On the 14th of March 2016, the world was following ExoMars blastoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
ExoMars is a program led by the European Space Agency (ESA), and Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency. The main mission is to find life on Mars.
The launch system “Proton” has sent the “TGO”, Trace Gas Orbiter and “Schiaparelli” landing demonstrator on a seven-month journey to Mars.
Upon arrival next October 2016, TGO will begin searching the Martian air for methane (a possible sign of life) from orbit, while Schiaparelli will descend to the surface, to test out landing technologies for the second part of ExoMars a life-hunting rover that's slated to blast off in 2018.
CMM micro-connectors from Nicomatic have been used for PC board interconnections in the “ACS”, Atmospheric Chemistry Suite, developed by the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Science. ACS is an instrument placed inside TGO space module that enables the detection of water, methane & a variety of other constituents in the atmosphere.
“Our connectors proved to be successful in resolving a problem of weight & space saving in the electronic module” says Tatyana Collomb, Area Sales Manager responsible for the project at Nicomatic. “The oxygen-free insulator of our connectors & a superior reliability of the contact made it possible to perfectly adapt to space conditions”, continues Tatyana.
This isn't the 1st time Nicomatic connectors are being used in outer space.
After the success of the Jade Rabbit Chinese Space Program, where a specific connector design
had been achieved, a new mission now takes the connectors further into space. A few months ago, Jade Rabbit rover safely landed on the moon in the right place without any damage thanks to the signal transmitted with a Nicomatic connector. Nicomatic has also taken part in a number of satellite projects.