ExoMars Prepares To Reach Its Final Orbit Through Mars Atmosphere

Posted: Dec 20 2016, 4:07am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

ExoMars Prepares to Reach its Final Orbit Through Mars Atmosphere
An Artist’s impression of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter circling around the Mars. Credit: ESA / ATG medialab
 

ExoMars will soon reach mars for its last orbit

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, the spacecraft’s main mission is to study gases, including methane on mars. These gases could be the reason of any geological or biological activities on mars.

Main aim is to lower the craft into nearest orbit with an altitude of 400 km. Aerobraking will be used by mission scientists to reach its goal that will order the craft to reach top of atmosphere by dragging. It would be a tiny drag, said spacecraft operations manager Peter Schmitz. It will be able to reach at an altitude of 400 km by only a few firing attempts, which will save the fuel.

During the aerobraking process, the team in Darmstadt, Germany must observe the craft to make sure it’s not having any issues due to friction. Depending on atmosphere, dust storms, and solar reactions, the drag will vary for different orbits. The ESA's teams should study the orbit to ensure that the drag isn’t fast and low.

This aerobraking mission will start when mars will become over 300 million km from Earth, and it will continue till 2018, according to Phys.org.

Craft Preparation

The mission team is working hard to prepare the craft.  On 19th January, The team will adjust orbit’s angle according to Mars that would be 74º. This angle will allow the team to entirely observe the planet.

The mission team will use aerobraking for the first time to get to operational orbit. Flight director Michel Denis said that, the team is taking more time to ensure fool proof flight and mission.

The Beginning

Aerobraking will start on 15th march by firing seven times, including one after every three days. The process will bring the craft to 200 km to 114 km altitude. At that point the atmosphere will pull down the craft, said Peter Schmitz.  the aerobraking will continue till 2018.

According to the team, the craft is ready and got an updated operating system on 30th November. The team will soon start its flight for a very challenging mission, said Michael.

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