Nov 062016

European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed the first color image of the spot where its Schiaparelli EDM lander impacted Mars on 19 October during a landing attempt at an estimated speed of over 300 km per hour.

Schiaparelli colour photo crash site

Schiaparelli crash site in color (photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

Telemetry signals from Schiaparelli, monitored in real time by the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India, were lost about one minute from the surface during the final landing stages.
On 21 October 2016, NASA’s spacefraft MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) made use of its HiRISE instrument (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) to picture the crash site and provide ESA with the first color photograph after the loss of the Schiapareli module.

The photo shows some bright points in the vicinity of the impact area which could indicate the presence of fragments scattered following the crash. Furthermore, the image shows that module’s parachute seems to have changed its position due to Martian winds.

European Space Agency estimates that investigation into what happened on Mars will be completed in late November. The other component of the ExoMars mission, “Trace Gas Orbiter” (TGO), will continue to operate until at least 2022. Despite this obstacle, ESA plans to launch another mission to Mars in 2020 in cooperation with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.



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