ExoMars Programme

(Last edited: Wednesday, 30 August 2023, 5:45 PM)


A programme created in cooperation between ESA and Roscosmos, which is trying to find signs of biological processes on Mars indicating whether life has ever existed on that planet. The programme includes two missions:

  • The Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli module (launched in 2016)
  • The Rosalind Franklin rover and a stationary surface science platform Kazachok (put on hold in March 2022 due to impossibility of cooperating with Roscosmos; launch date is not yet known)

The Trace Gas Orbiter’s task is to look for trace atmospheric gases, including methane, which would indicate the presence of biological processes, whereas the Rosalind Franklin rover is supposed to look for evidence of life on the surface and underground.


“Exo” in ExoMars refers to “exobiology”, a branch of sciences investigating life beyond Earth. A rover involved in this mission is named after Rosalind Franklin, who was an English chemist known in particular for her contribution to DNA research. The platform Kazachok is named after a Russian folk dance.




More about the mission:


» Dictionary of Space Concepts