One of the core scientific goals of any mission to Mars is the search for evidence of life. The best approach is to investigate the surface where the evidence may lie.
The key element for accessing the surface of Mars and one of the greatest challenges in space exploration is the successful execution of the entry, descent and landing sequence.
This is one of the reasons why since the late 1960s there have been so many missions attempting to landon the surface of Mars, some being successful, many others ill-fated.
Schiaparelli - an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module - is a technology demonstration vehicle carried by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). Schiaparelli and TGO were launched on 14 March 2016 on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Schiaparelli will demonstrate the capability of ESA and European industry to perform a controlled landing on the surface of Mars. The preparation for this mission enhances Europe’s expertise and enables the testing of key technologies which could be used in subsequent missions to Mars.read more