ExoMars 2016/2020 Data and Analysis (updates)


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Jim K    16,002
3 minutes ago, Mirumir said:

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!

What anti-Russian rhetoric?  You quoted Unobscured Vision's post about "budget problems" and automatically assumed it was anti-Russian?  Hate to break it to you ... unfortunately all space agencies of all countries have budget problems with regards to space exploration ... because it is friggin expensive.  It isn't a slam on the EU or Russia or the US ... because they all face "budget problems".  No need going off on some tirade on how Americans must be jealous or a completely off topic F-35.

 

So, can we get back on topic?

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Unobscured Vision    2,692
13 minutes ago, jjkusaf said:

What anti-Russian rhetoric?  You quoted Unobscured Vision's post about "budget problems" and automatically assumed it was anti-Russian?  Hate to break it to you ... unfortunately all space agencies of all countries have budget problems with regards to space exploration ... because it is friggin expensive.  It isn't a slam on the EU or Russia or the US ... because they all face "budget problems".  No need going off on some tirade on how Americans must be jealous or a completely off topic F-35.

 

So, can we get back on topic?

Thank you. I read that response of @Mirumir's and my reaction was 'huh?' out of sheer confusion, like I'd seen someone steal the sky. Honestly, my "Anti-Russian rhetoric" (as Mirumir put it) is limited to President Putin himself, and no one else, in Russia or it's Government or Private Sector. I wish Russia, China, and everyone else's  Space Programmes nothing but success and progress. Ultimately, we're doing things together, Pax Orbo Ultimatis. 

 

So, with that, I agree. Let's get back on-topic.

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Unobscured Vision    2,692

I hope they can get the budget thing back on-track somehow.

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Draggendrop    5,748

There is enough interest to keep it alive, but the "evolving add-ons" has to stop. To many hands in the pie making decisions.

:(

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Unobscured Vision    2,692

Yeah.. "feature creep". That's a problem. :( 

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Draggendrop    5,748

ExoMars Observes Mars

 

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ExoMars View of Mars                 ESA

 

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ExoMars captured its first images of Mars this week as part of its preparations for arriving at the Red Planet in October.

 

ExoMars, a joint mission with Roscosmos, was launched on 14 March and has already travelled just under half of its nearly 500 million km journey.

 

While the Trace Gas Orbiter's 'first-light' image of stars was acquired within a month of launch, it has now set sights on its destination.

 

The orbiter and Mars were 41 million kilometres apart on 13 June when the new image was taken. Although it does not compare to the high-resolution scenes that will be returned once the spacecraft is finally at Mars, it is an important milestone for the camera team.

 

"The images have confirmed the sensitivity of the instrument and are sharp," says Antoine Pommerol, co-investigator of the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System at the University of Bern. "It seems to be well-focused and the signal level seems to be close to prediction."

 

As the spacecraft approaches Mars, the images will start to become ever more impressive.

 

"Telescopes on Earth and the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit around it can still do far better than us at present, but we are still a long way away from Mars," says Nicolas Thomas, the camera's principal investigator.

 

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The orbiter is set to enter orbit around Mars on 19 October, on the same day that its Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator - released from the orbiter three days earlier - will land on Mars.

http://spaceref.com/iac2014/exomars-observes-mars.html

 

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Despite delays, ESA backs Mars mission plans

 

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A concept of the European Space Agency's ExoMars Rover. Credit: European Space Agency/AOES Medialab artist's concept.

 

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The European Space Agency has reaffirmed its support for a Mars rover mission despite launch delays. 

 

The ESA Council, meeting in Paris this week, backed plans to launch the ExoMars lander and rover mission in 2020, two years later than previously planned.

 

That support includes the immediate release of 77 million euros ($87 million) in funds from ESA’s four largest member states into the project to ensure work on the mission is not further delayed.

 

ESA officials said the rover mission now has a “realistic technical schedule” to support that 2020 launch. [BBC]

http://spacenews.com/despite-delays-esa-backs-mars-mission-plans/

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

SCHIAPARELLI DELIVERS MID-TERM REPORT

 

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The Schiaparelli module, launched with the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on 14 March, is a demonstrator to test key technologies in preparation for ESA’s contributions to subsequent missions to Mars.


On 19 October, the module will enter the Martian atmosphere at an altitude of about 121 km and a speed of 21,000 km/s. Within six minutes it will have decelerated and landed – at a site on Meridiani Planum. 


Now, en route to the Red Planet, scientists are taking advantage of the cruise phase to check the status of the payload.


During the mid-cruise checkout of DREAMS that was run on 16 and 17 June, the sensors measured the environmental conditions inside the ExoMars entry descent and landing module, both in the warm compartment where the electronics are housed and in the central area of the module where the sensors are situated.


The measurements are all perfectly in line with what is expected, according to DREAMS Principal Investigator, Francesca Esposito, from INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy. "During this check-out we have looked at how the DREAMS sensors are responding inside the module as well as making some science measurements," she explains. "These tests are used to monitor the health of the sensors and to compare their behaviour in space with that in the laboratory. We also use these tests to set the zero point for some of our sensors  – this is important for when we are operating on Mars because we need to be sure that our sensors are all well calibrated."


This recent checkout was the second since launch. On 8 and 9 April, the near-Earth commissioning tests were carried out. At that time, the scientists responsible for DREAMS were present at the European Space Operations Centre for the real-time commanding of the Schiaparelli payload.

 

In contrast, this latest checkout was run autonomously onboard the module, following a sequence of commands that had been uploaded during the week. "Once again, DREAMS has behaved beautifully and this bodes very well for operations on the surface," says Francesca. "We have some more checkouts planned during the next few weeks and months so that we can monitor the health of DREAMS and keep an eye on any drift in the sensors. These checks are essential as they will allow us to have confidence in the behaviour of our sensors before they start taking measurements on the surface of Mars."


DREAMS will operate on the Red Planet for a few days after landing, powered by its batteries. During this time it will monitor local weather conditions at the landing site on Meridiani Planum, gathering measurements of temperature, humidity, pressure, dust opacity, wind speed, and wind direction. The final timeline for the sequence of measurements to be made on the surface will be uploaded to DREAMS after the last checkout and before separation.

