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The European Space Exploration Programme “Aurora” Marcello Coradini European Space Agency Padova 25 Ottobre 2006 Planetary Exploration 2013 BEPICOLOMBO - Most diff.ed materials 2011 ExoMars Exobiology 2005 Venus Express Atmospheric evolution

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the european space exploration programme aurora

The European Space Exploration Programme “Aurora”

Marcello Coradini

European Space Agency

Padova 25 Ottobre 2006


Planetary Exploration

2013 BEPICOLOMBO - Most diff.ed materials

2011 ExoMars Exobiology

2005 Venus Express Atmospheric evolution

2003 ROSETTA - Building Blocks

2003 MARS EXPRESS - Comparative Planetology & Exobiology

2002 SMART-1 - Technology & Lunar Science

1997 CASSINI-HUYGENS - Outer Regions & Exobiology

  • The ESA council, in November 2001, unanimously approved the Aurora Preparatory Programme for the robotic and human exploration of the Solar System.
  • The Programme is now near the end of its preparatory phase. In the 2001-2005 time frame the total investment (incl. GSP, TRP etc.) is about 55 MEU
  • Based on the results of these preparatory activities the Agency presented a Programme Proposal at the December 2005 Council at ministerial level.
current status
Current Status
  • Aurora was approved unanimously, as optional programme, at Ministerial level with its two elements:
        • Core Element
        • Exploration Robotic missions (ExoMars)
      • ExoMars is currently supported by 14 Member States with funds in excess of the baseline financial envelope;
      • With respect to the countries already supporting the Preparatory Phase, Norway and Denmark have additionally subscribed the programme.
european space exploration programme selected drivers
European Space Exploration Programme: selected drivers
  • Europeans in Space: assure a European access to enabling technologies, foster the European participation in future space exploration endeavors.
  • History and Fate of Life in the Universe: understanding the origins and evolution of life on Earth and the search for extraterrestrial life in the Solar System
  • Sustainable Human Life in Space: the development of enabling technologies to support life and protect health, to access energy, manage environmental risks and exploit local resources
  • Sharing the Space Adventure and Benefits: communicating the excitement of human space flight and exploration and sharing the resulting benefits, with the general public
exploration programme strategy
Recommended European approach:

Secure the best return on investment in the ISS Programme, as a test bed for future exploration, with a balanced and harmonised ISS utilisation and operations

Establish a meaningful and sufficiently autonomous role for Europe in the international Space Exploration agenda, with a robust approach with regard to changes of the international context

Maintain and enhance the European industrial, technological and scientific capabilities and experiences built-up during the ISS programme

The overall strategy consists of:

continuation of the existing ISS Exploitation and ELIPS Programmes

implementation of ExoMars, the first exploration mission

preparation for future exploration missions

preparation for a European participation in the joint development and operation of a reusable crew transportation system, Clipper, with Russia and possibly Japan

Exploration Programme Strategy
components of the programme proposal
Components of the Programme Proposal
  • Core Programme: to establish the ability for Europe to participate in meaningful ways to the future global exploration initiatives
    • Exploration roadmaps, scenarios and associated

architecture studies

    • Mars Sample Return (MSR) preparation
    • Preparation of general robotic and human

exploration technology

    • Awareness activities
  • Exploration Missions: to provide for the development, launch and operation of selected exploration missions, starting with ExoMars
core programme
Core Programme
  • Elaboration and updating of exploration scenarios and roadmaps with associated system and mission architecture studies to enable Europe to determine its interest and priorities for a meaningful participation in the global space exploration endeavor (ISS, Moon and Mars)
  • Mars Sample Return (MSR) preparation with the development of enabling technologies, such as Planetary Protection, Sample Fetching Rover, Biological Containment System, Mars Ascent Vehicle
core programme cont
Core Programme (cont.)
  • General human and robotic exploration technology development and preparation for lunar exploration, with a view to increase the technology readiness level of certain building blocks, including Habitat Technologies, Robotic Crew Aids/Surface Robots, Inflatable Module Structural Technologies, Air Revitalization System Flight Demonstration (ARES) and Automated RendezVous and Docking Flight Demonstration (IBDM)
  • Awareness activities, in association with the EU, to sustainably engage European citizens in space exploration and creating new dreams, inspiring young generations through the involvement of technical universities in the elaboration of future exploration missions
other preparatory activities
Other Preparatory activities

Concordia Station

A research station in Antarctica, a “Mars-like” environment;

Isolated for several months ideal to study psychological and

physiological aspect of confinement and isolation as well as to apply Tele-medicine solutions`.

The water recycling system has been provided by ESA


ESA has been leading – for over 15 years – a pan-European technology development programme to create a closed system recovering food, water and oxygen from waste and C02.

exomars mission
ExoMars Mission

First major European led mission to be launched in 2011, combining enabling technology development with major scientific investigations

  • Main scientific objectives
    • Search for traces of past and present life
    • Characterise Martian geochemistry and water distribution
    • Improve the knowledge on Martian’s environment and geophysics
    • Identify surface hazards to future human missions
  • Main technology objectives
    • Entry, Descent and Landing of a large size payload
    • Surface mobility (Rover) and access to the subsurface (Drill)
    • Rover power generation using solar arrays
    • Forward Planetary Protection
the scientific payload
Rover Pasteur Instruments

up to 8 kg of Scientific Instruments

On the basis of the scientific priorities, the required resources and the maturity of development, a model payload has been proposed at the 2nd Pasteur WG on 31 August. With a total mass of 12.5 kg this exceeds the present payload allocation

The Scientific Payload

The ExoMars Scientific Instruments will be accommodated on both the Rover and the GEP

  • GEP
    • A static surface package capable to perform geo-physic and environmental measurements: up to 20 kg (including 5 Kg of Scientific Instruments)
    • The following Pasteur instruments, dedicated to environmental measurements, are proposed for inclusion in the GEP: Dust Suite, UV Spectrometer, Ionising Radiation and Meteorological Packages
exomars applications for future missions
ExoMars Applications for Future Missions
  • The next important mission will be an international Mars Sample Return effort.
  • A possible European contribution could be an ExoMars-class rover, with its drill, to collect the samples, seal them, and pass them on to the Mars Ascent Vehicle
  • This would grant Europe a long-term horizon to develop ExoMars-derived capabilities in autonomous rover systems
  • Additionally, the Pasteur payload —with its next-generation scientific instruments— will contribute to future planetary robotic missions