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Mars

Submission + - Mars Express to determine Phobos orbit more accurately than ever before (esa.int)

japan_dan writes: The ESA Twitter account (@esaoperations) says this came about after a tip-off from a NASA station engineer at DSS-14 (Goldstone), who noted an 84-second signal loss from Mars Express on 14 April.

"On Monday, 30 April, Mars Express mission controllers at ESOC will take advantage of a rare alignment of the spacecraft with Phobos and Earth to use radio signals to determine the Martian moon's orbit. If the team's careful planning and preparation pay off, the occultation of Mars Express by Phobos (as seen from Earth) will provide highly accurate data that can be used to determine Phobos's orbit with unprecedented accuracy, possibly improving it by a factor of 2."

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