Skip to main content

How to watch the first ESA Mars Express ‘live’ stream

How to watch the first ESA Mars Express ‘live’ stream


The European Space Agency will be streaming images as they come from its 20-year Mars Express orbiter.

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

An artist’s recreation of the Mars Express against the backdrop of Mars, with the words “First Mars Livestream” at the top and the ESA logo in the bottom left corner
The ESA will be streaming images on YouTube from the Mars Express spacecraft on June 2nd, 2023.
Image: European Space Agency

On June 2nd, 2023, the European Space Agency will be livestreaming images from the Mars Express, a spacecraft that first launched twenty years ago, per the agency’s announcement on Wednesday. The stream will take place for one hour, beginning on June 2nd at 11:45AM ET and will show new images every 50 seconds as they come straight from the Express’ Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC).

The announcement points out that the images won’t be “live” per se, as it takes anywhere from three to 22 minutes for them to reach the Earth thanks to the famously slow speed of light. (That’s a joke — light is, to our knowledge, still the record holder for universal speed.)

The Mars Express has been through a lot while making key discoveries about our rusty celestial neighbor. In its nearly two decades in service, it has detected evidence of giant underground aquifers; it lost and found its surface lander buddy named Beagle 2; it shared glorious images like this panorama of Mars’ south pole; and much more along the way. Amazingly, it has done it all while running a modified version of Windows 98.

The ESA will also be sending out updates from its official Twitter account. Its overview of Mars Express says the orbiter first began encircling the Red Planet on December 25th, 2003 — a true Christmas miracle.