Tag Archives: ExoMars

ExoMars TGO: South polar layered deposits

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter captured this view of part of the south polar ice cap on Mars on 13 May 2018. The poles of Mars have huge ice caps that are similar to Earth’s polar caps in Greenland and … Continue reading

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ExoMars 2020 rover set for tough environmental tests

A representative model of the ExoMars rover that will land on Mars in 2021 is beginning a demanding test campaign that will ensure it can survive the rigours of launch and landing, as well as operations under the environmental conditions … Continue reading

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ExoMars TGO returns first images from orbit

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has returned the first images of the Red Planet from its new orbit. The spacecraft arrived in a near-circular 400 km altitude orbit a few weeks ago ahead of its primary goal to seek out … Continue reading

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ExoMars poised to start science mission

The ExoMars orbiter will soon begin its search for gases that may be linked to active geological or biological activity on the Red Planet. The Trace Gas Orbiter has reached its final orbit after a year of ‘aerobraking’ that ended … Continue reading

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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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