Science

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

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.

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.

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