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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Mars & Missions > Past and Future > ExoMars Program
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Phil Stooke
Starting a new topic here - hopefully that's OK! Clearly there will be a lot of action around this in the next weeks and months with descent images and HiRISE views of the hardware.

I thought I had posted this map earlier but apparently not. This shows the various landing ellipses in this area. The original plan was for an ellipse oriented NW-SE, but it changed with the different launch date and is now nearly E-W. Note that the ellipse shown in the recent ESA release is the envelope of all ellipses over a given launch period, but the actual landing ellipse for the given launch date is smaller. Opportunity's final landing ellipse is shown for comparison.

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/57445-exom...6-landing-site/

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/57446-exom...6-landing-site/

Phil

Click to view attachment
nogal
I had originally posted this information on another thread, but then Phil started this topic and I think it fits better here.

ESA has relased information [LINK] on Schiaparelli's intended landing site on Meridiani Planum, including the landing elipse which, at its eastern edge, just grazes the Endeavour crater. Perhaps Opportunity could spot Schiaparelli descending under its parachute on October 19?

The landing ellipse's size is given on the above mentioned article as 100x15 km, but this could be a simplification for in order to match the ellipse on this image, I had to make it 115.4x23.9 km. The ellipse is centered at 2.048S, 6.114W.

This is how it looks on Google Earth (Mars):
Click to view attachment

And here is the KMZ file: Click to view attachment

Fernando
sittingduck
Will Opportunity be able to image the Schiaparelli EDL? Maybe the re-entry plasma?
James Sorenson
Opportunity is heading down deeper into Endeavour, so I'd say that is becoming less likely because of lack of visibility of the surrounding plains and the part of sky where it is expected to be. I guess the only chance will be if the lander overshoots to the far end of its ellipse where Oppy could possibly capture the desent.
Explorer1
Even capturing one pixel would be a fantastic success of planning; does the MRO team have any imaging planned like the previous landers? (I'd like to update my avatar)...
Deimos
The nominal trajectory has the entry phase and parachute phase each potentially visible, but less than 15 deg above the level horizon. The crater will prove a challenge for even one pixel. It may be worth a bet on the EDM going well downrange--nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Ron Hobbs
The ESA site is featuring images of the landing site. It looks to me that if Schiaparelli lands really long, Oppy might have a chance.

Meridiani Planum with Landing Ellipse

I've got my fingers crossed.

Here is the main website: Spotlight on Schiaparelli Landing Site
akuo
I tried to look for information about coverage of the Schiapparelli landing events and communications. Only thing mentioned seems to be that MEX will record the lander's signal for later transmission. Anyone know when that transmission would come? Any chance of following Schiapparelli live, even detection of the carrier signal with radio telescopes like was done with Huygens?

I guess I've gotten too used to Nasa lander style blow-by-blow earth receive time coverage with first pictures arriving minutes after the landing.

I assume at least the orbiter will stay in constant DSN contact during the insertion.
Paolo
I think you can find answers to most of your questions here:
http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2016/03...e-theyre-going/
Paolo
yesterday ESA published two short articles on Schiaparelli and the expected sequence of images

http://exploration.esa.int/mars/58425-prep...o-land-on-mars/
http://exploration.esa.int/mars/58435-what...relli-s-camera/

I am starting to see other forums getting inflamed by rants about the plans for imaging or lack of it. given the minimal exoected data output of the lander (150 Mbits, of which 100 Mbits will be engineering data) I am not surprised that no proper camera was carried.
akuo
Thanks Paolo, that's the info I need.

To summarise:
An Indian radio telescope in Pune might detect if Schiapparelli is transmitting at all, live.
MEX and MRO will record a subset of telemetry, which could be received at 16:30 and 16:45 UTC on the landing day.
TGO will record full telemetry and it should be available 10h later, at 1:00 UTC.
Phil Stooke
http://www.midnightplanets.com/web/MERB/im...4P2671L6M1.html

This is a test image taken by Opportunity and downlinked only about 20 minutes before this post. It's a test for the attempt to view Schiaparelli. Good luck - uh - break a wheel! (no, don't).

