Europe sets foot on Mars, landing rattles quite

Gepubliceerd op 20 oktober 2016 om 16:21

DARMSTADT - While Europe has managed to put down the Schiaparelli Mars Lander on the surface of the red planet, it is still far from certain whether the probe has survived the landing. It was Wednesday in the final seconds wrong.

Adventure probe has probably not survive


During a press conference which gave the European space company ESA Thursday morning, the bad news was not expressed in so many words. ESA expressed just very pleased, while it is almost certain that the Schiaparelli did not survive unscathed landing.

The lander was sent to earth a sign of arrival, but could not. The operation of the heat shield was exemplary, but which is not of the braking parachute. The Schiaparelli signal was lost about 50 seconds before the scheduled landing. A big disappointment: ESA had hoped Thursday morning to show the first images of Mars.

The Schiaparelli, together with the satellite Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) flew to Mars. That satellite was indeed Wednesday without any problem in orbit around Mars. The probe must look for gases in the atmosphere.Scientists are particularly interested in methane, a gas that might indicate minor forms of life on Mars. ESA boss Jan Wörner said that success is "amazing."

When landing apparent failed - it will become clear after several days following an analysis of the data - means a major setback for the European space. The first attempt of the Beagle 2 in December 2003, failed already. The scout did after arriving never to hear anything from him. He was found only eleven years later.When it appeared that the solar panels were not noticing. Therefore, the lander and Earth antenna remained hidden and could not communicate with each other.

The Telegraph Editors: Photo: AP

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