Mars lander debris spotted | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.



Science Ticker

A roundup of research
and breaking news

Science News Staff
Science Ticker

Mars lander debris spotted

Mars lander impact site

CRASH LANDING  The impact site of the Schiaparelli Mars lander, along with its parachute, rear heatshield and front heat shield, appear in new images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Sponsor Message

The Schiaparelli Mars lander, missing in action since its October 19 descent, dinged the surface of the Red Planet. A black spot framed by dark rays of debris mark the lander’s final resting place, the European Space Agency reports online October 27. Its parachute, still attached to the rear heat shield, lies about 1.4 kilometers to the south, new images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show. The front heat shield, ejected about four minutes into the descent, sits roughly 1.4 kilometers to the east of the impact site.

Radio contact with Schiaparelli was lost about 50 seconds before its planned landing. Early analysis of data from the lander indicate that the parachute was jettisoned prematurely and that the landing rockets shut off just a few seconds after igniting. Engineers with ESA’s ExoMars mission are still analyzing that data to understand what went wrong.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content