ExoMars 2016/2020 Data and Analysis (updates)


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I've counted 47 successful launches and 7 failures over a span of 16 years. Correct me if I'm wrong.

A failure rate of 14.9%, which is unacceptable, and it's rate of failure has increased over the last few years. Not only that, but a failure mode that creates a buttload of space junk even if the satellite goes into the proper orbit as with ExoMars.

 

Having a stage which regularly decides to not run is bad, but having one that tends to blow itself to smithereens in something else.

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22 minutes ago, DocM said:

A failure rate of 14.9%, which is unacceptable. 

It's 12.9% if you knew how to count :p 

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5 minutes ago, Mirumir said:

It's 12.9% if you knew how to count :p 

13% if you round up. :)  (12.96%)

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4 minutes ago, jjkusaf said:

13% if you round up. :)  (12.96%)

I personally blame the failures on the parts made in the Ukraine. 

 

No people were killed and the Russian quality control is getting better. So, I'm not particularly worried about these percentages.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, DocM said:

Foggy head night, but still unacceptable

You're allowed, Doc. No worries.

 

If it makes you feel any better, I started my Math Fundamentals class (Pre-Algebra, Pre-Geometry, Pre-Calculus, requirement for Graduation) and we had a quiz to see where our skills were. I was solving the problems as if we were in Calculus (where even the numbers themselves are subjective). Professor emailed me and asked me why I was in this class, because clearly I didn't need it and I was wasting time/money by being there when I should be in the Physics Lab crunching equations. I responded by apologizing, and that I was there simply because the class was required and that I "needed to settle down" and remember that it was fundamentals of math.

 

Only reason the Professor recognized that I was solving the problems that way was because he also teaches Calc this term. I still got marked incorrect, but he offered me the chance to re-take the quiz. I declined, because it wasn't fair to everyone else. He gave me a 3.0 for my integrity, and reminded me that this wasn't Calculus.

 

Good laugh. :rofl:

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Parsing ExoMars launch mystery

 

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Following its launch on the Russian Proton rocket on March 14, 2016, the ExoMars-2016 mission successfully embarked on a journey to the Red Planet at a speed of 33,001 kilometers per hour. However, ground observations showed that the Briz-M rocket stage disintegrated after successfully sending the probe on its path to Mars. A million-dollar question puzzling observers is when exactly the incident took place and how far apart the spacecraft had been at the time of a possible explosion.

 

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Because the spacecraft began its trek into deep space over the western section of the Southern Hemisphere, what turned out to be the most critical tracking of ExoMars soon after its separation from the Briz-M space tug was mostly limited to South Africa and South America.

The Russian ground stations and tracking assets had no opportunity to follow this phase of the mission. Ground facilities in Brazil and Bolivia, which Russia could use, were reportedly out of commission at the time. Bad weather also prevented observations from Crimea, Northern Caucasus and Armenia.

 

Fortunately, observations made by Greg Roberts in Cape Town, South Africa, indicated that Briz-M had apparently initiated its post-separation maneuvers. Roberts began tracking the ExoMars mission at 21:37 GMT, which is around one hour 24 minutes after the separation of the ExoMars.

According to Roberts, when the Briz-M emerged over his northern horizon, it appeared unusually bright, at a magnitude of around +8.2 and seemingly had a misty glow, hinting some liquid or gas venting. The phenomenon could be caused by a disintegration of the space tug, but it also could be a result of a nominal pre-programmed command to vent propellant and pressurized gas.

 

Roberts tracked the mission continuously until 23:22 GMT, during which time, "it faded quite a good deal," as Roberts wrote in an e-mail to an editor of this web site. During the same period, the spacecraft climbed from around 26,000 kilometers to around 47,000 kilometers above the Earth's surface.

 

Here is how Roberts described his historic and rare "encounter":

"I observed two objects only - the much fainter ExoMars and the much brighter Briz rocket. I lost sight of ExoMars when it got too faint (fainter than about magnitude +12 or so) but continued to track the rocket till I lost it as it passed through my zenith -- I observed the part of the trajectory, where the mission first headed east then did a sharp turn to move westward and pass through elevation about 84 degrees." 

