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Kazachok lander
NamesExoMars 2020 Surface Platform[1][2]
Mission typeMars lander and rover
OperatorRoscosmos and ESA
Mission durationPlanned: 2 Earth years[3]
Spacecraft properties
Launch massLander: 827.9 kg (1,825 lb)
Rover: 310 kg (680 lb)
Payload massLander: 45 kg (99 lb)
PowerSolar panels[4]
Start of mission
Launch dateNET 2024 [5]
Launch siteBaikonur
Mars lander
Landing dateNET 2025 [5]
Landing siteOxia Planum
ExoMars programme

The ExoMars Kazachok (Russian: Казачок; formerly ExoMars 2020 Surface Platform[2]) was a planned robotic Mars lander led by Roscosmos, part of the ExoMars 2022 joint mission with the European Space Agency. Kazachok translates as "Little Cossack", and is also the name of an East Slavic folk dance.

The plan calls for a Russian Proton-M rocket to launch the Russian-built lander that will deliver the Rosalind Franklin rover to the surface of Mars.[7] Once safely landed, Kazachok will deploy the rover and will start a one Earth-year mission to investigate the surface environment at the landing site.[8]

The spacecraft was scheduled to launch in 2020 and land on Mars in mid 2021,[7] but due to the failure of the entry parachutes to pass testing, the launch was moved to a twelve-day launch window starting on 20 September 2022.[5]

In March 2022, amidst the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Space Agency voted to suspend their cooperation with Russia on the ExoMars mission, placing the future of the Kazachok lander in jeopardy.[9] ESA would later terminate their cooperation with Russia on the project.[10]

Scientific instruments

The Kazachok lander project is led by Roscosmos, but its scientific payload will also include two European instruments and European contributions to four Russian-led instruments. The payload mass is about 45 kg and consists of the following instruments (plus an instrument interface and memory unit (BIP)):[8][3]

Power source

The science and communication instruments on the lander will be powered by solar panels and rechargeable batteries.[4] The automated voltage power system is being developed and build by ISS Reshetnev.[4]

Russia previously evaluated the option of using a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to power the science instruments,[15] and a radioisotope heater unit (RHU) to provide thermal control while on the frozen Martian surface.[16]

Landing site selection

Main article: ExoMars § Landing site selection

Oxia Planum, near the equator, is a proposed landing site for its smooth surface and potential to preserve biosignatures

After a review by an ESA-appointed panel, a short list of four sites was formally recommended in October 2014 for further detailed analysis:[17][18]

On 21 October 2015, Oxia Planum was chosen as the preferred landing site for the ExoMars rover, now the Rosalind Franklin rover, assuming a 2018 launch. But since the launch was postponed to 2020, Aram Dorsum and Mawrth Vallis are also being considered.[19][20] ESA convened further workshops to re-evaluate the three remaining options and in March 2017 selected two sites to study in detail:

After deliberation, ESA selected Oxia Planum to be the landing site in November 2018.[21][22]


  1. ^ "ExoMars 2018 Surface Platform Experiment Proposal Information Package (pdf, 8.3 MB)". European Space Agency. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Meet 'Kazachok': Landing Platform for ExoMars Rover Gets a Name. Mike Wall, Spaceflight. 22 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b ExoMars-2020 Surface Platform scientific investigation. Daniel Rodionov, Lev Zelenyi, Oleg Korablev, Ilya Chuldov and Jorge Vago. EPSC Abstracts. Vol. 12, EPSC2018-732, European Planetary Science Congress 2018.
  4. ^ a b c ISS-Reshetnev chosen for ExoMars-2020 project. ISS-Reshetnev. 23 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Joint Europe-Russia Mars rover project is parked". BBC. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  6. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "ExoMars". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Russia and Europe Team Up for Mars Missions". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Exomars 2018 surface platform". European Space Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Joint Europe-Russia Mars rover project is parked". BBC News. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  10. ^ "Europe ending cooperation with Russia on life-hunting Mars rover".
  11. ^ LaRa (Lander Radioscience) on the ExoMars 2020 Surface Platform. (PDF) Véronique Dehant, Sébastien Le Maistre, Rose-Marie Baland, et al. EPSC Abstracts. Vol. 12, EPSC2018-31, 2018. European Planetary Science Congress 2018.
  12. ^ a b Controller for in-situ pressure and humidity measurements on board ExoMars 2020 Surface Platform. Nikkanen, Timo; Genzer, Maria; Hieta, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni; Meskanen, Matias. 20th EGU General Assembly, EGU2018, Proceedings from the conference held 4–13 April 2018 in Vienna, Austria, p.7507. April 2018.
  13. ^ Wave analyzer module of the MAIGRET instrument onboard Surface Platform of the ExoMars 2020 mission. Santolik, Ondrej; Kolmasova, Ivana; Uhlir, Ludek; Skalsky, Alexander; Soucek, Jan; Lan, Radek. 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 14–22 July 2018, in Pasadena, California, USA, Abstract id. B4.2-39-18. July 2018.
  14. ^ Алексей Андреев. И на Марсе может здорово трясти, 20 Мая 2019
  15. ^ Amos, Jonthan (21 June 2013). "Looking forward to Europe's 'seven minutes of terror'". BBC News.
  16. ^ Zak, Anatoly (3 March 2016). "ExoMars 2018". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Four Candidate Landing Sites for ExoMars 2018". ESA. Space Ref. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Recommendation for the Narrowing of ExoMars 2018 Landing Sites". ESA. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  19. ^ Amos, Jonathan (21 October 2015). "ExoMars rover: Landing preference is for Oxia Planum". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  20. ^ Atkinson, Nancy (21 October 2015). "Scientists Want ExoMars Rover to Land at Oxia Planum". Universe Today. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Landing Site". ESA. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  22. ^ Amos, Jonathan (9 November 2018). "ExoMars: Life-detecting robot to be sent to Oxia Planum". BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2020.