ESA ExoMars program: The next step in exploring Mars
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The ExoMars program is an ESA–Roscosmos cooperation with some NASA contributions. ExoMars consists of two missions, one in 2016 and one in 2018. The 2016 mission includes an orbiting satellite dedicated to the study of atmospheric trace gases to acquire information on possible on-going geological or biological processes, and a European entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module (EDM) to achieve a successful soft landing on Mars. The orbiter can also provide data communication services for all surface missions landing on Mars until the end of 2022. The 2018 mission is planned to deliver a 300-kg-class rover and an instrumented landing platform to the Martian surface using a landing system developed by Roscosmos. The 2018 mission is to pursue one of the most outstanding questions of our time by attempting to establish whether life ever existed, or is still present, on Mars today. The article gives an overview of the ExoMars program.
KeywordsMars ExoMars ESA Roscosmos rover Mars rover
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