Emily LakdawallaOct 14, 2016

ExoMars update: Timeline for separation and orbit insertion

ESA is now maintaining a live blog with ExoMars arrival updates, and several bits of news appeared this morning:

  • The orbit correction maneuver to line up Schiaparelli for arrival amounted to 1.4 centimeters per second
  • Schiaparelli is GO for entry, descent, landing, and surface operations
  • ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is GO for orbit insertion
  • The burn was executed at 08:45 UTC (unclear if this is spacecraft event time or Earth received time, probably the former), with "a very tiny underperformance from TGO's thrusters but the burn was overall very good"
  • Another burn is scheduled for 02:42 UTC spacecraft event time on October 17 to shift TGO from Schiaparelli's impact trajectory to TGO's desired orbit insertion trajectory
  • Watch for news on Twitter from @esaoperations, @ESA_ExoMars, @ESA_TGO, and @ESA_EDM
  • Watch ESA's livestream running on and off for most of October 19

ESA has also released their press kit for TGO orbit insertion and Schiaparelli arrival. If you have any questions about the spacecraft, their instruments, or their mission, you'll likely find them answered in the press kit!

At the time of ExoMars arrival, the one-way light time between Mars and Earth will be 9 minutes 45 seconds. I've copied the timeline from the press kit below and converted it to various time zones for your convenience. All times below are Earth received time -- so for events at Mars, this is the time we can expect to receive information here on Earth of the events that transpired about 10 minutes before on Mars.

EventTime
(PDT)
Time
(EDT)
Time
(UTC)
Time
(CEST)
Final commands uplinkedOct 15
19:42
Oct 15
22:42
Oct 16
02:42
Oct 16
04:42
Separation of SchiaparelliOct 16
07:51
Oct 16
10:51
Oct 16
14:51
Oct 16
16:51
Short ESA Livestream update confirming separation07:3010:3014:3016:30
TGO orbit-raising maneuver (burnOct 16
19:51
Oct 16
22:51
Oct 17
02:51
Oct 17
04:51
TGO switches to Mars orbit insertion modeOct 16
22:51
Oct 17
01:51
Oct 17
05:51
Oct 17
07:51
Uplink of Mars orbit insertion commandsOct 18
02:00
Oct 18
05:00
Oct 18
09:00
Oct 18
11:00
ESA Livestream beginsOct 19
06:00
Oct 19
09:00
Oct 19
13:00
Oct 19
15:00
TGO orbit insertion begins (maximum 147-minute burn)06:1409:1413:1415:14
Mars Express starts to record Schiaparelli telemetry06:3209:3213:3215:32
Schiaparelli starts transmitting06:3609:3613:3615:36
TGO starts to record Schiaparelli telemetry07:3010:3014:3016:30
Schiaparelli enters atmosphere07:5210:5214:5216:52
Parachute deploy at 11 km altitude, 1650 km/h07:5510:5514:5516:55
Heat shield separation at 7 km altitude, 320 km/h07:5610:5614:5616:56
Backshell separation at 1.3 km altitude, 240 km/h07:5710:5714:5716:57
Schiaparelli thrusters on at 1.1 km altitude, 250 km/h07:5710:5714:5716:57
Thrusters off, start of freefall at 2 m altitude, 4 km/h07:5710:5714:5716:57
Landing07:5710:5714:5716:57
TGO sets below Schiaparelli horizon08:0611:0615:0617:06
Schiaparelli hibernates08:1311:1315:1317:13
ESA Livestream pauses08:1511:1515:1517:15
Mars Express ends recording08:1811:1815:1817:18
TGO orbit insertion ends (latest possible time)08:4111:4115:4117:41
TGO slews toward Earth08:4211:4215:4217:42
ESA Livestream resumes08:4411:4415:4417:44
Mars Express starts transmitting Schiaparelli recording08:4911:4915:4917:49
Mars Express ends transmission of Schiaparelli signal08:5911:5915:5917:59
TGO telemetry received09:3212:3216:3218:32
ESA Livestream pauses09:5912:5916:5918:59
ESA Livestream ends11:2514:2518:2520:25
ESA Livestream ends13:0316:0320:0322:03
Press briefing including presentation of images from SchiaparelliOct 20
01:00
Oct 20
04:00
Oct 20
08:00
Oct 20
10:00
EventTime
(PDT)
Time
(EDT)
Time
(UTC)
Time
(CEST)

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