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Problems with Mars European Parachute Ships May Be Worse Thoughts



  If the ExoMars spacecraft successfully lands on Mars, it will deploy a Rosalind Franklin rover.
Click to enlarge / If the ExoMars spacecraft successfully lands on Mars, it will deploy the Rosalind Franklin rover. [19659003] ESA

In October 2016, the small European agriculture Schiaparelli entered the Martian atmosphere and tried to touch the surface of the red planet. Due to an error in altitude measurement, the landing gear of the lander was launched early and the lander crashed in Mars.

When it came to Mars, it was just another one in a long line of failures. Of the 21

landings sent by humans to Mars over the last six decades, only eight have successfully reached the surface of the red planet and conducted scientific operations – all of which were built and launched by NASA.

Now the European Space Agency is trying again with its ExoMars mission, which is due to launch on a Proton rocket next summer. According to the space agency, the European rover Rosalind Franklin and the Russian-led Kazachok surface platform are almost complete. They are about to descend to the Martian surface in a descent module. This spacecraft has a fairly complex sequence of parachute discharges to delay the descent of the lander through the thin Martian atmosphere.

  ExoMars 2020 Parachute Sequence. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/ 2019/09 / ExoMars_2020_parachute_deployment_sequence.jpg "width =" 4016 "height =" 2480 [19659007] ExoMars 2020 Parachute Sequence. </p>
<p>  ESA </p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>  The first pilot parachute and the 15-meter main parachute are deployed while the landing is still traveling at supersonic speed. The second set of pilot and major parachutes, which are larger, have subsonic speeds. All this happens quite quickly, since the whole landing sequence, from entering the Martian atmosphere to touching the surface of the planet, only takes six minutes. </p>
<h2>  Many test anomalies </h2>
<p>  The test program did not go down very well. In May, damage to both main parachute canopies occurred during a 29 km altitude test. After evaluating the problem and making changes to the design of the parachutes and their bags, the agency conducted another high altitude test on August 5, focusing this time only on the larger canopy that unfolds into the lower atmosphere. This test was also unsuccessful. </p><div><script async src=

Despite these failures, European officials have publicly stated that they are pushing for the mission to be launched in 2020. "It is disappointing that the precautionary design adjustments introduced after the anomalies of the last test did not help us pass the second test successfully, but as always we are focused and working to understand and correct the shortcoming to start next year, "says Francois Spoto, ESA ExoMars team leader, in a news release.

Parachute problems may be worse than reported publicly Question In addition, Ars learned of at least one more parachute damage during ExoMars cashier testing. In addition, the agency has not yet conducted even a single successful parachute canopy test that needs to be positioned supersonic speeds higher in Martian atmosphere.

Efforts to obtain comment from the European Space Agency on this information or the likelihood of a past launch date in 2020 being unsuccessful. After a spokesman for the European Space Agency suggested on September 4 that it would look into the matter, there is no further answer.


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