A new group of NPO Lavochkin (part of Roscosmos) specialists arrived at Thales Alenia Space Italia (Torino, Italy) last month to continue joint work on the ExoMars-2022 Russian – European project. Against the continued COVID-19 preventive measures, all the works are conducted observing all the necessary precautionary conditions.
NPO Lavochkin specialists and cooperation enterprises participate in ExoMars spacecraft tests. Currently, the screen vacuum spacecraft thermal insulation has been installed on the landing platform elements. Works continue to assemble landing platform elements (rover pallet installation, solar panels installation, landing equipment and rover ramp assembly), platform functional check before transporting it to Thales Alenia Space France (Cannes, France), as well as propulsion unit leak tests.
Early September 2020 will see beginning of spacecraft assembly (mating of mothership and descent module), preparing the spacecraft and ground service equipment for packing and transporting it from Torino to Cannes to conduct further works according to the working schedule of NPO Lavochkin, Thales Alenia Space Italia and European Space Agency. Its transportation is scheduled for late September.
The ExoMars-2020 mission is the second stage of Roscosmos largest international project together with the European Space Agency to explore Mars, its surface and subsurface layer in the immediate area of the landing site, conducting geological research and searching for possible traces of life existance on the planet. The mission will open a new stage of space exploration for the world scientific community.
NPO Lavochkin is the general contractor and coordinator from the Russian side, as well as the designer and manufacturer of the descent module with the landing platform. The mission is planned to launch during the launch window in August – September 2022. This period was selected taking into account the ballistic conditions that allow launching a spacecraft from Earth to Mars every two years.