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The small descent camera, DECA, was also tested during this mid-cruise checkout. DECA, which is the flight spare of the Herschel visual monitoring camera, will take 15 images at 1.5 s intervals shortly after the front shield of Schiaparelli has been jettisoned, from an altitude of a few kilometres.  


During these recent tests DECA cycled through its image acquisition sequence to obtain 15 pictures of the dark interior of the module. These are used to check the health of the camera and to calibrate it.

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/57987-schiaparelli-delivers-mid-term-report/

 

EXOMARS 2016 LANDING SITE

 

ExoMars2016_LandingSite_LPO_625.jpg

Satellite: ExoMars 2016
Copyright: IRSPS/TAS-I

 

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The ExoMars 2016 entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module, also known as Schiaparelli, will touch down on Meridiani Planum, a relatively smooth, flat region on Mars, on 19 October 2016. The landing is targeted to take place within the solid ellipse marked on this topographical map. The ellipse, centred at 6° West and 2° South, measures about 100 km East-West and 15 km North-South, and is valid for a launch on 14 March. The near-equatorial landing site is North-West from the current location of NASA's Opportunity rover.


One of the reasons for choosing this landing site was because of its relatively low elevation, which means that there is a sufficient thickness of atmosphere to allow Schiaparelli's heat shield to reduce the module's velocity and get ready to deploy its parachute. The final firing of its thrusters will ensure a soft and controlled landing.


The lowest areas on this map are shown in green, while the highest areas are dark brown. The large crater on the right (East) of the image is Endeavour, which is about 22 km in diameter. Opportunity has been studying its western rim since 2011.


The topographical map is from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS).

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/57446-exomars-2016-landing-site/

 

This will show the area compared to prior missions...

 

ExoMars2016_Mars_map_landing_sites_20160

Landing sites on Mars
Copyright: Background image: MOLA Science Team; Map: ESA

 

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On 19 October 2016, the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module, known as Schiaparelli, will land on Mars in a region known as Meridiani Planum.


The landing sites of the seven rovers and landers that have reached the surface of Mars are indicated on this map.


The background image is a shaded relief map of Mars, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument, on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/57460-landing-sites-on-mars/

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

ExoMars-2016 to make deep space maneuver

 

midcourse_maneuver_1.jpg

 

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Officially known as the deep-space maneuver, DSM, it is the longest engine burn for the ExoMars-2016 mission before its Mars orbit insertion on October 19, 2016. As a result of the July 28 orbit correction, the spacecraft will need less propellant during its maneuvers in the vicinity of the planet and the Schiaparelli lander will experience slightly less thermal loads during its planned entry into the Martian atmosphere.

 

Before the deep-space maneuver begins, reaction wheels onboard the TGO will be used to place the spacecraft into proper orientation for the engine firing and the probe's solar panels will be locked into the so-called boost position to prevent damage to their delicate rotation mechanisms. The large high-gain antenna dish aboard the TGO will be stored, preventing its operation during the maneuver. Instead, mission control will use a small low-gain antenna, which will transmit only carrier signal without telemetry data. Still, by measuring the Doppler shift of the carrier signal, flight controllers will be able to monitor changing velocity of the spacecraft resulting from the engine thrust in near-real time with a few-minute delay needed for radio waves to reach the Earth.

 

In preparation for the deep-space maneuver, on July 13, the TGO flight team pressurized the propulsion system aboard the spacecraft with helium and on July 15, uploaded commands for a small, one meter per second test firing, which was originally scheduled on July 18, at 13:00 CEST. However ESA's mission control characterized the first attempt as "unsatisfactory," due to a "misconfiguration error." Fortunately, the second test-firing attempt on July 21 was fully successful, ESA said.

 

After the completion of the deep-space maneuver, a minor trajectory adjustment, known as the Trim Correction Maneuver, TCM, might be conducted around August 11, 2016, to further fine-tune the Mars-approach trajectory.

 

A second campaign of navigation measurements, known as "delta-DOR," is planned in September or October. It should help to determine exact parameters for the Mars orbit injection to be performed by the TGO and the final descent trajectory for the Schiaparelli lander.

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

 

:)

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Draggendrop    5,748

ExoMars-2016 completes deep space maneuvers

 

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On July 28, 2016, half way between Earth and Mars, the Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO, fired its 424-newton main engine for 52 minutes, changing the spacecraft's velocity by 326 meters per second and resulting in slightly lower speed for the ExoMars-2016 arrival at the Red Planet. Another smaller maneuver was conducted on August 11...

 

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After the completion of the first deep-space maneuver, the second shorter engine firing was conducted as scheduled on August 11, 2016, at 11:30 CEST, at a distance of around 96 million kilometers from Earth. The maneuver lasted 155 seconds.

 

It will be followed by a pair of minor trajectory adjustments, known as the Trim Correction Maneuver, TCM, on September 19 and October 14, 2016, to further fine-tune the Mars-approach trajectory.

 

A second campaign of navigation measurements, known as "delta-DOR," is planned in September or October. It should help to determine exact parameters for the Mars orbit injection to be performed by the TGO and the final descent trajectory for the Schiaparelli lander.

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

 

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Spotlight on the Landing Site

 

Mars_Express_image_of_Schiaparelli_s_lan

Mars Express image of Schiaparelli’s landing site – with ellipse   ESA

 

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11 August 2016
Schiaparelli, the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module of the joint ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2016 mission, will target the Meridiani Planum region for its October landing, as seen in this mosaic created from Mars Express images.

 

The landing ellipse, measuring 100 x 15 km, is located close to the equator, in the southern highlands of Mars. The region was chosen based on its relatively flat and smooth characteristics, as indicated in the topography map, in order to satisfy landing safety requirements for Schiaparelli.

 

NASA’s Opportunity rover also landed within this ellipse near Endurance crater in Meridiani Planum, in 2004, and has been exploring the 22 km-wide Endeavour crater for the last five years. Endeavour lies just outside the south-eastern extent of Schiaparelli’s landing ellipse.

 

The region has also been well studied from orbit and is shown to host clay sediments and sulphates that were likely formed in the presence of water. Indeed, a number of water-carved channels are also clearly visible, in particular in the southern portion of the image.

