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Kind: Mars orbiter

State: Operational

Place: Mars

Operator: ESA · Roscosmos

Instruments: 1) Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery, 2) Atmospheric Chemistry Suite, 3) Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System, 4) Fine-Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector,



Duration: Planned: 7 years Elapsed: 3 years, 9 months, 15 days

Mission Ending

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending." - Jim Henson


Rocket: Proton-M/Briz-M

Kind: ESA · Roscosmos

Manufacturer: Thales Alenia Space

Mass: 3,755 kg (8,278 lb)

Launch Site: Baikonur 200/39


"Requesting permission for flyby." Maverick - Top Gun


Reference System: Areocentric

1º Orbit: Mars


"The journey, not the arrival, matters; the voyage, not the landing." - Paul Theroux

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO or ExoMars Orbiter) is a collaborative project between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos that sent an atmospheric research orbiter and the Schiaparelli demonstration lander to Mars in 2016 as part of the European-led ExoMars programme. The Trace Gas Orbiter delivered the Schiaparelli lander on 16 October 2016, which crashed on the surface. The orbiter began aerobraking in March 2017 to lower its initial orbit of 200 by 98,000 km (120 by 60,890 mi). Aerobraking concluded on 20 February 2018 when a final thruster firing resulted in an orbit of 200 by 1,050 km (120 by 650 mi). Additional thruster firings every few days raised the orbiter to a circular "science" orbit of 400 km (250 mi), which was achieved on 9 April 2018. A key goal is to gain a better understanding of methane (CH4) and other trace gases present in the Martian atmosphere that could be evidence for possible biological activity. The programme will follow with the Kazachok lander and the Rosalind Franklin rover in 2020, which will search for biomolecules and biosignatures, the TGO will operate as the communication link for the ExoMars lander and rover and provide communication for other Mars surface probes with Earth.