Science

After Succesful Mars Landing, European Schiaparelli Goes AWOL

By Anna Bringas , Oct 20, 2016 04:56 AM EDT

Less than a minute before Schiaparelli lands on mars, signals began to dissipate leaving the European Space Agency (ESA) clueless about the spacecraft's condition.

Two Space Rovers Sent to Locate Schiaparelli

After its descent through the martian atmosphere, scientists from Germany had problems acquiring signals from the 1,272-pound probe signifying if it safely landed on the surface. Two Satellites positioned in Mars attempted to catch the probe's status, but to no avail.  

One American satellite called out to the European Schiaparelli to get it to respond, but it showed no signs.

There are growing fears that Schiaparelli may have crashed. However, ESA quickly dismissed the issue saying that its engineers are running through "fault trees" seeking to find out why communications was lost and what they can do to retrieve the situation.

An update is expected to be made Thursday after analyzing data sent to track the Schiaparelli spacecraft in orbit around mars.

ESA Explains 'European Schiaparelli' 

According to CNN, the probe is equipped with a heat shield to protect it from intense heat as it plunges towards the Mar's surface at more than 1,000 mph. A parachute deploys at 150 mph and then for about 30 seconds, nine thrusters activate to ease it upon landing. A crumple zone similar to those in cars was designed to help moderate the landing.

Even if it successfully landed, Europe's Schiaparelli is allowed to operate for three to ten days before its batteries run out.

Humans to Live On Mars In 2030

Aside from ESA's ExoMars Mission, NASA has already revealed its plans to get humans living on mars in the next few decades.

The space agency has set out a three-part plan which opens doors to humans living on mars on 2030. U.S. President Barrack Obama backed this up through his statement in CNN.

Two NASA rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity has been reporting from mars for more than 12 years. Now private companies are also into launching missions in the red planet including, Elon Musk's SpaceX and Mars One.

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