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ESA explores bold new approach to Mars orbit


ESA is venturing towards putting a spacecraft into orbit around Mars using a technique that engineers have studied for over half a century but never dared to attempt.

ESA is venturing towards putting a spacecraft into orbit around Mars using a technique that engineers have studied for over half a century but never dared to attempt.


When Mars Express arrived at the Red Planet on Christmas Day 2003, it was travelling at 18 000 km/h. It had to fire its main engine to slow down enough to be captured into orbit and avoid flying off into space. The braking was a success, but it used 264 kg of propellant.

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