MRO color images of Schiaparelli crash site


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Schiaparelli crash site

The image above, cropped from a wider image released today by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter science team, shows the Schiaparelli impact sites in color and in very high resolution. There are also high resolution images of the heat shield and parachute/back shell. As they note in describing the above image,

Where the lander module struck the ground, dark radial patterns that extend from a dark spot are interpreted as “ejecta,” or material thrown outward from the impact, which may have excavated a shallow crater. From the earlier image, it was not clear whether the relatively bright pixels and clusters of pixels scattered around the lander module’s impact site are fragments of the module or image noise. Now it is clear that at least the four brightest spots near the impact are not noise. These bright spots are in the same location in the two images and have a white color, unusual for this region of Mars. The module may have broken up at impact, and some fragments might have been thrown outward like impact ejecta.

In other words, the lander crashed hard when it hit the ground, throwing pieces and ground material everywhere.

One comment

  • LocalFluff

    If the landing rockets burned for only a few seconds, the fuel probably exploded at the crash too. I wonder how that long curved black streak was formed.

    So, what’s the score now. The Russian launched landing attempts on Mars failure rate: ALL!
    I don’t bet on the ExoMars rover, if it even ever takes off given Russian economic problems and diplomatic conflict with the EU.

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