ExoMars is a joint project of Mars exploration implemented under bilateral Agreement between European Space Agency (ESA) and Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). The scope of cooperation is unprecedented in the history of both agencies. One of the crucial elements is joint Earth-based interplanetary mission operation and data control complex, which is planned to be built within the program. Russian and European experts are striving to consolidate their experience to develop new technologies for interplanetary missions. ExoMars is also one of the steps toward manned exploration of Mars.
Two missions are foreseen within the ExoMars programme: one consisting of an Orbiter plus an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (launched in 2016) , and the other, featuring a rover, with a launch date of 2020.
Bilateral cooperation started in 2012, when Roscosmos became the main partner of ESA on the project (Declaration of Intent was signed by ESA and Roscosmos for cooperation on the ExoMars programme in April 2012) under the condition that Russia is a full participant of the mission's second stage. Russian part includes:
Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI for short) is a head organisation for scientific payload of ExoMars project.
- launchers for both stages of the mission;
- scientific instruments for both stages of the mission;
- lander module for the second stage of the mission (2020), to be built by Lavochkin Space Association (Khimki, Moscow Region), part of the United Rocket and Space Corporation.
ExoMars was a part of the Russian Federal Space Program for 2006Ц2015 and the following for 2016Ц2025.
ExoMars architecture is currently as follows:
Prepared with the help of ESA's web page for ExoMars program, courtesy http://exploration.esa.int/mars/ For further details on the European part of the mission, please, refer to the relevant links.
- The 2016 mission
- Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) to detect and study atmospheric trace gases, such as methane, and water ice distribution in the upper layer of Martian surface.
- Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), now dubbed Schiaparelly, to evaluate the landerТs performance as it descends, and additional sensors to study the environment at the landing site.
- The 2020 mission
- a rover with a number of equipment including a drill
- a surface platform with a suite of instruments dedicated to study surface environment on the landing site.
Russian web page for ExoMars project (IKI, in Russian) http://exomars.cosmos.ru