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Thread: ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars), robotic exploration of Mars, ExoMars Rover, European Space Agency, Paris, France

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    ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars), robotic exploration of Mars, ExoMars Rover, European Space Agency, Paris, France

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    Europe's first Mars Rover and their sandy "playground"

    Published on Dec 3, 2014

    Europe’s first Mars rover will have an unmatched capability to autonomously navigate up to 70 metres a day with no outside guidance from ground control. The extended Mars Yard provides a realistic and representative Mars environment to allow the Guidance, Navigation and Control team of the ExoMars rover project to finalise the sophisticated autonomous navigation system. The Mars Yard will be used up until launch and will also be kept available after the rover has landed on the surface of Mars in 2019 – if necessary to address any problem by simulating the situation on Earth. Manufacture of the flight rover will begin early in 2015 after construction of an advanced clean room for interplanetary missions at Airbus Defence and Space’s Stevenage site. Mission launch is planned for 2018.
    More information:
    "Airbus Defence and Space opens state-of-the-art extended Mars Yard rover test area"

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    Published on Jun 30, 2015

    The ExoMars spacecraft is almost complete. A joint mission between ESA and Roscosmos, it begins with the launch of the ExoMars orbiter in 2016 and carries an aerodynamically designed capsule containing a robotic lander.

    Getting to Mars, landing there safely and searching for life is a huge scientific and technical challenge. ExoMars 2016 will send back information about the Martian atmosphere and the lander’s findings. These will inform the second part of the mission, in 2018, when a European rover will drill into the Martian surface, up to two metres down. The rover will be trying to detect traces of organic molecules that indicate the presence of past or present life on Mars.

    This video includes interviews with Jorge Vago, ExoMars Project Scientist, ESA and Pietro Baglioni, ExoMars Rover Manager, ESA. It shows ExoMars 2016 nearing construction in its clean room at Thales Alenia Space in France and a prototype ExoMars rover in the ExoMars test yard at ESA’s ESTEC facility in the Netherlands.

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    ExoMars 2016: launch to Mars

    Published on Feb 17, 2016

    Animation visualising milestones during the launch of the ExoMars 2016 mission and its cruise to Mars. The mission comprises the Trace Gas Orbiter and an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, Schiaparelli, which are scheduled to be launched on a four-stage Proton-M/Breeze-M rocket from Baikonur during the 14–25 March 2016 window. About ten-and-a-half hours after launch, the spacecraft will separate from the rocket and deploy its solar wings. Two weeks later, its high-gain antenna will be deployed. After a seven-month cruise to Mars, Schiaparelli will separate from TGO on 16 October. Three days later it will enter the martian atmosphere, while TGO begins its entry into Mars orbit.

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    ExoMars 2016 arriving at Mars

    Published on Feb 22, 2016

    The paths of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module arriving at Mars on 19 October (right and left, respectively). The counter begins at the start of a critical engine burn that TGO must conduct in order to enter Mars orbit. The altitude above Mars is also indicated, showing the arrival of Schiaparelli on the surface and the subsequent trajectory of TGO. The orbiter's initial 4-day orbit will be about 250 x 100 000 km. Starting in December 2016, the spacecraft will perform a series of aerobraking manoeuvres to steadily lower it into a circular, 400 km orbit (not shown here).

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    ExoMars prepares for launch

    Published on Mar 1, 2016

    The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft - consisting of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator - is in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, preparing for its mid-March launch on a Russian Proton rocket.

    This joint European and Russian mission will test key exploration technologies and search for evidence of methane and other rare gases in the martian atmosphere. These gases could result from geological processes or they could be signatures of current biological activity on the planet. Three days before reaching Mars in October, Schiaparelli will separate from the orbiter and coast towards the planet in hibernation mode to reduce power consumption.

    This video covers the journey, the orbit of the Trace Gas Orbiter, the separation of the Schiaparelli lander and its 20 000 km/hour descent and eventual landing. It also contains filming at ESA’s European Space and Technology Centre (ESTEC) Mars Yard in the Netherlands.

    Learning more about Mars’ water and environment will shed further light on this planet - while knowing the origin of its methane could finally answer the exciting question of whether there is life on Mars.

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    ExoMars - building on past missions to Mars

    Published on Mar 9, 2016

    The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft will build on past missions to Mars. From the pioneering Viking missions onwards, our knowledge of Mars has been transformed and we now have an extraordinarily detailed picture of the planet. There are dust storms, polar ice caps and four distinct seasons. Mars has the largest volcanic mountain in our solar system and a canyon stretching over 5000 kilometres.

    This film covers what we have learnt in particular from Europe’s Mars Express mission. Since its arrival in 2003, it has found evidence of water on Mars, discovered methane in the planet’s atmosphere, mapped the structure and composition of the south polar ice cap, discovered auroras and made the closest ever flybys of Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons. Mars Express also helped scientists select the landing site for the NASA Mars Curiosity rover, which arrived in Gale crater in 2012.More remains to be learnt from Mars. Not least, whether the methane results from geological activity or past or present life.

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    ExoMars 2016 liftoff

    Published on Mar 14, 2016

    Replay of the ExoMars 2016 liftoff on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 09:31 GMT on 14 March 2016.

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    ExoMars is on its way

    Published on May 3, 2016

    After a successful launch from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in March, the ExoMars spacecraft is making good progress on its 500 million km trip to Mars.

    The joint European and Russian mission will perform science, test lander and descent technology, and may help solve the mystery of why there is methane on Mars. The gas could indicate a geological origin or past or present life - most likely from microbes. The mission carries four scientific packages with Russia developing one of the three spectrometers on board the orbiter’s Atmospheric Chemistry Suite.

    This film provides an update of ExoMars’ journey. It includes the first test image from the Trace Gas Orbiter’s high-resolution camera and looks ahead to a major course correction manoeuvre in July. The spacecraft will then be lined up for arrival at Mars on 19 October 2016.

    Includes interviews with Thomas Passvogel, Head of Science Projects, ESA (English); Oleg Korablev, ACS Experiment Principal Investigator (Russian); Nicolas Thomas, CaSSIS Experiment Principal Investigator, University of Bern (English).

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    ExoMars : testing on Earth technologies for Mars

    Published on Oct 6, 2016

    In the framework of the ExoMars program, a test campaign was successfully achieved both in Morocco (Erfoud) and in Thales Alenia Space's plant, in Rome. This video underlines tests regarding a key instrument, the Radar Doppler Altimeter (RDA), onboard the descent modules that will land on the Red Planet. This technology concerns both missions: 2016 & 2020. Part of these tests were carried out in Morocco, in the Erfoud-Merzane region, to check the RDA’s operation on soil similar to that found on Mars.

    ExoMars is in fact a joint program between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor on the ExoMars missions, that will generate a mother lode of data, feeding researchers for many years to come!

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