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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Dust storms on Mars will not prevent the landing module “Schiaparelli”

On Mars begins, dust storms, which, in the opinion of the NASA expert James Shirley, in the next few months will grow into a global storm, which was not used for the last nine years. It will not hurt the element of the landing on Mars of Schiaparelli module (“list”)— one of the components of the Russian-European mission ExoMars, which is scheduled for October 19? If the device is to carry out research after landing? These issues of “MK” asked the candidate of physical and mathematical Sciences, researcher of the atmosphere of Mars, associate Professor of MIPT Alexander Home.

photo: pixabay.com

Dusty tornadoes are observed on the red planet every year, when it is at perihelion, ie the closest distance from the Sun. The intensity of the storms, according to scientists, if varies very little (in this issue, our experts disagree with the opinion of the NASA expert Shirley). Dust clouds that swirl around the planet, sometimes incapacitate the devices working on the Mars Rovers (as happened in 2007-m to year with solar panels of the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity). However, in the case of “Schiaparelli”, whose task is mainly working out a successful landing on Mars, dust clouds will not get any.

Diagram of the landing module involves quite a lot of speed entering the atmosphere on wind shield (it is needed for braking in the upper atmosphere because it takes care of all thermal and aerodynamic loads), explains Rodin. – Directly on the surface of the “Schiaparelli” will sit down with the subsequent inhibition with the help of jet engines. Therefore, the wind speed at landing a big role to play.

Recall that the start of the missionExoMars” was held on 14 March 2016, when, starting from the cosmodrome Baikonur the Russian carrier rocket “proton-M” brought the European unit Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) into orbit.

Less than a week, October 16, when the mission is closer to Mars should be a Department apparatus “Schiaparelli” from TGO. And after three days – October 19, module have to land on the surface of the planet, at that time, as a tool TGO – will go into orbit to study the components of the Martian atmosphere.

After landing on Mars, “Schiaparelli” will be sent to the Orbiter TGO information about how it was successful, in particular the camera DECA will forward aboard 15 shots, evidence of the transparency of the atmosphere in the landing site, and the instrument set DREAMS to share environmental parameters on the surface of Mars, namely, measurements of the speed and direction of wind, humidity, pressure, temperature near the surface of Mars and its electric fields.


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