 

Dune fields are seen inside a number of the craters in the region, and along with the dark deposits surrounding them, are likely shaped by wind and dust storms.

 

Although Schiaparelli’s main task is to demonstrate technologies needed to safely land on Mars, its small suite of scientific instruments will also record the wind speed, humidity, pressure and temperature at its landing site.

 

It will also obtain the first measurements of electric fields on the surface of Mars that, combined with measurements of the concentration of atmospheric dust, will provide new insights into the role of electric forces in dust lifting, the trigger for dust storms.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Spotlight_on_Schiaparelli_s_landing_site

 

Flyover of Schiaparelli landing ellipse

video is 1:34 min.

 

 

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

 

 

Ct2XrNoWAAEMObI.jpg

 

Ct2XrLjWYAEW8ZG.jpg

 

 

Partially translated, but good video...

 

 

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Program # Space TV Roskosmos on October 1, 2016.


Exomars - time to "H"
"Exomars" closer to the Red Planet. The entry into the atmosphere of Mars is planned on 19 October. Module "Schiaparelli" will land on the surface, and the module will start the search for TGO methane in the atmosphere.

 

THE HAZARDS OF LANDING ON MARS

 

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DESCENT AND LANDING

 

In order to minimise the likelihood of a catastrophic failure, space engineers spend a great deal of time working out how to ensure their high-tech vehicle completes a safe atmospheric entry and descent, culminating in a safe landing.


The first problem to be overcome is accurate navigation. Suitable launch windows occur every 26 months or so, when Earth and Mars are relatively close in their orbits. Once the Mars-bound spacecraft is en route, the journey typically lasts for about 6 months.


Assuming its trajectory intersects the orbit of Mars at the correct time, the spacecraft will be able to begin its atmospheric entry and descent phase. Most Mars landers – including the Schiaparelli entry and descent module of the ExoMars 2016 mission – make a high speed, ballistic entry into the atmosphere.

 

They are usually released from their carrier spacecraft in the final few days of the interplanetary journey. The exception was the Viking landers, which were carried into Martian orbit and only released from their orbiters after suitable landing sites were identified.


The angle of entry is important – too steep and the craft may overheat and burn up, too shallow and it may skip off the atmosphere, missing the planet altogether.


The entire atmospheric entry and descent control sequence is pre-programmed in the spacecraft's computer, since there is no time to send commands to it once the final phase of the flight begins. 

more at the link...

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/58307-the-hazards-of-landing-on-mars/

 

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/

 

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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, DSN, 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, lasting 2.5 hours, to ease itself into Martian orbit. Roughly in the middle of the TGO's engine burn, Schiaparelli should complete six-minute descent and landing onto the Martian surface.

 

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.

 

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. In December, scientists expect to point their instruments at the surface of Mars for the first time. 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.

more at the link...

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

 

It's getting close to "show time"...hope all goes well...:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

Fast Descent! ExoMars' Module Will Land In Under 6 Minutes | Video

video is 1:37 min.

 

 

 

Parachute_for_Mars_node_full_image_2.jpg

ESA

 

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A full-size model of the ExoMars entry, descent and landing module, Schiaparelli, with its parachute deployed was revealed on ESA’s open day last Sunday in the Netherlands.

 

Weighing 600 kg, Schiaparelli is part of the joint ESA–Roscosmos ExoMars mission that will arrive at the Red Planet on 19 October. It will demonstrate Europe’s technology for a controlled landing on Mars, including the 12 m-diameter parachute.

 

The landing will take about six minutes, with the canopy deploying at a speed of 1700 km/h. In less than two minutes the parachute will slow the lander down to 240 km/h before being jettisoned at around 1 km above the surface.

 

Thrusters will then begin firing to control the probe’s speed, with the surface contact cushioned by a crushable structure on the underside of the module. 

 

The module is housed inside the descent capsule in this picture – the rear cover and heatshield are discarded during descent.

 

Although it is on display, the ExoMars teams need to access the engineering model for diagnostics or checks because it is a replica of the module flying to Mars.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/10/Parachute_for_Mars

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Draggendrop    5,748

Schiaparelli Readied For Mars Landing

 

Mars_team_medium.jpg

Final 'sim' training

 

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7 October 2016


This week, the commands that will govern the Schiaparelli lander’s descent and touchdown on Mars were uploaded to ESA’s ExoMars spacecraft, enroute to the Red Planet.

 

The Trace Gas Orbiter has been carrying the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator since launch on 14 March. Upon arrival on 19 October, Schiaparelli will test the technology needed for Europe’s 2020 rover to land, while its parent craft brakes into an elliptical orbit around Mars.

This week’s uploading was conducted by the Orbiter team working at ESA’s mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, and marked a significant milestone in readiness for arrival.

 

Schiaparelli’s operations are governed by time-tagged stored commands, ensuring that the lander can conduct its mission even when out of contact with any of the Mars orbiters that will serve as data relays.

 

Automated operation also ensures that the lander will revive from its power-saving sleep periods on the surface in time for communication links.

 

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The commands were uploaded in two batches. The first, containing the hibernation wake-up timers and the surface science instrument timeline, was uploaded on 3 October. The second, containing the rest of the mission command sequence, was uploaded to the module on 7 October.

 

“Uploading the command sequences is a milestone that was achieved following a great deal of intense cooperation between the mission control team and industry specialists,” says Orbiter flight director Michel Denis.

 

One of the most crucial moments will be the moment of landing, set for 14:48:11 GMT (16:48:11 CEST) on 19 October. Now that this time has been fixed, the rest of the commands will play out in sequence counting down or up.

 

During landing, these commands include ejecting the front and back aeroshells, operating the descent sensors, deploying the braking parachute and activating three groups of hydrazine thrusters to control its touchdown speed. 

 

A radar will measure Schiaparelli’s height above the surface starting at about 7 km. At around 2 m, Schiaparelli will briefly hover before cutting its thrusters, leaving it to fall freely.

 

Once safely on the surface, the timeline will operate the science instruments for a planned two days – and possibly longer.

 

The science activities are designed to make the most of the limited energy available from the batteries, so they will be performed in set windows rather than continuously – typically, for six hours each day.

