[FPSPACE] Fw: NASA/JPL/ESA: Further Clues to Fate of Mars Lander, Seen from Orbit
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Thu Oct 27 13:18:43 EDT 2016
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From: AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg <rick.fienberg at aas.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2016 1:05 PM
To: Rick Fienberg
Subject: NASA/JPL/ESA: Further Clues to Fate of Mars Lander, Seen from Orbit
THE FOLLOWING ITEM WAS ISSUED JOINTLY BY THE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY IN PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY IN NOORDWIJK, THE NETHERLANDS, AND NASA HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, DC, AND IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. FORWARDING DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY.
27 October 2016
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Text & Images:
FURTHER CLUES TO FATE OF MARS LANDER, SEEN FROM ORBIT
The most powerful telescope orbiting Mars is providing new details of the scene near the Martian equator where Europe's Schiaparelli test lander hit the surface last week.
An Oct. 25 observation using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows three impact locations within about 0.9 mile (1.5 kilometers) of each other. An annotated view is available online at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA21131
The scene shown by HiRISE includes three locations where hardware reached the ground. A dark, roughly circular feature is interpreted as where the lander itself struck. A pattern of rays extending from the circle suggests that a shallow crater was excavated by the impact, as expected given the premature engine shutdown. About 0.8 mile (1.4 kilometers) eastward, an object with several bright spots surrounded by darkened ground is likely the heat shield. About 0.8 mile (1.4 kilometers) south of the lander impact site, two features side-by-side are interpreted as the spacecraft's parachute and the back shell to which the parachute was attached. Additional images to be taken from different angles are planned and will aid interpretation of these early results.
The test lander is part of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 mission, which placed the Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit around Mars on Oct. 19. The orbiter will investigate the atmosphere and surface of Mars and provide relay communications capability for landers and rovers on Mars.
Data transmitted by Schiaparelli during its descent through Mars' atmosphere is enabling analysis of why the lander's thrusters switched off prematurely. The new HiRISE imaging provides additional information, with more detail than visible in an earlier view with the Context Camera (CTX) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
With HiRISE, CTX and four other instruments, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been investigating Mars since 2006.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov<mailto:guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov>
European Space Agency, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
+31 61 594 3 954
markus.bauer at esa.int<mailto:markus.bauer at esa.int>
Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
+1 202-358-1726 / +1 202-358-1077
dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov<mailto:dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov> / laura.l.cantillo at nasa.gov<mailto:laura.l.cantillo at nasa.gov>
Additional images and information from ESA:
The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project (http://mars.nasa.gov/mro) for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter and collaborates with JPL to operate it.
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