 

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As the ExoMars headed west across the Atlantic, just before midnight local time (near 03:00 GMT on March 15), a team led by Daniela Lazzaro, with Sergio Silva at the telescope at the Observatório Astronômico do Sertão de Itaparica, OASI, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, captured the most critical images of the mission. The photos showed an object, initially interpreted as ExoMars, surrounded by six large debris. Many smaller objects were also suspected in the vicinity. Later calculations showed that photos from Brazil captured Briz-M itself surrounded by debris, not the ExoMars spacecraft.

Still, it was obvious that the Briz-M stage likely disintegrated after separating from the spacecraft. The question still remained when the disintegration of the upper stage had taken place and how far apart the two spacecraft had been at the time of the incident.

 

According to one Russian source, Briz-M was to complete its two post-separation maneuvers by 23:39:52 Moscow Time (20:39 GMT) or just 26 minutes after releasing the ExoMars. Interestingly, during a typical mission to the geostationary orbit, Briz-M's first post-separation maneuver takes place around two hours after payload release and the second firing happens around three and a half hours after the separation. Russian authorities had never released the exact timeline for Briz-M's maneuvers during the ExoMars mission.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-eop.html

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Here is what is coming up...

 

Mission of ExoMars-2016

 

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Opening for business

 

On March 17, the "Launch and Early Orbit Phase" of the ExoMars-2016 mission was declared completed. The team responsible for the flight moved from the main room at ESOC in Darmstadt to a smaller room, where facilities would be shared with ESA's other deep-space missions, the agency said. During the next phase, lasting until April 24, 2016, all systems onboard TGO, including the power, communications, startrackers, and guidance and navigation, were to be tested and commissioned by ESOC and ESAC.

 

The commissioning of the scientific instruments and NASA’s Electra radio relay system was scheduled for April.

 

Engineers from Thales Alenia Space will also check all systems aboard Schiaparelli lander. During this period, ESOC will conduct daily communications sessions with the spacecraft during daylight hours in Darmstadt via New Norcia station in Australia with a backup support via Malargue.

 

Due to Mars' position below the ecliptic plane, ground stations in the Southern Hemisphere were in perfect location for providing constant link with the Mars-bound spacecraft, ESA said.

 

Cruising to Mars

 

The cruising phase of the mission officially starts in May and characterized by reduced activities with only three communications sessions scheduled each week. During the period, teams at ESOC will conduct a series of ultra-precise navigation measurements known as "delta-DOR", for Delta-differential One-Way Ranging. This advanced technique uses signals received from quasars deep in our Milky Way galaxy to correct the radio signals received from ExoMars, resulting in an extremely precise position determination. Results will be used to calculate the upcoming midcourse correction maneuver (also called the deep-space maneuver).

 

In June, the science control centre at ESA’s establishment near Madrid, Spain, will start working with the instrument teams at their various institutes, and the Roskosmos' science operations center, to perform a mid-cruise checkout of TGO’s instruments.

 

A second Delta-DOR campaign in September-October will generate results that will help to determine the Mars orbit injection for TGO and the final Schiaparelli descent trajectory.

 

On July 28, TGO will fire its main engine adding around 326 meters per second to the spacecraft's velocity. Known as mid-course correction, the crucial maneuver was intended to adjust the probe's trajectory to ensure that it meets Mars on October 19.

Arriving at Mars

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Mission control structure in the ExoMars-2016 project. Credit: ESA

 

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The activity at mission control in Darmstadt is expected to begin picking up in August, as the spacecraft closes in on Mars. The communications sessions between the spacecraft and ground stations will switch to a daily schedule. 10 days before the ultimate encounter with Mars ground stations in New Norcia and Malargue are expected to begin 24-hour radio contact with the spacecraft, while mission control conducts exhaustive testing of all systems on the dual spacecraft and upload final commands on the Schiaparelli lander.

 

After a seven-month journey between the Earth and Mars, the ExoMars project will reach its culmination by mid-October, as one spacecraft will become two spacecraft reaching their critical flight phase practically simultaneously.

