Home LATEST NEWS ExoMars mission ready for launch in September

ExoMars mission ready for launch in September

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This Russian-European space program, initially scheduled for 2020, had to be postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic and technical difficulties.

All Instruments of the ESA robot Rosalind Franklin are ready for take-off, with only a few minor tweaks left to complete this month, specifies the European agency in a press release.

We are convinced that we will be there for the launch in September, says Pietro Baglioni, head of the rover team. It will be deposited on Martian soil with the Russian lander Kazatchok.

The parachute tests, carried out in November and December at high altitude, were particularly successful. This is a key step to ensure a smooth arrival on the red planet.

Also, a replica of the rover descended for the first time successfully from its landing platform during simulations, says the ESA.

This descent of the robot constitutes a crucial operation, which will have to be carried out very slowly. The machine is designed to negotiate the steep slope of the undercarriage ramps, but it will be up to the control team on Earth to choose the safest ramp to go down.

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The Rosalind Franklin rover and lander are now installed in a clean room at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. After a final review in April, they will be transported to their launch site at Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

The ExoMars rover is designed to drill the Martian soil up to two meters: a sufficient depth to access any organic matter, which would be well preserved for 4 billion years.

In that distant time, Mars would have looked more like Earth than it does today, with conditions that could support life and that offer hope for the discovery of traces of ancient microbial life.

The ExoMars program is a two-part exploration mission. The first came in 2016, when the TGO orbiter went into orbit around Mars to study its atmosphere.

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