Finnish measurement technology helps to explore Mars
The European Space Agency ESA will launch the Exo Mars spacecraft to Mars together with the Russian Roscosmos. The spacecraft is carrying Finnish measurement technology from the Finnish Meteorological Institute and fitted with Vaisala sensors.
The spacecraft consists of an orbiter that will orbit around Mars and a landing module that will investigate the Martian soil. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has delivered instruments for the landing module that will observe the pressure and humidity of the atmosphere in Mars. Vaisala humidity and pressure sensors are incorporated in the instrumentation.
The Exo Mars aims to explore methane and other atmospheric trace gases and measure the electric fields on the surface of Mars. If methane was found, it could be a sign of active biological or geological processes.
The spacecraft will be launched on 14 March 2016, if the weather conditions at the launch site in Kazakhstan are suitable. The spacecraft is estimated to reach its destination in October 2016, following some seven months of travel.