Apparatus "Trace Gas Orbiter" program "Exomarse"transmitted the first images of the Red Planet taken in a new orbit. He arrived in an almost circular orbit at an altitude of 400 kilometers a few weeks ago in search of gases that may be associated with geological or biological activity on Mars. The CaSSIS on-board device made an amazing shot, which captures the details of the impact crater during the test run. The camera was activated on March 20 and tested before the start of the main mission, which will begin on April 28.
"We transferred the new software to the tool at the beginningthe test phase, and having coped with a few minor difficulties, the tool was in great shape and ready to go, ”says CaSSIS principal investigator Nicholas Thomas of the University of Bern in Switzerland.
The picture shows a 40-km section of the Korolev crater, located high in the northern hemisphere. The bright material on the edge of the crater is ice.
"We were very pleased to see how goodthis picture turned out to be under current lighting conditions, ”says Antoine Pommerol, a member of the CaSSIS research team working on data calibration. "Obviously, CaSSIS can make an important contribution to the study of carbon dioxide and water cycles on Mars."
“We want to fully automate the process of taking pictures,” adds Nick. "As soon as we succeed, we can quickly transfer data to the scientific community for analysis."
Also the team of "Exomars" will regularly cover the activities of the device.
The main work on the device will be performed by spectrometers “sniffing out” the atmosphere, while the camera will help to characterize the details of the surface that may be associated with gas sources.
ExomarS program is a joint ventureEuropean Space Agency and Roscosmos. “Trace Gas Orbitra” - the first of two missions of the program; The next one is scheduled to launch in 2020 and will include a rover and a ground research platform. Unfortunately, the second part of the Exomarsa, the Sciaparelli probe, was unable to make a soft landing on the surface of the Red Planet and was damaged. However, a successful landing was not the main goal of the mission.