Schiaparelli’s descent trajectory


Animation showing the trajectory of Schiaparelli as it makes its final approach to Mars and descends to the planet’s surface on 19 October 2016.

The ExoMars entry, descent and landing demonstrator is expected to enter the atmosphere at 14:42 GMT, at an altitude of about 121 km. In six minutes it will use a heatshield, parachute and thrusters to brake from 21 000 km/h to a near-standstill 2 m above the surface, where a crushable structure on its underside will absorb the final shock. Schiaparelli will touch down in Meridiani Planum, close to the equator.

The times indicated in the animation are onboard spacecraft times at Mars; the one-way signal travel time on 19 October is just under 10 minutes.

The Mars texture is based on a combination of NASA Viking and Mars Global Surveyor imagery.

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