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
JUL 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Spot Exposed Planetary Core for First Time
JUL 05, 2020
Astronomers Spot Exposed Planetary Core for First Time
For the first time, astronomers have spotted a planet with an exposed core. Known as TOI-849b, the finding could help us ...
JUL 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Many Missions to Mars Have Been Successful?
JUL 31, 2020
How Many Missions to Mars Have Been Successful?
It’s commonly said that roughly half of all missions to Mars have succeeded- while roughly half have failed. But a ...
AUG 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
First Visitor from Another Solar System Remains Unknown
AUG 18, 2020
First Visitor from Another Solar System Remains Unknown
An object hurtling through our solar system known as 'Oumuamua' is our first visitor from another solar sys ...
OCT 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Four Lakes Detected Under Martian Surface
OCT 01, 2020
Four Lakes Detected Under Martian Surface
  Researchers from Roma Tre University in Italy have confirmed the existence of four large lakes under the ice at M ...
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
NOV 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Bacteria Make Space Mining 400% More Effective
NOV 14, 2020
Bacteria Make Space Mining 400% More Effective
Researchers aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have shown that bacteria can increase space mining efficiency b ...
Loading Comments...