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Schiaparelli Mission Expected to Land on Mars


The European Space Agency’s probe Schiaparelli was supposed to land on Mars on October 19.

The ExoMars mission was hoping to land the module at 3:48PM BST, but no signal from it has been received so far.

The Schiaparelli lander is named after the 19th century Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. He was born on March, 14, 1835, 181 years to the very day before the launch of the mission that bears his name.

A radio transmission that should have allowed scientists to follow the probe to the surface was not received.

Image source ESA

Image source ESA

Controllers hope that satellites in orbit at Mars will have detected it and will shortly be able to confirm that the probe got down safely.

Landing on Mars is always a daunting prospect.

It is a high-speed approach that has to be got just right or the spacecraft runs the risk of crashing into the ground.

Schiaparelli had a heatshield, a parachute and rocket thrusters to try to get itself to the surface intact.

The ESA will not be rushed to judgement on whether this mission has been a success or a failure.

It will wait on the reports of the satellites. Both European and American orbiters were tasked with tracking the event.

If Schiaparelli is later confirmed as down and safe, it will spend the next few days making measurements of the Martian environment and current weather conditions – at least until its batteries run out.

James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.