 

The TGO spacecraft will release the EDM Schiaparelli lander on October 16, 2016, at 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST) three days before reaching Mars. ESA enlisted NASA to train its 70-meter antennas in Canberra, Australia, and in Madrid, Spain, from the Deep Space Network, DNS, to listen to the departing lander. Schiaparelli should be inserted into a direct intercept course toward Mars.

 

On October 17, around 12 hours after dropping the lander, the TGO will make a trajectory correction to avoid a direct collision with Mars, instead passing more than 500 kilometers from the planet and then entering its orbit around 60 hours later.

 

The TGO will initiate the Mars Orbit Insertion, MOI, maneuver on October 19, 2016, to ease itself into Martian orbit, almost simultaneously with the landing of Schiaparelli on Mars.

 

During the critical arrival activities, several of NASA’s 34-meter deep-space stations will provide a ‘hot back-up’ to ESA’s stations, ensuring that there is no loss of communication at a time when any delay in commanding could have serious effect on orbit entry or landing.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mission.html

 

:D

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signals received from quasars deep in our Milky Way galaxy

We've got Quasars in the MWG? That's an interesting mistranslation. :| Anyway, thanks as always, Comrade DD. :rofl:

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On 3/27/2016 at 3:15 AM, Unobscured Vision said:

We've got Quasars in the MWG? That's an interesting mistranslation. :| Anyway, thanks as always, Comrade DD. :rofl:

Russian translations can be a little off a times, Should have been quasars strategically located outside of our galaxy that are used for navigation by triangulation. I just assumed the reader would ignore as I have to post as printed. My fault for not putting a separate clarification in.  My Bad!   Thank's comrade   :woot:

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Info for Exomars arrival...

 

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TGO in the orbit of Mars

Following a braking maneuver, the TGO will initially enter a 298 by 95,856-kilometer orbit around Mars three days later, on October 19, 2016. It will take the TGO four Martian days (sols) to complete one revolution around Mars in its initial orbit. On the same day, (around one hour 45 minutes after TGO initiates braking maneuver), Schiaparelli should land on the Martian surface and begin its work.

 

In December 2016, the orbiter should reach an operational inclination of its orbit at 74 degrees toward the plane of the Martian equator. The spacecraft will also reduce an apocenter (the highest point of its orbit). As a result, the spacecraft would make a single revolution around the planet in one sol (martian day) instead of previous four sols.

 

In January 2017, the TGO will begin sweeping through the atmosphere – aerobraking – for about a year to finally settle into a circular, approximately 400-kilometer circular orbit in November or December 2017 with an orbital period of two hours, ready to conduct its scientific mission. The spacecraft will also be ready to begin communications relays from NASA's rovers on the surface of the planet.

 

From July 11, 2017, the orbiter will cease all critical operations for a month, because the Sun will be exactly between the Earth and Mars, in the so-called superior solar conjunction, making communications difficult.

 

By January 15, 2019, the TGO will be ready to relay communications from the ExoMars-2018 rover and its landing platform, that is, of course, if the launch of the latter mission is not postponed from 2018 to 2020.

 

The TGO is expected to operate for five years. The Trace Gas Orbiter will also be used to relay data for the 2018 rover mission of the ExoMars program and until the end of 2022.

Mission control during ExoMars-2016

 

science_structure_1.jpg

Structure of scientific information processing in the ExoMars-2016 project. Credit: ESA

 

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The main nerve center of the ExoMars-2016 mission is located in Darmstadt, Germany, at ESA's European Space Operations Center, ESOC. The 15-member core flight control team of the ExoMars-2016 mission led by Spacecraft Operations Manager, SOM, Peter Schmitz is supported by many other specialists at ESOC and ESA's main technical center ESTEC in the Netherlands, to help with flight dynamics, ground stations, software and systems. Also, a team at European Science Operations Center near Madrid, Spain, industrial experts at Thales Alenia Space (Italy and France) are also involved in the mission.

 

To provide most reliable communications during the ExoMars-2016 mission, the European Space Agency, ESA, engaged both American and Russian assets. NASA provided both ground antennas and spacecraft orbiting Mars, while Roskosmos agreed to point its 64-meter antenna onto the TGO to give an extra channel for downloading scientific information. Moscow based Space Research Institute, IKI, was also expected to host a copy of all the scientific data coming from the TGO mission.

