The reason for the failure of the apparatus of the Russian-European mission to explore Mars project, ExoMars Schiaparelli could be a computer glitch. This writes the journal Nature with reference to working with the ExoMars Andrea Accomazzo.
The most likely cause of the fall of the device could be software failure, which was to collect data received from various sensors. This could cause the unit considered that it is closer to the planet than it was actually said Accomazzo.
4 minutes 41 seconds of the landing the camera started to fall. So, according to working in the program scientist Jorge Vago, heat shield and parachute, was ejected early. In this regard, the engines that were within 30 seconds to slow down the module before landing, after three seconds of operation was off because the computer apparatus decided that he was almost on the ground. In addition, the computer even included instruments for measuring the temperature of Mars and the electric field, although the data they have collected.
The unit probably fell from a height of two to four kilometres at speeds up to 300 km/h.
Scientists try to recreate the error using a virtual landing system that will simulate the landing apparatus. So they understand and correct the problem before you begin to modify the apparatus of the ExoMars mission 2020
Earlier, on October 19, Schiaparelli crashed while landing on the planet’s surface. Initially, the researchers lost contact with the module, and then NASA got the images, which showed that Schiaparelli lander crashed on the surface of Mars landing.
Schiaparelli together with the orbital module of the Trace Gas Orbiter was launched from Baikonur on March 14. Module TGО was to explore the atmosphere of Mars and the Schiaparelli apparatus — to study the surface and rocks of the planet.
October 16, occurred the separation of TGO from the landing apparatus, the module started to output the calculated orbit, and the spacecraft flew towards the surface of Mars.