European probe for three days landing on Mars!
The second half of this decade brings the right crowd around Mars. On it, or in its orbit is currently seven operating appliances with our world; the oldest among them was launched in 2001. In addition to NASA’s hope (Mars Odyssey and Opportunity, MRO, Curiosity and MAVEN), there are ESA (Mars Express) and India (Mars Orbiter Mission).
The fleet has just received reinforcements: there is arrived ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), from which this afternoon separated lander Sciaparelli. The aim of the latter is lowered to the surface of the Red planet (specifically Meridan Planum), what will happen in three days.
After NASA abandoned the partnership for this mission, the Russians stepped in and donated the rocket-carrier
MET will, after a few months of complex maneuvers occupy a stable orbit, look for layers of water ice just below the surface of the planet. It will also monitor the atmosphere in the search for methane. Methane is, in fact, result solely of geological and biological processes, so it is important to find out how exactly reached the Martian atmosphere. MET will also serve as a relay to control communication between the Earth and future European missions on the Martian surface.
The purpose of the module Sciaparelli is primarily testing technology that will in the future go down the spacecraft on the surface of this world. While MET loaded with instruments, Sciaparelli will take only a few days, since it supplies energy very limited.
This does not mean that the whole story will remain on landing: Sciaparelli carries a set of instruments which will record wind speed, humidity, pressure and temperature.
Model of the future rover was presented to the public on the science festival in Cambridge, 2015.
MET and Sciaparelli part of a longer story: it is a common dual mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) called ExoMars.