. Mars Exploration News .

ExoMars program gathers strength
by Boris Pavlishch
Moscow, Russia (Voice of Russia) Jul 23, 2012

The Mars Rover is equipped with a long drill to collect soil samples. Daily the rover will cover 100 meters. Russia's involvement in such a project is a good opportunity for supporting its research program in this area after the failure of the Phobos-Grunt mission.

The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) are expected to sign an agreement on the implementation of the second stage of the ExoMars program in the fall of 2012. Under the agreement, the 2018 mission should see Russia fulfill more than 50 percent of the volume of work pertaining to the program. The information came during talks on the sidelines of the 2012 Farnborough Air Show earlier this week.

In February 2012, NASA announced its withdrawal from the ExoMars program, citing financial woes. As for the program, it includes a spate of several spacecraft elements to be sent to Mars on two launches. The launch of Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), as well as the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is scheduled for 2016.

The EDM will enable the ESA to hammer out new technologies related to landing on Mars, a mission that is yet to be implemented by the ESA. This is not the case with Russian and US space vehicles which earlier successfully landed on the Red Planet, says Alexander Zakharov of the Moscow-based Institute for Space Exploration.

"Russian engineers will help their European colleagues to successfully implement the 2016 mission," Zakharov says, referring to the EDM which he recalls is currently being assembled in Europe. "The goal is to resolve an array of technological problems which is why there will be no research equipment on board the EDM," Zakharov explains.

The EDM will be equipped with special descent and landing sensors, while the TGO will deliver several Russian-made devices to Mars, Zakharov goes on to say.

"They will include three infra-red spectrometers, designed to study Mars' atmosphere for sources of methane, carbonic dioxide and water. The spectrometers will also help monitor temperature in the atmosphere," Zakharov says. "The Russian equipment on the ExoMars will also include a neutron detector to study water distribution under Martian ground up to 1 meter deep."

The detector will also be used for defining the level of radiation on the orbit which is relevant for future piloted missions. What about methane - the scientists want to find out how this gas originated on Mars.

There are no volcanoes on Mars which are one of the sources of this gas and it can have a biological origin. The orbiter will produce a map of methane outputs from the underground of the planet in order to define a site for the landing on the next stage of the ExoMars project, which starts with the launch of the second Proton rocket.

"In 2018, the expedition's line up will also include a landing platform, which was designed by Russia's Lavochkin scientific development and production center. This landing platform will deliver the European mars rover on the surface of the planet.

The rover will have Russia's (4:02) infrared spectrometer and neutron detector to study Martian ground. Most of the platform's equipment will be Russian. The approximate list of the equipment includes a manipulator for taking ground samples, a weather station, a panoramic camera, a magnetometer and a seismometer."

The key task of the ExoMars mission will be the search for possible signs of Martian life. The traces of microorganisms could be at a depth of two meters below the surface because deadly radiation does not reach there.

The Mars Rover is equipped with a long drill to collect soil samples. Daily the rover will cover 100 meters. Russia's involvement in such a project is a good opportunity for supporting its research program in this area after the failure of the Phobos-Grunt mission.

Source: Voice of Russia

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

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


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

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ESA tests self-steering rover in 'Mars' desert
Paris (ESA) Jun 20, 2012
ESA assembled a top engineering team then challenged them to devise a way for rovers to navigate on alien planets. Six months later, a fully autonomous vehicle was charting its own course through Chile's Mars-like Atacama Desert. The recent test of the Seeker full-scale rover was the outcome of gathering a multidisciplinary team at a single site, working against the clock to achieve a breakthrou ... read more

Another Small Step for Mankind

Russia starts building Moon spaceship, eyes Lunar base

Plans to revisit Moon impeded by financial difficulties

Russia says no manned moon shots till 2018

China's manned spacecraft in final preparations for mid-June launch

Looking Forward to Shenzhou 10

Astronauts in good shape after return

Shenzhou mission sparks 'science fever'

Russian cargo ship fails to dock at ISS: NASA

Russian cargo ship fails to dock at ISS during tests

Japanese Rocket Sends Cargo to ISS

Japan sends cargo to space station

Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

Hubble telescope spots fifth moon near Pluto

New Horizons Doing Science in Its Sleep

It's a Sim: Out in Deep Space, New Horizons Practices the 2015 Pluto Encounter

River networks on Titan point to a puzzling geologic history

Cassini Spots Daytime Lightning on Saturn

Saturn's Rings are Back

The Titanian Seasons Turn, Turn, Turn

Lockheed Martin Marks Landsat 40th Anniversary

Earth-observing Camera Launches to International Space Station

Landsat Looks and Sees

Why Is Earth So Dry?

NASA Offers Condolences on the Passing of Pioneering Astronaut Sally Ride

Sally Ride, first US woman in space dead at 61

America Invents Act is a game changer

Sally Ride, first US woman in space dead at 61

UCF Discovers Exoplanet Neighbor

Can Astronomers Detect Exoplanet Oceans

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust

Study in Nature sheds new light on planet formation

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: 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 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal 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