ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Exomars 2016, trace gas orbiter GNC design and in flight GNC behaviour
ExoMars programme is part of a cooperation between ESA and Roscosmos. It consists of two missions to Mars that aim to searching for signs of past and present life on Mars, investigating the Martian atmosphere and surface and demonstrating the technologies needed to land on Mars and perform robotic exploration. The first spacecraft composed of an Orbiter Module ( the Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO) carrying an Entry descent and landing Demonstration Module (EDM) have been launched on 2016 March 14th by a Proton/Breeze-M launcher. After seven months of interplanetary cruise, the TGO have been successfully inserted into Mars orbit on October 19th, after having released the EDM on an entry trajectory on October 16th. At the time of writing this abstract the TGO is orbiting around Mars on a 4 sols orbit with about 100000 km apoapsis. In Early 2017 TGO will perform further chemical manoeuvre to change its inclination and reduce its apoapsis, in March 2017 the aerobraking operations will start, aiming at reaching a 400 km circular orbit in early 2018. After a brief presentation of the Exomars mission and constraints the paper will first provide an overview of the TGO GNC design and then will present the in-flight operations and the achieved performances during the first part of the mission ( LEOP, interplanetary cruise, Mars Orbit insertion). At the time of writing the final paper, aerobraking operation should have started allowing first evaluation of this critical phase.