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JB80

ExoMars landing today!

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Today is the day when ESAs ExoMars mission will attempt to land on the red planet and you can watch it live on Livestream via the missions website here or on facebook....

http://livestream.com/esa/marsarrival

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Watch_ExoMars_arrival_and_landing

Quote

19 October – landing and arriving at Mars
Live coverage of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrival and Schiaparelli landing on Mars will begin with our Facebook Live Social TV programme (also streamed on Livestream.com) 13:00–15:15 GMT / 15:00–17:15 CEST on 19 October.

The ESA TV programme will be broadcast on this page in two parts on 19 October:

15:44–16:59 GMT / 17:44–18:59 CEST
18:25–20:03 GMT / 20:25–22:03 CEST

Also an article via the bbc

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37700042

 

Quote

The European Space Agency (Esa) is getting ready to put a probe on Mars.

Its Schiaparelli robot will attempt the risky descent to the surface in the coming hours, after a 500 million km journey from Earth.

The touchdown is regarded as a dress rehearsal for a much more important venture in four years' time when Esa will bid to place a very expensive rover on the planet.

This six-wheeled vehicle will drill beneath the surface to search for life.

Getting the smaller Schiaparelli robot down ought to be the simpler affair. But as the scientific record shows, Mars is not the most welcoming of places, even for the most sophisticated of hardware.

 

More than half of the missions despatched to Earth's near neighbour have failed. Many of these were lost on the way, missed their target, or crashed on arrival.

 

Unfortunately for me I will probably be out on the road at the time but hopefully this serves as a heads up for others.

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Looking forward to this - these kind of things are always exciting to witness.  I recall getting up early to watch the landing of the Curiosity rover - I'm still amazed at their sky crane contraption.

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My thoughts go to the late Colin Pillinger,  the Architect of Beagle 2,  the first attempt at a Euro landing. History showed evidence that B2 did  succeed in landing in the Red Planet,  but unfortunately,  no communication was established with the lander. 

I do hope in fond memory of Colin, that this ESA's  probe succeeds. 

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Surprised how little buzz about this ... looks like the curse of Mars may have struck again and zapped the lander.

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Flight Director Michel Denis just confirmed that they have an orbiter doing what it should - orbiting. A nominal orbit too, just a few % off so they're happy.

Ref Schiaparelli, they're looking at the data and will have conclusions in the morning they believe.

1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

looks like the curse of Mars may have struck again and zapped the lander.

Looks like you're right Neil, but bear in mind it's a test so the success is having data that will reveal what exactly did the zapping - that makes it a success in one respect.

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Has it realy failed? might seem harsh but there should be no excuses for this, time to get proper engineers involved me thinks.

Alan 

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They had comms 'glitch' on initial separation ... perhaps this was a recurring issue rather than a landing failure?

Hopefully the orbiter diagnostic logs will shed some light.

AndyG

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4 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

Has it realy failed? might seem harsh but there should be no excuses for this, time to get proper engineers involved me thinks.

Alan 

Some of the people involved might be members here.

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Just now, John said:

Some of the people involved might be members here.

I would imagine the engineers are very able. Just shows that, despite what some think, space travel is damn hard.

AndyG

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7 minutes ago, John said:

Some of the people involved might be members here.

I have been involved with aerospace for many years and one thing is certain, you can have good scientists and good engineers but not both in the same body.

Alan

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9 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

I have been involved with aerospace for many years and one thing is certain, you can have good scientists and good engineers but not both in the same body.

Alan

Well I know for sure that I could not achieve what they have so I'm certainly not going to be dismissive of any of them.

 

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I worry about the knock on effect with funding when things don't go to plan.

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No point fingering blame until we know what has and hasn't happened. What does seem true is that landing on Mars is hard, but one you are down it's not too bad!

I'm surprised not to have seen comment here on Barrack Obama's announcement? "We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America's story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth" - sounds awfully familiar...

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I do wish people would stop making excuses, the first successful landing was over 40 years ago its about time projects like this was given to the professionals who know what they are doing.

Alan

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Just now, Alien 13 said:

I do wish people would stop making excuses, the first successful landing was over 40 years ago its about time projects like this was given to the professionals who know what they are doing.

Alan

"Professionals"? Pray tell, who are the professionals when it comes to landing craft on Mars?

AndyG

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2 minutes ago, 101nut said:

"Professionals"? Pray tell, who are the professionals when it comes to landing craft on Mars?

AndyG

Well certainly not a University maybe look at defense companies who know how to make electronics that survive more than a few G or extremes of temperature.

Alan

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7 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

Well certainly not a University maybe look at defense companies who know how to make electronics that survive more than a few G or extremes of temperature.

Alan

I think that is a bit harsh. Commercial companies also have many failures. They tend to keep them quiet.

The lander was only a very small part of the mission. The main scientific studies will be carried out by the orbiter, which hopefully will achieve its aims.

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