ExoMars Orbiter

ExoMars Orbiter


The ExoMars Orbiter, also known as the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), is a space probe orbiting Mars as part of a Russian and European mission titled ExoMars 2016. Upon arrival at Mars, the orbiter deployed a lander, called Schiaparelli, that was supposed to survive on the surface of Mars for a few days. The lander unfortunately crash-landed on the surface. Had it been successful, Schiaparelli would have been the first enduring robotic lander on Mars from a country other than the USA. Schiaparelli was meant to test a number of technologies in preparation for the ExoMars Rover arrival, expected in 2020. The ExoMars Orbiter is now scouring the planet for atmospheric gases that could point to biological and/or geological activity happening below. Beginning in December 2017 for five years, the ExoMars Orbiter will search for evidence of life or past life, paying close attention to methane, a gas that is commonly, though not exclusively, associated with biology.

Latest News: Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up. http://spaceipsum.com
(top image: the first image of Mars taken by TGO as it was 41 million km away, ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBe)