Search for Life on Mars – Chief Scientific priority of European-Russian Missions ExoMars
As part of the ExoMars – a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) – in 2016 and 2018 it is expected to launch two missions to Mars, Director General of ESA Jean-Jacques Dordain said to “Interfax-AVN” on Friday.
“One of the most important scientific questions of our time – was there life on Mars. The answer to this is the most important research priority of the program ExoMars,” the head of the ESA said.
Jean-Jacques Dordain recalled that in March 2013, ESA and the Federal Space Agency signed a cooperation agreement on the program of ExoMars, consisting of two missions in 2016 and 2018 “and mutually balanced division of responsibilities for the various elements of the mission”.
According to him, “ESA will supply the orbital module TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter) and the demonstration landing module EDM (Entry, Descent and landing demonstrator Module), their launch is scheduled for January 2016.”