The first of two NASA Electra radios that will fly aboard the European Space Agency’s next mission to Mars has been delivered for installation onto the ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).
The TGO is being assembled at Thales Alenia Space, in Cannes, France, for a 2016 launch opportunity. It will study the Martian atmosphere for the presence of methane and other gases that may be present in small concentrations. It will also deploy the ESA Schiaparelli Mars landing demonstration craft and provide communications support for ESA ExoMars Rover and a Russian Lander planned for launch in 2018. (more…)