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ExoMars about to set probe on Mars: timeline

It’s only a few days to go until the ExoMars mission’s satellite Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will drop of it’s little probe Schiaparelli (EDM) onto the surface of Mars.

Launched on the 14th March 2016 it took Exomars about 7 months to geto to Mars. And on the 16th of October, it will separate from it’s travel buddy.

The Schiaparelli probe will be sent off towards Mars, which it will descend upon on the 19th of October. The actual plunge will only take around 6 minutes; and a parachute will be used to break it’s fall; reducing speed from around 20.000km/h into a reasonable speed to land.

Landing location will be near the Meridiani Planum for “Skippy” ; and the ExoMars satellite will start orbiting Mars, to pick up it’s own science data as well.

If you want to follow it live, here’s where you can see what’s going on, and when. Times are all in CEST (UTC+2)

Also very interesting: Technical details about the landing & descent, as well as from the spacecraft.

Any updates you can find directly via the special ExoMars 2016 website

Very much recommended are the ESA social media channels via Twitter :
* @esaoperations (the cool guys & girls)
* @ESA_ExoMars (mission)
* @ESA_TGO (orbiter) and
* @ESA_EDM (probe)

Or just search with the hashtag #ExoMars on twitter

Also on Facebook: Facebook and the Rocket Science blog.

Here’s the timeline:

Sunday, 16 October

16:52 EDM separation

This can be followed from 17:00 till 17:20 via ESA’s Livestream channel

Wednesday, 19 October

15:00 Start of Social TV on Livestream and Facebook live
15:15 TGO Mars orbit insertion (MOI) manoeuvre starts
16:52 EDM enters atmosphere
16:58 EDM landing
17:34 TGO MOI ends
17:45 Start of ESA TV programme
18:30 1st indication of EDM landing success via Mars Express / 1st indication of TGO MOI success
20:30 Confirmation of EDM landing via NASA MRO / Confirmation of TGO MOI success via ESOC flight dynamics
21:00 End of programme


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