Live: European ExoMars Probe Prepares to Enter Orbit Around Mars, Launches Lander To Surface

At about 18.34 IST, the European Space Agency’s ExoMars probe will launch a series of manoeuvres to get into orbit around Mars, even as a lander that flew with it is already en route to the Marian surface. Sandhya Ramesh will be live-blogging through the whole event for The Wire, including until we receive confirmation at around 10 pm.

ExoMars is a multi-year mission developed jointly by the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency. On October 19, the probe – called the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will enter into orbit around Mars while Schiaparelli, a stationary lander deployed by the probe, will descend and plant itself on the ground. This mission will be followed in 2020 by a rover on the red planet, joining NASA’s Curiosity and Opportunity in assessing if Mars possesses, or possessed, any life at all. Live updates follow.

Sandhya Ramesh is a science writer focusing on astronomy and earth science.