EXOMARS Scientific Objectives
ExoMars is the first mission of ESA's AURORA programme: European long term automatic and human exploration of the solar system programme, with Mars, the Moon and the asteroids as main targets. In addition to its scientific objectives, the mission should demonstrate Europe's capacity to land a probe on Mars, the feasibility of in-situ robotic operations technologies, thus consolidating Europe's ambition to take on a major role in future international exploration missions.
ExoMars scientific objectives, in order of priority, are:
- To search for signs of life, past and present, on Mars;
- To characterise the geochemical environment in relation to depth and to detecte the possible existence of water in subsurface pockets;
- To study surface and environment in order to identify potential hazards to future human missions;
- To study the structure of underground layers to improve our understanding of the evolution an inhabitability of Mars.
To fulfil this mission, the lander and the rover will be equipped with several scientific instruments.
The PASTEUR rover will carry a 16.5 kg scientific payload consisting of 12 instruments, dedicated to exobiology and geology. It will search for signs of past or present life, collect surface rock or subsurface samples, to a depth of 2 meters.
The HUMBOLDT lander will carry an 8 kg scientific payload consisting of 11 instruments. It will study the environment and measure the important geophysical parameters of the planet in order to understand the evolution of Mars and its inhabitability.