Science

After Successful Mars Landing, Europe’s Mars Lander Dead?

Written by Maria Betina

After Successful Mars Landing, Europe’s Mars Lander is possibly another robotic explorer claimed by the red planet as the Schiaparelli Mars lander is likely dead after a malfunction during the parachute flight and the failure of the hover-rockets ignition.

The hard working engineers from the European Space Agency are still figuring out what went wrong with the landing of the Schiaparelli Mars lander. It is a fact that the robotic explorer was able to successfully detach from the mother ship and the Trace Glass Orbiter, however, once it successfully entered the red planet’s atmosphere on Wednesday, the Schiaparelli Mars lander came crashing toward the ground while it’s radar-tracking still active. The Schiaparelli Mars lander was deployed with a parachute and its heat shield should have protected the lander, however, it is unknown what happened after the crash landing.

Andrea Accomazzo, the head of solar and planetary operations, released a statement during a news conference on Thursday, it read:

“From this point on, the lander has definitely not behaved exactly as we had expected. Now it is a matter to analyze why, when we put this hardware in the Martian environment, the spacecraft didn’t behave exactly as we had expected.”

There is a strong possibility that the Schiaparelli Mars lander was destroyed during impact, it could be that the explorer was falling too fast and that the rockets didn’t fire long enough to allow a safe landing.

“We are not in a position yet, but we will be, to determine the dynamic condition under which the lander touched the ground. Then we know whether it could have survived structurally or not. We are not in a position to say that now, because we don’t have any data. We are still processing the data from the descent. From the surface, we have no data at all.”

Whether the Schiaparelli Mars lander survived or not, the mission was not a total bust, the instruments on board the Schiaparelli Mars lander was able to record atmospheric data while in the Martian atmosphere, and the data is soon to be analyzed by scientists.

 

About the author

Maria Betina

Maria has been a writer since 2010 and graduated from De La Salle University in 2014. She enjoys researching and writing about games, tech and entertainment.

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