The ExoMars 2016 mission consists of two spacecraft. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) which will orbit Mars and the lander Schiaparelli, named after the Italian astronomer and Mars expert, Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910). Schiaparelli will be released from the TGO and will land on Mars' surface on 19 October 2016.
Terma has developed the “Remote Terminal and Power Unit” (RTPU) for the landing module, Schiaparelli. We have also supplied critical software for the Mission Control System, which monitors and controls the mission and we developed a simulator to prepare procedures and test systems for the actual operation.
The Remote Terminal and Power Unit from Terma is both a "traditional" power supply with technology derived from power systems such as Rosetta, Mars Express, and BepiColombo and an advanced, newly developed sensor package.
The RTPU will implement a wide range of control maneuvers and measurements of temperature, pressure, and the landing vehicle’s orientation during the descent to Mars' surface. The RTPU will also contribute to the release of the heatshield and parachute and control of the small rocket engines used during the final landing process.
ExoMars is a continuation of the European Mars Express, launched in February 2003 and still in orbit. This mission also has a Terma Power Conditioning Unit (PCU) on board, developed and produced in concert with the PCU for Rosetta.
The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) with the lander Schiaparelli (image appears courtesy of ESA)
The ExoMars 2016 mission consists of two spacecraft. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) which will orbit Mars and the lander Schiaparelli, named after the Italian astronomer and Mars expert, Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910).
After seven months of travel, the two spacecraft will arrive to Mars in October this year. On 19 October 2016, Schiaparelli will be released from the TGO and will land on Mars' surface. The TGO will also ensure that Schiaparelli heads in the right direction toward Mars. After three days of travel, it will test a number of key technologies ahead of the 2018 mission and future landing missions during its decent and landing.
The 2016 Mission’s two spacecraft Schiaparelli and Trace Gas Orbiter will look for traces of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signs of active biological or geological processes.
ExoMars consists of two missions, the current 2016 mission and the subsequent 2018 mission, which will deliver a rover to the surface of Mars.
Liftoff of ExoMars on 14 March 2016:
Exomars (image by ESA)