The TGO mission ExoMars sent the first images of the Red Planet from a new point in orbit. The spacecraft went into an almost circular orbit with an altitude of 400 km a few weeks ago. Its main goal is to find gases that may be associated with active geological or biological activity on Mars.
The CaSSIS system extracted this amazing snapshot of the impact crater during the test period of the instrument. The camera was activated on March 20 and checked before the start of the main mission (April 28). The image shows a 40-km section of Korolev crater located high in the northern hemisphere. The bright material on the edge is ice.
TGO on Mars
The team is committed to fully automate the process of obtaining images. They also plan to publish them regularly. The orbital chamber is one of the four instruments on the TGO, where there are also two sets of spectrometers and a neutron detector. Spectrometers began a scientific mission on April 21, when the ship began to “sniff” the atmosphere. Spectrometers study how molecules in the atmospheric layer absorb sunlight, making it possible to study the chemical composition.
To identify the details, it will take a long period of data collection, especially for especially rare and not yet found components. The device will try to find traces of methane and other gases that hint at biological or geological activity. The camera will help characterize surface features that may be associated with sources of gases.