ExoMars is on its way!

A Proton rocket blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome this morning, carrying the ExoMars orbiter/lander pair onto the trans-Mars cruise trajectory.  This is the only Martian probe using the current Mars window (after the unfortunate cancellation of Mars InSight), and Europe’s first attempt at a Martian lander.  (Beagle 2 was an exclusively British effort, with ESA only providing a lift in the form of Mars Express, which remains active in Mars orbit today.)

ESA also released this spacecraft animation depicting launch and cruise, but not landing.  It’s got some pretty intense music as well.  😉  The two spacecraft comprising the ExoMars mission are the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli Lander.

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