Clamps away, Mars Express eases its grip on its lander ESA

Europe’s first mission to the Red Planet, continues its successful mission with another successful ‘high-risk’ post-launch milestone. Mars Express engineers breathed a sigh of relief this morning at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Germany. If a particularly delicate operation had not proceeded as planned, it would have been impossible to deploy the Mars Express lander, Beagle 2, on arrival at Mars.