Launched from Baikonur rocket “proton-M” with the first EU-Russian interplanetary research station “ExoMars-2016”. The launch was shown live. Flight to the red planet will take seven months. A joint project of Roskosmos and the European space Agency’s “ExoMars-2016” will deliberately seek out life on Mars, and to prepare the second phase of the expedition.
At 12.31 p.m. Moscow time from Baikonur went first joint mission of Russia and the European space Agency to search for life on Mars.
In Facebook Roscosmos appeared: “START! Have run the engines of the first stage booster! Passed contact lift! 10 seconds – normal Flight. 20 seconds – the pressure in the combustion chambers of the engines was normal. 30 seconds – the Flight is on the program”.
The goal of the mission is the search for methane in the atmosphere of the red planet, which could confirm the presence of life, as well as verification of key technologies for a second expedition ExoMars project scheduled for 2018, reports RIA “Novosti”.
“START! Have run the engines of the first stage booster! Passed contact lift! 10 seconds – normal Flight”
In the first mission on Monday the Russian rocket “proton-M” from Baikonur cosmodrome launched into space interplanetary research station “ExoMars-2016”, which includes two main segments: orbital device Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and landing demonstration module Schiaparelli.
It is expected that the first stage of “Proton” will separate at 12.33 Moscow time, the second – in 12.36, the third – in 12.41. Then the upper stage “breeze-M” four inclusions of the engines will “ExoMars” on a trajectory leading to Mars. 23.21 in it separates from the ligament TGO and Schiaparelli, which will continue independently, reports TASS.
At 00.24 Tuesday on the “ExoMars” command will turn on the devices, four minutes will unfold its solar panels. At this point, the first mission will be in touch with the Earth, its signals will station Malindi located in Kenya. Another three minutes later, the European mission control Center will receive data about the state of the system interplanetary station.
Flight “Accomarca” to another planet will take seven months. It is planned that on October 16, Schiaparelli will separate from TGO to October 19, first entered the atmosphere of Mars, and the second went into orbit of the planet. Slow down about the Martian atmosphere TGO will be about a year, so the beginning of work of scientific instrument this device is scheduled for mid-2017. According to specialists, orbital will operate until the end of 2022.
The current start is shown Roscosmos live.
Goals and objectives
One of the primary objectives of this launch is to engage in the search for life on Mars. Scientists think that the methane under the influence of ultraviolet solar radiation breaks up and can exist for about 300-600 years, which is very short in geological time scales. This means that the gas that is present on Mars now, could not be made 4.5 billion years ago when did the planets form the Solar system, so it is logical to try to search the planet for signs of life.
It is known that more than 90% of methane on Earth is produced by living organisms. Recently, this same gas was registered in the areas adjacent to the Northern hemisphere of Mars, causing scientists of great interest.
Final answers on the methane may let next, the second mission of the ExoMars project scheduled for 2018. “Thanks to the implementation of the second phase of the mission in 2018, the Europe and Russia may be possible to drill the soil of Mars to two meters in depth,” said the head of the permanent mission of the European space Agency in Russia Rene Pishel.
As reported head of the laboratory of space research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences Daniil Rodionov, a previous Martian stations were set the task of finding water, but no mission purposefully did not start with the task of searching for signs of life.
According to him, the spectrometric complex of the Russian ACS (Atmospheric Chemistry Suite) and the European NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery), working in different ranges, will deliberately seek out in the atmosphere of Mars methane.
In addition to spectrometric complexes, TGO carries a Russian neutron detector FREND (Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector) designed for mapping of neutron fluxes from the Martian surface with high spatial resolution. These threads will be judged on the content of hydrogen in the layer of soil depth of one meter.
In addition, the device comprises a radiation unit, whose task is constant monitoring of the radiation environment in Mars orbit. The data obtained will be needed in the future in the organization of manned missions to this planet.
Another instrument of the mission is the European stereo camera set CaSSIS (Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System), is designed for high resolution imagery of the Martian surface in stereo.
Part of the “ExoMars-2016” Schiaparelli module aims to develop technologies entry, descent and landing that will be crucial to future missions.
“One Martian year – nearly two earth”
The ExoMars mission analyst Michael Khan told RIA “news” that there are several types of mission to Mars, which scientists expect to see: “we have a landing module, called Schiaparelli, he will test the technique of planting. We will see how an integrated technique suitable for landing on Mars, let’s see how this works by landing,” he said.
Also specialists are waiting for scientific results an orbital probe Trace Gas Orbiter. This is a great probe that should reach the orbit of Mars and which is equipped with many scientific instruments, some of them produced in Europe, some in Russia. All of these tools will be used only from the end of 2017. That is, will have to wait quite a long time, the whole year. “Complete measurement of all the tools laid one Martian year. One Martian year is almost two earth years,” explained Khan.
He also elaborated about the differences between the current Russian-European mission from the American. According to Khan, still the majority of missions investigated the surface and what lies beneath it. “ExoMars-2016” to seek out those substances that in very small volumes encountered in the atmosphere. And the most important innovation – a new mission for the first time in global atmospheric research.
Let us add that the second stage of “Asomarse” includes sending to the Red planet in 2018 the Russian landing platform and a European Rover. They are going to drill the Martian soil and look for life there. However, the launch may be postponed to 2020.
Roscosmos and the European space Agency have agreed on cooperation in the exploration of the Solar system, in particular, on the joint project “ExoMars”, in 2013. Initially the Europeans wanted to cooperate with American NASA, but Washington refused the project due to lack of funding.
As for manned flights to Mars, not all today burn the idea. So, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov stated that he is not convinced of the utility of such a flight, reports RIA “Novosti”.
“When we explain to ourselves why we need Mars, then? – he said. Just to get to Mars, to climb out of the lander, to lie near him, to crawl back around and go home – I guess it’s still not something that awaits our humanity… we Need practical solution.”Related posts: