First Video Livestream Done From Mars; How Long Did It Take Images To Reach Earth?

New Delhi: In a historic development, the European Space Agency successfully conducted the first-ever video live stream from Mars.

Mars Express, which has been hovering above the Red Planet for 20 years, beamed the video feed as to mark its milestone anniversary.

It took nearly 17 minutes for the pictures to reach Earth, which is about 300 million kilometres away, and one more minute to get through the ground stations.

The transmission was, however, disrupted from time to time by rainy weather at the deep space-relay antenna in Spain, reported India Today.

The Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC), which is there on Mars Express, acts as a webcam for the Mars mission.

The early views showed about one-third of Mars, which gradually grew bigger before shrinking again as the spacecraft circled the planet. In some of the shots, white clouds were clearly seen.

“Mars Express has outlived, outperformed, and indeed surpassed expectations. In human years, Mars Express would now be very old, having survived five times longer than it was designed for,” European Space Agency said in a statement.

AP quoted Simon Wood, the mission’s spacecraft operations engineer, as saying that pictures and other data are stored in the spacecraft and later transmitted to Earth when its antenna can be pointed this way.

The aim of Mars Express, launched on June 2, 2003, was to study the red planet’s geology, climate, and atmosphere, providing valuable insights into its history and possibilities of hosting life.

The mission will continue exploring Mars until at least 2026.

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