Author Topic: ESA-Roscosmos: ExoMars 2016 updates and discussion  (Read 220664 times)

Online Chris Bergin

ESA - will write this up too:

ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions   
   
The European Space Agency and the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, have signed a formal agreement to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions in 2016 and 2018.   
   
Establishing whether life ever existed on Mars is one of the outstanding scientific questions of our time and the highest scientific priority of the ExoMars programme.   
   
The partners have agreed a balanced sharing of responsibilities for the different mission elements. ESA will provide the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) in 2016, and the carrier and rover in 2018. Roscosmos will be responsible for the 2018 descent module and surface platform, and will provide launchers for both missions. Both partners will supply scientific instruments and will cooperate closely in the scientific exploitation of the missions.   
   
ExoMars will also demonstrate core technologies under development by European industry such as landing, roving, drilling and sample preparation that are an essential part of paving the way for the next big step in the robotic exploration of Mars: a sample-return mission.   
   
The 2016 mission has two major ESA elements: the TGO and the EDM. The TGO will search for evidence of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. It will also serve as a data relay for the 2018 mission. The EDM will land on Mars to prove key technologies for the 2018 mission.   
   
In 2018, the ExoMars rover, to be provided by ESA, will search the planet’s surface for signs of life, past and present. It will be the first Mars rover able to drill to depths of 2 m, collecting samples that have been shielded from the harsh conditions of the surface, where radiation and oxidants can destroy organic materials.   
   
The rover will be delivered by a Russian descent module that includes a surface platform equipped with additional scientific instruments.   
   
Today, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Head of Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin met at ESA Headquarters in Paris to sign an agreement that seals ExoMars as a partnership between the two space agencies.   
   
“This is a momentous occasion for the ExoMars programme that will see industry and scientists from Europe and Russia working together on these two exciting missions, which will develop new technologies that will demonstrate the competitiveness of European industry and will be important for preparing strong participation by ESA in future international exploration missions and address the key question of whether life ever arose on Mars,” says Jean-Jacques Dordain.   
   
   
“It has been a long way, we have performed a large amount of work together. The ExoMars programme is to become the second large project after Soyuz in Kourou. It confirms again that projects of such tremendous scale have to be implemented through international cooperation. The scientific data that we are going to obtain during all the planned missions are important for the worldwide community,” says Vladimir Popovkin   
   
NASA will also deliver important contributions to ExoMars, including the Electra UHF radio package for TGO, and Mars Proximity Link telecom and engineering support to the EDM   
   
The ExoMars Programme is funded by fourteen ESA  states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and Canada) of which Italy is the largest contributor and the UK the second largest. Member states also provide scientific instruments to ExoMars. For the 2016 TGO, these include the infrared and ultraviolet spectrometer package NOMAD (led by Belgium) and the CaSSIS high-resolution colour stereo camera (led by Switzerland). Italy will lead the DREAMS environmental station on the EDM.   
   
The 2018 Rover will comprise PanCam, a wide-angle and high resolution camera system (led by the United Kingdom); CLUPI, a close-up imager (led by Switzerland); WISDOM, a ground-penetrating radar (led by France); Ma_MISS, a miniaturised infrared spectrometer integrated in the subsurface drill (led by Italy); MicrOmega, a visible and infrared imaging spectrometer (led by France); RLS, a Raman spectrometer (led by Spain), and MOMA, a novel organic molecule detector (led by Germany, with substantial contributions from the United States).   
   
Today’s signature between ESA and Roscosmos provides the basis for industry and scientific institutes to begin full cooperation on the missions and to meet the challenging schedule, with the first launch planned in January 2016.   

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #1 on: 03/14/2013 11:35 AM »
Let's just hope they choose to launch this one on an Ariane-5.
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Online notsorandom

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #2 on: 03/14/2013 11:41 AM »
Let's just hope they choose to launch this one on an Ariane-5.
It is looking like they will be launching on a Russian rocket for both the 2016 and 2018 missions.

Offline anik

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #3 on: 03/14/2013 11:54 AM »
It is looking like they will be launching on a Russian rocket for both the 2016 and 2018 missions

Yes, Proton-M rockets with Briz-M upper stages.

Offline asmi

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #4 on: 03/14/2013 01:50 PM »
This is good news. One titbit though - Chris, since when has Canada become ESA state?

Offline Danderman

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #5 on: 03/14/2013 01:51 PM »
It's not clear what bus will be used for the missions - is this going to be yet another attempt to fly a Phobos derivative to Mars?

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #6 on: 03/14/2013 01:59 PM »
It's not clear what bus will be used for the missions - is this going to be yet another attempt to fly a Phobos derivative to Mars?


Huh?  ??? The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter contract has already been given to Thales Alenia Space (in fact the spacecraft should start construction by now), the rover to EADS Astrium and the EDM landing demonstrator by some European company. Are you meaning the 2018 rover's cruise stage?

