Schiaparelli ExoMars EDM lander

Schiaparelli ExoMars EDM lander

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of the Schiaparelli ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing(EDM) Demonstrator Module. ExoMars (Exobiology in Mars), a mission developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), will have two launches. The first, in 2016 will carry the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli EDM lander. Schiaparelli will test controlled landing procedures for the second launch, which will include the ExoMars rover. During Schiaparellis's entry it will be protected from the heat of friction caused by its deceleration by heat shields. Once slowed to around 2500 kilometres per hour a parachute will be deployed and the front and rear heat shields jettisoned. A Doppler radar altimeter and velocimeter will be used to judge the lander's position as it approaches the surface. As it gets closer a liquid propulsion system will further slow the lander, until the engines are cut at about two metres above the surface. As the lander drops to the surface a crushable structure built into it will protect it from the impact.

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