 

The timeline will also switch on the module’s transmitter during a series of fixed slots to send recorded data up to ESA and NASA orbiters passing overhead, which will then transmit the data to Earth.

 

These relay slots include 32 by NASA craft: 18 by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, eight by Odyssey and six by Maven. ESA’s Mars Express will make 14 overflights.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Schiaparelli_readied_for_Mars_landing

 

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Call For Media

 

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The separation of Schiaparelli from TGO will be covered online. Media are invited to join mission experts at ESOC on 19 October to follow the orbit insertion of TGO and the landing of Schiaparelli, and to attend a briefing on 20 October when the first descent camera images are expected.

 

Provisional schedule at ESOC, 19–20 October
(all times in CEST, programme/times subject to change)

 

19 October
15:00–22:00 (Doors open at 14:00)

 

The event programme for media and ExoMars project members will bring both groups together to follow the highlights of the orbit insertion of TGO and of the entry, descent and landing of Schiaparelli. During the programme confirmations for mission success of TGO and Schiaparelli are expected. On stage, ExoMars engineers and scientists from ESA, Roscosmos and partner agencies will relay the technical and operational challenges of landing on Mars and will explain the scientific questions that are driving these ambitious Mars robotic exploration programme. Operational status updates will be broadcasted live from the ExoMars control room into the stage programme.

 

There will be live video connections to an Italian ExoMars event taking place in Rome and to the postflight tour of ESA astronaut Tim Peake, who will stop by in London.

 

The event will also be live-streamed online at http://esa.int and will be broadcasted over satellite.


A special ESA social-TV programme will be available via Facebook Live on ESA’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESA.

 

20 October
10:00–11:00 (Doors open at 09:00)

 

This media briefing will summarise the events of the night before, during which more telemetry and data are expected to arrive from TGO and Schiaparelli. ExoMars engineers, scientists and project managers will provide briefings on TGO and Schiaparelli. Images taken during the descent from Schiaparelli will also be presented.

 

The media briefing will be streamed live online at http://esa.int and broadcast over satellite.

Media accreditation


Media representatives holding a valid press-ID should register here.

Social media users such as Youtubers, Tweeps, Bloggers, etc. may apply for social media credentials here.
Given the expected high demand and limits owing to logistical, security and health and safety constraints, it is possible that not all applications will be successful. Applicants will be informed whether they have been successful at the latest on 11 October.
 
Follow online
Separation will be reported online on 16 October at 17:20 GMT /19:20 CEST.

 

The media briefings scheduled for 19 and 20 October will be live streamed via http://esa.int.

 

Realtime coverage of operational milestones in the lead up to separation on 16 October through until landing and orbit insertion on 19 October and in the days after will be provided in a frequently updated article at http://esa.int/exomars.

 

Milestones will also be reported via Twitter and Facebook. Follow @esaoperations, @ESA_TGO, @ESA_EDM and @ESA_ExoMars or #ExoMars.

 

A special ESA social-TV programme will be available on ESA’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESA

 

For detailed background information on the mission, see: http://exploration.esa.int/mars/

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

 

This is going to be fun...:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

What to Expect From Schiaparelli's Camera

 

ooSimulated.jpg

Schiaparelli Descent Imagery Plan   ESA

 

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As the ExoMars Schiaparelli module descends onto Mars on 19 October it will capture 15 images of the approaching surface. Scientists have simulated the view we can expect to see from the descent camera.


Schiaparelli will separate from its mothership, the Trace Gas Orbiter, on 16 October, with some six million km still to travel before entering the atmosphere of Mars at 14:42 GMT three days later.

 

Its descent will take just under six minutes, using a heatshield, parachute, thrusters and a crushable structure for the landing.

 

Schiaparelli is primarily a technology demonstrator to test entry, descent and landing technologies for future missions and is therefore designed to operate for a only few days.

 

The small surface science package will take readings of the atmosphere, but there is no scientific camera like those found on other landers or rovers - including the ExoMars rover that is planned for launch in 2020.

 

The lander does, however, carry ESA's small, 0.6 kg technical camera, a refurbished spare flight model of the Visual Monitoring Camera flown on ESA's Herschel/Planck spacecraft to image the separation of the two craft after their joint launch.

 

ts role is to capture 15 black and white images during the descent that will be used to help reconstruct the module's trajectory and its motion, as well giving context information for the final touchdown site.

 

The wide, 60º field-of-view will deliver a broad look at the landscape below, to maximise the chances of seeing features that will help to pinpoint the landing site and reveal Schiaparelli's attitude and position during descent.

 

The camera will start taking images around a minute after Schiaparelli's front shield is jettisoned, when the module is predicted to be about 3 km above the surface. This will result in images covering about 17 sq km on the surface.

 

The images will be taken at 1.5 s intervals, ending at an altitude of about 1.5 km, covering an area of roughly 4.6 sq km.

 

Then, at an altitude of about 1.2 km, the parachute and rear cover will be jettisoned, and the thrusters ignited. The thrusters will cut out just 2 m above the surface, with the module's crushable structure absorbing the force of impact.

 

Schiaparelli will target the centre of a 100 km x 15 km landing ellipse, in a relatively flat area in Meridiani Planum, close to the equator in the southern hemisphere. This region has been imaged extensively from orbit, including by ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

 

To plan for analysing Schiaparelli's descent, thousands of simulations were made varying the atmospheric conditions and the flight path to the surface. From one such simulation, which touched down at the centre of the landing ellipse, simulated images were then made using data from NASA's orbiter covering the Meridiani region, as shown here.

 

In reality, the altitudes at which images are actually taken may vary somewhat, depending on the atmospheric conditions, the final path through the atmosphere and the speed at which Schiaparelli descends.

 

The real images taken on 19 October will be stored in Schiaparelli's memory before being beamed up to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and downlinked to Earth on 20 October.

http://spaceref.com/mars/what-to-expect-from-schiaparellis-camera.html

 

Simulating_Schiaparelli_s_descent_camera

Title Simulating Schiaparelli's descent camera view
Released 12/10/2016 11:00 am
Copyright Images: NASA/JPL/MRO; simulation: ESA
Description
Simulated sequence of the 15 images that the descent camera on the ExoMars Schiaparelli module is expected to take during its descent to the surface of Mars on 19 October 2016. The descent camera will start taking images about one minute after the front shield has been jettisoned. In the simulated images shown here, this corresponds to the first image being taken from an altitude of about 3 km. The camera takes images every 1.5 seconds: the final image in this simulated sequence is at ~1.5 km, but depending on Schiaparelli’s actual descent speed on the day, the final image may be acquired closer to the surface.

