Europe will send a tiny lander on a scorching, supersonic tumble to Mars on Wednesday and place a gas-sniffing probe in orbit around the Red Planet in a daring quest with Russia for extraterrestrial life. High-stakes manoeuvres should see a test lander dubbed Schiaparelli make a dangerous dash for the surface at 1442 GMT, while the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) enters a gravity loop around our planetary neighbour.
Ground controllers on Wednesday celebrated placing a European-Russian robot explorer in Mars' orbit, but faced an anxious wait for news of the tiny lander it had despatched to the Red Planet's surface.
ESA's Schiaparelli lander module remains out of contact while mission control in Germany seeks answers as to the fate of the unmanned probe. Data transmitted today from the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mothership suggests Sc...
As scientists try to figure out what happened to the Schiaparelli lander, which may have crash-landed, a craft known as the Trace Gas Orbiter is orbiting the red planet in search of signs of life.
Europe was poised Tuesday to place a paddling pool-sized lander on Mars and a gas-sniffing craft in its orbit as part of a mission with Russia to scour the Red Planet for signs of life.