22 oct. 2016

New Horizons has a New Target, The Solar System's Newest Member, and Another Crashed ESA Mars Probe: Space News for October, 2016

The European Space Agency just can't seem to catch a break: the organization hasn't been able to successfully land a space probe on Mars, with the latest setback marked by the identification of the crash site of ExoMars' Schiaparelli lander. The ESA's previous attempt at putting a probe on mars was the ill-fated Mars Express Beagle 2 lander, in 2003.

The probe entered Mars' atmosphere on October 19, but contact was lost seconds after its descent parachute was jettisoned. An investigation into the probe's telemetry shows that the parachute was released too early, and the descent thrusters did not fire long enough, resulting in the probe crashing into the Martian landscape.

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