ESA’s Schiaparelli probe all set to land on Mars
The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander will join a fleet of active and aging spacecrafts on the Red Planet.
NASA’s Mars probe Opportunity has already spent more than 4525 days on the red Planet. It is still active and in decent health. However, some of its parts have stopped working. For instance, its right front steering motor is not working and its shoulder can not rotate side to side.
On the planet’s other side, Curiosity has recently embarked on a new extended mission. It has already completed more than 1492 Martian days of operations. The probe is in good health, with all essential instruments still functioning.
However, there has been a troublesome series of short-circuits in the probe’s drill. In addition, its neutron sensor is past its warranted lifetime.
Some probes sent by the United States and other countries like India are orbiting Mars as these probes have been designed to collect data and study Mars from above.
Now, the number of space probes studying Mars is all set to increase as the ESA’s Schiaparelli will join the fleet soon.
The probe, which has been named after Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, detached from its mothership on Oct. 16, 2016. Now, both are barreling toward Mars. The Schiaparelli probe is scheduled to make a controlled landing on Wednesday this week, Oct. 19, 2016.