On March 14 the first launch of the ExoMars program of ESA is planned. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the lander Schiaparelli will start their 6-month journey to Mars lifted by a Russian Proton launcher. And I am allowed to follow the launch from a very special location. I will not be onboard (yet) and I will not be present at the launch base in Baikonur. But there is another interesting place to follow a launch – from the satellite control center. The center is called ESA’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC) and is located in Darmstadt, Germany. All ESA satellites are controlled from there. And on March 14 TGO and Schiaparelli will be added to the list of satellites being controlled from there.
I had applied for following this launch from ESOC as a social media reporter and fortunately I was selected to report for you about this event.
As always I will report bilingual – in English and in German.
I will have the special honor not only reporting for my followers but also for the well-known „The Mars Generation“ (http://themarsgeneration.org/) led by the aspiring astronaut Abigail Harrison (https://twitter.com/AstronautAbby). The Mars Generation is a non-profit organisation to promote the idea to send humans to Mars soon. It supports the young generation of aspiring astronauts – the ones that actually will fly to Mars in the future. I am one of the supporters of this organization because I share the same dream – to go on a mission to Mars one day not too far in the future.
In the coming days I will regularly post updates about the mission preparations (and my own preparations) here. Thus I recommend to have a look on this blog from time to time. The most actual news will be provided – as always – on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mausonaut .