Images confirm that Schiaparelli rig collapsed and was destroyed on impact, to reach the surface of the red planet. ESA says module speed at the time of the collision was higher than expected.

NASA images taken indicate that Schiaparelli European probe, which should land on Mars, fell from a height of two to four kilometers and was destroyed on impact, reaching the planet’s surface, announced on Friday (21/10) the Agency European space (ESA).

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The probe 600 kg – named after the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) – would test technologies aimed at preparing the subsequent landing of a rover’s six wheels on Mars and should have landed on Wednesday on the planet red.

ESA, however, lost contact with the module 50 seconds before the estimated time of landing and his whereabouts was unknown until the arrival of the images taken by a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars.

“The Schiaparelli reached the surface of Mars with a much higher speed to what was expected,” said mission director Thierry Blancquaert. “She was in pieces on the dash against the red planet,” he said.

ESA also said it is possible that the landing has been accompanied by an explosion, because probably the probe’s fuel tanks were still full.

Despite the loss of Schiaparelli, the mothership, Gas Orbiter Trace probe (TGO), entered the orbit of Mars and, from 2018, will begin to analyze methane and other gasses in the atmosphere, which may indicate the presence of life .

ExoMars missions

The Schiaparelli’s flight was the first stage of ExoMars, an ambitious space program conducted jointly by ESA and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), which aims to examine the existence of traces and forms of bacterial life on the Red Planet.

With very expensive missions ExoMars ExoMars 2016 and 2020, Russia and Europe want to track down traces of life in the neighboring planet. Scientists hope especially find traces of gasses such as methane, as possible sources of these gasses could be biological organisms – but also volcanic.

Originally, the ESA planned to carry out the mission together with the US, but the Americans have left the project in 2011 for financial reasons. Then the Europeans sought the partnership of Roscosmos.Both see the project as proof that cooperation between East and West in politically complicated times is possible.

For the European Space Agency, the costs of both missions were estimated at 1.5 billion euros. The value, however, should increase – also as a result of delay in two years the final mission, scheduled for 2020.

The ExoMars was the second attempt of Europe to land on Martian soil. 13 years ago, the European Mars Express spacecraft launched minissonda Beagle 2, which never gave a sign of life. Only in 2015 is that the images of an American spacecraft have recognized that Beagle 2 had actually landed, but that their solar panels were not all armed.

So far, only the United States managed to land on the Red Planet with equipment that made it possible to communicate with Earth.

After nearly seven months of travel, Schiaparelli module touches the Martian soil to achieve scientific and technological tests. Signal loss, however, prevents to know the state of the probe after landing.

After seven months of travel through space and a technically complicated maneuver in the decisive phase of the space journey, the probe Schiaparelli arrived on Wednesday (19/10) to Mars. Scientists, however, are still waiting to find out what state it is.

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Scientists at ESA have reported that the Mars Lander went missing and haven’t made and communications with the spacecraft till now. It is uncertain whether the European Spacecraft had crashed into the surface of mars.

During the six-minute descent to the surface, the probe used a parachute and thrusters to slow speed – nearly 21,000 kilometers per hour. The signal, however, was lost just before the vehicle touches the ground, which prevents whether the landing was soft enough, says The Guardian

“We do not have conditions to determine the dynamic condition in which the probe touched the ground,” said Andre Accomazo, head of planetary missions of the European Space Agency (ESA).”More data are needed to know if she survived structurally or not.”

The mission of the Schiaparelli is to get images and conduct scientific measurements on the surface, but its main purpose is to test the technology for a future landing of a European robot.

The Schiaparelli flight is the first stage of ExoMars, an ambitious space program conducted jointly by ESA and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), which aims to examine the existence of traces and forms of bacterial life on the Red Planet.

While Schiaparelli probe tames Mars, its mothership, the probe Gas Orbiter Trace (TGO), enter the orbit of Mars and, from 2018, will begin to analyze methane and other atmospheric gasses.

Seizure

It was just the most complicated moment, the landing of the probe Schiaparelli on Mars, which caused concern in the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, earlier this week.

The ESA said it received the signal module in Pune, India.The information indicates that Schiaparelli entered the atmosphere of Mars, but had difficulty in the most complex moments of the trip, when there may be dust storms, just before landing.

The flight director ESA’s Paolo Ferri, said that at the first sign we could see the beginning of the landing, the opening of the parachute and the separation of the front shield module. Then the signal was lost and did not know if the equipment landed on Mars.

satellite Mars Express data, which also orbits Mars and recorded the result of the fall, indicate that the module followed the steps scheduled to come off the parachute and thermal protection. From this point, scientists do not know what happened

High cost

If confirmed the landing, the probe 600 kg – named after the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) – will test for a few days technologies aimed at preparing the subsequent landing of a rover’s six wheels on the surface of Mars. This robot is part of the second mission of the ExoMars program, whose launch is planned for 2020.

The Schiaparelli is equipped with a small weather station to measure temperature, pressure and wind speed, and electric fields on the surface of Mars. Your battery is not rechargeable, so your mission will be closed no later than ten days.

Meanwhile, TGO will enter a circular orbit around the planet. Due to the complex braking maneuvers, this process takes a whole year. Therefore, its mission to analyze the gasses in the Martian atmosphere can be started only in 2018.

With very expensive missions ExoMars ExoMars 2016 and 2020, Russia and Europe want to track down traces of life in the neighboring planet. Scientists hope especially find traces of gasses such as methane, as possible sources of these gasses could be biological organisms – but also volcanic.

Originally, the ESA planned to carry out the mission together with the US, but the Americans have left the project in 2011 for financial reasons. Then the Europeans sought the partnership of Roscosmos.Both see the project as proof that cooperation between East and West in politically complicated times is possible.

For the European Space Agency, the costs of both missions were estimated at 1.5 billion euros. The value, however, should increase – also as a result of the delay in two years the final mission, scheduled for 2020.

The ExoMars is the second attempt of Europe to land on Martian soil. Gives 13 years, the European Mars Express spacecraft launched minissonda Beagle 2, which never gave a sign of life. Only in 2015 is that the images of an American spacecraft have recognized that Beagle 2 had actually landed, but that their solar panels were not all armed.

So far, only the United States had managed to land on the Red Planet with equipment that made it possible to communicate with Earth.