ExoMars is a planned space probe project of the European Space Agency and the Russian Roscosmos, to be launched in the years 2016 and 2018.


ExoMars began as a purely European project. During the preliminary planning phase started from a start in 2009, we considered over a longer period the rover in 2011 by a Soyuz - 2 rocket from Kourou launch. The landing should be done two years later ( 2013). In November 2006, the ESA postponed the start date for 2013 in order to have more time for the development of key technologies. The journey to Mars should now take only one year and the landing are made already in 2014. In autumn 2008, a new start shifting to the beginning of 2016 was announced by the ESA. The cost of the mission should be originally about 650 million euros.

The launch mass of the spacecraft, consisting of a flyby probe and a lander should be 1500 kg, of which about 850 kg to the lunar module. The six-wheeled rover itself should be about 1.6 m long, 1.2 m wide and 250 kg heavy, this is about the size of a MER Rovers. The vehicle should be equipped with a total of 18 Solar-Powered Engines and 27 sensors and able to largely autonomously at speeds of up to 100 meters per hour to drive over the Martian surface and thereby inspect the surface of Mars over several months. At various points, soil samples should be collected with the help of a drill up to 2 m depth. The spacecraft was to be built at Alcatel Alenia Space. At the meeting of the European Space Council in December 2005, the financing of the probe was decided, in which Germany is involved with 86 million euros. In this framework, the wheels of the rover are developed by the German Centre for Aerospace in Cologne since January 2006.

2006 was considered, instead of the flyby probe to launch an orbiter: This would one of the NASA space probes (especially MRO) allow independent communication with the Earth and the entrainment of a packet payload of about 30 kg mass in Mars orbit. The failure of the U.S. orbiter Mars Global Surveyor in November 2006 endorsed these thoughts in addition. But in order to start an additional orbiter launch by an Ariane 5 must be done. For additional 175 million euro for the development of the orbiter and the stronger carrier rocket were necessary.

The set of the Member States of ESA ceiling of 1 billion euros for the orbiter and the rover was not observed, why was negotiating a cooperation between NASA and ESA. The concept from 2009 included a NASA orbiter, which should investigate the Martian atmosphere, as well as two Rover: NASA Rover MAX -C ( Mars Astrobiology Explorer - Cacher ) and the ExoMars rover. The Trace Gas Orbiter should start with a small lander (Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module ( EDM) ) 2016 and the rovers, 2018, an Atlas V from Florida. The orbiter carried by small countries, although hardly equipped with scientific instruments should demonstrate the ability of the ESA, soft to land on another planet. Both rovers similar to the rover Curiosity should land at a Sky Crane and then independently fulfill their missions.

A report ( Decadal Survey Planetary Science 2013-2022 ) of the National Academy of Sciences in early 2011 and the cost estimate necessitated more austerity measures. The MAX - C Rover has to stay within a budget of $ 2.5 billion then compulsory. But this is only possible if the landing system of Curiosity can be adopted almost identical. This restriction makes a landing of two rovers impossible. A combined MAX -C Rover Exomars concept will now be elaborated by the end of 2012. The acquisition of as many already planned components to keep costs low.

In September 2011, NASA announced that it does not have the financial resources for the start of 2016. This meant that the ESA with Roskosmos into negotiations to win Russia as project participants. Discussed is about to leave the start in 2016 carried out by a Proton rocket not for you, in return, Russia payloads available and gains access to scientific data.

Early February 2012, it was announced that NASA maintains a financing of the Mission for nearly impossible. A close cooperation with ESA, Roskosmos is now 2016 and 2018 but still allow the two missions. In the published budget for 2013, the termination of any participation by NASA to the ExoMars missions in 2016 and 2018 was explicitly required.

The ESA has therefore sought Russia as a new partner. To the previously planned mission duration of the landing capsule of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter to extend after the landing of several days to one year, Russia would equip him with radionuclide.

ESA has entered into a contract with Roskosmos on the implementation of both missions on March 14, 2013. The ESA countries build the lander EGM and the MGO orbiter, which carries him. They should jointly launch in 2016 aboard a Proton rocket. Russia is building the descent module with surface platform for the Exomars Rover. The ESA countries build the transport module and the ExoMars rover. The start of this mission will take place approximately two years later with another proton.

Mission Objectives

The main objectives of the ExoMars mission are:

  • Study the biological environment of the Martian soil and search for past or present life
  • The identification of hazards that could be with a manned Mars landing of importance
  • Increase the general knowledge about Mars

Furthermore, to be developed for ExoMars different technologies. These technologies are also for future robotic and human missions of importance. These are:

  • Landing of heavy payloads on Mars
  • Power supply by solar cells on the surface of Mars
  • Mobility on the surface of Mars

Scientific payload

Concept from 2004

The scientific payload, originally called Pasteur should contain several instruments to study the various aspects of the Martian environment. The following are the list of instruments according to the Pasteur Progress Letter 4 from 2004 is reproduced. There have since found several changes and the definition of the payload is not complete, this list must have been deprecated.

Instruments that allow all-round and a long-range study, some of them directed in the rock strata.

  • PanCam - a panoramic camera system
  • WISDOM - a ground radar

These instruments are used to study the surface and the rock by means of direct contact.

  • Ma - MISS - IR spectroscope on the drill
  • CLUPI - a microscope

These instruments are located inside the rover and of collected samples are used for the study.

  • RLS - a Raman spectroscope
  • Micromega - an IR spectroscope
  • MOMA - a laser desorption -MS with a GC -MS
  • Mars - XRD - X-ray spectroscope
  • LMC Life Marker Chip - Detection of possible traces of past or present life

2012 concept

2012, the instrument selection was again changed to cope with after leaving the much smaller NASA rover.

Pancam and WISDOM


RLS, Micromega and MOMA

  • Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars ( ISEM )
  • Adron - Neutron Spectrometer