ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars) is a two-part multi-year Martian astrobiology life searching project and joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA). It will place into Mars orbit an atmospheric probe and land a stationary lander in 2016, to be followed in 2020 with a surface rover, supporting a science mission that is expected to last into 2022 or beyond.
ExoMars goals are to search for signs of past and present life on Mars, investigate how the Martian water and geochemical environment varies, investigate atmospheric trace gases and their sources and by doing so demonstrate the technologies for a future Mars sample return mission. The mission will search for biosignatures of Martian life, past or present, employing several spacecraft elements to be sent to Mars on two launches. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and a test stationary lander called Schiaparelli were launched on 14 March 2016. The TGO will deliver the Schiaparelli lander on 19 October 2016, and then proceed to map the sources of methane on Mars and other gases, while the lander will test new key landing technologies for the 2020 mission. The TGO features four instruments and will also act as a communications relay satellite.
In 2020, a Roscosmos-built lander (ExoMars 2020 surface platform) is to deliver the ESA-built ExoMars Rover to the Martian surface. The rover will also include some Roscosmos built instruments. The mission operations and communications is led by ALTEC's Rover Control Centre in Italy.
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