What could possibly be more fun than
creating Mars mission artwork for NASA? How about creating artwork
for use by ESA, the European Space Agency! It's a special thrill
going "international" and "inter-agency".
So now I am also an "ESA" artist, which would have
seemed impossible just a few years ago.
NASA is participating in the Mars
Express mission which was launched by the European Space Agency
from Baikonur, Kazahkstan in June, 2003. Mars Express also carried
the British Beagle 2 lander, which disappeared on it's way to
the surface, unfortunately. In any case I started work on Mars
Express way back around 2000. It's been a long wait for it to
arrive safely and deploy the science experiment called MARSIS
that NASA helped create.
MARSIS: Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding
Following the water
Joint ESA-US-ASI Mars Express
science instrument called MARSIS. Here are two pictures of the folded up MARSIS antenna before launch.
In support of NASA's "Mars Express
Project "and working directly for US mission manager Tommy
Thompson I created a series of Mars Express images that were
the first to show our MARSIS instrument. MARSIS is short for
Sounding..The US provides addtional support, both scientifically
and navigationally, for this first European Mars mission. The
Mars Express science discoveries have been specatular so far
and it's not over yet. The MARSIS radar antenna has now been
successfully deployed and may make some spectacular discoveries
of subsurface water.