 

After separation of the lander, the TGO should monitor the UHF transmission from Schiaparelli, beginning from its coasting toward Mars and until its landing. A NASA orbiter will act as a data relay for Schiaparelli during its surface operations. Furthermore, ground-based communication arrays will also track the UHF signal during the entry, descent and landing phases.

 

ESA will be in full control of the TGO during all phases of its mission, including insertion into Mars orbit, orbit control, aerobraking, science operations and communications.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mission.html

 

Disclaimer...  I will not be held responsible for any quasars attempting to enter the Milky Way or for infiltrating any published material concerning the Milky Way, particularly when quasars should know better.    :woot:   (reference above infiltration)

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1 hour ago, Draggendrop said:

Russian translations can be a little off a times, Should have been quasars strategically located outside of our galaxy that are used for navigation by triangulation. I just assumed the reader would ignore as I have to post as printed. My fault for not putting a separate clarification in.  My Bad!   Thank's comrade   :woot:

No worries, just thought it was rather unusual for the translation to be that far off. No biggie, tovarish (comrade). (Da, por Rosk'vi ni ka). ;) 

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Roscosmos gives detailed rebuttal to reports of Proton ExoMars launch anomaly

 

IgorKomarov_TASS-879x485.jpg

Roscosmos chief Igor A. Komarov, using data provided by Proton rocket builder Khrunichev Space Center, on March 31 presented an unusually detailed rebuttal of reports that the Proton rocket's Breeze-M upper stage exploded after placing the Euro-Russian ExoMars 2016 satellite into orbit. Credit: TASS

 

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PARIS — The head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency on March 31 rebutted claims from amateur satellite watchers that the Proton rocket’s upper stage came apart in orbit March 14 shortly after releasing the Euro-Russian ExoMars satellite.

 

Briefing reporters in Moscow, Igor A. Komarov reiterated statements made by Proton prime contractor Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow, saying the Breeze-M upper stage separated ExoMars without incident and then proceeded with the standard passivation and collision-avoidance maneuvers.

 

Komarov said he had seen photos taken from a Brazilian ground telescope that appeared to show small objects in the vicinity of the Breeze-M stage and ExoMars.

 

“I do have these pictures, provided by the Brazilian observatory, showing the ExoMars spacecraft surrounded by some dimly illuminated objects reportedly related to the upper stage,” Komarov said.

 

“Telemetry and other objectively verifiable data available to us, covering the entire time from the separation and the contamination and collision avoidance maneuvers to the passivation of the upper stage, show that all these steps have been performed successfully, without any anomalies,” Komarov said. “There is absolutely no indication of an upper-stage explosion or breakup.”

 

Komarov did not offer an alternative explanation for the suspected debris, but said all indications from the stage, and from the European Space Agency’s ExoMars satellite, are that nothing notable happened.

 

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One expert, saying he was speaking informally, said the photos from the Brazilian observatory seem at first glance to show “objects drifting with the rocket body.”

 

“But as I look more closely, I see a number of single pixels ‘moving’ along with it. These actually look suspiciously like hot pixels,” this official said, which could be a product of the observing instrument.

 

“They appear to move because the original images appear to have been taken with the upper stage fixed in the image – the camera was tracking the upper stage. … The result, while a logical attempt to show the booster moving through the stars, introduces a bias to the observer that these other ‘objects’ are actually moving through the stars, too, when in reality they could be artifacts of the camera system.”

 

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“We do have precise information about the exact time when the first burn of the contamination and collision maneuver was performed; we also have the same information about the second burn – when it was executed, as well as the timing of the passivation operations,” Komarov said, according to a translation of his remarks provided by ILS.

 

“After that we recorded an end to telemetry operations as the upper stage operations were completed. We have accurate data about the distances between the upper stage and the spacecraft at the moment of all of these operations.”

 

In an indication of Roscosmos’s desire to put the issue to rest, Komarov went so far as to say that Khrunichev’s full report on the launch, signed by the company’s director-general, would be available for public inspection.

 

Komarov also said during the briefing that Roscosmos and ESA were continuing their assessment of whether the ExoMars 2018 mission, the second half of the ExoMars program, would in fact be ready for launch in 2018 or would need to await the next launch Earth-to-Mars launch window in 2020.

