Although this is a monochrome image, the one visible in the opening of this article is one of the first photographs of the red planet sent by the probe Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of ExoMars . Although the program has registered recently fall and loss of all contact with the form Schiaparelli the mission of Mars continues as expected.
TGO has completed two orbits around the planet between 20 and 28 November, during which tests have been performed for the board instrumentation including cameras. The feedback received was positive and the same is also true of NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery) system designed with the aim to identify the possible presence of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere. In the nine days in question, the probe sent to Earth a total of 11 images, collected in the visible movie in streaming below. It’s shots especially useful to improve the quality of data acquired through a hardware calibration and optimization of on-board software.
The photos were taken at a distance of approximately 235 km from the ground, by far lower than that from which the Trace Gas Orbiter will begin its real operational phase, in orbit at a height of 400 Km . good news, then, as far as ExoMars after the critical moment that marked the farewell to Schiaparelli. These are the words Håkan Svedhem, a researcher at ‘ ESA (European Space Agency) to work on the program.
We are very happy and proud to know that all the instruments work well in the environment of Mars and the first impression is that of a great preview of what will happen as we start collecting data, by the end year. Not only does the module is behaving properly in standalone mode, but they are also impressed to see team work more so that we can achieve results like this.