ExoMars – Another space odyssey to Mars by ESA and ROSCOSMOS

A joint venture of ESA & RSCOSMOS

Image Credit : ExoMars

ExoMars is a space endeavour to Mars from european space agency(ESA) in collaboration with Russian space agency (ROSCOSMOS). Trace Gas Orbiter, Schiaparelli, and Mars rover will be the part of the mission.

ExoMars 2016 mission explained

As the name suggest the primary objective for the mission will be to search for the existence of life on the Mars. It will try to find the answers to many questions which we have. One objective of the mission will be to check whether the life ever existed on the Mars or not.

exo’ refers to the exobiology or astrobiology – A study of life beyond earth. ExoMars mission is divided into two parts:

First part of the mission was already launched in March and it will reach Mars on 19 October. This section of the mission is further divided into two parts :

  1. TGO – Trace Gas Orbiter.
  2. Schiaparelli – This is consider to be an entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module.

Second will be the Mars rover which is scheduled to be launch in 2020.

TGO – Trace Gas Orbiter

The objective of TGO is to collect trace gas information. Trace gasses comprises of only 1% in the planet atmosphere. Its main aim is to gather information about the methane gas which will present the current state of Mars activity.

Methane considered by the scientists as the key in understanding of the environment. Methane gas occurs mostly in volcanic eruption and hydrocarbon gasses. It is believed to be having a shorter life span of 400 years. Because of its short life span it is believed that it has production source available in the Mars. As per ESA, Finding this source of methane production will be the primary responsibility of the trace gas orbiter.


Schiaparelli will collect various information like wind speed and direction, humidity, pressure, atmospheric temperature, opacity of the atmosphere and atmospheric electrification. This all will be done by the help of various advanced technology instrument like DREAM-P, DREAM-H, SIS, MetWind, MicroARES, MetMast, etc.

It also has set of laser reflector which will guide the future rover to its position.

Timeline for ExoMars mission:

ExoMars was already launched on 14th March 2016.  As per ESA it took about 10.5 hours to separate from its rocket and opened it solar panels. Two weeks later it deployed its high-gain antenna to send its signal to the mission control. 

From mid March till today TGO and Schiaparelli was flying together in the deep space towards Mars. Now, its time for their separation from each other. One will go toward Mars orbit and another will try to adjust its trajectory to set the orbit of Mars may above few 100 kilometres.

Launching and Journey to Mars.

19, October 2016 will be the day when Schiaparelli will touch down the Mars surface. ESA is planning to provide live feed to its fan following. TechPoliti will keep you posted with the progress of the mission. If you would like to know more information about the mission you can get it from ESA website.
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