Experimental European Mars probe set for landing on Mars

In this artist impression provided by the European Space Agency, ESA, the  ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO, right, and its entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, Schiaparelli, center, approaching Mars. The separation was scheduled to occur on Sunday Oct. 16, about seven months after launch. Schiaparelli is set to enter the martian atmosphere on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 while TGO will enter orbit around Mars. The probe will take images of Mars and conduct scientific measurements on the surface, but its main purpose is to test technology for a future European Mars rover.  Schiaparelli's mother ship will remain in orbit to analyze gases in the Martian atmosphere to help answer whether there is or was life on Mars. (ESA ATG/medialab via AP)
In this artist impression provided by the European Space Agency, ESA, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO, right, and its entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, Schiaparelli, center, approaching Mars. The separation was scheduled to occur on Sunday Oct. 16, about seven months after launch. Schiaparelli is set to enter the martian atmosphere on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 while TGO will enter orbit around Mars. The probe will take images of Mars and conduct scientific measurements on the surface, but its main purpose is to test technology for a future European Mars rover. Schiaparelli's mother ship will remain in orbit to analyze gases in the Martian atmosphere to help answer whether there is or was life on Mars. (ESA ATG/medialab via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency is preparing to land an experimental probe on Mars, part of a mission that also will analyze the red planet’s atmosphere to help determine whether there is or was life there.

ESA plans to put the Schiaparelli lander on the surface Wednesday following a controlled descent lasting less than six minutes.

Schiaparelli will take images of Mars and conduct scientific measurements on the surface, but its main purpose is to test technology for a future European Mars rover. ESA’s last attempted Mars landing with the Beagle 2 rover failed in 2003.

Schiaparelli is part of the ExoMars program, a joint venture between ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos. Its mother ship, the Trace Gas Orbiter, is to analyze methane and other gases in the atmosphere.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s