content 22-October-2017 13:52:41

Timeline for ExoMars 2016

This timeline outlines some of the main events for the ExoMars 2016 mission.

ExoMars 2016 Timeline

Launch [1] 14 March 2016 at 09:31 UTC
Testing NASA radio transponder April 2016
Commissioning of Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) instruments during Near-Earth Checkout April 2016
Commissioning of Schiaparelli instruments during Near-Earth Checkout April 2016
Checkout of TGO instruments during Mid-Cruise Checkout [2] 12-16 June
Checkout of DREAMS and DECA during Mid-Cruise Checkout [3] 15-17 June
Cruise phase Up until end June
Deep space trajectory manoeuvres
Largest engine burn [4, 5]
Mid July – mid August 2016
28 July
Navigation measurements (delta-DOR) September – October 2016
Start of 24/7 ground station contact with TGO 9 October 2016
Schiaparelli – TGO separation [6, 7] 16 October 2016 at 14:42 UTC*
TGO performed Mars avoidance manoeuvre [8] 17 October 2016 at 02:42 UTC*
TGO insertion into Mars orbit [9] 19 October 2016, scheduled for 13:04 UTC*
Schiaparelli planned landing on Mars [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] 19 October 2016
Schiaparelli science operations to begin Were planned to start on 19 October 2016
TGO first science opportunity (Mars Capture Orbit #1) [16] [17][18] November 2016

TGO changes inclination to science orbit (74°) [19]

January 2017
Apocentre reduction manoeuvres
(from the initial 4-sol orbit to a 1-sol orbit)
January 2017
TGO second science opportunity (Mars Capture Orbit #2) [20][21] March 2017 – March 2018
Aerobraking phase (TGO lowers its altitude to 400 km circular orbit) [22] March 2017 – March 2018
Superior solar conjunction
(critical operations are paused while the Sun is between Earth and Mars)
11 July - 11 August 2017
TGO science operations March 2018 – December 2019
TGO starts data relay operations to support NASA landers on Mars March 2018
Start of the TGO data relay operations to support communications for the rover mission and for the surface science platform 2021
End of TGO mission December 2022

* Time on spacecraft. Between 16 and 20 October the one-way light travel time is between 9.5 and 10 minutes.
** A sol is one martian day, equivalent to 24 hours and 37 minutes.


Last Update: 27 March 2017

For further information please contact: RoboticExploration@esa.int

See Also