The first-ever livestream from Mars by the European Space Agency was interrupted by rain in Spain.
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A European spacecraft around Mars sent its first livestream from the red planet to Earth on Friday to mark the 20th anniversary of its launch, but rain in Spain interfered at times.
The European Space Agency broadcast the livestream with views courtesy of its Mars Express, launched by a Russian rocket from Kazakhstan in 2003.
It took nearly 17 minutes for each picture to reach Earth, nearly 200 million miles (300 million kilometers) away, and another minute to get through the ground stations.
The transmission was disrupted at times by rainy weather at the deep space-relay antenna in Spain.
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Still, enough images made it through to delight the European space officials hosting the hourlong livestream. The initial views showed about one-third of Mars, which gradually grew bigger in the frames before shrinking again as the spacecraft circled the planet. White clouds could clearly be seen in some of the shots.
“If you were currently sitting on board Mars Express … this is what you would be seeing,” said Simon Wood, the mission’s spacecraft operations engineer. “We typically don’t normally get images in this way.”
Data from China’s Zhurong rover points to the possibility that Mars could have been a watery world 400,000 years ago, as the rover finds signs of water activity.