Whether there was ever life on Mars? Despite the fact that mankind has sent more than a dozen spacecraft to explore the red planet, the ExoMars mission will be the first mission in the history of mankind, which will focus on the existential question of how can there be life beyond Earth.
How will ExoMars mission?
The ExoMars mission is a part of wider program of the European space Agency and Roscosmos for the development of Mars. So, in 2016, experts have deployed a lander Schiaparelli on the surface of the red planet and placed the Orbiter Trace Gas in orbit around this deserted world. According to the plans, ExoMars 2020 will be aimed at exploring the microbial life present or past, using a special drill bit and a set of instruments to search for organic materials.
As the portal newatlas.comin the case of the ExoMars mission everything goes according to plan, the red planet will be a European Rover and a Russian scientific platform that will go to Mars after the descent module will deliver the device to the surface using parachutes and engines to slow the descent.
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Despite the fact that at the disposal of scientists there were more than 145 million kilometers of the surface of Mars, the researchers decided to put the ExoMars mission 2020 in a geologically diverse place with convincing evidence of water in the past. An ideal place for landing the Rover was a place called Oxia Planum, is located near the equator.
According to official data obtained as a result of past missions, Oxia Planum is located approximately 3000 metres below the level which is named as “sea level” on Mars. In this place are found the rich clay deposits on the planet which were formed on Mars when it still had liquid water.
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In the case of a successful landing of the Russian scientific platform from Roscosmos on the surface of Mars, the device will almost immediately begin to study the surface environment at the landing site. On Board the platform will be pressure sensors, humidity and radiation, as well as a number of seismometers, spectrometers, and cameras. All these devices will participate for filming the landing and in the study of the possible presence of underground water on the planet.
At the same time, the ExoMars Rover will carry out the tasks assigned to him by the European Space Agency. So, one of the first missions for the device will be drilling the planet’s surface to the depth of 2 meters in the hope that groundwater samples contain biomarkers, which in the harsh conditions of the Martian surface are constantly exposed to space radiation. Due to the fact that the mission control center can communicate with the Rovers only once or twice a day, most of its actions, the Rover must be done offline, using stereo cameras to prevent collisions with obstacles.
It is expected that the launch of the ExoMars mission 2020 will occur in July or August of the following year, after which the spacecraft will spend 9 month journey to the red planet. Due to the fact that the 20-ies of our century will be marked by not only by the launch of the mission from ESA, but also the introduction to the Mars exploration Rovers from NASA and the Chinese project Mars 2020, subject to the success of these projects, we will be able to learn about the red planet much more than ever before in the history of mankind.