The views are generated from images taken by the CTX context camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the centre of the landing ellipse, and represent the ground-projected field-of-view expected from Schiaparelli’s camera at each altitude.

 

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/10/Simulating_Schiaparelli_s_descent_camera_view

 

as an added bonus...

 

 

:woot:

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Jim K    16,002
15 minutes ago, Draggendrop said:

What to Expect From Schiaparelli's Camera

 

 

Schiaparelli Descent Imagery Plan   ESA

 

http://spaceref.com/mars/what-to-expect-from-schiaparellis-camera.html

 

 

Title Simulating Schiaparelli's descent camera view
Released 12/10/2016 11:00 am
Copyright Images: NASA/JPL/MRO; simulation: ESA
Description
Simulated sequence of the 15 images that the descent camera on the ExoMars Schiaparelli module is expected to take during its descent to the surface of Mars on 19 October 2016. The descent camera will start taking images about one minute after the front shield has been jettisoned. In the simulated images shown here, this corresponds to the first image being taken from an altitude of about 3 km. The camera takes images every 1.5 seconds: the final image in this simulated sequence is at ~1.5 km, but depending on Schiaparelli’s actual descent speed on the day, the final image may be acquired closer to the surface.

The views are generated from images taken by the CTX context camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the centre of the landing ellipse, and represent the ground-projected field-of-view expected from Schiaparelli’s camera at each altitude.

 

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/10/Simulating_Schiaparelli_s_descent_camera_view

 

as an added bonus...

 

 

:woot:

Ooo...that'd be neat if Opportunity is able to snap a photo of Schiaparelli as it is descending....would be a first. :) 

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Draggendrop    5,748

Ready For The Red Planet

 

Quote

14 October 2016


Next week, ESA’s ExoMars has just a single chance to get captured by Mars’ gravity. The spacecraft and the mission controllers who will make it so are ready for arrival.

 

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is on a multiyear mission to understand the methane and other gases in Mars’ atmosphere at low levels and could be evidence for possible biological or geological activity.

 

The 3.7 tonne mothership is carrying the 577 kg Schiaparelli lander that will test key technologies in preparation for ESA's 2020 rover mission.

 

The pair have almost completed their 496 million km journey, and are now speeding towards a critical stage: releasing the lander on Sunday and the lander’s descent and touchdown next Wednesday, at the same time as the main craft begins circling the planet.

 

“They are now on a high-speed collision course with Mars, which is fine for the lander – it will stay on this path to make its controlled landing,” says flight director Michel Denis at mission control in Darmstadt, Germany.

 

“However, to get the mothership into orbit, we must make a small but vital adjustment on 17 October to ensure it avoids the planet. And on 19 October it must fire its engine at a precise time for 139 minutes to brake into orbit.

 

“We get just a single chance.”

 

Quote

Following months of intensive simulations, the team is now changing to ‘real-time/full-time’ shifts, and will work in the main control room from tomorrow.

 

The team will oversee separation, set for 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST) on Sunday, the adjustment 12 hours later to avoid hitting Mars and, finally, the main engine burn starting at 13:05 GMT (15:05 CEST) on Wednesday.

 

A last pre-arrival correction was made this morning at 08:45 GMT (10:45 CEST) to ensure the craft is perfectly lined up for separation and arrival. The thruster burn delivered a tiny kick of 1.4 cm/s – all that was needed after an earlier series of extremely precise adjustments in July and September

 

Quote

“This week, we uploaded the commands to fully charge the lander’s batteries and prepare the orbiter’s data-handling system as well as power- and thruster system for separation and the subsequent trajectory tweak,” says spacecraft operations manager Peter Schmitz.

 

“Next week, before the big burn, we will place it into a special ‘failop’ mode to minimise any risk that an onboard glitch could interfere with the firing of the engine, which absolutely must happen at the planned time for us to get into orbit.”

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Ready_for_the_Red_Planet

 

Mars arrival orbits

video is 0:28 min.

 

 

 

----------------------------------

 

ExoMars-2016 to arrive at Mars

 

Quote

TGO/Schiaparelli separation

 

On October 16, at 02:42 GMT, mission control will upload final commands for entry, descent and landing of the ExoMars-2016 mission.

 

The TGO spacecraft and the EDM Schiaparelli lander will separate on October 16, 2016, at 14:42 GMT (10:42 a.m. EDT, 16:42 CEST, 17:42 Moscow Time) three days and six million kilometers before reaching Mars. As they part at a gentle speed of just 0.3 meters per second, the TGO should provide necessary attitude and slow stabilization spin to the disk-shaped Schiaparelli with a rate of about 2.5 rotations per minute.

 

ESA enlisted NASA to train its 70-meter antennas in Canberra, Australia, and in Madrid, Spain, from the Deep Space Network, DSN, to listen to the departing lander. They will be able to confirm the crucial operation by measuring the changing Doppler shift of a carrier signal from the mission.

 

In case the first attempt to separate the two spacecraft does not take place, mission control will have two more opportunities to repeat the operation and still ensure the nominal landing of Schiaparelli on the planet. The third backup attempt could also be made to simply get rid of the lander and still insert the TGO spacecraft into a nominal orbit around Mars. Finally, if all attempts to separate the lander will fail, the joint spacecraft can make a flyby of Mars and continue its path around the Sun. It will have its next opportunity to enter into orbit around the Red Planet in about a year.

 

After separation, Schiaparelli will be left on a direct collision course with Mars. During a big part of its three-day autonomous flight to Mars, the lander will be in hibernation mode to save battery power, the only source of electricity onboard.

 

moi_mutual_position_1.jpg

Mutual positions of the Schiaparelli lander, the Mars Express orbiter and a Martian moon Phobos during the orbital insertion of the TGO spacecraft.

