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NASA provides further details of the ESA's lander crash

The ESA lost contact with its Schiaparelli lander shortly before it was supposed to land on Mars on October 19th

Lana Jelic | Oct 28, 2016 at 11:25 am CDT (1 min, 34 secs reading time)

NASA has provided new details of the scene near the Martian equator where Europe's Schiaparelli test lander hit the surface last week.

NASA provides further details of the ESA's lander crash 01 | TweakTown.com

The new images show three impact locations within about 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from each other.

A dark, roughly circular feature is interpreted as where the lander itself struck. A pattern of rays extending from the circle suggests that a shallow crater was excavated by the impact, as expected given the premature engine shutdown. About 1.4 kilometers (0.8 miles) eastward, an object with several bright spots surrounded by darkened ground is likely the heat shield. About 0.9 kilometers (0.6 miles) south of the lander impact site, two features side-by-side are interpreted as the spacecraft's parachute and the back shell to which the parachute was attached. Additional images to be taken from different angles are planned and will aid interpretation of these early results.

NASA provides further details of the ESA's lander crash 02 | TweakTown.com

The ESA lost contact with its Schiaparelli lander shortly before it was supposed to land on Mars on October 19th. Last week, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are related to Europe's Schiaparelli test lander.

The test lander is part of ESA's ExoMars 2016 mission, which placed the Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit around Mars on October 19. The orbiter will investigate Mars' atmosphere and provide relay communications capabilities for landers and rovers on the surface.

The next step of this two-part project is scheduled for 2020 when a surface rover will be placed on the surface of Mars.

Last updated: Sep 1, 2017 at 06:05 am CDT

Lana Jelic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lana Jelic

Lana has a passion for technology and science. She spends her time looking for the latest and most interesting technology and science news. Her passion is in gadgets, wearables, and other cool and interesting applications of technology or science. She also spends her free time gaming in MMOs like World of Warcraft. She has prior experience covering technology for publications and breaking news. If she’s not doing either, you might just find her exploring the metaverse in VR. Lana wants to expand TweakTown’s coverage of mobile, wearables and gadgets while also bringing her experience with science and general tech to TweakTown. Her area of coverage is around science, technology, smartphones, wearables, and general neat gadgets. She hopes to one day be able to drive around in her self-driving car while she schedules an appointment for a SpaceX trip to the moon on her smartwatch.

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