The first ExoMars Programme mission will be launched in a few days

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But also how or what that does it mean for the whole evolution of the Solar System, including Earth,” Álvaro Giménez, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at ESA says. The Schiaparelli module , named after the 19th century Italian astronomer, will land in October on the Martian surface as the Trace Gas Orbiter goes into orbit to study the planet’s atmosphere. The goal of this mission are to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. The ExoMars Programme consists of two missions. The next one, scheduled to be launched in 2018, includes a rover that will carry a two-metre drill and instruments dedicated to exobiology and geochemistry research. NASA was forced to back out the joint ExoMars mission with the European Space Agency due to budget constraints.

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