Russian-EU Mars Mission Landing Site to be Chosen Soon

The site for the landing of the surface platform system will be chosen between October and November this year. Dadiil Rodionov, the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute told Sputnik about the proposed landing site.

Rodionov also mentioned the two candidate sites – Mawrth Vallis and Oxia Planum. The final decision on the final landing site will be made at the end of the year, and it will roughly be made by October or November this year. The two requirements that the site of the landing should meet – the usefulness of the site regarding the objectives of the mission and the feasibility of the landing site. The objectives of the mission also include the conditions on the signs of life and the presence of water. 

The decision and the choice of the landing site will be decided by the EU and Russian scientists. The second launch of the mission is also set by June 2020. However, most of the scientist is considering the site for the launch of the Mars mission which is called as the ExoMars. Therefore, four sites will be needed by the team to carry out the mission. All the sites are located near the equator, in the northern part of the Mars. The Oxia Planum was indicated as one of the priority landing sites of the Red Planet. 

The mission ExoMars is a shared mission of the Russian space agency and the European Space Agency (ESA). The mission aims to find the geological activity and biological activity of the planet Mars. Last 2016, the test stationary lander and the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) were launched. Roscosmos said that the orbiter would start to explore the Martian atmosphere later this month. The second stage of the mission also envisions the delivering of the ExoMars Rover, developed by Russian surface platform and ESA to explore the red planet. 

The team-up of the Russian Space Agency and the European Space Agency also aims to discover the several activities by the Martian surface together with its geological and biological activities. Scientists also considered the landing site of the Russian-EU ExoMars mission which has been one of the mission’s purpose. The Mawrth Vallis and the Oxia Planum is still the two candidates as the landing sites of the ExoMars project. Both the Russian Space Agency and the European Space Agency aims to come up with the landing site earlier than the expected launch.