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Planetary aeronomy

BIRA-IASB has built up a long-standing expertise in state of the art studies of the atmospheres of our sister planets Mars and Venus.

The study of these Earth-like planets, whose atmospheres have evolved towards different and extreme conditions, is a vital part of the understanding of the past and future of our subtle climate system.

BIRA-IASB has taken a lead position in this domain with the development, operation and data processing of the NOMAD instrument on board the European ExoMars mission.

Belgian scientists can detect meteors and meteorites falling in or around Belgium. The Museum of Natural Science in Brussels has six meteorites that fell in Belgium.
NASA’s Curiosity rover reported the highest burst of methane recorded yet. However, neither ESA’s Mars Express nor the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter recorded any signs of the elusive gas.
Two years after its launch, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) settles in its final orbit around Mars. The satellite carries the instrument NOMAD of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) on board.
Prestigious journal Nature publishes two papers describing the first results of the Belgian NOMAD instrument on board ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.