Planetary Science

There’s no ‘Mars curse’ – it’s just very hard to land there

There’s no ‘Mars curse’ – it’s just very hard to land there

Hopes of another successful landing on Mars were dashed last week when the Schiaparelli probe went missing in action during its descent onto the Red Planet.

Pictures released over the weekend from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter appear to show a parachute and a disturbed area of the Martian landscape. Early investigations suggest that the lander’s parachute opened earlier than planned, and caused the lander to plummet to the surface from as high as 4km, possibly exploding on impact.