This Wednesday, the European Space Agency attempted to land a probe on Mars, and things probably went very bad. While the ExoMars mission team continues to investigate why its Schiaparelli has remained silent since its attempted landing earlier this week, NASA has now obtained photographic evidence of what appears to be a crash-landing.
According to a statement issued by ESA today, the bright spot in the bottom right corner of the boxed area is interpreted to be Schiaparelli’s parachute and the darker splotch less than 2 kilometers above it is probably an impact site “following a much longer free fall than planned, after the thrusters were switched off prematurely.”
The good news is that The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is now in stable orbit around Mars and will begin its mission to – among other things – look for methane. An important gas often correlated with the presence of life on Earth.
Hit the links below for more information from NASA and ESA.