 

Quote

If everything goes as planned, on October 17, at 02:42 GMT, or around 12 hours after dropping the lander (it will be 10:42 p.m. EDT on October 16), the TGO spacecraft will make a trajectory correction to avoid its own direct collision with Mars. The two-minute engine firing, known as Orbiter Retargeting Maneuver, ORM, will raise the pericenter (lowest point of the Martian orbit) to more than 500 kilometers from the planet, making it possible to enter its orbit around 60 hours later.

 

Ground antennas in Canberra and Malargue will be monitoring the maneuver. Three hours after the Mars avoidance burn, the TGO should be configured for entering the Martian orbit. The spacecraft will be placed into the so-called "failop" mode, which will tell the flight control system to ignore minor glitches aboard the TGO during the critical engine firing.

 

On October 18, at 09:00 GMT (05:00 a.m.), mission control will upload orbit insertion commands on the spacecraft.

 

After pointing its main engine against the direction of the flight, the TGO will initiate the Mars Orbit Insertion, MOI, maneuver on October 19, 2016, at 13:04 GMT (9:04 a.m. EDT). In nine minutes 45 seconds, signals confirming the beginning of the engine burn should reach Canberra. The entire engine firing should last around 2.5 hours (139 minutes). The completed engine burn should reduce the speed of the spacecraft by 1,550 meters per second (1.55 kilometers per second) to ensure the capture of the TGO into Mars' orbit.

 

In the midst of the TGO's Mars Orbit Insertion maneuver, the Schiaparelli will hit the Martian atmosphere at 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST, 10:42 a.m. EDT). Its landing should then take place around 14:48 GMT (16:48 CEST, 10:48 a.m. EDT) or one hour 45 minutes after the TGO initiates its braking maneuver.

more to come later ...

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mars-arrival.html

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

 

Recap...

 

Quote

The TGO spacecraft and the EDM Schiaparelli lander will separate on October 16, 2016, at 14:42 GMT (10:42 a.m. EDT, 16:42 CEST, 17:42 Moscow Time) three days and six million kilometers before reaching Mars. As they part at a gentle speed of just 0.3 meters per second, the TGO should provide necessary attitude and slow stabilization spin to the disk-shaped Schiaparelli with a rate of about 2.5 rotations per minute.

 

After separation, Schiaparelli will be left on a direct collision course with Mars. During a big part of its three-day autonomous flight to Mars, the lander will be in hibernation mode to save battery power, the only source of electricity onboard.

 

If everything goes as planned, on October 17, at 02:42 GMT, or around 12 hours after dropping the lander (it will be 10:42 p.m. EDT on October 16), the TGO spacecraft will make a trajectory correction to avoid its own direct collision with Mars. The two-minute engine firing, known as Orbiter Retargeting Maneuver, ORM, will raise the pericenter (lowest point of the Martian orbit) to more than 500 kilometers from the planet, making it possible to enter its orbit around 60 hours later.

 

After pointing its main engine against the direction of the flight, the TGO will initiate the Mars Orbit Insertion, MOI, maneuver on October 19, 2016, at 13:04 GMT (9:04 a.m. EDT). In nine minutes 45 seconds, signals confirming the beginning of the engine burn should reach Canberra. The entire engine firing should last around 2.5 hours (139 minutes). The completed engine burn should reduce the speed of the spacecraft by 1,550 meters per second (1.55 kilometers per second) to ensure the capture of the TGO into Mars' orbit.
 
In the midst of the TGO's Mars Orbit Insertion maneuver, the Schiaparelli will hit the Martian atmosphere at 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST, 10:42 a.m. EDT). Its landing should then take place around 14:48 GMT (16:48 CEST, 10:48 a.m. EDT) or one hour 45 minutes after the TGO initiates its braking maneuver.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mars-arrival.html

 

:woot:

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Draggendrop    5,748

Sorry everyone, forgot to put the video feeds....

 

How to Follow Europe's Mars Arrival and Landing Online

 

Quote

The European-led ExoMars 2016 project is scheduled to drop a probe onto the surface of the Red Planet this Wednesday (Oct. 19), and you can follow the mission's biggest events online, including a spacecraft separation on Sunday (Oct. 16).

 

ExoMars 2016  is a mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia that serves as a precursor to a Mars rover mission (with possible sample return) scheduled to launch in 2020. The current mission consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter (an orbiting satellite) and the Schiaparelli lander that will help test technologies for the future rover mission.

 

ESA will provide live coverage of three separate ExoMars events over the next week. The first will be the lander's separation from the orbiter on Sunday; the second will the lander's touchdown on Wednesday, and the third will be a mission status update on Thursday (Oct. 20).  [Gallery: Europe's ExoMars Missions in Pictures]

 

The agency will broadcast live coverage of the lander's separation from the orbiting spacecraft on Sunday, starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT). You can watch that webcast via ESA's livestream player. You can follow the mission live on Space.com here, courtesy of ESA.

 

On Wednesday, the agency will webcast coverage of the lander touching down on Mars in two parts: The first will begin at 11:44 a.m. EDT (15:44 GMT) and continue until about 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). The second half of that broadcast will begin at 2:25 p.m. EDT (1825 GMT) and end at about 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT). You can watch that broadcast on ESA's live webcast page or on ESA's Facebook page.

 

And finally on Thursday, the agency will webcast a press conference to deliver a mission status update, beginning at 4 a.m. EDT (0800 GMT).  

You can look for text updates on the ExoMars mission at ESA's mission homepage. You can also follow the Twitter accounts for ExoMars, and the ExoMars orbiter.

 

Visit Space.com over the next week for complete ExoMars 2016 mission coverage leading up to the Wednesday arrival and landing.

http://www.space.com/34395-how-to-watch-exomars-landing-online.html?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=socialtwitterspc&cmpid=social_spc_514648

 

Feeds...

 

European Space Agency Livestream Player

 

Space.com TV

 

ESA Facebook video

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

TGO releases Schiaparelli for its Mars landing

 

separation_1.jpg

 

 

Quote

The TGO spacecraft and the EDM Schiaparelli lander separated on October 16, 2016, at 14:42 GMT (10:42 a.m. EDT, 16:42 CEST, 17:42 Moscow Time) three days and six million kilometers before reaching Mars. As they parted at a gentle speed of just 0.3 meters per second, the TGO had to provide necessary attitude and slow stabilization spin to the disk-shaped Schiaparelli with a rate of about 2.5 rotations per minute.

