Wednesday, October 19, 2016
European Space Agency's Schiaparelli lands on Mars!
Earlier today, the European Space Agency received confirmation from its Mars lander Schiaparelli that it had successfully landed on the Red Planet, becoming the third Earth agency to clutter up the Martian landscape.
It landed in the Merdiani Planum, near NASA's Opportunity. This is a multi-national cooperative project in which the ESA received support from the Russians. NASA was helping out for a while but had to drop out because of (gasp) budget cuts.
It will be interesting to see what data we receive from Schiaparelli. It will drill at least 2m into the Martian soil to look for signs of life, past and present.