Artistic representation of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) (Image ESA–D. Ducros)

The ESA and Roscosmos’ TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter) space probe and the lander Schiaparelli have reached Mars completing the first phase of the first mission within the ExoMars program, started with their launch on March 14, 2016. Schiaparelli had separated from the TGO on October 16 with some thrill because the maneuver was successful but its telemetry data arrived with considerable delay.

The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft at lift off atop a Soyuz rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago ago the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko to transport them to the International Space Station. The new version of the Soyuz spacecraft was launched once again in the route that will take two days instead of the six-hour fast path to keep on testing the new on-board systems.