Scientist called probable cause of failure of the mission “ExoMars-2016”

MOSCOW, 25 Jul — RIA Novosti. Computer glitch probably caused the failure of the mission Schiaparelli landing module (“list”) on Mars in the framework of the Russian-European project “ExoMars-2016”, said on Tuesday the scientific journal Nature, citing a scientist Jorge Vago, who works in the team of the mission.

The European space Agency (ESA) last week stated that the “Schiaparelli” was wrecked. While ESA has published pictures, which, presumably, traces of the landing apparatus.

According to Vago, the data indicate that the program worked correctly during the six-minute landing on the fifth minute “something went wrong” — the device threw a protective shield and released the parachutes prematurely.

The thrusters were activated for 30 seconds and off for a few meters before landing. However, they only worked for three seconds, followed by the team turning them off because the computer thought that the device is already landed, said Vago.

Scientists believe that the unit probably began to fall, standing at a height of 2-4 kilometers from the surface of Mars and then crashed at speeds over 300 kilometers per hour.

In turn, head of solar and planetary research, ESA Andrea Accomazzo expressed the view that a failure has occurred in the computer system or because of problems in measuring data from different sensors, which could inform the camera that it is lower than it was in reality.

Team “ExoMars” will try to analyze what happened a contingency to account for and cope with similar problems in the next planned mission to the red planet “ExoMars-2020,” said Mr Vago.

Expected in 2020, ESA and the state Corporation “Roscosmos” will send another landing module the Rover to Mars.