MMS) integration facilities in Toulouse, France. “We’re down to the real work. It’s not paperwork anymore – it’s a real spacecraft,” says Vincent Poisignon, Mars Express project manager at Astrium SAS. Astrium SAS has built, exactly on schedule, the test bench to help ensure that all the components of the Mars Express spacecraft operate in unison. “We’ve kept to the schedule for one year. This is a real milestone which shows that the new working methods with industry being pioneered by Mars Express are working well,” says Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express project manager at ESTEC.