VIDEO: Live broadcast from Mars, a historic first from the European Space Agency

Live broadcast from the planet Mars/Photo: ESA/Screenshot

An image of the planet Mars was broadcast live on Friday, for the first time, by the European Space Agency (ESA) thanks to the Mars Express satellite.

The event was held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the space device that maps the surface of the "Red Planet" in three dimensions. It was originally estimated to run for only two years.

ESA releases an image every 50 seconds.

The visuals were made available on ESA's Twitter account and the hashtag #MarsLIVE.

Usually images from devices in orbit around Mars or on its surface are stored and sent in a "packet" to Earth at regular intervals.

Because of the distance from Earth to Mars, the image takes 13-22 minutes to reach Earth, depending on where the two planets are in their orbits around the Sun. The Mars Express footage lasted 17 minutes.

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