OCT 20, 2016 7:19 AM PDT

As ExoMars Mission Deploys Lander to Mars, ESA Loses Contact With it

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Like NASA, the European Space Agency is trying their best to study Mars. They had hoped to use the ExoMars mission, which was launched in March, to learn more about the red planet and search for the existence of life.
 
The spacecraft, a Trace Gas Orbiter, which was launched earlier in the year made it to the red planet successfully on Wednesday and performed a rocket burn to get safely into the orbit of Mars, however something went wrong with the Schiaparelli lander that was ejected from it.
 

An artist's impression of the lander trying to land on the red planet.

 Image Credit: ESA

The lander was shunted into the Martian atmosphere this week and then an automated six-minute descent control booster rocket system burned and a parachute system was deployed to help stabilize the fall and get the lander to the Martian surface safely.
 
Unfortunately, about 50 seconds before the lander was projected to reach the surface, the ESA reportedly lost contact with the lander, signifying that the rockets probably stopped burning a little too early and this may have caused a crash landing.
 
It goes without saying from this evidence that the ESA was unsuccessful at landing on the red planet safely enough to stay fully intact.
 
The ESA says it’s still possible that we could reestablish a connection sometime in the next three to ten days as there’s still a battery power source on the lander, however things aren’t looking too hot right now with the current state of things.
 
The ExoMars mission is a two-stage mission and the Schiaparelli lander was only the first part. The second will be landing the all-new Mars 2020 lander in collaboration with NASA on the Martian surface in the year 2020, as the name suggests.
 
The ESA says this mission has taught them valuable lessons about landing on Mars, citing the fact that missions like these aren’t easy.
 
"From the engineering standpoint, it’s what we want from a test, and we have extremely valuable data to work with," said David Parker, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, in a statement.
 
Let’s just hope a similar issue doesn’t happen when the more advanced Mars 2020 rover gets there…
 
Source: ESA via The Verge

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 24, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend sea level monitoring
NOV 24, 2020
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend sea level monitoring
Days ago, a new satellite was launched from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with the ...
JAN 06, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Settling the Debate Over the Age of the Universe
JAN 06, 2021
Settling the Debate Over the Age of the Universe
Astronomers have used powerful telescopes high in the Atacama desert to evaluate estimates of the age of the universe. T ...
MAR 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Revealing the Origins of Jupiter's Spectacular Auroras
MAR 16, 2021
Revealing the Origins of Jupiter's Spectacular Auroras
Many years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope was able to catch a glimpse of amazing auroras that occur on Jupiter. Now res ...
MAY 01, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Satellite Images Show Accelerating Retreat of World's Glaciers
MAY 01, 2021
Satellite Images Show Accelerating Retreat of World's Glaciers
In a new study, an international team of researchers have found that almost all of the world’s glaciers are in ret ...
MAY 07, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Did Scientists Just Find Mushrooms on Mars?
MAY 07, 2021
Did Scientists Just Find Mushrooms on Mars?
While experts agree that most life on Earth would not be able to survive on Mars, NASA researchers have previously sugge ...
MAY 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Core has 70 Times More Hydrogen than the Oceans
MAY 15, 2021
Earth's Core has 70 Times More Hydrogen than the Oceans
Researchers from the University of Tokyo have found that under certain extreme conditions, hydrogen particles can bond s ...
Loading Comments...