Mars Express with Ferrari's F2002 and the
575M Maranello
, and the sample of red
paint (FRED) in the foreground
(c) ESA. Photo by P. Dumas/EURELIOS

Mars Express with Ferrari's F2002 and the
575M Maranello

(c) ESA. Photo by P. Dumas/EURELIOS

 
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Ferrari red paint passes road test for trip to Mars

18 September 2002

The symbol of Ferrari's extraordinary success, its red paint 'Rosso Corsa', has been given the green light to go into space, as it was declared officially 'space qualified' at a formal ceremony held today at INTESPACE in Toulouse, France. A specially constructed glass globe, known as FRED, containing the sample of paint was then integrated on to the Mars Express spacecraft, in readiness for the fastest journey Ferrari has ever made.

The sample of red paint is due to begin its trip to the Red Planet on-board the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft in May-June 2003. In order to receive its 'space qualified' certificate, the red paint had to undergo a series of rigorous mechanical and thermal tests to ensure that it can withstand the extreme conditions it will encounter in space.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of ESA, Antonio Rodotà, said: "Mars Express will be the first European mission to the Red Planet, which has always intrigued people here on Earth. The information returned by the spacecraft and its lander, Beagle 2, will undoubtedly help us answer some of the questions that remain unanswered about this fascinating planet and its make-up. It will ultimately be looking for water, but it could also find evidence of life."

David Southwood, Director of Science, said: "I am thrilled that Europe has been able to honour the success of the Scuderia Ferrari through this momentous union. This ceremony represents an important symbolic step forward on the road to an equally successful launch of Mars Express next summer."


Editor's Notes
The European Space Agency's Science Programme is implementing a new communication strategy, exclusively targeting the general public.

Mars Express is the European Space Agency's first mission to explore the Red Planet. It consists of an orbiter, housing seven instruments for observing the surface, and a lander - Beagle 2 - that will investigate Martian rock and soil. It is due for launch in May-June 2003 from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

The European Space Agency is made up of 15 member states. Its missions are funded by a unique collaborative system enabling space science research to be carried out on a scale that would be impossible for individual states.

Caption for image 1:
A life size model of the European Mars Express spacecraft due to be launched on its journey to the Red Planet in May-June 2003 accompanied by a sample of Ferrari red paint is pictured here. The model of the spacecraft is seen here in the anechoic chamber at INTESPACE in Toulouse, alongside the F2002, this year's Ferrari F1 World Champion car together with Ferrari's 575M Maranello. The sample of Ferrari paint is in the foreground.

Caption for image 2:
A life size model of the European Mars Express spacecraft due to be launched on its journey to the Red Planet in May-June 2003 accompanied by a sample of Ferrari red paint is pictured here. The model of the spacecraft is seen here in the anechoic chamber at INTESPACE in Toulouse, alongside the F2002, this year's Ferrari F1 World Champion car together with Ferrari's 575M Maranello.

For further information, visit: http://redencounter.esa.int/

Or contact

Hugo Marée
Ferrari/Mars Express
Project Coordinator
Tel:+33(0)1.5369.7106 or
Tel:+31(0)71.565.3183

Or

ESA Communications Department
Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 69 71 55
Fax: +33 (0) 1 53 69 76 90

 

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