Weekly Space News: Mars Touchdown Next Week
A Mars landing is happening next week!
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission, which seeks to determine if the Red Planet ever supported life, is coming in for a landing near the Martian equator on October 19th:
The lander will study Martian conditions as a precursor for a planned 2020 rover mission, and will test entry, descent and landing technologies, while the orbiter above will study the Martian atmosphere.
This Mars mission is a special one for XPRIZE, as former Ansari XPRIZE and Google Lunar XPRIZE competitor ARCA actually tested the parachutes for this very mission:
Mars landings are notoriously difficult, but we have faith that the Schiaparelli lander will make it down safe. A congrats to ARCA on being part of such an exciting mission, and best of luck to the ExoMars team---we’ll be tuning in!