Within a few hours, the ExoMars satellite, equipped with a gas indicator, starts from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The main task of the spacecraft is to study the atmosphere of the Red Planet and, in particular, to find methane in it, which could prove the existence of life on Mars
The space expedition to Mars is the first joint project between Roskosmos and the European Space Agency. The start should take place at 15:31 local time (9:31 GMT). The launch into orbit will be carried out with the help of the Russian launch vehicle Proton Breeze-M. On the Martian trajectory ExoMars will be released 10 hours after the start.
The spacecraft will reach the limits of the Red Planet in 7 months – on October 16, after which the Schiaparelli research module will be launched onto its surface. Specialists will carefully analyze the entire process of descent from the entrance to the atmosphere before landing.
It is assumed that the device will enter the upper atmosphere at a speed of 21,000 km / h. Descent to the surface of Mars will be carried out using a thermal shield, a parachute and a brake jet engine. The landing itself will be mitigated by a special softening material.
The probe will take pictures only at the moment of descent to the surface. Its main task is to analyze the environment until the power source is fully discharged. During this time, the on-board radar, computer and operating algorithms will be checked.
The received information will be used at the second step of the ExoMars expedition, during which the Mars rover will be sent to Mars in 2018 .