Images from a NASA Mars orbiter suggest that the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli spacecraft crashed when attempting to land on the Martian surface Oct. 19.
The European Space Agency on Oct. 19 successfully placed its Trace Gas Orbiter satellite in Mars orbit, where it will examine Mars’s atmosphere before changing orbit to become a data relay station for future U.S. and European Mars rover missions.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on June 15 made an impassioned plea to European governments not to quit the International Space Station partnership, saying the station is the on-ramp for future collaboration in space exploration.
European Space Agency Director-General Johann-Dietrich Woerner on May 9 expressed frustration with the equipment delays that forced a two-year slip in the launch of Europe’s ExoMars rover vehicle and said he would not write a blank check to keep the mission alive.
The European and Russian space agencies on May 2 said their joint ExoMars 2018 mission carrying a rover and an experiment-filled landing platform to Mars would not be ready in time and would be delayed to July 2020.
A Russian Proton heavy-lift rocket on March 14 successfully placed the Euro-Russian ExoMars 2016 mission into orbit, a launch intended as the first half of a program whose second half, scheduled for 2018, remains in doubt.
Monday's briefing begins with the successful liftoff of a Proton rocket carrying the 2016 ExoMars mission.
The program remains in deadlined-stressed mode with triple-shift work days in preparation for the first mission's March launch.
ESA said the same pressure transducers whose suspected leaks forced the agency to delay the launch of ExoMars have been removed or repaired on a half-dozen other missions — all in time to prevent in-orbit problems.
65th International Astronautical Congress | ExoMars Funding Commitment Needed in December, Thales Alenia Says
The prime contractor for Europe’s two-launch ExoMars mission on Oct. 1 said it is on schedule for both mission segments – one to launch in 2016, the other in 2018 – but that it needs a commitment from European governments in December to complete the agreed-to funding package.
Heat shields for Europe’s 2016 ExoMars mission to deliver a telecommunications orbiter have been completed.
Congratulations are due to ESA and Thales Alenia Space for finally getting the ExoMars mission under full-fledged contract.
The contract is valued at about 230 million euros.