Now I wonder how the Russian EDL design will look like - airbags I guess? (the rover is slightly bigger than Spirit/Opportunity)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Danderman

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #7 on: 03/14/2013 02:04 PM »
Is there some PowerPoint showing all these various elements of the two missions?


Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #8 on: 03/14/2013 02:07 PM »
Is there some PowerPoint showing all these various elements of the two missions?



Not .ppt, but these should give a clear overview of what is what:
http://exploration.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=46048
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExoMars
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online AnalogMan

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #9 on: 03/14/2013 02:10 PM »
This is good news. One titbit though - Chris, since when has Canada become ESA state?

Its one of the states that that make up the membership of ESA (although only an associate member at the moment)


Offline Danderman

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #11 on: 03/14/2013 02:46 PM »
Is the Trace Gas Orbiter based on the Mars Express bus?

Offline GClark

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #12 on: 03/14/2013 03:27 PM »
It is looking like they will be launching on a Russian rocket for both the 2016 and 2018 missions

Yes, Proton-M rockets with Briz-M upper stages.

Is there confirmation of this?  I was under the impression it was to be Proton M-Blok DM 03.

Offline GClark

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #13 on: 03/14/2013 03:28 PM »
Is the Trace Gas Orbiter based on the Mars Express bus?


AIUI, TGO is a new design.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #14 on: 03/14/2013 10:24 PM »
Nice piece, thank you (and good news too!)
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Oli

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #15 on: 03/14/2013 11:47 PM »

What's the point of the EDM "landing demonstrator"? They cannot use it for the rover anyway, right?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #16 on: 03/15/2013 12:49 AM »
Heard some interesting rumors about this marriage. Apparently the Europeans are less than happy with the work they've seen by the Russians. I won't go into any more detail than that, except to say that some people are apparently very worried about the level of expertise in the Russian space program.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #17 on: 03/15/2013 01:42 AM »
Heard some interesting rumors about this marriage. Apparently the Europeans are less than happy with the work they've seen by the Russians. I won't go into any more detail than that, except to say that some people are apparently very worried about the level of expertise in the Russian space program.

Really, after several decades of cooperation on planetary missions they are suddenly saying this now?  I would doubt the rumours.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #18 on: 03/15/2013 01:51 AM »
Heard some interesting rumors about this marriage. Apparently the Europeans are less than happy with the work they've seen by the Russians. I won't go into any more detail than that, except to say that some people are apparently very worried about the level of expertise in the Russian space program.

Really, after several decades of cooperation on planetary missions they are suddenly saying this now?  I would doubt the rumours.

I, on the other hand, isn't too surprised with this. But I doubt that they are more unhappy than the Russians themselves - when even Popovkin had to say about the problems with expertise in the aerospace industry, you know that the pressure is high within the Russians.

The lucky thing is that the P-G nightmares really did set off the alarm in the organization within Russian aerospace units, and there are signs (not very strong, but certainly robust) that they really want to clear off the problems of the past. I think the smell test will be the planned lunar missions in the next 4 years (2 landers and 1 orbiter planned - I assume that at least 1 of them will get off the ground) - that should give the outsiders a glimpse of the current system management levels for planetary exploration missions before the big Russian hardware for ExoMars flies in 2018.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: ExoMars: ESA and Roscosmos set for Mars missions
« Reply #19 on: 03/15/2013 06:02 AM »
Heard some interesting rumors about this marriage. Apparently the Europeans are less than happy with the work they've seen by the Russians. I won't go into any more detail than that, except to say that some people are apparently very worried about the level of expertise in the Russian space program.

Really, after several decades of cooperation on planetary missions they are suddenly saying this now?  I would doubt the rumours.

I, on the other hand, isn't too surprised with this. But I doubt that they are more unhappy than the Russians themselves - when even Popovkin had to say about the problems with expertise in the aerospace industry, you know that the pressure is high within the Russians.

The lucky thing is that the P-G nightmares really did set off the alarm in the organization within Russian aerospace units, and there are signs (not very strong, but certainly robust) that they really want to clear off the problems of the past. I think the smell test will be the planned lunar missions in the next 4 years (2 landers and 1 orbiter planned - I assume that at least 1 of them will get off the ground) - that should give the outsiders a glimpse of the current system management levels for planetary exploration missions before the big Russian hardware for ExoMars flies in 2018.

The only "big Russioan hardware" is the 2018 lander.  The rest is two launchers (both Venus Express and Mars Express were launched by Russia) so no surprises there and various instruments (again, Russian instruments have flown very successfully on various US and ESA missions).

Certainly there is a lot riding on the 2018 lander, and I am surprised that this has been given to the Russians, especially as the 2016 lander was supposed to be an EDL demonstrator.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Tags: Mars Exomars