 

More than ExoMars 2016, the 2018 mission features a deep intermingling of European and Russian contributions. Government and industry officials have said that neither can launch without the other.

http://spacenews.com/roscosmos-gives-detailed-rebuttal-to-reports-of-proton-upper-stage-anomaly-after-exomars-separation/

 

:)

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First joint EU-Russian ExoMars mission to reach Mars orbit Oct 16

 

art-separation-exomars-2016-demonstrator

The ExoMars-2016's main mission is to prove the existence of methane in the planet's atmosphere, which would confirm the existence of life on Mars.

 

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The first ever joint project between the European Union and Russia on the search for life on Mars - the ExoMars spacecraft- will reach Mars' orbit on October 16, the head of Roscosmos State Corporation said.

 

"We expect the ExoMars spacecraft to enter the orbit of Mars around October 16 and later start its work," Igor Komarov said.

 

A Russian Proton-M rocket carrier lifted off with the ExoMars' orbital and the landing modules from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 14.

 

The ExoMars-2016's main mission is to prove the existence of methane in the planet's atmosphere, which would confirm the existence of life on Mars.

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/First_joint_EU_Russian_ExoMars_mission_to_reach_Mars_orbit_Oct_16_999.html

 

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The Methane Mystery

 

Neighbouring_volcanoes_on_Mars_large.jpg

Neighbouring volcanoes on Mars               ESA

 

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On Earth, living organisms release much of the planet’s methane (methane is also one of Earth’s trace gases). It is also the main component of naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas reservoirs, and a contribution is also provided by volcanic and hydrothermal activity. Because of the key role natural biology plays in Earth’s methane production, confirming the existence of methane on Mars, and distinguishing between the potential sources, is a top priority of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.

 

Methane on Mars is expected to have a rather short lifetime – around 400 years – because it is broken down by ultraviolet light. Atmospheric mixing (for example, by winds) should quickly lead to a more or less uniform background concentration. But previous observations hint at seasonal variations in methane abundance, with concentrations varying with location and time. If this is correct, there must be an active source to replenish the supply and, at the same time, a relatively quick way of removing it in order to account for the apparent rise and fall in the measurements.

 

One possibility is a geological process known as serpentinisation, a subsurface process involving the interaction of olivine-rich rocks with water. On Mars, this may occur underground, perhaps in combination with warmer, volcanic environments.

 

While discovering if Mars is still geologically active today is extremely motivating, an alternative exciting explanation for the methane is that it is being produced by microorganisms deep below the surface that produce methane as a product of their metabolism. Alternatively, the methane could have been produced long ago in the past, become trapped in methane hydrates called clathrates (a crystal-like structure of water, similar to ice), which are only just being released today.

 

TGO will map the spatial and temporal distribution of the atmospheric methane to help distinguish between the different scenarios, to a much higher sensitivity than any previous or current mission at Mars.

 

For example, ESA’s Mars Express was one of the first spacecraft to make methane measurements from orbit, finding a global average of 10 parts per billion by volume (ppbv), and with significant spatial and temporal variability of tens of ppbv over the course of its mission. However, the detections were at the limits of the instrument’s (the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer) sensitivity. Detections by other spacecraft – from orbit and from in situ rover measurements – have also been the subject of much debate.

 

TGO has the capability to detect and analyse methane and other trace gases, even in low concentrations, with an improved accuracy of three orders of magnitude compared to all previous measurements. Furthermore, it will be able to detect key ‘isotopologues’ of methane and water (isotopologues are molecules that have at least one atom with a different number of neutrons than the parent chemical species).

 

Measurements of methane on Earth suggest that methane originating from biological and geological processes have a distinctive isotopic signature, and thus are key in constraining the origin and history of these species on Mars.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/The_methane_mystery

 

:D

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Yeah, this one is for all the marbles, folks. 

 

TGO is THE instrument that will determine whether we Colonize (or even GO) to Mars or if we continue to send Probes and Rovers. If that Methane is the Biological isotope ... well, that's not what we're gonna want to see -- even though it's interesting and all -- but that really screws up our plans.

