“In terms of the Schiaparelli test module, we have data coming back that allow us to fully understand the steps that did occur, and why the soft landing did not occur,” said David Parker, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration.20 October 2016
Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module’s descent to the Red Planet’s surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.
19 seconds free fall under Mars gravity (plus whatever the initial downward velocity was) - oh well, it was only a test after allIn the downlinked telemetry, Schiaparelli is seen to continue transmitting a radio signal for 19 seconds after the apparent thruster shutoff.
I think a radar failure/obstruction could also account for what happened.So it seems that the whole procedure was preprogrammed like a pitch program, not as a closed loop system - ie. the parachute deploying earlier didn't mean that it would be held for longer to bleed off energy, but for the same amount of time as if it was deployed on time...
Am I missing something or was it a typical case of hard-coding?
Its typical for ESA. You need to dig a lot more, because contrary to NASA, the work of ESA is not automatically considered public domain, but copyright protected. Same applies to data - if you want to get satellite data from the USA, you just need to ask for it, they always have some sort of basic access for free and for all. For ESA, its very uncommon that you can get even just this basic access without a university as sponsor.We could probably think of a hundred possible failure causes. (And the actual cause will turn out to be number 101.)
Let them work out the data themselves.
By the way - I did search around for technical info on the lander some time ago, and found very little. Typically for NASA/JPL spacecraft you can find some published information with a lot of searching, but for a typical ESA project it seems to be harder to find. (I'm thinking of decent drawings, some technical information etc.) Not sure if there's a reason for this, or if things are regarded as more "proprietary" at ESA. (Just an observation, I'm not making a complaint.)
Because this would put the orbiter into a retrograde orbit - rarely needed.Friend of mine asked "Why don't they do the rocket firing(Mars Orbit Insertion) on the side of Mars facing Earth". I could probably confuse him and myself, anyone point me in a good explanation of why not?
In brief: Because it requires less fuel.Friend of mine asked "Why don't they do the rocket firing(Mars Orbit Insertion) on the side of Mars facing Earth". I could probably confuse him and myself, anyone point me in a good explanation of why not?