Artist's impression of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter at Mars. Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Launch Date March 14, 2016
Launch Site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia
Destination Mars
Type In Orbit
Status In Progress
Nation Europe
Alternate Names Trace Gas Orbiter, 2016 Exomars, TGO, 2016-017A, 41388


The main objectives of the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mission are to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes on Mars and to serve a communications relay for future missions, including NASA missions.

The mission also carried Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module.


Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter successfully entered Mars orbit on Oct. 19, 2016. Schiaparelli was lost on decent.

Key Dates

Mar. 14, 2016: Launch

Oct. 19, 2016: Mars Orbit Insertion

March 2018: Communications Relay Operations

March 2018 - December 2019: Primary Science Operations


Launch Vehicle: Proton-M

Spacecraft Mass: 4,332 kilograms (including 113.8 kilograms of science payload and 577 kilograms Schiaparelli)

Spacecraft Instruments:

  1. NOMAD - Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery

  2. ACS - Atmospheric Chemistry Suite

  3. CaSSIS - Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System

  4. FREND - Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector

Additional Resources

European Space Agency: Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter

National Space Science Data Center Master Catalog: ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter/Schiaparelli

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