(Mirror Daily, United States) A European lander is heading towards Mars, and it is due to reach the planet later this week. The probe is called Schiaparelli, and separated from its mothership this weekend, on October 16. It is most likely that both spacecraft will reach the Red Planet within two days from now on.
The European lander Schiaparelli and its mothership, called Trace Gas Orbiter, were launched by the European Space Agency. They departed from Earth almost seven months ago, traveling about three hundred ten million miles. While Schiaparelli’s aim is to land on Mars, the larger spaceship will be orbiting the planet, both of them in search of information.
The mission of Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli is controlled by both the European Space Agency and Russian specialists at Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, as part of the ExoMars project. Their aim is to conduct a large research on alien forms of life on Mars. Both mothership and lander will be gathering evidence which should support this theory.
The Schiaparelli probe will start collecting data as soon as it reaches the Red Planet. Specialists expect that this will happen Wednesday, on October 19. It will be measuring the surface of Mars, the soil, as well as search and analyze water samples. Mothership Trace Gas Orbiter will be orbiting the planet, analyzing the atmosphere and the gas composition.
Apart from these goals, European and Russian researchers set themselves yet another one. The results of the mission of Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli will help them improve the design of their rover. The probe will also be sent to Mars for additional research.
High officials from ExoMars announced the successful separation of the Schiaparelli probe from its mothership on Sunday. This is an important step for the European Space Agency, as they had previous attempts at sending spacecraft to Mars and failed.
The present European lander will also be gathering information on Mars during its descending towards the planet. It will be investigating the planet’s surface for several days. It weighs one hundred seventy-seven kilograms and is equipped with sensors meant to register humidity, wind speed, electric fields, and temperature, among others.
The European Space Agency scheduled its next mission to Mars for the 2020s. For the time being, the specialists are concerned with the Schiaparelli lander and its mothership. They hope that they will receive information soon.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia
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