Russia and Europe launch today a satellite into space to answer the big question if Life on Mars ever existed and maybe still does.
Is there life on Mars? A new mission is another attempt to find out. ExoMars is a joint mission between Russia and Europe that launches today. ExoMars tries to find out if the Methane gas in the Mars atmosphere is produced by a living organism such as microbes or if its geological.
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The first part of the ExoMars mission is a Trace Gas Orbiter that will be transported into space today by a Roscosmos Proton Rocket. The lift-off of ExoMars is scheduled for 10:31 CET, 5:31am ET.
Besides the Trace Gas Orbiter the satellite also carries an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module named Schiaparelli. The Orbiter will carry scientific instruments to detect and study atmospheric trace gases, such as methane. The Schiaparelli will contain sensors to evaluate the lander’s performance as it descends, and additional sensors to study the environment at the landing site. Shiaparelli is scheduled to arrive on the surface of Mars on October 19.
In 2018 the ExoMars second mission is scheduled that includes a Mars Rover with a drill and a suite of instruments dedicated to exobiology and geochemistry research.
ESO provides a live online stream of the ExoMars mission launch.
The mission has the green light to take off today, first day of the defined launch window.
The ExoMars rocket launch coverage begins at 9:30 CET, one hour ahead of the launch. The next important event is at 22:10 CET with the confirmation of spacecraft separation, solar array deployment and first acquisition of signal.
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This is an exciting day for the European Space Agency.