Russian state corporation "Roscosmos" publishedon its official website a fresh photo of the Martian surface. On the panoramic image obtained by the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) spacecraft of the Russian-European mission ExoMars-2016, one can see very interesting geological features indicating the rather raw history of the Red Planet.
In particular, the picture captures the crater Eberswalde, located in the southern hemisphere of our planetary neighbor, as well as a very ancient delta of the dried Martian river.
"The layered rocks that make up the deltasediments, marked white-yellow and purple-blue flowers. Yellow is deposits of iron oxides, which indicates chemical changes due to exposure to water, blue is less modified deposits, ”is explained in the image description.
The overall situation around the crater Eberswaldedescribes smooth environmental changes that occurred during times when the delta was still filled with water. The full size photo can be found here.
A joint project of the state corporation Roscosmos andEuropean Space Agency "ExoMars" aimed at exploring Mars, its surface, atmosphere and climate, began in 2016 and is divided into two phases. As part of the first, in the spring of 2016, the Schiaparelli landing module and the TGO orbiter were sent to Mars. The vehicles arrived at the Red Planet in the autumn of the same year. The orbital probe without problems TGO went into a given orbit and went to work, but the Schiaparelli was less fortunate when landing - it crashed.
Start of the second stage of the project "ExoMars"scheduled for summer 2020. In its course on the Red Planet are going to send the landing platform and the rover. The latter is planned to be used as a long-term autonomous scientific laboratory for studying the composition and properties of the surface and atmosphere of the planet. The vehicles will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome by the Proton carrier rocket with the Briz-M upper stage. Arrival to Mars is expected in March 2021. A parachute system, engines and shock absorbers will be used for landing.
Phase 2020 implies wider participationthe Russian side. Russian landing platform, the final assembly of which is conducted near Moscow NPO them. Lavochkin, will be equipped with 11 Russian and two European scientific instruments. The rover will also be equipped with two Russian scientific instruments - an ISEM infrared spectrometer for mineralogical assessment of objects on the planet's surface and an ADRON-MR neutron spectrometer, which will be used to search for traces of subsurface water and hydrated materials, as well as identify the most suitable sites for soil sampling.
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