 

Mission control anticipated that the separation of the 577-kilogram Schiaparelli would cause some wobbling on the 4.3-ton TGO "mothership." This could affect the very sensitive antenna pointing at Earth, which is needed to ensure a full data link. As a result, mission controllers planned in advance to monitor progress only via the basic ("unmodulated") radio carrier signal, with the signal acting like a beacon, ESA said. The full data link was cut off around 16:31 CEST (10:31 a.m. EDT).

 

The separation wobble was visible in the Doppler data associated with the carrier signal. With a one-way signal time of about nine minutes and 45 seconds, mission controllers were expected to see a first indication of progress around 14:52 GMT (10:52 a.m. EDT). Shortly before the actual event, ESA promised a confirmation from Flight Director Michel Denis after 14:55 GMT (10:55 a.m. EDT).

 

Mission controllers also hoped to see signals received via the GMRT radio telescope in Pune, India, however ESA warned that this was strictly an experiment and may not function as planned. A full confirmation was expected around 15:15 GMT (11:15 a.m. EDT) once controllers re-establish the full data link with the spacecraft, ESA announced.

 

Around 11:02 a.m. EDT, mission controllers publicly confirmed that the separation had indeed taken place based on the Doppler signal from the carrier. The GMRT telescope also recorded a very faint signal that indicated separation.

 

Quote

Telemetry interruption from TGO

 

At 11:28 a.m. EDT, Michel Denis confirmed the separation between the orbiter and the lander but said that the TGO had not re-established the normal telemetry link with mission control as planned, sending only the carrier signal. Experts were investigating the issue, Denis said. He then called for a meeting to review the situation.

 

At 12:30 p.m. EDT, ESA announced that "the anomaly that prevents TGO's telemetry from being sent is under investigation, and is expected to be resolved within the next few hours." However within minutes after the announcement, full telemetry link with the orbiter was restored via ESA's 35-meter ground station at Malargüe, Argentina.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mars-arrival.html#separation

 

 

----------------------

 

ExoMars live updates

 

Quote

16 October

 

18:43 CEST: Full telemetry link with ExoMars/TGO has been restored via ESA's 35m deep-space ground station at Malargüe, Argentina. 

 

18:30 CEST: The Schiaparelli module was released from the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) at 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST) as planned.

 

Today, three days before gravity will ensure the arrival of ExoMars 2016 at Mars, the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent & landing demonstrator Module separated from the TGO orbiter and is now en route on a ballistic trajectory to reach the Red Planet, enter its atmosphere and land softly in an area close to the equator known as Meridiani Planum.

 

However, TGO unexpectedly did not return telemetry (on-board status information), and sent only its carrier signal, indicating it is operational. The anomaly that prevents TGO's telemetry from being sent is under investigation, and is expected to be resolved within the next few hours.

An update will be posted in the next few hours.

 

17:27 CEST: ExoMars Flight Director Michel Denis confirmed that separation of Schiaparelli has occurred and and signals from TGO have been reacquired. The signals do not contain the expected telemetry (information on the onboard status), and the teams are investigating the situation.

 

17:02 CEST: Flight dynamics team at ESOC confirms separation of Schiaparelli from TGO on the basis of Doppler signal from the carrier. The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near Pune, India, has also recorded a very faint signal that indicates separation. Official confirmation expected soon when telemetry from TGO is received.

 

16:42 CEST: According to the timeline, Schiaparelli should have separated from TGO. Confirmation is expected on Earth soon and will be announced by ExoMars Flight Director Michel Denis once the data is on ground.

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

 

----------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a bit dicey this morning, but telemetry was regained.....:D

 

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Draggendrop    5,748

More mission data...

 

Quote

After separation, Schiaparelli was left on a direct collision course with Mars. During a big part of its three-day autonomous flight to Mars, the lander will be in hibernation mode to save battery power, the only source of electricity onboard.

 

moi_mutual_position_1.jpg

Mutual positions of the Schiaparelli lander, the Mars Express orbiter and a Martian moon Phobos during the orbital insertion of the TGO spacecraft.

 

Quote

If everything goes as planned, on October 17, at 02:42 GMT (04:42 CEST), or around 12 hours after dropping the lander (it will be 10:42 p.m. EDT on October 16), the TGO spacecraft will make a trajectory correction to avoid its own direct collision with Mars. The two-minute engine firing, known as Orbiter Retargeting Maneuver, ORM, will raise the pericenter (lowest point of the Martian orbit) to more than 500 kilometers from the planet, making it possible to enter its orbit around 60 hours later.

 

Ground antennas in Canberra and Malargue will be monitoring the maneuver. Three hours after the Mars avoidance burn, the TGO should be configured for entering the Martian orbit. The spacecraft will be placed into the so-called "failop" mode, which will tell the flight control system to ignore minor glitches aboard the TGO during the critical engine firing.

 

On October 18, at 09:00 GMT (05:00 a.m.), mission control will upload orbit insertion commands on the spacecraft.

After pointing its main engine against the direction of the flight, the TGO will initiate the Mars Orbit Insertion, MOI, maneuver on October 19, 2016, at 13:04 GMT (9:04 a.m. EDT). In nine minutes 45 seconds, signals confirming the beginning of the engine burn should reach Canberra. The entire engine firing should last 139 minutes. The completed engine burn should reduce the speed of the spacecraft by 1,550 meters per second (1.55 kilometers per second) to ensure the capture of the TGO into Mars' orbit.

 

In the midst of the TGO's Mars Orbit Insertion maneuver, the Schiaparelli will hit the Martian atmosphere at 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST, 10:42 a.m. EDT). Its landing should then take place around 14:48 GMT (16:48 CEST, 10:48 a.m. EDT) or one hour 45 minutes after the TGO initiates its braking maneuver.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-mars-arrival.html#separation

 

Live updates...

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

 

twitter...

https://twitter.com/esa_exomars

 

:)

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Draggendrop    5,748

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:)

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,748

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------

 

Quote

Live coverage overview

 

16 October – spacecraft separation
In addition to text updates here and via our twitter channels, a short statement confirming the outcome of the separation will be streamed live from the main control room of ESA's Spacecraft Operations Centre starting at 14:30 GMT / 16:30 CEST.

