Schiaparelli Mars Lander probably crashed due to sensor failure, says ESA

Announcing the preliminary finding in a report released November 23, ESA said a sensor failure led to malfunction and the crash of the Mars lander.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2016, 12:58 PM IST
Schiaparelli Mars Lander probably crashed due to sensor failure, says ESA
ExoMars Schiaparelli- credit: ESA/ATG medialab

New Delhi: The European Space Agency (ESA) said that is making good progress in investigating the ExoMars Schiaparelli that crashed last month on the Red Planet.

Announcing the preliminary finding in a report released November 23, ESA said a sensor failure led to malfunction and the crash of the Mars lander.

Investigation into the crash revealed that a sensor failure caused the craft to cast away its parachute and turn off braking thrusters more than two miles (3.7 km) above the surface of the planet, leading to destruction of the lander.

"This is still a very preliminary conclusion of our technical investigations," says David Parker, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration.

He said the full picture will be provided in early 2017 by the future report of an external independent inquiry board, which is now being set up, as requested by ESA's Director General, under the chairmanship of ESA's Inspector General.

"But we will have learned much from Schiaparelli that will directly contribute to the second ExoMars mission being developed with our international partners for launch in 2020."

Meanwhile, scientific data from the instruments aboard Schiaparelli during the entry, plus tracking data from the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, Mars Express and India's Giant Metre Wave Radio Telescope India have been passed to the science teams. These data will contribute to understanding of the Red Planet and especially its atmosphere.