 

So either way, the TGO is fascinating and a game-changer because of what happens next. :yes: 

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First picture from the ExoMars mission.  

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On 7 April, TGO’s high-resolution camera was switched on for the first time, acquiring its first images of space.

The view shows a randomly selected portion of the sky close to the southern celestial pole. This image is composed of two frames taken in slightly different directions by using the camera’s rotation mechanism. Subtracting one frame from the other reveals a number of equally offset positive and negative images of stars.

This shows that the camera and its pointing mechanism are working well.

“The initial switch-on went quite smoothly and so far things look good,” says Nicolas Thomas from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and camera principal investigator.

“Although it was not designed to look at faint stars, these first images are very reassuring. Everything points to us being able to get good data at Mars.” 

 

 

More at ESA

 

 

ExoMars_first_light_-_annotated_node_full_image_2.jpg

Caption

 

The first image taken by the Trace Gas Orbiter of the ESA–Roscosmos ExoMars 2016 mission.

The image was taken by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System, CaSSIS, and points to a randomly selected portion of the sky close to the southern celestial pole.

The picture shows the result of taking one CaSSIS frame, turning the camera’s rotation mechanism, and then taking another. By subtracting the two frames, a series of bright and dark spots are seen, all equally offset from each other, demonstrating that these are positive and negative images of the same stars.

The field-of-view is 0.2º in the horizontal direction, and is a subset of a larger image, extracted for this purpose to show the stars at a reasonable size.

The arrows indicate the offset star positions.

In operation at Mars, about 400 km above the planet, CaSSIS will sweep out a swath as TGO approaches it, then turn the rotation mechanism by 180º and image the same swath as it recedes. By doing so, CaSSIS will make stereo images of the surface.

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ExoMars Poster

 

ExoMars_2016_poster_node_full_image_2.jp

ExoMars    ESA

 

download 2 sizes at...

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/03/ExoMars_2016_poster

 

 

Exomars artwork

 

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mission.html

 

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/03/ExoMars_2016_poster

 

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Artist rendering illustrating the TGO orbiter conducting a braking maneuver to enter orbit around Mars on Oct. 19, 2016.  Credit: ESA

 

 

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Artist depiction of the separation between the TGO orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander in October 2016.  Credit: ESA

 

 

edl_separation_1.jpg

ExoMars      ESA

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Second ExoMars Mission Launch Moved Back to 2020

 

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Exomars                 ESA

 

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On 14 March 2016, the Roscosmos State Corporation and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the jointly-developed ExoMars 2016 interplanetary mission.

 

Comprised of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli lander, on a Proton rocket from Baikonur, thus marking the first phase in the European-Russian ExoMars cooperation programme.

 

The success achieved by Russian and European experts involved in ExoMars 2016 is the result of long and fruitful cooperation. The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft are due to arrive at Mars in October 2016.

 

The second ExoMars mission involves a Russian-led surface platform and a European-led rover, also to be launched on a Proton from Baikonur. Russian and European experts made their best efforts to meet the 2018 launch schedule for the mission, and in late 2015, a dedicated ESA-Roscosmos Tiger Team, also including Russian and European industries, initiated an analysis of all possible solutions to recover schedule delays and accommodate schedule contingencies.

 

The Tiger Team presented its final report during a meeting of the Joint ExoMars Steering Board (JESB) held in Moscow. Having assessed the possible ways to ensure successful mission implementation, the JESB concluded that, taking into account the delays in European and Russian industrial activities and deliveries of the scientific payload, a launch in 2020 would be the best solution.

 

ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner and Roscosmos Director General Igor Komarov discussed the ExoMars 2018 situation. After considering the Tiger Team report and the JESB recommendations, they jointly decided to move the launch to the next available Mars launch window in July 2020, and tasked their project teams to develop, in cooperation with the industrial contactors, a new baseline schedule aiming towards a 2020 launch. Additional measures will also be taken to maintain close control over the activities on both sides up to launch.

 

The successful implementation of both ExoMars missions will allow Russia and Europe to jointly validate cutting-edge technologies for Mars entry, descent, and landing, for the control of surface assets, to develop new engineering concepts and service systems that can be used by other Solar System exploration missions, and to carry out novel science at Mars.

