In orbit of the red planet is a unit Trace Gas Orbiter.
Fortunately, after a failed landing module “Schiaparelli” in the mission “Eczemas”, jointly conducted by the European space Agency and the Russian “Roscosmos”, the mission itself was not completed, as in the orbit of the red planet is a unit Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which feels good and has already started performing its tasks. TGO sent to Earth the first images of Mars.
Recall that the main objective of the mission ExoMars is to search for signs of life on Mars. The task of the Orbiter TGO in this case is the search for rare gases in the atmosphere of the red planet. The list of goals included: water vapor, nitrogen dioxide, acetylene and, more importantly, methane. If methane is present in the Martian air, then, most likely, the source of its replenishment are either biological or geological processes.
It should be noted that the Orbiter TGO has superior technique to create images. So even if he’s not going to be able to “smell” something interesting in the Martian atmosphere, ESA and Roskosmos will be able to obtain very detailed images of a particular region of the surface of Mars. And the resulting data can be used in the selection of potential planting locations for new Rovers.
Last month, TGO was caught by the Martian gravity and went on a highly elongated elliptical orbit. In the next year, the spacecraft will try to change it to a more cyclic, then full start fulfilling their scientific tasks. In other words, ESA will be time enough to test and calibrate all of the scientific instruments unit.
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