European Mars orbiter completes 11-month aerobraking maneuver

It has to be one of the slowest parking attempts ever made, but ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) has completed a daring maneuver that saw it surfing the outer layers of the Martian atmosphere for 11 months. The purpose of the exercise was to gradually lower the unmanned probe’s trajectory to place it in a planet-hugging, near-circular orbit at an altitude of about 400 km (250 mi), allowing the spacecraft to begin its mission to study trace gases on Mars as well as act as a communications relay between Mars surface rovers and Earth…
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