ExoMars launched on Monday, March 14th, European Space Agency

. ExoMars is a large Mars mission that searches for biosignatures. It launches from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome on 14 March, according to the European Space Agency. ExoMars is a joint project of the European Space Agency (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Roscosmos. It aims to find out if Mars has ever, might have, or will soon possess life as we know. Its name refers to ExoMars, which is an acronym for the investigation of whether life exists beyond Earth. Exobiology is the term used to describe this study. Artist’s renderings of the Trace Gas Orbiter, the Schiaparelli Module (middle) and the ExoMars Rover (bottom right). This image shows Schiaparelli in post-separation mode, with its heatshield. The sketch does not scale. The orbiter will be operating from approximately 400km above Mars. Image: esa.int Searching for life within the Universe. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary exobiology refers to: “A branch in biology that deals with the search and discovery of life beyond the Earth and the impact of extraterrestrial environments upon living organisms.” Astrobiology and exobiology share the same meaning. ExoMars is comprised of two missions. The first mission involves the launch in March 2016 the Trace Gas Orbiter. This includes Schiaparelli and TGO. It also contains an EDM module, which allows for entry, descent, and landing demonstration modules. The second mission is to send a surface science platform and rover in 2018.. Russia’s Proton Rocket has been moved to a vertical position at the Baikonour Spaceport in Kazakhstan. It is now ready for launch on Monday. Image: esa.int. Roscosmos will supply a Proton rocketer to carry out both the 2016 2018 and 2018. The Trace Gas Orbiter is designed to find evidence of methane or other trace atmospheric gasses that may be related with biological and geological processes. Schiaparelli will supply the European Space Agency with technology to land on the Red Planet’s surface with controlled landing orientation and touchdown velocity. This is vital information for 2018. A range of instruments will be carried by the 2018 rover, including a drill. Its equipment will be used for geochemistry and exobiology research. ESA states that the 2016TGO will serve as a relay to the 2018 mission. Thales Alenia Space Italia is the prime contractor and leads the ExoMars industrial team. Participating companies are from more than twenty countries. Livestream the launch ESA added: “Launch scheduled for 09: GMT March with the first acquisition of signal expected at 29 ESA video. The Proton Rocket seen in this ESA Video will launch ExoMars 2016. The rocket has been placed vertically and rolled. It will be launched at 09: 31 GMT, on 14 February from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, if all goes as planned.

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