A picture of Mars' south polar region can be seen in the picture. Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Unleash Your Wanderlust with the First-Ever Mars Livestream

Tune in for the first-ever livestream from Mars.


Join the European Space Agency (ESA) for a once-in-a-lifetime event on 2 June. Witness live images beamed down from Mars via ESA’s YouTube channel. This hour-long spectacle is as close as anyone can get to real-time viewing of the Red Planet.

Understanding Mars and Its Existence

The existence of Mars isn’t in question. However, we only know Mars based on past evidence, given the light delay in our observations. With the speed of light limiting us, the ‘live’ news concept doesn’t strictly apply to space. To mark the 20th anniversary of ESA’s Mars Express, the agency offers an unparalleled opportunity. Be among the first to see images every 50 seconds, transmitted directly from the orbiter’s Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC).

The Limitations and Advantages of Spacecraft Data Collection

Spacecraft gather data when out of contact with ground station antennas. This data is stored onboard, then transmitted back to Earth hours or even days later. Although this delay is not a concern for science, it makes ‘live’ footage rare.

A few missions, such as NASA’s DART, LCROSS, and the Apollo missions, have provided live footage. However, these were closer to Earth. A comprehensive Livestream from deep space is indeed a first.


First-Ever Mars Livestream

The live images taken from Mars will take about 18 minutes to appear on your screen. Most of this time is needed for light to travel from Mars to Earth, while some are required for signal processing on Earth.

Originally designed to monitor the separation of the Beagle 2 lander, the VMC, now known as the Mars Webcam, has exceeded its original purpose. In 2007, it was repurposed for science and outreach activities.

New image processing methods allowed the camera to serve as a scientific instrument. It has contributed to significant discoveries, such as the study of a rare elongated cloud formation above Mars’ Arsia Mons volcano.

Celebrating Mars Express: A Livestream Like No Other

In honor of Mars Express, teams have developed tools for streaming high-quality images live for a full hour. Although the procedure is uncertain due to the vast distance and the camera’s age, ESA remains optimistic.


On 2 June, join ESA on YouTube at 18:00 CEST (17:00 BST) to celebrate Mars Express’s 20th anniversary with this groundbreaking livestream. Get ready to see Mars as close to the Martian ‘now’ as possible!

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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