ESA launches satellite and stationary Mars Lander first ExoMars mission




The European Space Agency in collaboration with the Russian Roscosmos launched the first part of the ExoMars mission. A Proton-M rocket puts satellite and stationary lander to Mars. In 2018 to follow a Mars Rover.

ExoMars liftof To 10:31 hours Dutch time, the Proton-M rocket successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On board the launcher, the Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli Lander of the ESA, which together form the first part of the ExoMars mission.

The Russian Proton-M rocket consists of four stages, including the Briz-module with which the satellite was put toward Mars. First to fly the module by four orbits the earth placed on escape velocity. 10.5 hours after launch the fourth stage will be disconnected and the satellite begins its seven-month journey to Mars. It is expected that the satellite on October 16 is in orbit around the red planet. Then, the lander is disconnected, and this will be on October 19 reach the surface.

The ExoMars mission consists of two parts. The first part, which has now been put in motion, bringing a satellite and a stationary lander to the planet. Trace Gas Orbiter will serve as a communication platform between the lander and Earth. Both the satellite and the lander will investigate the atmosphere of the planet and looking for possible traces of life from the past. The lander is also used to practice landing techniques to be used in the next ExoMars mission in 2018. The purpose of this mission is to create a moving Mars rover on the planet. The TGO, which still runs circles around the planet, is also used as a communication platform.

The Schiaparelli ESA will also carry out a pilot landing in the middle of the season that include dust storms. Normally, this season just avoided when making landings on the red planet, but the ESA wants to measure wind speeds and research into electrically charged particles in the atmosphere, which just occur during these storms.

The plans for the ExoMars mission stems already from the nineties of the last century. Initially, it was planned to launch in 2011, but the project proved more expensive than planned and thus delayed. ESA thought to have found a solution by entering into a partnership with NASA, but the US space agency pulled out in 2012. ESA, however, had now found a new partner and the mission is a cooperation between ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos, which provides the Proton launchers.

Also, NASA was planning this month to send a missile to Mars, carrying the new Insight robber. However, the mission was postponed to be due to a defect. Customize the US space agency can give it a new launch attempt in May 2018. It is no coincidence that both NASA and ESA in 2016 and 2018 launches to Mars are on the program. Only once in the two years of the Mars position relative to the earth, it is ideal to have a Hohmann transfer to be carried out between the earth and the red planet.


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