Frida Space

ExoMars 2016: on its way to Mars!

266 posts in this topic

If you don't know, Exomars is a mission to, well, Mars, to search for methane, which has something to do with life but I don't know anymore. It has methane sensors so I assume it wants to find some methane. It will deploy a lander and go on to orbit around Mars at 400K above it.

It looks like this:

sjIwlYc.jpg

Here's some pictures of the launch that just happened:

WILL UPDATE SOON

It's going to arrive at Mars on Oct. 19, so you know, plan in advance. Watch it live*!

*Speed of light delay included

Edited by AlextheBodacious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice. Following the protons history, that thing had me kinda worried.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, AlextheBodacious said:

methane, which is a key component in life

Actually, its not.

Some life uses it, but most life does not, so its not a very key component. The important thing here is that many microbes *produce* it as a "waste product". As methane is degraded by UV light, it would have disappeared long ago unless it was being continually replenished.

A detecting methane is thus an indication of something producing methane. There are some geological processes that can produce it as well. Methane on Titan certainly doesn't indicate life there for instance.

However, geological processes are not likely to be seasonal (though for some orbital characteristics that cause heating, such as on europa, I suppose geology could be seasonal), whereas many biological processes are.

So if there are seasonal releases of methane, it could mean something... it still won't prove anything, after all the martian CO2 geysers are also seasonal, and if geological methane gets trapped with them, then maybe the methane comes out with the geyser release.

So... all in all, one can't conclude much at all from whatever it finds, but it can give hints for what to do next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second Briz-M burn started ten minutes ago, 8 minutes left. New orbit will be 270 x 5800 km roughly (different sources = slightly different numbers).

Gotta say, as an European myself, I'm pretty ashamed of how the webcast was structured. Good info for people that had never heard of the mission, but very few live updates on the launch status. Even SpaceX, which is a private company, does much, much better. Hope landing day will be better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

outside of iss soyuz launches, we don't get that many videos feeds from russian launches (except when something blows up...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moved over to Science & Spaceflight as this is about real spacecraft rather than KSP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Red Iron Crown said:

Moved over to Science & Spaceflight as this is about real spacecraft rather than KSP.

There's a ExoMars thread 4 posts below this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

There's a ExoMars thread 4 posts below this one.

So there is, and another older one. Merged all three ExoMars threads.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nice launch replay in HD from Tsenki (the ESA webcast was very poor quality)

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, kinda curious about one point of the flight plan: why is the Breeze-M stage doing several burns?

I experienced some condition in RSS when launching low TWR stuff where I can't do a single burn without re-entering the atmosphere, so I had to spread the acceleration across two or three burns, is it something of the sort? Or is there some other reason (maybe the engines are not rated for such long burns)? Any official infos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, epsonik said:

By the way, kinda curious about one point of the flight plan: why is the Breeze-M stage doing several burns?

I experienced some condition in RSS when launching low TWR stuff where I can't do a single burn without re-entering the atmosphere, so I had to spread the acceleration across two or three burns, is it something of the sort? Or is there some other reason (maybe the engines are not rated for such long burns)? Any official infos?

Exactly this :) The Briz-M has enough Delta-V to bring such a heavy payload to Mars (if the mission succeeds, it will be the heaviest mission to ever reach Mars!), but it doesn't have enough power/thrust-to-weight ratio to deliver all the Delta-V required in a single burn. Therefore, the burn will be split in four. This obviously is riskier (more reignitions -> more chances of failure), but the Briz-M is rated for something like 8 reignitions, so it should be fine. Furthermore, as the tanks get emptied, they are expelled, meaning that after every burn the engine is somewhat even more efficient.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@epsonik

the briz-M has really a low thrust (real life transfer stages have a really low TWR compared to what we typically use in ksp - could even be below 0.1 - and that's high twr compared to ion engines) - so you could make a very long burn, but it would be relatively inneficient, as you maximise your delta-V when doing burns when your spacecraft is at the fastest point of it's orbit (aka, the periapsis) - which is called the Oberth effect. - you can get more delta-V by doing several burns at the periapsis :) (until you get out of Earth's gravity well).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberth_effect

in addition, the briz-M is planned to discard it's drop tank before doing the final burn, so it'll have even more delta-V avaible :)

Edited by sgt_flyer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now six hours of *hopefully* boring coast phase until final manoeuvre.

