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A structural mockup of the cruise stage for the ExoMars-2020 mission during final assembly at RUAG Space in 2016. Credit: RUAG Space
The cruise stage for the ExoMars-2020 mission shortly after its arrival to NPO Lavochkin in January 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: NPO Lavochkin
Propulsion system of the ExoMars-2020 lander developed at KB Khimmash in Korolev. Credit: Roskosmos
Head of NPO Lavochkin Sergei Lemeshevsky and Director General of ONPP Tekhnologiya Andrei Silkin sign a contract to develop composite structures for the ExoMars-2020 mission on April 10, 2017. Credit: ONPP Tekhnologiya
Russia works on ExoMars-2020 lander design
The ExoMars-2020 spacecraft in cruise configuration as envisioned in 2016.
At the end of January 2017, a structural mockup of the cruise stage (officially known as ExoMars Carrier Module), which will guide the ExoMars-2020 mission between Earth and Mars, arrived at NPO Lavochkin, the project's main contractor in Russia.
The mockup assembled at RUAG Space under a contract with the European Space Agency, ESA, will be integrated with the Russian-built lander (officially called Descent Module) and an adapter for a series of vibration and thermal tests, NPO Lavochkin said.
Deputy Director for Production at NPO Lavochkin A.P. Tyutyunnikov was also quoted as saying that during January and February 2017, the company was upgrading an antenna mockup for the ExoMars-2020 spacecraft based on latest changes to the design documentation.
In April, NPO Lavochkin reported that the Technical Project of the lander for the ExoMars-2020 project had been submitted for review to TsNIIMash (the chief certification center at Roskosmos), as well as to the European Space Agency, ESA, and its main industrial contractor Thales Alenia Space. From March 14 to 17, the Russian-European team held a meeting to critique the Technical Project. The participants formulated a plan of work for closing all the issues that had been raised during the meeting.
On March 24, the joint management group of Roskosmos and ESA met to review the Technical Project of the lander and to plan further actions. The official review of the Technical Project from TsNIIMash was expected in mid-April, NPO Lavochkin said.
On April 10, NPO Lavochkin awarded a 250-million ruble contract to Romashin ONPP Tekhnologiya (a part of Rostekh State Corporation) to manufacture the lander structure and elements of the descent module made out of composite materials for the ExoMars-2020 mission. A total of four set of structures would be supplied under the deal: the first will be used for technology development, two more for dynamic and thermal testing and the final one, to be delivered in 2018, will be a flight-worthy version. The same company would also manufacture thermal control panels for the mission.
In June, ISS Reshetnev also announced that it had began the development of the design documentation for the test version of the power stabilization and distribution unit, which would be responsible for channeling electric current from solar panels to scientific instruments and keeping batteries charged on the Russian-built ExoMars lander.
Read (and see) much more about the history of the Russian space program in a richly illustrated, large-format glossy edition:
Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: June 12, 2017
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