Successful Launch of ExoMars 2016

ExoMars 2016: Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli
March 14, 2016

The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully launched the first mission of their ExoMars program.  The mission consists of an orbiter and a lander and were placed in their initial earth orbit by a Proton rocket from Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency.  The Breeze M upper stage main engine has completed the four burns to lift the payload into higher orbit and achieve escape velocity.  Solar panels have been deployed, communications established, and the mission is on its way to Mars!  It will take seven months to reach Mars and the lander will then separate from the orbiter.

The Trace Gas Orbiter will observe and measure atmospheric gases, focusing primarily on methane.  During its five-year mission it will relay data to earth and will be an integral part of the ExoMars 2018 rover mission.  The lander, Schiaparelli, is designed as a landing test vehicle and will be in operation on the surface of Mars for only a very short time.

You can learn more about the entire ESA ExoMars program at:

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