The planet probe MARS EXPRESS is the first European space mission that researched Mars. The probe was started on 2 June 2003 by Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The probe, consisting of an orbiter and a lander, reached Mars in December 2003 after a six-month flight and has since then been circling the red planet. The orbiter charts the orbit from the surface of the planet and explores the atmosphere, structure and geology of the planet. By 2007, MARS EXPRESS had sent data from neighboring planets to the Earth. Poland and the USA are also participants in the MARS EXPRESS programme, along with the member states of the European Space Agency. The main contractor for Mars Express was EADS Astrium.
© EADS 2013