Europe’s mission to the Red Planet, Mars Express, is on schedule to arrive at the planet on Christmas Day, 2003. The lander, Beagle 2, is due to descend through the Martian atmosphere and touch down also on 25 December. Mars Express is now within 20 million kilometres of the Red Planet and the next mission milestone comes on 19 December, when Mars Express will release Beagle 2. The orbiter spacecraft will send Beagle 2 spinning towards the planet on a precise trajectory.
November 16th, 2003