 

19 October – landing and arriving at Mars
Live coverage of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrival and Schiaparelli landing on Mars will begin with our Social TV programme via ESA’s Facebook page and Livestream 13:00–15:15 GMT / 15:00–17:15 CEST on 19 October.

The ESA TV programme will be broadcast on this page in two parts on 19 October:

15:44–16:59 GMT / 17:44–18:59 CEST
18:25–20:03 GMT / 20:25–22:03 CEST

 

20 October – status report and first images 
A press conference is scheduled for 20 October at 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST, when a mission status update is expected, along with the first images from the Schiaparelli descent camera. This will also be streamed live via the player above.

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

 

All went well today...for the most part, we have avoided this....

 

 

 

:woot:

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Draggendrop    5,748

ExoMars-2016 landing

 

Quote

On October 19, 2016, exactly at the time when its mother ship enters orbit around Mars, the 577-kilogram Schiaparelli lander will be performing a six-minute descent onto the Martian surface, braking itself from a speed of 5.8 kilometers per second to almost zero with the help of a heat shield, a parachute and rocket engines. This one of the riskiest operations in modern space technology should conclude with a soft touchdown on the Meridiani Planum, not far from NASA's Opportunity rover.

 

descent_1.jpg

The Schiaparelli landing sequence. Credit: ESA

 

Quote

Before the lander reaches Martian atmosphere on October 19, the European Mars Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since 2003, will be able to record information from Schiaparelli beginning at 13:22 GMT (9:22 a.m. EDT). The lander will begin its transmissions five minutes later and its first signals should reach Earth at 13:36 GMT (9:36 a.m. EDT). The TGO orbiter will also reach a position to listen to Schiaparelli beginning at 14:20 GMT (10:20 a.m. EDT).

 

Just 22 minutes later, the lander will hit the upper reaches of the Martian atmosphere at 14:42 GMT at an altitude of 122.5 kilometers above the planet and a speed of 21,000 kilometers per hour (5.8 kilometers per second).

 

In just about three minutes, the lander will have to decelerate from Mach 35 to Mach 5 thanks to aerodynamic braking with a disk-shaped heat shield, which is expected to heat up to 1,500-1,850 degrees Celsius.

 

parachute_descent_1.jpg

 

Quote

At 14:45 GMT (10:45 a.m. EDT), at an altitude of around 11 kilometers and a speed of 1,650 kilometers per hour (Mach 2), a 12-meter supersonic parachute made out of nylon fabric and held by Kevlar lines will be deployed with the help of mortar to reduce speed to below supersonic. The parachute's so-called disk-gap-band canopy will unfurl in less than a second to a length of 27 meters, and, 40 seconds later, allowing for oscillations to die down, the front shield of the aeroshell will be jettisoned at an altitude of seven kilometers and a speed of 320 kilometers per hour.


At an altitude of around seven kilometers, Schiaparelli will activate its Doppler radar altimeter and velocimeter to locate its position with respect to the Martian surface by measuring its distance and speed relative to the surface.

 

Around a minute after the front shield has been jettisoned and the module dropped to an altitude of around three kilometers, a down-looking engineering Descent Camera, DeCa, will begin shooting a series of 15 black and white images, looking over the edge of the lander at the approaching and spinning surface below. Transmitted to Earth some 24 hours later, the resulting pictures should help pinpointing the exact landing trajectory and touchdown location.

 

Photos will be taken at 1.5-second intervals and could continue capturing the descent until an altitude of around 1.5 kilometers or possibly even lower. At the beginning, the camera will see an area as wide as 17 square kilometers, which will zoom to as little as 4.6 square kilometers at the end of the photo-session. However there is a chance, that wind storms in the Martian atmosphere typical for this time period, could veil surface details with clouds of dust.

 

As soon as the sensors show that the spacecraft is 1.3 kilometers (or 1.2 according to some sources) from the surface around 14:47 GMT (10:47 a.m. EDT), the back shield of the lander will be jettisoned along with the parachute, just two minutes after its deployment, as the spacecraft zooms toward the surface at a speed of between 250 and 270 kilometers per hour.

 

rocket_landing_1.jpg

 

Quote

Immediately, three clusters of hydrazine engines with three engines each will fire in pulse mode to reduce the descent speed from 240 kilometers per hour to just 15 kilometers per hour around two meters from the surface. At that moment, the engines will be cut off, leaving the dish-shaped lander in free fall.

 

The final shock of the touchdown at around 11 kilometers per hour will be cushioned by a crushable structure built into the module. The entire descent will be completed for Schiaparelli in around six minutes over a distance of approximately 700 kilometers.

 

The nominal touchdown is scheduled to take place at 14:48:11 GMT (10:48 a.m. EDT, 16:48:11 CEST) on October 19, 2016.

 

Like some of its unfortunate predecessors, Schiaparelli lands at the end of the Martian summer, known for its vicious dust storms. The bad weather is predicted to peak on October 29, or 10 days after the landing. However, European engineers are confident that the state-of-the-art spacecraft is well designed to survive the experience. In fact, the probe's DREAMS instrument could make more scientifically interesting measurements thanks to the increased dust content in the atmosphere, ESA officials said.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-edm-landing.html

 

 

landing_sites_1.jpg

Schiaparelli landing site on the global map of Mars relative to previous successful landers. Credit: ESA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to ESA's Landing Media Kit, pdf, 1.05 MB, 35pages

 

 

Quote

19 October – landing and arriving at Mars


Live coverage of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrival and Schiaparelli landing on Mars will begin with our Facebook Live Social TV programme (also streamed on Livestream.com) 13:00–15:15 GMT / 15:00–17:15 CEST on 19 October.

 

The ESA TV programme will be broadcast on this page in two parts on 19 October:

15:44–16:59 GMT / 17:44–18:59 CEST
18:25–20:03 GMT / 20:25–22:03 CEST

 

20 October – status report and first images 


A press conference is scheduled for 20 October at 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST, when a mission status update is expected, along with the first images from the Schiaparelli descent camera. This will also be streamed live via the player above.

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

 

:D

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