ExoMars deal is formally signed between ESA and Roscosmos

by | Mar 14, 2013 | ESA, exploration, Russia, Science, Technology | 0 comments

After NASA found it could no longer offer launches for the ExoMars mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) approached Russia for help.  As a result of long running discussions, on 14 March the ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Head of Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin  have signed a formal agreement for their respective agencies  to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions: one to be launched in January 2016, and one to be launched in 2018.

Under the deal, ESA will provide the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) in 2016, and the carrier and rover in 2018. Roscosmos will be responsible for the 2018 descent module and surface platform, and will provide launchers for both missions. Both partners will supply scientific instruments and will cooperate closely in the scientific exploitation of the missions.

The 2016 mission has two major ESA elements: the TGO and the EDM. The TGO will search for evidence of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. It will also serve as a data relay for the 2018 mission. The EDM will land on Mars to prove key technologies for the 2018 mission.

In 2018, the ExoMars rover, to be provided by ESA, will search the planet’s surface for signs of life, past and present. It will be the first Mars rover able to drill to depths of 2 m, collecting samples that have been shielded from the harsh conditions of the surface, where radiation and oxidants can destroy organic materials. The rover will be delivered by a Russian descent module that includes a surface platform equipped with additional scientific instruments.

While taking a back seat to the other partners, NASA will still make important contributions to the ExoMars programme, including the Electra UHF radio package for TGO, and Mars Proximity Link telecom and engineering support to the EDM

The ExoMars Programme is funded by fourteen ESA states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and Canada) of which Italy is the largest contributor and the UK the second largest. Member states also provide scientific instruments to ExoMars. For the 2016 TGO, these include the infrared and ultraviolet spectrometer package NOMAD (led by Belgium) and the CaSSIS high-resolution colour stereo camera (led by Switzerland). Italy will lead the DREAMS environmental station on the EDM.

The 2018 Rover will comprise PanCam, a wide-angle and high resolution camera system (led by the United Kingdom); CLUPI, a close-up imager (led by Switzerland); WISDOM, a ground-penetrating radar (led by France); Ma_MISS, a miniaturised infrared spectrometer integrated in the subsurface drill (led by Italy); MicrOmega, a visible and infrared imaging spectrometer (led by France); RLS, a Raman spectrometer (led by Spain), and MOMA, a novel organic molecule detector (led by Germany, with substantial contributions from the United States).

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Roscosmos “hijacks” German eRosita instrument on Spektr-RG astronomy sat then Rogozin demands far worse

Roscosmos, Russia's space agency and conglomerate, has taken what is thought to be an illegal step of unilaterally ordering the Read more

Russia causes uproar with its “Donbass” message on side of Soyuz rocket carrying Progress MS-20 cargo craft to the ISS

With vicious fighting now occurring in the Donbass region of Ukraine three months into Russia's violent invasion of Ukraine,  Russia's Read more

Russian spacewalkers work hard on ISS Nauka module’s European robot arm

On 28 April 2022 Expedition 67 Flight Engineers and Roscosmos Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev began their EVA (Russian Read more

Further fallout from Russo-Ukraine war on aerospace industry

While the main effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have already become apparent, most noticeably by the cancellation of Read more

Russia launches missile early warning satellite to Molniya orbit

Russia launched the fifth satellite in its EKS (Tundra) series of missile early warning satellites at 0109 GMT, 25 November. Read more

20 ton Nauka module successfully docks with ISS but later causes scare with misfiring thrusters (Updated)

Following a troubled eight-day voyage the Nauka module has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), the first Russian Read more

ISS loses Pirs module but replacement on the way

It is a time of renewal at the International Space Station as one long-standing module is removed to be replaced Read more

Nauka module limps towards ISS after suffering multiple issues in orbit following successful Proton launch (Updated)

The newest ISS module, known as Nauka, was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, by a Proton M at 1458 GMT Read more

Categories

Archives