Turns Out Landing On Mars Is Still Pretty Tricky
The latest attempt to land on Mars appears to have failed.
Landing on Mars continues to be really hard. The latest attempt to touch down on the planet ended with the probe going offline — and it might not be coming back.
The Schiaparelli lander was supposed to test a landing system on Mars, as well as make a few observations on the planet's surface.
SEE MORE: Think Mars Bases Will Have It Hard? Moon Bases Get An Even Worse Deal
It's part of the ExoMars mission, a joint venture between the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos.
The landing appeared to go mostly as planned up until the last minute of Schiaparelli's descent, when the probe dropped off the grid. Several attempts to get back in touch with the craft have all failed.
The overall mission's still a win: The orbiter that carried Schiaparelli to Mars is safely circling the planet. It's now studying Mars' atmosphere, looking for any trace gases that might indicate the planet was once habitable.
And Schiaparelli transmitted plenty of information during its descent. That data will be invaluable in planning the next attempted Mars landing in 2020.
To date, there have been seven successful missions on the surface of Mars —all from NASA.
Northern lights observed and could continue into the weekend
A coronal hole high-speed stream caused the northern lights to be visible in parts of the U.S., but could cause some issues with the power grid.
When you'll be able to see 5 planets align in the night sky
Five planets — Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars — will align on the evening of March 28.
Where 2 upcoming solar eclipses can be seen in the US
New NASA maps show who will have the best view of two major solar eclipse events in the next 13 months.
Putin says Russia will station tactical nukes in Belarus
Russia used the territory of Belarus as a staging ground to send troops into Ukraine, and Moscow and Minsk have maintained close military ties.
Texas police: Migrants found 'suffocating' in train; 2 dead
Migrants routinely travel through Uvalde, Texas, where the migrants were stopped, often leading to high-speed vehicle pursuits.
Officials: 2 dead, 5 missing in chocolate factory explosion
Some residents were displaced from a neighboring apartment building that was damaged in the explosion.