ExoMars 2020 surface platform

ExoMars 2020 surface platform
Names ExoMars 2018 Surface Platform[1]
Mission type Mars lander and rover
Operator ESA & Roscosmos
Website www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Surface_platform
Mission duration Planned: ≥ 1 Earth year[2]
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Lavochkin
Launch mass Lander: 827.9 kg (1,825 lb)
Rover: 310 kg (680 lb)
Payload mass Lander: 45 kg (99 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date July 2020[3]
Rocket Proton-M/Briz-M
Mars lander
Landing date ≈April 2021

ExoMars programme
 Trace Gas Orbiter
and Schiaparelli lander

The ExoMars 2020 surface platform is a planned robotic Mars lander, part of the ExoMars 2020 mission by the European Space Agency and the Roscosmos State Corporation.

The plan calls for a Russian launch vehicle to deliver the Russian-built surface platform as well as the ExoMars rover to Mars' surface.[4] Once safely landed, the platform will deploy the rover and will start a one Earth-year mission to investigate the surface environment at the landing site.[2]

The spacecraft was scheduled to launch in 2018 and land on Mars in early 2019,[4] but due to delays in European and Russian industrial activities and deliveries of the scientific payload, it was moved to the launch window in July 2020.[3]

Scientific instruments

The science payload mass is about 45 kg and consist of:[2]


Russia is evaluating the options to use of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to power the science instruments,[5] and a radioisotope heater unit (RHU) to provide thermal control on the frozen Martian surface.[6]

Landing site selection

Oxia Planum, near the equator, is the selected landing site for its potential to preserve biosignatures and smooth surface

After a review by an ESA-appointed panel, a short list of four sites was formally recommended in October 2014 for further detailed analysis:[7][8]

On 21 October 2015, Oxia Planum was chosen as the preferred landing site for the ExoMars rover assuming a 2018 launch. Since the launch was postponed to 2020, Aram Dorsum and Mawrth Vallis will also be considered.[9][10]


  1. "ExoMars 2018 Surface Platform Experiment Proposal Information Package (pdf, 8.3 MB)". European Space Agency. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Exomars 2018 surface platform". European Space Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  3. 1 2 "N° 11–2016: Second ExoMars mission moves to next launch opportunity in 2020" (Press release). ESA. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Russia and Europe Team Up for Mars Missions". Space.com. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. Amos, Jonthan (21 June 2013). "Looking forward to Europe's 'seven minutes of terror'". BBC News.
  6. Zak, Anatoly (3 March 2016). "ExoMars 2018". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  7. "Four Candidate Landing Sites for ExoMars 2018". ESA. Space Ref. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  8. "Recommendation for the Narrowing of ExoMars 2018 Landing Sites". ESA. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  9. Amos, Jonathan (21 October 2015). "ExoMars rover: Landing preference is for Oxia Planum". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  10. Atkinson, Nancy (21 October 2015). "Scientists Want ExoMars Rover to Land at Oxia Planum". Universe Today. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
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