MOSCOW, 21 Feb – RIA Novosti. Orbiter MRO has received photos of the remains of pilot landing platform “Schiaparelli” on the surface of Mars, exactly at the point where he was about to land, according to Russian Spaceweb.
“The probe MRO received pictures of the missing landing platform “Schiaparelli” – she fell on Mars exactly in the centre of the ellipse, where it was supposed to be a landing”, — said Anatoly Zak, popularizer of the cosmos and the owner of the portal Russian Spaceweb.
According to Zak, in addition to the accident, ESA managed to find and possible cause of the accident, she most likely was a glitch in the operating system “Schiaparelli”, which led to the fact that the system gave a wrong command to stop motors of the module that caused the catastrophe and its fall on the surface of Mars. The photo of the crash site will be published tonight on the NASA website.
On Wednesday, a joint Russian-European mission “Eczemas-TGO” arrived to the red planet and tried to solve two critical tasks – the output TGO of the probe into a stable orbit Mars and landing demonstration lander “Schiaparelli” on the plateau of Meridian at the equator of the red planet.
Data sent from @ESA_EDM & recorded by @ESA_TGO are providing gr8 info on the lander’s descent test #ExoMars https://t.co/wineEVCGiZ pic.twitter.com/ihLl39Jo18
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) October 21, 2016
The first part of the mission ended successfully – probe TGO entered the calculated orbit and transmitted to Earth data collected during observations during the process of planting “Schiaparelli”. What happened with the very lender, is not yet known – he successfully made a braking procedure, dropped the heat shield, the parachutes opened, then communication with him ceased.
On current data ESA module ceased to give signs of life for 50 seconds prior to estimated landing time, approximately the moment when the parachute was separated from the “Schiaparelli” and the module was supposed to include brake motors. They, as reported by Andrea Accomazzo, one of the leaders of the mission worked for only 3-4 seconds before the loss of communication, indicating the likely presence of problems with their work.
The loss of connection with the “Schiaparelli” and the lack of clear information on the module status in data collected by the probe “Mars-Express” and TGO, forced ESA to seek the assistance of NASA, whose probe MRO has the technical ability to try to “Wake” the lander and to communicate with it if it had actually landed.