Two spacecraft are making their final approaches to mars as part of the European Space Agency and Russian Federal Space Agency’s joint ExoMars mission, including an orbiting craft designed to detect trace amounts of gas in the atmosphere, and a landing craft that will attempt to touch down on the surface of the Red Planet.
The arrival of both space craft at Mars will be broadcast live by the ESA via the stream above, starting at 9 AM ET (6 AM PT) and continuing for around two hours, with follow-up streams planned for later in the day to update the progress of the course of both vehicles. We’ll also have coverage from space reporter Emily Calandrelli right here regarding how the mission went, and what that means for both the agencies involved and for Mars science in general right here on TechCrunch.
ExoMars began its first phase back in March, when the crewless Trace Gap Orbiter and Schiaparelli orbiter began their seven month journey. The two craft successfully separated on October 16, in order to set up for their respective missions today. The orbiter’s mission is to seek out hydrogen levels underneath the Martian surface, which could help pinpoint deposits of ice that later crewed missions can use as a water source.