October 19, 2016 Comments (0) Views: 4517 Astronomy, Exploration, Miscellaneous

ESA aimed at Mars and …

Wednesday morning, 100,000 people were watching the live stream of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission’s rendezvous with its target.  There were interviews with scientists, a countdown to landing, and then the stream cut to the ESA’s control room where I assumed we’d see celebration.  Instead, 100,000 of us watched the control room stare up at a blank screen.  No signal from the lander.  Even now, hours later as I write this, we’re still in the dark about what might have happened to the lander.  Fingers crossed.

It’s not all bad news, though. The Trace Gas Orbiter, which flew along with the lander and has potentially even more important scientific objectives, successfully inserted itself into orbit around Mars.

Try telling someone 100 years ago that humans threw anything at another planet, let alone two things at once.  You’re insane, they’d say.

Read more here.

Artist rendition of ExoMars approaching Mars. (ESA)

Artist rendition of ExoMars approaching Mars. (ESA)

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