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Schiaparelli Mars Lander’s Fate Still Unknown As European Space Agency Wait For Contact

Sadly even the success of ExoMars’ orbit was not guaranteed after the team reported that just after it had dispatched Schiaparelli for Mars the orbiter had stopped sending updates.

Thankfully this pause in communications only lasted an hour, allowing the team to regain control of the spacecraft and successfully place it in orbit using a controlled burn.

Schiaparelli Lander

Schiaparelli is more than just a scientific robot, it’s more a testbed for the technologies that the ESA will use in 2020 when it launches its first major rover down onto the surface of the Red Planet.

The idea is that it will successfully demonstrate the landing procedure and technologies needed to survive what is an extremely task.

Many landers have failed to survive the landing process, due to the high speed at which they enter there’s a high risk of the parachutes malfunctioning, or the heat shield failing.