Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Mars Exploration News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

ExoMars prepares to leave Europe for launch site
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Nov 26, 2015

Schiaparelli, also known as the ExoMars Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module is seen here being installed at the top of the Trace Gas Orbiter, at Thales Alenia Space, in Cannes, France, on 25 November 2015. The first mission of the ExoMars programme, scheduled to arrive at Mars in 2016, consists of a Trace Gas Orbiter plus an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM). The main objectives of this mission are to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes and to test key technologies in preparation for ESA's contribution to subsequent missions to Mars. The Orbiter itself will remain in Mars orbit to image surface features and study the composition of the atmosphere. Image courtesy ESA-Stephane Corvaja, 2015. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The two ExoMars spacecraft of the 2016 mission are being prepared for shipping to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of their launch in March.

A joint endeavour with Russia's Roscosmos space agency, ExoMars comprises two missions. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli make up the 2016 mission, while the 2018 mission will combine a rover and a surface science platform. Both missions will be launched on Russian Proton rockets from Baikonur.

TGO and Schiaparelli are undergoing final preparations at Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France, where they were on display for media to view for the last time before they leave Europe.

They will be shipped separately in the middle of next month, arriving at the cosmodrome on 21 and 23 December, respectively.

"It's been a long road for ExoMars to reach this point, but we are now ready to launch in spring next year," says Alvaro Gimenez, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

"We are about to begin a new era of Mars exploration for Europe and our Russian partners."

Sergey Saveliev, Deputy General Director of Roscosmos, says: "ExoMars is a unique example of the Russian-European cooperation in deep-space exploration.

"The mission of 2016 is just the first stage of our cooperation and, in the future, Roscosmos and ESA plan many joint projects to explore near and deep space."

Donato Amoroso, deputy CEO of Thales Alenia Space, notes, "For Thales Alenia Space, our lead role in the extraordinary ExoMars programme, as producer of the orbiter and the entry, descent and landing module for in situ exploration of Mars, entails huge technological and human challenges."

The first ExoMars is scheduled for launch on 14 March, at the start of a launch window that remains open until 25 March.

After a cruise of almost seven months to Mars, Schiaparelli will separate from TGO on 16 October for its entry, descent and landing in the Meridani Planum region on 19 October.

TGO, along with ESA's Mars Express and NASA satellites already orbiting Mars, will relay data for the few days that Schiaparelli is expected to operate on its batteries.

Schiaparelli is primarily a demonstrator to prove a range of technologies enabling controlled landings on Mars in future, but it also carries a small science package to analyse its local environment once on the surface.

Meanwhile, after a series of aerobraking manoeuvres in 2017, TGO will enter orbit around Mars, from where it will take a detailed inventory of the gases in the planet's atmosphere.

Of special interest are the abundance and distribution of methane: its presence implies an active, current source, and TGO will help to determine whether it stems from a geological or biological source.

"TGO will analyse 'trace gases' in the atmosphere," says Hakan Svedhem, ESA's project scientist. "Even though they make up less than one percent of the atmospheric inventory, they should provide key indicators to the nature of any active processes, helping us to determine just how 'alive' Mars may be today.

"TGO will also monitor seasonal changes in the composition and temperature of the atmosphere, and will map the subsurface to look for hidden water ice."

Finally, TGO will also relay data from the rover and surface science platform of the 2018 mission.


Related Links
ExoMars at ESA
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Swiss Camera Leaves for Mars
Bern, Switzerland (SPX) Nov 09, 2015
A camera designed and built at the University of Bern will leave Bern on Monday, 9 November, at 6:00 in the morning for Cannes in France where it will be integrated on the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) spacecraft at the premises of Thales-Alenia Space. The TGO spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on 12 March 2016 and will arrive at Mars in ... read more

Gaia's sensors scan a lunar transit

SwRI scientists explain why moon rocks contain fewer volatiles than Earth's

All-female Russian crew starts Moon mission test

Russian moon mission would need 4 Angara-A5V launches

China's scientific satellites to enter uncharted territory

China to launch Dark Matter Satellite in mid-December

China to better integrate satellite applications with Internet

China's satellite expo opens

Russian-US Space Collaboration Intact Despite Chill in Bilateral Ties

ISS EarthKAM ready for student imaging request

Partners in Science: Private Companies Conduct Valuable Research on the Space Station

SAGE III Leaves Langley for Journey to ISS

New Horizons documents one rotation of Charon

Tyson weighs in on New Horizons' Pluto discoveries

Composite images compare sunlit faces of Pluto

Astronomers spot most distant object in the solar system

Two Moons About Saturn

Cassini Finds Monstrous Ice Cloud in Titan's South Polar Region

Deserts and dunes: Earth as an analogue for Titan

Cassini Plunged Into Icy Plumes of Enceladus

Timelapse from space reveals glacier in motion

NASA plans twin sounding rocket launches over Norway this winter

Earth's magnetic field is not about to flip

Is That a Forest? That Depends on How You Define It

Aerojet Rocketdyne tapped for spacecraft's crew module propulsion

Brits Aim for the Stars with Big Bucks on Offer to Conquer Final Frontier

XCOR develops Lynx Simulator

Orion ingenuity improves manufacturing while reducing mass

Retro Exo and Its Originators

How DSCOVR Could Help in Exoplanet Hunting

Neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

Forming planet observed for first time

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.