The Russian Baikonur cosmodrome is finishing preparation to launch an interplanetary automatic station, "Mars-Express", of the European Space Agency /ESA/, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, Rosaviakosmos, informed RIA Novosti on Friday. The launching is scheduled for June 2nd.
"On Friday the Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrier with a Frigate accelerating engine and the ESA "Mars-Express" space station left the assembly and test section and was placed in the starting complex. Pre-launching tests have started," the Agency pointed out.
Development and creation of the "Mars-Express" interplanetary station within 2 years cost ESA 300 million euros. Russian scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences were also involved in the work. The station must reach the Martian orbit in six months in order to deliver a Mars research vehicle, "Beagle-2", to work on the planet surface, Rosaviakosmos stated.