Edited by Frida Space

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Frida Space said:

Now six however of *hopefully* boring coast phase until final manoeuvre.

well,don't they have to discard the briz-M drop tank during this coasting phase ? :)

Edited by sgt_flyer
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

God the quality of ESA's video is afwul. Seriously this is 2016 and one of ESA's most important missions, and the video is only 45 seconds long and in 240p...

And then there's spaceX with 1080p stream even though it's a private company... This is pretty embarrassing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hcube

well, they had to rely on the images given by rocosmos :) - Proton launches are way less mediatic than Soyuz ones - so they might not have the necessary equipments near the proton launchpad to transmit live 1080P streams :)

Arianespace streams are much higher quality than what we had tonight :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, sgt_flyer said:

@Hcube

well, they had to rely on the images given by rocosmos :) - Proton launches are way less mediatic than Soyuz ones - so they might not have the necessary equipments near the proton launchpad to transmit live 1080P streams :)

Arianespace streams are much higher quality than what we had tonight :)

I'm afraid this is not true since the video on ROSCOSMOS's channel is in very good resolution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Hcube said:

I'm afraid this is not true since the video on ROSCOSMOS's channel is in very good resolution

have they streamed it was in real time too ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sgt_flyer said:

have they streamed it was in real time too ?

Yes, I was watching Roscosmos' stream - much better quality than ESA. And surely ESA could have put a better camera.

On a personal note: I have just received from ESA the latest batch with the expected celestial coordinates of the ExoMars probes - will try photographing them later today! Our main window is in Australia, but, as the weather there seems proibitive, we'll probably go with Spain. If we manage to catch it I'll post our results here (once ESA approves, because I have to send it to them first). :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sgt_flyer said:

well,don't they have to discard the briz-M drop tank during this coasting phase ? :)

A minute or so after the end of burn 3. During a normal 9 hour GTO injection the droptank is released between the 3rd and 4th burn (that together form a split burn) on the periapsis of the transfer orbit. On a 7 hour profile the second and third burn occur before/after peri, with drop tank jettison in between.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see a safe launch and ExoMars almost on its way now. ESA don't really have the same quality of coverage SpaceX and NASA do though. I want telemetry dang it!

A few neat things I caught from this morning's video. The brief clip of the assembly was cool, I saw how careful and delicate even a simple operation like fitting the fairing is. It's something games like KSP don't really convey - for us it's just design, click, launch.

Also they mentioned - and we saw in the video - that the rocket is "free standing". I don't know if it has any physical link to the ground, but it's certainly a far cry from the complex clamp and support systems we see on many other launchers. I wonder why the Russians chose that approach - is it related to Proton's conception as an ICBM?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, cantab said:

Also they mentioned - and we saw in the video - that the rocket is "free standing". I don't know if it has any physical link to the ground, but it's certainly a far cry from the complex clamp and support systems we see on many other launchers. I wonder why the Russians chose that approach - is it related to Proton's conception as an ICBM?

Maybe because it's fueled w/ hypergolics, it doesn't need an umbilical, and so it was all simpler to do without any launch clamps ? Just guessing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, AlextheBodacious said:

If you don't know, Exomars is a mission to, well, Mars, to search for methane, which has something to do with life but I don't know anymore. It has methane sensors so I assume it wants to find some methane. It will deploy a lander and go on to orbit around Mars at 400K above it.

It looks like this:

sjIwlYc.jpg

Here's some pictures of the launch that just happened:

WILL UPDATE SOON

It's going to arrive at Mars on Oct. 19, so you know, plan in advance. Watch it live*!

*Speed of light delay included

The TGO: "The Trace Gas Orbiter will deliver the ExoMars Schiaparelli EDM lander and then proceed with atmospheric mapping. A key goal of this mission is to gain a better understanding of methane (CH4) and other atmospheric gases present in the Martian atmosphere that could be evidence for possible biological or geological activity. This research will also help select the landing site for the 2018 ExoMars rover which will search for biomolecules and biosignatures. The TGO and lander combine to make the heaviest payload ever sent to Mars.[8]"

It also maps Mars optically, and is a telecommunications orbiter. I don't think there has been something this big on Mars since the Mars Observer Probe! Hope it goes well.

15 minutes ago, Hcube said:

Maybe because it's fueled w/ hypergolics, it doesn't need an umbilical, and so it was all simpler to do without any launch clamps ? Just guessing

Yes, that's right. No need for them, so this reduces pad costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No confetti fairing ? I've been lied :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now