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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.

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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.

Planetary Science

Two unseen moons may circle Uranus

By Christopher Crockett 7:00am, October 25, 2016
Two more moons might be lurking around Uranus, causing material in the planet’s rings to clump up, Voyager 2 data suggest.

Nose cells fix knee cartilage in human trial

By Helen Thompson 9:00am, October 24, 2016
A small clinical trial suggests that using nose cells to patch knee cartilage could be a viable treatment for injuries.
Planetary Science

Mars lander silent as mission scientists work out what went wrong

By Christopher Crockett 10:01am, October 20, 2016
Schiaparelli lander is still silent on the surface of Mars while mission scientists try to understand what happened during the probe’s descent.
Planetary Science

Juno spacecraft goes into ‘safe mode,’ continues to orbit Jupiter

By Christopher Crockett 6:57pm, October 19, 2016
The Juno spacecraft has gone into safe mode while in orbit around Jupiter. Mission scientists are also closely monitoring a fuel valve issue on the probe.
Planetary Science

Mission scientists await signal from Mars lander

By Christopher Crockett 5:16pm, October 19, 2016
The ExoMars mission’s Schiaparelli lander went silent before its scheduled landing on the Red Planet.
Planetary Science

ExoMars mission set to arrive at Red Planet on October 19

By Christopher Crockett 5:30pm, October 18, 2016
The European ExoMars mission is about to arrive at the Red Planet, dropping a lander on the surface and putting a spacecraft into orbit.
Particle Physics

KATRIN experiment readies for quest to find neutrino’s mass

By Emily Conover 1:03pm, October 18, 2016
The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino experiment, or KATRIN, has begun taking test data in its effort to measure the mass of neutrinos.

Berries may give yellow woodpeckers a red dye job

By Helen Thompson 3:34pm, October 17, 2016
A diet of invasive honeysuckle berries may be behind stray red feathers in woodpeckers called yellow-shafted flickers.
Computing,, Networks

AI system learns like a human, stores info like a computer

By Laurel Hamers 7:00am, October 14, 2016
A new artificial neural network hooked up to extra memory can learn to solve complex problems.
Animals,, Genetics

Hot and spicy pain signals get blocked in naked mole-rats

By Laura Sanders 5:23pm, October 12, 2016
Naked mole-rats have a protein that interrupts pain signal.
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