The ESA has released three dramatic (and epically soundtracked) teaser videos that offer a glimpse of what to expect over the next couple of months as the ExoMars 2016 mission progresses.
In the first phase of the ExoMars program — a joint project with Russian space agency Roscosmos — the ESA plans to launch a Trace Gas Orbiter together with an entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module known as Schiaparelli. Over the next seven months, they’ll cruise together toward Mars until they’re three days away from the Red Planet’s atmosphere. At that point, Schiaparelli will be ejected from the Orbiter and make its way toward the Martian surface.
There, Schiaparelli will search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases, in hopes that they might point to active geological biological activity — aka signs of life. Meanwhile, the Trace Gas Orbiter will continue circling the planet, observing its atmosphere remotely for biologically important gases, such as methane and its byproducts.
The three teaser videos visualize the module’s launch, its seven-month cruise to Mars, and its final approach. Check each one out below, and get yourself hyped for the mid-March launch.