Brahmand NewsPrevious Article
Brahmand NewsNext Article
Headlines
  • Russia planning development of VTOL jet :-The Russian Defence Ministry is currently in talks with aircraft manufacturers to discuss the development of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for a future aircraft carrier, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov has said....
  • Russia's UEC to repair engines of Malaysian Su-30 fighters:-The United Engine Corporation (UEC) has signed agreements at the MAKS 2017 international airshow to overhaul the AL-31FP turbojet engines mounted on Malaysian Air Force's Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighters....
  • Indian Army to get medium-range surface to air missile:-The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed a pact with the Army for developing a medium-range surface to air missile (MRSAM) which will be capable of shooting down ballistic missiles and aircraft....
  • 'Kamov deliveries to start in 2 years after contract signing':-The delivery of Kamov military helicopters to India will begin within two years of the signing of the contract, according to a top Russian official who indicated that the number of choppers to be supplied could be increased to more than 200 in the future....

European craft crashed on Mars, possibly exploded: ESA

Article
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter view of the Schiaparelli landing site. NASA/ESA photo

PARIS (AFP): A tiny lander despatched to Mars on a trial run had crashed and possibly exploded on the Red Planet, mission control said on Oct. 21, confirming Europe's second failed attempt to reach the alien surface.

The paddling pool-sized Schiaparelli craft "crashed on the surface of Mars", Thierry Blancquaert told AFP from European Space Agency (ESA) mission control in Darmstadt, Germany – ending two days of uncertainty about the lander's fate.

A NASA photograph of the intended landing site revealed the 600-kilogramme craft, offline for two days, had "reached the Martian surface a lot faster than intended," he said.

The image contained a white spot, thought to be the doomed lander's parachute spread out on the alien surface, some 170 million kilometres from Earth.

About two kilometres from the white spot is a larger, black patch with fuzzy outlines, some 15 by 40 metres – interpreted as Schiaparelli's crash site.

The black spot is "larger than it would have been if Schiaparelli was in one piece", flight director Michel Denis told AFP. "It is smashed."

The ESA said the lander's speed-breaking retro-rocket boosters appeared to have switched off prematurely.

"Estimates are that Schiaparelli dropped from a height of between two and four kilometres, therefore impacting at a considerable speed, greater than 300 kilometres per hour," it said in a statement.

"It is also possible that the lander exploded on impact as its thruster propellant tanks were likely still full."

Engineers and scientists are combing through the data Schiaparelli sent home before its untimely demise, to piece together exactly what happened.

Schiaparelli was on a test-run for a future rover meant to seek out evidence of life, past or present, on the Red Planet.

But it fell silent seconds before scheduled touchdown, while its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) entered Mars' orbit as planned.

The pair comprised phase one of a project dubbed ExoMars through which Europe and Russia seek to join the United States in operating a successful rover on Mars.

Europe's first attempt, in 2003, also ended in disappointment when the British-built Beagle 2 robot lab disappeared without trace after separating from its mothership, Mars Express, in 2003.

Tags:

ESA  Mars  Lander  Crash  ExoMars  NASA  Europe  Russia  
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print Article

Other Related News

Pentagon asked to work with India in cyber and space operating

Expressing concern over the growing gap between the overarching goals of the Indo-US defence ties, a powerful Senate Committee has asked the Pentagon to work with India in cyber and space operating domain.

Upcoming Defence Exhibitions

BRAHMOS Missile Systems

Headlines

Brahmand World Defence Update 2017

Image Gallery