Munich | Bucharest

Ready for Mission to Mars: ExoMars Orbiter and Lander Shiaparelli Shipping to Launch Site

December 2015

Critical Thermal Protection made by Europe´s MLI-expert HPS in Portugal and Germany

Scientists, media and other VIP´s from Europe´s space sector took the last chance on November 25th in Cannes to have a look at ESA´s latest exploration technology before it lands on Mars in October, 2016: Schiaparelli – an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module – is a technology-testing vehicle carried by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter to demonstrate the capability of European industry to perform a controlled landing on the surface of Mars. The preparation for this mission enhances Europe’s expertise and enables the testing of key technologies which could be used in subsequent missions to Mars.

Although designed to demonstrate entry, descent and landing technologies, Schiaparelli offers a science package that will operate on the surface of Mars for a short duration after landing, planned to last approximately 2-4 sols (martian days).

Schiaparelli will be protected during its decend to Mars at a speed of 21,000 km/h as well as during its operations on the surface against all thermal impacts by a multilayer insulation designed, developed and manufactured by the Portugese space company HPS Lda.

„Thermal protection is one of the critical components that decide about success or failure of any space mission. However, with Schiaparelli it opens yet another dimension of human space exploration, since this spacecraft has the task to verify technologies for the generations of unmanned and finally human missions to land on Mars in future,“ said Ernst K. Pfeiffer, CEO of HPS. „In addition, my teams in Germany and Portugal have developed also the thermal protection for this mission´s scientific instruments CASSIS and NOMAD. All HPS employees in Germany and Portugal are extremely proud to serve as Europe´s selected thermal protection specialists in space, to have soon more than 10kg hardware on Martian surface and to play with this a vital part in man´s historic pathfinding mission to other planets.“