Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center is scheduled to launch a Proton-M/Briz-M rocket as part of the ExoMars 2020 Surface Platform & Rosalind Franklin Rover mission. The launch window for the Robotic Exploration mission is on July 26, 2020 00:00:00 UTC from 200/39 (200L), Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch! Watch the launch video of the Proton-M/Briz-M and experience the excitement for yourself.
ExoMars 2020 is a second mission of two-part astrobiology project to search for evidence of life on Mars, a joint mission of the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos that consists out of surface module with a rover onboard. The primary objective is to land the rover at a site with high potential for finding well-preserved organic material, particularly from the very early history of the planet. The rover is expected to travel several kilometers during its mission.
The European rover will be the first mission to combine the capability to move across the surface and to study Mars at depth. It will collect samples with a drill down to a depth of 2 m and analyze them with next-generation instruments in an onboard laboratory. Underground samples are more likely to include biomarkers, since the tenuous martian atmosphere offers little protection from radiation and photochemistry at the surface.
While the rover will drive away from the surface platform to perform scientific investigations within several kilometers of the landing site, the Russian-made platform will remain stationary and will investigate the local surface environment for its normal mission lifetime of one Earth year. The main science priorities for the platform are context imaging of the landing site, long-term climate monitoring, and atmospheric investigations. Sensors and instruments will also study the subsurface water distribution at the landing site, investigate the exchange of volatiles between the atmosphere and the surface, monitor the radiation environment and compare it with measurements made with the radiation dosimeter on the Trace Gas Orbiter, and carry out geophysical investigations of the planet’s internal structure.
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