Cannes, May 08 2012 - The ExoMars program is on track to meet all objectives of both the 2016 and 2018 missions, within the scope of an international collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The program passed a major milestone in Turin from May 2-4, 2012, as partners held a meeting to define the interfaces. The meeting was organized by ExoMars prime contractor Thales Alenia Space-Italy, in conjunction with Astrium UK, and with the support of ESA, the Italian space agency ASI and Russian industry led by NPO Lavochkin, including Krunichev and the Space Research Institute (IKI). Also contributing were European organizations participating in Mars science programs, including the University of Padua and the Astronomic Observatory of Capodimonte.
The meeting defined various system aspects for both missions, as well as the interfaces between Russian and European instruments, including scientific instruments provided by Italian partners. These instruments will be used on the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) in the 2016 mission and on the Rover Module being built by a Thales Alenia Space-Italy-led team and the Russian Descent Module (DM) for the 2018 mission.. Extensive interface and programmatic discussions took place in view of freezing all details and agreement in June.
Program development is proceeding on schedule for both missions, and the different program milestones have been confirmed.
The 2016 mission is now in the C/D (design & development) phase, following a successful System PDR (Preliminary Design Review) in December 2010 and the Trace Gas Orbiter PDR in December 2011. PDRs for different subassemblies and components are in progress and the timetable for the Critical Design Reviews (CDR) has been established. With this interface meeting, decisions by the ESA Council and a system CDR slated for November 2013, the program is proceeding on schedule and is considered stable.
Deliveries for the 2016 mission will start with the Engineering/Functional models of the avionics test benches and the Structural-Thermal Model of the EDM starting before this end the year. The Final Acceptance Review (FAR) and Qualification Review (QR) are planned for September 2015, leading to the launch campaign and then spacecraft launch in January 2016.
The 2018 mission has been reconfigured and is now in phase B (feasibility), to culminate in March 2013 with the System Requirement Review. The development phase will then kick off, leading to the system PDR in January 2014 and the system CDR in January 2016. The system Final Acceptance Review (FAR) and Qualification Review will be held in October 2017, followed by the launch campaign and then a launch scheduled for May 2018.
Thales Alenia Space Italia is the industrial prime contractor for the ExoMars program, as well as being in charge of the design of the Entry Descent Demonstrator Module (EDM), the development of the Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD), which includes the Pasteur Payload instruments, its integration on the Rover, the onboard computer and the EDM’s radar altimeter. Thales Alenia Space France is responsible for the design and integration of the Orbiter module.
About Thales Alenia Space
The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecommunications, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With consolidated revenues of 2.1 billion euros in 2011, Thales Alenia Space has 7,200 employees at 10 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium.
Thales Alenia Space Press Contact
Sandrine Bielecki - Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
Tiziana Ebano - Tel: +39 06. 4151 25 74
Tarik Lahlou - Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 68 45