Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could watch live-streamed images of Mars, the Red Planet, right from the comfort of your own home? Well, the Mars Express spacecraft, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) twenty years ago in 2003, is working to make that a reality.
According to an announcement by the agency, live streaming of Mars will take place on June 2, 2023, at 11:45 AM ET. The images will be captured by the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) attached to the Mars Express.
The camera will provide live pictures of Mars approximately every 50 seconds. However, it’s important to note that these pictures won’t be truly “live” due to the time it takes for the images to travel from Mars to Earth, which can range from three to 22 minutes.
To catch glimpses of the Red Planet, you can follow the agency’s official Twitter account, which will be providing regular updates. Alternatively, you can watch the live stream of Mars pictures on ESA’s official YouTube channel.
The live streaming of Mars is a celebration of the 20th anniversary of ESA’s Mars Express mission. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the closest thing to a live view from Mars.
According to ESA, viewers will have the chance to see new pictures roughly every 50 seconds, transmitted directly from the Visual Monitoring Camera aboard the Mars Express. James Godfrey, the Spacecraft Operations Manager at ESA’s mission control center in Germany, expressed excitement about this endeavor. He acknowledged that while there is some uncertainty about the performance of the camera, he remains optimistic and eager to witness Mars in its current state, as close to a real-time view as possible.
NASA’s Mars exploration missions, through their rovers, have made significant discoveries about the Red Planet. These findings include signs of water and potentially habitable conditions, ancient hot springs, evidence of volcanic activity, and intriguing craters. The exploration of Mars has provided valuable insights into the planet’s history and potential for supporting life.