 

Both Directors General have reiterated their resolve to implement ExoMars programme successfully and step up Russian-European cooperation in Solar System exploration.

http://spaceref.com/mars/second-exomars-mission-launch-moved-back-to-2020.html

 

ESA’s de Groot on decision to delay 2018 ExoMars mission to 2020

http://spacenews.com/q-a-european-russian-space-agencies-delay-2nd-exomars-mission-to-2020/

 

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Airbus DS to build STEM centre at its UK Exomars facility

 

mars-rover-exomars-research-project-lg.j

Visitors will enjoy a series of interactive STEM exhibits as well seeing the 30 metre by 13 metre Mars yard test area in action, with rovers navigating across the simulated Martian landscape.

 

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Airbus Defence and Space has announced it will build a Pounds 2.5m STEM centre built around its Exomars Rover test facility in Stevenage. The centre aims to attract more than 5,000 students a year and inspire the next generation of space technicians, scientists and engineers.

 

North Hertfordshire College will run the STEM education programme at the centre, in close cooperation with Airbus Defence and Space's engineers and technicians working in the area. Visitors will enjoy a series of interactive STEM exhibits as well seeing the 30 metre by 13 metre Mars yard test area in action, with rovers navigating across the simulated Martian landscape.

 

Work on building the centre, which has secured Pounds 1.039m funding from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, is due to start in July 2016 and be completed by December 2016.

 

In addition to the 5,000 student visitors per year, the centre is aiming to reach up to 20,000 people every year through its wider activities including a website and Outreach with schools. The total cost of the project over the next 5 years is Pounds 3.2m.

 

Andy Stroomer, Head of Earth observation, navigation and science and Site Director of the Airbus site in Stevenage said: "By investing in this centre and making the most of the Mars yard test area we hope to encourage students to follow science and engineering careers in the growing space industry and the wider industrial community.

 

"The partnership between North Herts College and Airbus Defence and Space is a unique collaboration to enhance STEM uptake and build a future generation of skilled workers."

 

Matt Hamnett, Principal of North Hertfordshire College said: "Creating an education centre linked to the ExoMars Rover mission represents a unique opportunity to inspire young people to think about careers in science, tech, engineering and maths.

 

"It is a real pleasure for us to collaborate with a business, in Airbus Defence and Space, that is so committed to working with educators and young people to enthuse the next generation of scientists and engineers.

 

"We're really looking forward to working with schools, colleges and other partners across the country to make the most of this opportunity."

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Airbus_DS_to_build_STEM_centre_at_its_UK_Exomars_facility_999.html

 

:(

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3 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Yeah, budget problems. :( 

Whose problems? It's not like the EU is awash with cash and debt free.

 

From Doc's source


 

Quote

...

 

A combination of technical and financial problems will force developers to wait until 2020 when Mars and Earth re-align for a possible traverse between the two planets.

 

...

 

In addition to its late development start, the landing system has a complicated share of responsibilities between Russia and Europe, which greatly slows down the work.For example, the overall landing system is being developed by NPO Lavochkin in Moscow, while its parachute system will be provided by Europe. Many other aspects of the mission are similarly intertwined.

 

It's a joint project of a new kind. Nothing like has ever been done before.

 

And every time the Americans point their fingers at the problems of this European-Russian partnership, I can't help but feel they are just jealous :p

 

You can flame me now :laugh:

 

@DocM Where's an F-35 development thread around here? Let's all have a good laugh at the most expensive military project ever conducted by the humans, one which is hundreds of billions of dollars over budget and several years behind the schedule, labelled "too big to kill" ROFL. In the meantime, Russia is developing a fifth-gen fighter for a really small faction of the cost.

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ESA chief says funding for delayed ExoMars rover mission remains uncertain

 

Quote

PRAGUE – European Space Agency Director-General Johann-Dietrich Woerner on May 9 expressed frustration with the equipment delays that forced a two-year slip in the launch of Europe’s ExoMars rover vehicle and said he would not write a blank check to keep the mission alive.

 

Addressing a briefing here, where he was attending ESA’s Living Planet Earth observation symposium, Woerner said he still did not fully understand why the project could not make its 2018 launch date. He wondered whether it is possible to have those responsible for the delay finance part of its cost.

