For the first five years, the launch of a Russian rocket to Mars took place on Monday at 12.31 p.m. Moscow time from the Baikonur cosmodrome. It needs to put into orbit of the red planet the spacecraft the mission “ExoMars”-2016.
As have informed “MK” in IKI, this is the first mission of the project, which involves two spacecraft: orbital Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) for observations of the atmosphere and the surface of the planet and the lander “Schiaparelli” (Schiaparelli) for development of the technology of landing.
TGO is capable of detecting minor components of the Martian atmosphere, for example, methane. The apparatus also includes mapping the prevalence of water in the upper soil layer with high spatial resolution (on the order of tens of kilometers) and optical satellite imagery of the surface.
Russia, apart from the carrier rocket “proton” with upper stage block “breeze-M”, and participates in the scientific part of the project: on the TGO device has two device built in Russia spectrometric system ACS (ACS — Atmospheric Chemistry Suit, designed to study the chemistry of the atmosphere) and neutron telescope high-resolution FRIEND (FREND, Fine-Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector).
12: 45 p.m. Moscow time (570 seconds into the flight) after separation of the two stages of the rocket and reset the head fairing upper stage “breeze-M” with the spacecraft separated and entered a support orbit.
Following activation of the engine of the upper stage are planned in 14.10 in connection with the transition to an intermediate orbit, at 16.25 — in connection with transfer orbit and 22.50 — in connection with the transition to a floating trajectory of the spacecraft. SPACECRAFT separation ExoMars project from the upper stage and the beginning of independent flight to Mars is scheduled for 23.15.
The first radio signals from the Martian traveler it is planned to 0.29. It will take ground station ESA Malindi in Kenya. And in 1.01 ESA experts will give their “messenger” first telemetry command in test mode. The handset should arrive on Mars by the end of 2016.
The second phase of the project, the launch of which was initially planned for 2018 (right now there is talk about porting it to 2020) provides for delivery to the surface of Mars, a landing platform with the European automated Rover on Board. The Rover will be installed a complex of scientific equipment “Pasteur”, which includes two Russian instrument: ITEM and “HADRON-MP”.
The main objective of the research is to study on Board the Rover of the surface and atmosphere of Mars in the vicinity of the landing site, to find compounds and substances that could indicate the possible existence of life on the planet.
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