The joint European ESA and Russian EXOMARS 2016 mission launched on a proton rocket from Baikonur Kazakhstan on 14th of March. After a series of critical engine burns the spacecraft left Earth orbit for its 7 months 500 million kilometers journey to Mars. The spacecraft consists of two modules the trace gas orbiter and Schiaparelli lambda designed to demonstrate technologies for entry descent and landing the lander will separate from the orbit on the 16th of October for a three-date coast and a six-minute descent to the surface. This will be the first landing attempt during the planets just season the lander is heading for the meridian Planum an area that is currently being studied by NASA’s. Opportunity rover and Europe’s Mars Express orbiter Schiaparelli will be activated a few hours before reaching the Martian atmosphere. When it will be traveling at some 21,000 km/h the front heat shield covered with 90 insulating tiles will be subjected to temperatures of up to 1500 degrees Celsius of EXOMARS.
EXOMARS Safety Land on Mars
11 kilometers above the surface and slowed by the heat shield to around 1700 km/h the parachute will be deployed 12 meters across it is based on technology used by ISA as Huygens probe for the successful titan landing. 4 minutes after entering the atmosphere and now descending it 320 km/h Schiaparelli will release its front heat shield and turn on its radar to assess its position above the surface just over a minute later. After jettisoning the parachute Andrea heat shield the module will activate its thrusters slowing down to less than 7 km/h. Finally, two meters above the ground the engines o EXOMARS will switch off and the lander will drop to the surface.
The shock will be cushioned by a crushable structure built into the module confirmation of landing within 2 hours. Once on the ground because it’s powered by batteries the probe has only a few days until around October the 23rd to complete its science mission. The science payload onboard called dreams consists of a suite of senses to study the environment. It will measure the wind speed and direction humidity pressure and temperature as well as the transparency of the atmosphere and Atmospheric electric fields 12 hours after separation.
The trace gas orbiter will fire its engine to raise its trajectory and take it into orbit around Mars otherwise, it would crash into the surface. This critical burn will last about a hundred and 34 minutes. The orbiter can then begin its own science mission to study the Martian atmosphere.