EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter orbiting Mars, illustration. The European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) was launched from Earth in March 2016. It arrived at Mars in October 2016. Here, it has separated from its companion spacecraft Schiaparelli, the ExoMars Demonstrator Module (EDM) lander, which unfortunately crash landed on the surface of the planet on 19 October 2016. TGO will remain in orbit, searching for evidence of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes on Mars. TGO will also serve as a communications relay for a rover and surface science platform (the ExoMars rover) that will be launched in 2018.
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