 

“I was not only surprised, I was frustrated with this delay, which was for technical reasons on both the European and Russian sides,” Woerner said, adding that at first he did not accept it.

 

Quote

The Russian and European space agencies in March began hinting that the second mission – both launched by Russian Proton rockets – was having trouble meeting its deadlines for unspecified reasons. The two agencies later said they agreed to the two-year delay.

 

As the ExoMars mission has increased in sophistication and scientific value, its budget has about doubled, to as much as 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion). ESA has raised only about 1 billion euros. Before the latest delay, the agengy had expected to present its 22 member states in June with a plan to raise the remaining monies.

 

The two-year delay will add more costs, although ESA plans to reduce the increase by doing as much work as can be done soon, then storing the hardware until needed for prelaunch preparations in 2020.

 

ExoMars is ESA’s sole exploration mission. It also represents a substantial Euro-Russian collaboration that has already launched a telecommunications relay designed to beam the rover’s findings to Earth.

 

Given these elements, the program has taken on an inertia that would make it difficult to stop in the absence of a Russian admission of still more delays. But Woerner said he would not maintain ExoMars at all costs.

 

“We will have a discussion with the main member states involved with the program,” Woerner said. “Then we’ll see how we can manage, and whether we can manage. I am not saying we can manage it. There are cost increases with the delay and there were cost increases from a technical point of view. Again, I don’t fully understand it after all the discussions we had in the past. I thought we were finished with the numbers. Now we have new numbers and this does not make me happy.”

 

Woerner said some people want to delay a decision on fresh ExoMars funding until the telecommunications orbiter arrives in Mars orbit this autumn and is declared operational, and the experimental entry, descent and landing package is safely on the Mars surface.

 

“Then everybody is fascinated and ready to give more money,” Woerner said of this line of reasoning, which he rejected. “No: I am not like that. I would like to discuss it very openly, right now. I’ve got some numbers already and I am getting more [this week] and then we will discuss it.”

 

He said ESA would need to make a proposal its governments in June, and then to seek formal commitments in December at a meeting of ESA’s government ministers. The June meeting would free up monies needed for ExoMars for the balance of this year.

 

“I am not sitting here saying I will do everything to get ExoMars flown. For me it is very important that we first find out about the money and who we might ask for more money and is there some possibility of reducing the amount. We are not at a time when money is printed easily. The decision is not as simple as some people expect.”

 

Woerner said he did not like the idea of robbing other ESA programs, such as science missions, to finance ExoMars. “It’s difficult,” he said.

http://spacenews.com/esa-chief-says-funding-for-delayed-exomars-rover-mission-remains-uncertain/

 

It seems to be turning into another "Insight". One can have collaborations, but must be careful when segmenting large units.

:(

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On 5/3/2016 at 1:04 AM, Mirumir said:

And every time the Americans point their fingers at the problems of this European-Russian partnership, I can't help but feel they are just jealous :p

 

You can flame me now :laugh:

 

@DocM Where's an F-35 development thread around here? Let's all have a good laugh at the most expensive military project ever conducted by the humans, one which is hundreds of billions of dollars over budget and several years behind the schedule, labelled "too big to kill" ROFL. In the meantime, Russia is developing a fifth-gen fighter for a really small faction of the cost.

Why?  Looks like the only one pointing fingers at the European-Russian partnership is you.  With regards to space, the ESA, US and Russia all have good relations.  I mean...look at that multinational football field size object that is orbiting right now.  Also don't think the US is feeling "jealous" about rovers on Mars ... considering it still has 2 active Rovers (one of which has been going for almost 13 years).  Russia has put I believe one lander on Mars which was active for less than a minute.

 

If you want a thread about the F-35 money-pit ... then create one.  Anyway, this particular section isn't a place for your usual anti-US rhetoric...it's nauseating in an area that benefits from cooperation.    

 

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19 minutes ago, jjkusaf said:

 Anyway, this particular section isn't a place for your usual anti-US rhetoric...it's nauseating in an area that benefits from cooperation.    

 

What an upside down world you're living in! So, it's ok to post the usual anti-Russian rhetoric here, isn't it? Gotcha!

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