European space probe to land on Mars this week

European space probe to land on Mars this week
The European space probe ExoMars has now reached the planet Mars, writes the European Space Agency, ESA, on its website.

It is the first European attempt to land on the red planet since 2003. The attempt failed then, but with the landing craft Schiaparelli that comes with ExoMars, a new attempt is planned next week when the spacecraft has completed its 496 million km journey.

Schiaparelli, named after the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli,has separated from the mothership and is scheduled to land on the planet on Wednesday. On Thursday, scientists hope to get the first pictures taken by the lander from the surface of Mars. Reports of the landing will be given at a press conference on Thursday.

In addition to land on Mars and conduct measurements of the planet's atmosphere, ESA will with Schiaparelli develop methods to effectively land on the red planet.

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