Report on Mars Probe Crash: Wild Rotation Crushed Schiaparelli Upon Landing

By Menahem, Zen | May 25, 2017 05:15 PM EDT

The report on Schiaparelli crash landing on Mars indicated the probe experienced wild rotation during descending. The report is commissioned by the European Space Agency.

The space probe Schiaparelli was a part of ExoMars 2016 project by the European Space Agency (ESA). However, the project was a failure as the space probe Schiaparelli crash landing during descended into Mars. The ESA commissioned the independent team to investigate the Schiaparelli crash landing.

According to the ESA report, the main case of Schiaparelli crash landing is the confusion the navigation system of the space probe upon descending to Mars. As it entered the atmosphere of the red planet at the speed of 21,000 km/h (13,000 mph), the system decelerated using the brake and working fine.

When Schiaparelli approached the ground, it will decelerate further using the thruster and parachute. However, a sudden wild spin that lasts for only one second had overloaded the system. As a result, the system in space probe thinks it was already close the ground and release the parachute earlier, causing the Schiaparelli crash landing at the speed of 540 km/h (336 mph).

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Engineers at the ESA never expected such event of Schiaparelli crash landing to appear, therefore there was no protocol to overcome such landing problem. Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration at the ESA, David Parker said the report will help engineers and scientists to better prepare for the next robotic mission to Mars in 2020, as reported by ABC News.

The ExoMars 2016 mission is the first part of a joint astrobiology project between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The mission target is to search for evidence of life on Mars. Before the Schiaparelli crash landing, it would originally designate to be the stationery landing module.

Unfortunately, the first part of ExoMars mission was a failure with failed landing of its landing module. Watch the report of the Schiaparelli crash landing from Euronews below:

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