Has life ever existed on Mars? Despite the fact that humanity has sent more than a dozen spaceships to explore the Red Planet, the ExoMars mission will be the first mission in the history of mankind, which will be aimed at solving the existential question of whether life outside the Earth can exist.
How will the ExoMars mission go?
ExoMars mission is only partthe wider program of the European Space Agency and Roscosmos for the exploration of Mars. So, in 2016, specialists already deployed the Schiaparelli landing module on the surface of the Red Planet and placed the Trace Gas orbiter in orbit around this desert world. According to plans, ExoMars 2020 will be aimed at searching for the microbial life of the present or the past, using a special drill and a set of tools to search for organic materials.
According to the portal newatlas.com, in the event that everything goes according to plan with the ExoMars mission, the European Mars rover and the Russian scientific platform will be able to go to Mars after the descent module delivers the devices to the surface using parachutes and engines to slow down the descent.
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Despite the fact that at the disposal of scientistsWith more than 145 million kilometers of the surface of Mars, the researchers decided to land the ExoMars 2020 mission in a geologically diverse location with convincing evidence of the presence of water in the past. An ideal place for landing the rover was the area called Oxia Planum, located near the equator.
According to official data obtained inAs a result of past missions, the Oxia Planum is located about 3,000 meters below the level that is called “sea level” on Mars. It was in this place that the richest clay deposits on the planet were found, which were formed on Mars just when liquid water still existed on it.
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In case of successful landing of the Russian scientificplatforms from Roscosmos to the surface of Mars, the device will almost immediately begin to study the surface environment at the landing site. On board the platform there will be pressure, humidity and radiation sensors, as well as a number of seismometers, spectrometers and cameras. All of these devices will be involved in surveying the landing site and in studying the possible presence of groundwater on the planet.
At the same time, ExoMars rover will performtasks assigned to him by the European Space Agency. So, one of the first missions for the device will be drilling the surface of the planet 2 meters deep in the hope that underground samples may contain biomarkers, which under severe conditions of the Martian surface are constantly exposed to the harmful effects of cosmic radiation. Due to the fact that the flight control center can communicate with rovers only once or twice a day, most of its actions the rover will have to perform offline, using stereo cameras to prevent collisions with obstacles.
ExoMars 2020 Mission Expectedwill happen in July or August of next year, after which the spacecraft will spend 9 months on its way to the Red Planet. Due to the fact that the 20th years of our century will be marked not only by the launch of a mission from ESA, but also by the commissioning of Mars rovers from NASA and the Chinese project Mars 2020, subject to the success of these projects, we can learn much more about the Red Planet than ever before in the history of mankind.