The landers from the European Space Agency (ESA) are due to land in Egypt today, on the outskirts of the capital city of Cairo, after two months of tests in preparation for their planned launch next year.
The landers are the first European satellite to launch in more than three years, and will be the first ESA mission to reach the Red Planet.
This is the second mission from the ESA to land on the Red Sea.
In May 2018, the spacecraft arrived at the Red sea and took samples.
Earlier this month, the European space agency’s Rosetta mission took pictures of the planet from a distance of over 1,500km (1,050 miles).
The lander has now reached a point where the two legs of its robotic arm are attached to the landing legs, with a final stage of the craft expected to reach a speed of around 2.5km/s.
There are four main landing legs on the lander.
“In the first stage, we will have the first of four lander legs attached to its robotic leg and then we’ll have the third leg attached to our rover arm,” said Rosetta’s mission manager, Dr Guido Becchetti.
“It will then be a long descent, and then the fourth and final leg will have come off and come out of the descent.
It will land at the edge of the crater and there are a few more points of interest, so the first test of the landers is almost complete.”
Rosetta’s landing legs will be attached to a lander on the descent stage, as the land-to-air rockets will launch it to the surface of the Red and Blue seas.
Once on the surface, the landing legs will operate the land vehicles to carry the rover on to the comet.
Rosetta has successfully landed twice on the comet, the first landing on July 16 and the second on August 5.
The land-on-water landing is a first for the ESA, with the agency previously only managed to land a small number of landers on other planets, including Earth.
According to Becchett, “it’s quite important that we land successfully on the moon, which is about a third of the size of the Earth”.
“It’s important to make sure that we have the right kind of atmosphere, the right kinds of chemistry, so that the soil on the landing platform is suitable for microbial life.”
If we can manage to achieve that, then we will be in a position to make contact with Mars, if we have any.
“[This mission] gives us the opportunity to be a part of that first contact.”
For me, it’s an exciting moment.
I think it’s going to be the start of a new era for science,” said Dr Becchetis, adding that the mission has been “a real success” so far.
A total of 18 instruments were tested, including the Rosetta ChemCam instrument, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and the Chemistry and Camera for Atmospheric Chemistry (ChemCam) instrument.
Sputnik, the probe’s sister mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is scheduled to launch on 2023.
As part of the Rosettes mission, Rosetta has also been able to send data back to Earth.
This includes a data set on how much oxygen there is in the Martian atmosphere, and the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
Image copyright ESA/Rosetta/MPS for the Planck Collaboration/MSSS/SwRI/APA/DLR/AOSR/SPS/NEO/WTO/INTA/DAN/CICA/ICAR/ICESAT/AOM/MIRI/COSPAR/GRAIN/MOP/DICE/NICAP/LISA/HWK/CIFAR/SOHO/CAT/LUCAS/VIRGO/VIA/SPIRE/SUNRISE/PIA”],”title”:”Rosetta lands on comet 67P”,”description”:”Rosettes lander lands on Comet 67p”,”image”:”http://media.gsfc.nasa.gov/media/image/space/2015/03/20/Rosette-Rosetta-Comet-GEO-2013-0039.jpg”,”imageAlt”:”Rosette and Rosetta in orbit around the comet 67p in 2015″,”title”:”The Rosetta spacecraft lands on the Comet 67pc”,”description”:”The Rosettas lander is the first to be used on the 67pc comet”,”imageUrl”:”http:”,”title”:””,”link”:”http”,”width”:1024,”height”:480,”compareTag”:”left top