Tag Archives: ExoMars 2016

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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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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Schiaparelli crash investigation finishes

The inquiry into the crash-landing of the ExoMars Schiaparelli module has concluded that conflicting information in the onboard computer caused the descent sequence to end prematurely. The Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module separated from its mothership, the Trace … Continue reading

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ExoMars: Q & A on Trace Gas Orbiter aerobraking

Meeting Mario Montagna – ExoMars 2016 Avionics Systems Engineer – Exploration & Science Italy Head of Avionics, Data Systems & Communications Design department. The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft was launched by a Proton rocket on March 14, 2016. About seven months … Continue reading

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ExoMars: TGO aerobraking, ‘So far, so good’

Aerobraking progress as of 22 March: To date, periapsis passage speed reduced by 33 cm/sec Still to go: 99,967 cm/sec There’s news from the ExoMars/TGO mission control team at ESOC following the first ten days of the ‘walk-in’ to aerobraking, … Continue reading

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ExoMars: Aerobraking begins as TGO science checkout ends

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed another set of important science calibration tests before a year of aerobraking gets underway. The mission was launched a year ago this week, and has been orbiting the Red Planet since 19 October. … Continue reading

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ExoMars: Noctis Labyrinthus stereo pair

ExoMars was launched on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on 14 March 2016. Around seven months later, it arrived at Mars. As part of preparations for its main science mission to analyse the atmosphere for gases that may be … Continue reading

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