ExoMars is an exciting Mars exploration programme made possible by a large international cooperation between ESA and Roscosmos. The prime contractor responsible for the ExoMars spacecraft in Europe is Thales Alenia Space (a Thales/Leonardo company).

The first phase of the programme involved a Mars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) satellite launched in March 2016 that included an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstration Module. In a second phase, in 2020, a Mars Rover and a Surface Platform (RSP) will be launched, building on the experience gained through these first steps. The 2020 ExoMars Rover is designed to search for traces of past and present life. ExoMars will demonstrate new technologies that will help to pave the way for a future Mars sample return mission.

Telespazio has been involved in the ExoMars Programme since 2013 through software solutions and operations engineering services. Today, more than 25 staff are or have been involved in the mission.

The company has developed the operational simulator for the ExoMars TGO and delivered it for training of the Flight Control Team to the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt. Two experienced simulation officers from Telespazio are in charge of training the Flight Control Team for launch & nominal operations.

In August 2017, the development of the operational simulator for the ExoMars 2020 mission has also been awarded to Telespazio, continuing on its long track record in developing simulators for complex exploration missions with tight launch schedules. 

In addition to this, Telespazio has also been awarded the development of the Mission Control System of the TGO spacecraft. The contract involves also training on the new system and on-site support.

What is more, the company is contributing to the development of the Mission Planning System (MPS) for the TGO: Telespazio has already developed the Rosetta and BepiColombo MPS; two systems that serve as a baseline to be currently productised into a generic MPS. Telespazio is involved in the configuration of this generic MPS for the ExoMars TGO mission.  

At ESOC in Darmstadt, Telespazio is and has been also involved in the pre-launch activities, LEOP and routine operations of the TGO spacecraft: These activities include services for Flight Control, Flight Dynamics, and Operational ICT as well as for Ground Station Operations.