ExoMars carrier module arrives in Italy
Posted on 23 Apr 2019 and read 955 times
The 800kg German-built module that will ‘carry’ the ExoMars rover and surface science platform from Earth to Mars for the European Space Agency (ESA) (www.esa.int
) has arrived at Thales Alenia Space (www.thalesgroup.com
) in Turin for final integration preparations.
The landing platform (named Kazachok) also recently arrived in Europe from Russia, while the rover (named after
Rosalind Franklin) is being fitted out with its scientific instruments at Airbus in Stevenage.
Scheduled to be launched in July 2020 and to reach Mars in March 2021, the carrier module will provide the communication link with Earth and the spacecraft and will navigate by means of star trackers and Sun sensors.
It will transport Kazachok and Rosalind within a single two-tonne descent module, providing electrical power via a solar array.
Its solar panels will generate about 2kW of power, up to 400W of which can be provided to the descent module; energy is stored in a 24.4kg battery.
The descent module will separate from the carrier module shortly before reaching the Martian atmosphere. It will deliver the rover and platform safely to the surface, while the carrier module will burn up in the atmosphere.
In the coming months, the carrier module will be mated with the descent module.
The resulting composite spacecraft will then undergo further testing to ensure that it is ‘qualified’ for its launch into space.