Tag Archives: ExoMars

ExoMars: Surfing complete

Slowed by skimming through the very top of the upper atmosphere, ESA’s ExoMars has lowered itself into a planet-hugging orbit and is about ready to begin sniffing the Red Planet for methane. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrived at Mars … Continue reading

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Trace Gas Orbiter: Aerobraking down, down

Spacecraft Operations Engineer Armelle Hubault, working on the ExoMars TGO flight control team, reports: This graphic (above) gives a very concise visualisation of the fantastic progress we’ve made with aerobraking to date. It was coded by my ExoMars TGO colleague … Continue reading

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Keeping up with ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

On Friday, 17 November, the flight controllers at ESOC began operations to bring the spacecraft into a new phase of the on-going aerobraking campaign, marking the start of ‘shorter’ orbits. ‘Short’ is considered, somewhat arbitrarily, as when the orbital period … Continue reading

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Trace Gas Orbiter: Crossing Phobos’ orbit while aerobraking

[Editor’s note: See update.] Here are the facts about the Phobos orbit crossing today [November 16]. The orbit crossing is not a Phobos flyby. In fact, we did our best to ensure that Phobos would be at the farthest possible … Continue reading

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ExoMars aerobraking becomes too severe; shifts automatically to higher orbit

ExoMars has successfully performed a Flux Reduction Manoeuvre (FRM) for the first time. The manoeuvre was triggered by the excessive density of Mars’ atmosphere, which had slowed the spacecraft above the limit the operations team normally allows. The manoeuvre happened … Continue reading

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Trace Gas Orbiter: Clouds over lava flows

Diffuse, water-ice clouds, a hazy sky and a light breeze. Such might have read a weather forecast for the Tharsis volcanic region on Mars on 22 November 2016, when this image was taken by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Clouds, … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Candidate ExoMars landing site near Aram Dorsum

Candidate ExoMars landing site near Aram Dorsum. Beautiful Mars series.

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ExoMars 2020: Window into rover’s search for Mars life

Anyone interested in the scientific exploration of Mars and the search for life on the Red Planet will want to read a special issue of the journal Astrobiology. This collection of papers includes one dedicated to the objectives of ESA’s … Continue reading

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ExoMars TGO: Aerobraking restarts in September

After an approximately 11-week pause due to Mars conjunction and a major software update, ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will restart its aerobraking campaign in September. Aerobraking, you’ll recall, is the year-long campaign being conducted by TGO using the … Continue reading

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Trace Gas Orbiter: Aerobraking suspended

On 25 June, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will suspend its aerobraking campaign until the end of August due to Mars’ conjunction with the Sun. With Mars behind the Sun, TGO’s communication with Earth will be difficult, and so the spacecraft orbit … Continue reading

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