EXOMARS Robotic News
January 30, 2011 18:36:22
ExoMars programme: a joint European–American lander for Mars
By Source: ESA

Paris - The ExoMars programme will see two missions travel to Mars in a joint ESA–NASA undertaking.

In 2016 an ESA-led mission will consist of an orbiter to study methane and trace gases in the Martian atmosphere and an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) to test key technologies for future missions.

In 2018 a NASA-led mission will carry two rovers to Mars, one from NASA and the other from ESA. The rovers will travel together in the same aeroshell to land at the same destination on Mars.

Astrium is developing the first European Mars rover and it will demonstrate flight and in-situ qualification of key exploration enabling technologies to support the European ambitions for future robotic and human exploration missions. The main technology demonstration objectives are:

•Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) of a large payload on the surface of Mars,
•surface mobility using a rover with a mobility range of several kilometres,
•access to sub-surface using a drill to acquire samples at depths of down to two metres,
•autonomous navigation using stereo cameras to map a 3D image of the surrounding terrain,
•automatic sample preparation and distribution for analyses of scientific experiments.
 

In parallel, important scientific objectives will be accomplished through a state-of-the art scientific payload.

Astrium Satellites in the UK is taking the lead in developing the rover vehicle. The rover’s primary task will be to search for evidence of life, past or present, beneath the surface of the Red Planet. It will also collect data to identify potential risk factors for future manned missions, determine water distribution on Mars, and analyse the chemical composition of the planet’s surface.

To carry out its scientific mission, the robot will carry the Pasteur payload, packed with a wide variety of scientific instruments and tools for collecting, processing and analysing samples of Martian soil.

Astrium in Germany is responsible for the development of the landing platform with specific sub-contractors SENER (support and egress system) and AEROSEKUR (airbags). Astrium in France is responsible for the development of the ExoMars heat shields and also involved in the aerothermodynamics for the entry phase of the DMC.

 
 The ExoMars prototype is seen here undergoing testing Photo Credit: Astrium

Fact Sheet

 Customer European Space Agency/Thales Alenia Space Italy
 Mission The rover vehicle supports mobile surface science acquisition and on-board sample analysis, including both chemical composition evaluation and life element detection (ie bio-markers)
 Orbit Martian surface operations only
 Spacecraft The rover:
• Vehicle mass: 163kg (excluding Payload)
• Payload mass: 56kg
• Power generation: 450 watts
• Dimensions: 1.2m x 1.1m x 2m
 Payload • Panoramic Cameras (PanCam)
• Infrared Borehole Spectrometer (MA_MISS)
• Mars Oxidant and Organics Detector (UREY)
• Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (MOMA)
• Raman/LIBS spectrometer
• Shallow Ground Penetrating Radar (WisDOM)
• Mossbauer Spectrometer (MIMOS II)
• Visible and Infrared Microscope (MicrOmega)
• Close-up Imager (CLUPI)
• X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD)
• IR Fourier Interferometer (MIMA)
 Features

Autonomous Navigation system, based on a stereoscopic vision system
(visible wavelength)
Significant on-board processing capability (>230Mips)
6 wheel locomotion with full 21 Degree of Freedom (DoF) capability

 Launch Mass 220kg
 Dimensions 1.2m x 1.1m x 2m
 Launch Date 2013
 Mission Duration 1.5 years
 Astrium Responsibilities Rover Vehicle Industrial Lead

 

Download Fact Sheet (PDF)

 

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