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On 6 October 2016, the ExoMars mission control team at ESA’s centre in Darmstadt, Germany, conducted their final simulation training to prepare for this month’s arrival at the Red Planet.
Under the watchful eye of Flight Operations Director Michel Denis, the team was taken through a series of realistic simulations that rehearsed what happens when ExoMars/TGO and the Schiaparelli landing demonstration module arrive at Mars on 19 October.
The team is actually a ‘team of teams’ – a number of spacecraft operations engineers working under the spacecraft operations manager, supported by diverse specialists from areas including flight dynamics, ground station operations, software and network support, and simulations and training as well as the ExoMars team from ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands.
Teams from the builder of the Mars orbiter, Thales Alenia Space – France, and the builder of the Schiaparelli lander, Thales Alenia Space – Italy, also took part in the ‘sim’.