Schiaparelli EDM lander

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Schiaparelli EDM lander
Maquette EDM salon du Bourget 2013 DSC 0192.JPG
Model of Schiaparelli lander at the 2013 Paris Air Show
Mission type Mars lander / technology demonstrator
Operator ESA · Roscosmos
COSPAR ID 2016-017A
SATCAT № 41388
Mission duration Planned: 2 to 8 sols[1]
Spacecraft properties
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, 09:31 (2016-03-14UTC09:31) UTC
Rocket Proton-M/Briz-M
Launch site Baikonur Site 200/39
Contractor Khrunichev
Mars lander
Landing date Planned: 19 October 2016
Landing site Planned: Meridiani Planum
ExoMars Programme
2018 ExoMars rover & Surface platform

Schiaparelli EDM lander, the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) of the ExoMars project,[2] 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,[3] and will continue serving as a relay satellite for future landed missions until 2022.[4]

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.[5]

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.[2]


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.[6] The launch occurred at 09.31 GMT on 14 March 2016.[7] Four rocket burns occurred in the following 10 hours before the descent module and orbiter were released.[8] 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.[9]

Shortly after separation from the probes, the Briz-M upper booster stage exploded a few kilometers away, apparently without damaging the orbiter or lander.[10] 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 red star denotes the intended landing site for the ExoMars Schiaparelli EDM lander: Meridiani Planum, close to where the Opportunity rover landed.

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).[3] 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.[11] 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.[5][11]

The landing will take place on Meridiani Planum[5] 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.[12] Once on the surface, it will measure the wind speed and direction, humidity, pressure and surface temperature, and determine the transparency of the atmosphere.[12] 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,[13][14] 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.[1][15]


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).[16][17]

The DREAMS payload will function for 2 to 8 Mars days as an environmental station for the duration of the surface mission after landing.[5][11] 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.[17]

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.[18] 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",[19] 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.[20]


Diameter 2.4 m (7.9 ft)[21]
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
Parachute Disk-Gap-Band canopy
12 m diameter
Propulsion 3 clusters of 3 hydrazine pulse engines
(400 N each)[5]
Power Non-rechargeable battery
Communications UHF link with the
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Schiaparelli science package and science investigations. ESA. 10 March 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Patterson, Sean (8 November 2013). "ESA Names ExoMars Lander 'Schiaparelli'". Space Fellowship.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Aron, Aron (7 March 2016). "ExoMars probe set to sniff out signs of life on the Red Planet". New Scientist. Retrieved 7 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Allen, Mark; Witasse, Olivier (16 June 2011), "2016 ESA/NASA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter", MEPAG June 2011, Jet Propulsion Laboratory<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (PDF)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "Schiaparelli: the ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module". ESA. 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli Module in Baikonur". ESA. SpaceRef. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Jonathan Amos (14 March 2016). "Mars methane mission lifts off". BBC. Retrieved 14 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Elizabeth Gibney (11 March 2016). "Mars launch to test collaboration between Europe and Russia". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19547. Retrieved 14 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "ExoMars on its way to solve the Red Planet's mysteries". ESA. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. King, Bob (24 March 2016). "ExoMars Mission Narrowly Avoids Exploding Booster". Universe Today. Retrieved 25 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Vago, J; et al. (August 2013). "ExoMars, ESA's next step in Mars exploration" (PDF). ESA Bulletin magazine (155). pp. 12–23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Entry, Descent and Surface Science for 2016 Mars Mission". Science Daily. 10 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Amos, Jonathan (15 March 2012). "Europe still keen on Mars missions". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Morring, Jr., Frank (14 February 2012). "NASA Units Hope For Robotic Mars Mission In 2018". Aviation Week.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. de Selding, Peter B. (5 October 2012). "Russian Export Rules Force ExoMars Mission Changes". Space News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. F. Esposito, et al., DREAMS for the ExoMars 2016 mission: a suite of sensors for the characterization of Martian environment" (PDF). European Planetary Science Congress 2013, EPSC Abstracts Vol. 8, EPSC2013-815 (2013)
  17. 17.0 17.1 "EDM surface payload". European Space Agency (ESA). 19 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Ferri, F.; Forget, F.; Lewis, S.R.; Karatekin, O. (16–22 June 2012), "ExoMars Atmospheric Mars Entry and Landing Investigations and Analysis (AMELIA)" (PDF), ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Science (PDF)|format= requires |url= (help), Toulouse, France<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "The ExoMars Instruments". European Space Agency. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Amos, Jonathan (15 June 2009). "Europe's Mars mission scaled back". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "ExoMars". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 22 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links