Schiaparelli EDM lander
Model of Schiaparelli lander at the 2013 Paris Air Show
|Mission type||Mars lander / technology demonstrator|
|Operator||ESA · Roscosmos|
|Mission duration||Planned: 2 to 8 sols|
|Manufacturer||Thales Alenia Space|
|Launch mass||600 kg (1,300 lb)|
|Dimensions||Diameter: 2.4 m (7.9 ft)
Height: 1.65 m (5.4 ft)
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||14 March 2016, 09:31UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur Site 200/39|
|Landing date||Planned: 19 October 2016|
|Landing site||Planned: Meridiani Planum|
Schiaparelli EDM lander, the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) of the ExoMars project, is intended to provide the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia's Roscosmos with the technology for landing on the surface of Mars.
It was launched together with the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) on 14 March 2016 and will land on 19 October 2016. The lander is equipped with a non-rechargeable electric battery with enough power for 2 to 8 sols (Mars days).
After a 7-month cruise, Schiaparelli will separate from the orbiter on 16 October 2016, four days before it arrives at Mars, and land at Meridiani Planum in 19 October 2016. It will use a heatshield, parachute and rockets to slow its descent. Meanwhile, after Mars orbit injection, the TGO orbiter will undergo several months of aerobraking to adjust its speed and orbit, with actual science activities beginning in late 2017, and will continue serving as a relay satellite for future landed missions until 2022.
Schiaparelli will provide ESA with the technology for landing on the surface of Mars with a controlled landing orientation and touchdown velocity; key technologies for the 2018 mission.
The lander's name refers to 19th century astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, best known for describing the surface features of Mars. He was also the first astronomer to determine the relationship between comet debris and yearly meteor showers.
The 600 kg descent module Schiaparelli and orbiter completed testing and were integrated to a Proton rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in mid-January 2016. The launch occurred at 09.31 GMT on 14 March 2016. Four rocket burns occurred in the following 10 hours before the descent module and orbiter were released. A signal from the orbiter was received at 21:29 GMT that day, which confirmed that the launch was completely successful and the spacecraft is functioning properly.
Shortly after separation from the probes, the Briz-M upper booster stage exploded a few kilometers away, apparently without damaging the orbiter or lander. The spacecraft, which houses the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander are underway to Mars and are seemingly in working order.
Entry and landing
The Schiaparelli lander will separate from the TGO orbiter on 16 October 2016, three days before it arrives at Mars, and enter the atmosphere at 21,000 kilometres per hour (13,000 mph). After slowing its initial entry through the atmosphere, the module will deploy two parachutes and will complete its landing by using a closed-loop guidance, navigation and control system based on a Doppler radar altimeter sensor and on-board inertial measurement units. Throughout the descent, various sensors will record a number of atmospheric parameters and lander performance. The final stages of the landing will be performed using pulse-firing liquid-fuel engines. About two meters above ground, the engines will turn off. The platform will land on a crushable structure, designed to deform and absorb the final touchdown impact.
The landing will take place on Meridiani Planum during the dust storm season, which will provide a unique chance to characterize a dust-loaded atmosphere during entry and descent, and to conduct surface measurements associated with a dust-rich environment. Once on the surface, it will measure the wind speed and direction, humidity, pressure and surface temperature, and determine the transparency of the atmosphere. It will also make the first measurements of electrical fields at the planet's surface. A descent camera is included in the payload.
Initially, Roscosmos offered to contribute a 100 watt radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) power source for the EDM lander to allow it to monitor the local surface environment for a full Martian year, but because of complex Russian export control procedures, it later opted for the use of a regular non-rechargeable electric battery with enough power for 2 to 8 sols.
The lander's surface payload is the meteorological DREAMS (Dust Characterization, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) package, consisting of a suite of sensors to measure the wind speed and direction (MetWind), humidity (MetHumi), pressure (MetBaro), surface temperature (MarsTem), the transparency of the atmosphere (Optical Depth Sensor; ODS), and atmospheric electrification (Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor; MicroARES).
The DREAMS payload will function for 2 to 8 Mars days as an environmental station for the duration of the surface mission after landing. DREAMS will provide the first measurements of electric fields on the surface of Mars (with MicroARES). Combined with measurements (from ODS) of the concentration of atmospheric dust, DREAMS will provide new insights into the role of electric forces on dust lifting, the mechanism that initiates dust storms. In addition, the MetHumi sensor will complement MicroARES measurements with critical data about humidity; this will enable scientists to better understand the dust electrification process.
In addition to the surface payload, a camera called DECA (Entry and Descent Module Descent Camera) on the lander will operate during the descent. It will deliver additional scientific data and exact location data in the form of images. DECA is a reflight of the Visual Monitoring Camera VMC of the Herschel/Planck mission.
Originally, the EDM lander was planned to carry a group of eleven instruments collectively called the "Humboldt payload", that would be dedicated to investigating the geophysics of the deep interior. But a payload confirmation review in the first quarter of 2009 resulted in a severe descope of the lander instruments, and the Humboldt suite was cancelled entirely.
|Diameter||2.4 m (7.9 ft)|
|Height||1.8 m (5.9 ft)|
|Mass||600 kg (1,300 lb)|
|Heat shield material||Norcoat Liege|
|Structure||Aluminium sandwich with carbon fiber
reinforced polymer skins
12 m diameter
|Propulsion||3 clusters of 3 hydrazine pulse engines
(400 N each)
|Communications||UHF link with the
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
- ExoMars 2020 surface platform
- List of missions to Mars
- List of spacecraft powered by non-rechargeable batteries
- Mars landing
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