ExoMars is a joint European- Russian programme featuring orbital and surface studies aimed to search for evidence of past or present life on Mars. The programme is implemented through 2016 and 2020 ExoMars missions. ExoMars is executed in accordance with the Agreement between the European Space Agency and the Federal Space Agency (the Russian Federation) concerning Cooperation on Robotic Exploration of Mars and Other Bodies in the Solar System, of 14 March 2013.
The first ExoMars mission, launched 14 March 2016 by a Proton-M rocket, encompasses the ESA-developed Trace Gas Orbiter designed to analyse atmospheric trace gases and the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) intended to test soft landing technologies and pursue surface science measurements. The Trace Gas Orbiter, successfully inserted into Mars orbit 19 October 2016, is currently fully operational - Schiaparelli, however, crash-landed on Mars.
The second ExoMars mission is due to be launched 26 July 2020. The Spacecraft Composite is comprised of a Carrier Module and a Descent Module and will be launched by a Proton-M. The task of the Carrier Module is to enable attitude control and operation of all components during cruise and the separation of the Descent Module at a pre-programmed point of the ballistic trajectory. The Descent Module incorporates a Landing Platform carrying a Rover. The Landing Platform is intended to ensure soft landing and to perform a series of science experiments after Rover egress. The main objective of the Rover is to conduct a number of scientific studies to search for biosignatures on Mars. The Carrier Module and the Rover are provided by ESA. The Descent Module including the Landing Platform is developed by Russian industries led by Lavochkin. The science payload is comprised of instruments developed by both Russian scientists (IKI) and European national research institutes. The scientific instruments will be installed both on the rover (9 devices, including 2 Russian ISEM and ADRON-RM), and on the landing platform (13 devices, including 2 European LaRa and HABIT).
The main focus within ExoMars is placed on cooperation between the space agencies and other project participants. In order to coordinate joint efforts and to enhance project management efficiency, Roscosmos decided to establish a Project Office.
The ExoMars Project Office was established at TsNIImash in October 2017. It supports the activities within the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Project Team, Task Forces and Working Groups, holds joint mission reviews and provides science & engineering support within domains involving European standards.
TsNIIMash lead experts are engaged in the Project Office operations. They monitor daily project activities at engineering and programmatic levels, provide expert, analytical and methodological support to Roscosmos and Lavochkin at all project phases. The Project Office relies on up-to-date methods of science & engineering support and project control, thus contributing to timely completion of the project activities within the approved budget.