Official: Crash land photos
Update: Europe’s Mars lander likely lost
There have been about 15 attempts to get down to the surface of Mars, and they are split fairly evenly between success and failure.
The US space agency has been the most successful with seven successful landings on the Red Planet.
The Soviet Mars 3 probe landed softly but only transmitted data for 15 seconds.
The European Space Agency’s last attempt to land on Mars was in 2003, with Beagle 2. But it never sent a signal from the surface. More.
This, updated, does not sound like good news:
After a suspenseful night waiting for a signal from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander, the European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed today that the spacecraft went silent less than a minute before it was set to reach the Martian surface Wednesday (Oct. 19).
ESA mission managers said this morning (Oct. 20) that they need more time to understand what went wrong with Schiaparelli, and to figure out exactly where and in what condition the test lander ended up. But the ExoMars team was optimistic that the capsule had collected enough data during its descent to set the stage for the next phase of the mission: the planned 2020 launch of a life-hunting ExoMars rover.
“The test has yielded a huge amount of data,” David Parker, ESA’s director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration, said at a news conference early this morning. “It gives us a lot of confidence for the future. We need to understand what happened in the last few seconds before the planned landing, and that is likely to take some time.” [In Photos: Europe’s Schiaparelli Mars Landing Day]