esa Archive

A failed lander and a working orbiter – everything we know about ESA’s ExoMars mission

Yesterday morning, the European Space Agency hoped to become the second entity in history to operate a robot on Mars. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. ESA’s Schiaparelli rover is on the surface of Mars, but all signs point to a hard landing and a broken robot. The good news, however, is that Schiaparelli was only one part of ESA’s ExoMars mission. Schiaparelli, which has been described …

Rosetta goes out in a blaze of glory — and science

Let’s all take a moment and pour one out metaphorically for Rosetta, the pioneering spacecraft that gave our newly spacefaring race its first comet landing. The orbiter performed its final task early this morning, making a controlled crash into the comet’s surface, destroying itself in the process but gathering valuable data down to the last minute. This was a risky, fascinating and very successful mission, …