Ambitious & Audacious
In All Its Splendor
The ExoMars program, short for ‘Exobiology on Mars’, is a joint mission of Esa (European Space Agency) and Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency) primarily dedicated to provide evidence of past or present life, in preparation for future human exploration to Mars.
ExoMars mission is approaching its next phase to meet the red planet: the spacecraft Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is set to arrive at its destination on October 19, in its nearly seventh month journey, and 496 million kilometres (308 million miles) traveled. It requires the most advanced technology and incredible precision to send spacecrafts out of Earth orbit and have them safely landing on the martian surface. The ExoMars launch date of March 2016 was chosen for on May, Earth and Mars were at their closest point with a distance of 75.3 million km (46.8 million miles). This means that the two planets are located on the same side of the Sun, our planet being at ‘aphelion’ at its most distant point from the Sun, and Mars at its ‘perihelion’, the closest to the Sun. A similar event occurred on 2003 when the two planets were the closest after nearly 60,000 years.
The lander is expected to operate for three to four ‘Sols‘, Martian days, until its internal batteries run off. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will orbit the red planet to study its atmospheric changes and composition for evidence of methane, a gas with implications for the existence of life on the planet.
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