Phil
Deimos
And context for that test image: http://www.leonarddavid.com/europe-readies...ober-touchdown/
akuo
With Oppy being so close, was there any consideration on having it listen to Schiapparelli on UHF during the EDL?
climber
Can somebody point out Victoria crater?
climber
QUOTE (akuo @ Oct 13 2016, 09:56 PM) *
With Oppy being so close, was there any consideration on having it listen to Schiapparelli on UHF during the EDL?

Listening to Schiapparelli? On what Chanel laugh.gif ?
centsworth_II
QUOTE (climber @ Oct 14 2016, 02:03 AM) *
Can somebody point out Victoria crater?
It's labeled in post 1 and is the most prominent crater south of the flag in post 2.
climber
Oh yes, sorry about that.
If I remembrer correctely, so far, the landers have all overshot the center of the elipse? Is that correct? I guess we still have a chance to get pictures of Oppy's landing hardware...
akuo
QUOTE (climber @ Oct 14 2016, 10:09 AM) *
Listening to Schiapparelli? On what Chanel laugh.gif ?

Yeah, that could be a problem. I'm pretty sure lander to lander communications were not on top of their minds when these things were designed. Also the radiation cone from the UHF antenna would be pointing in wrong direction, but proximity should definitely help with that.
climber
This was just for Schiaparelli = Channels, oh well...
katodomo
QUOTE (climber @ Oct 14 2016, 09:35 AM) *
I guess we still have a chance to get pictures of Oppy's landing hardware...

DECA should have a resolution of at best 4-5 m/pixel (at 1.5 km distance), hence not much chance of that.
Explorer1
Schiaparelli seperation confirmed!
nogal
Here is a link to a page where live updates about ExoMars are being posted: http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Scie...val_and_landing
Excerpt from the page above:
QUOTE

16 October

18:43 CEST: Full telemetry link with ExoMars/TGO has been restored via ESA's 35m deep-space ground station at Malargüe, Argentina.

18:30 CEST: The Schiaparelli module was released from the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) at 14:42 GMT (16:42 CEST) as planned. Today, three days before gravity will ensure the arrival of ExoMars 2016 at Mars, the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent & landing demonstrator Module separated from the TGO orbiter and is now en route on a ballistic trajectory to reach the Red Planet, enter its atmosphere and land softly in an area close to the equator known as Meridiani Planum.

However, TGO unexpectedly did not return telemetry (on-board status information), and sent only its carrier signal, indicating it is operational. The anomaly that prevents TGO's telemetry from being sent is under investigation, and is expected to be resolved within the next few hours.

Fernando
Hungry4info
ESA's official twitter confirms TGO is now returning telemetry.
nogal
A few ESA links about Schiaparelli's EDL:

Schiaparelli's descent trajectory

Schiaparelli's descento to Mars in real time (the whole 5m 52s of the descent)

ExoMars: From separation to landing

Fernando
nogal
ExoMars TGO burning proceding ok, "with slight overperformnace" (Flight Operations Director)

Schiaparelli: at 15:19 UTC it is known it was awake and executing the pre-programmed sequence. Furher information expected within the hour

Fernando
xflare
Following Tweets from ESA, it seems they were able to follow much of the EDL up until the final moments, at which point did the signal disappear? - at the point of landing??
akuo
No exact timing mentioned but the Puna radiotelescope seeing the UHF signal lost it at some point when Schiaparelli would have been in powered flight or at landing.
xflare
Mars Express transmitting EDL data now.
Art Martin
I have a question about this lander mission for the experts. I was surprised to hear the lander has no solar panels, will operate briefly until batteries run out, and has no surface cameras at all, that this mission was primarily just to practice landing techniques in preparation for a future rover mission. It sure seems that these techniques have been fully developed by the US and we are having stunning successes at landing in difficult conditions and I would assume that there would be no reservations at all about sharing the technology with ESA. While I understand that ESA wants to show they can do it on their own, the costs to send a lander are astronomical and not reinventing the wheel seems to be a very logical step. Why is ESA not piggybacking off our experience more? Was this simply a situation where they had such limited payload weights available and this was some last minute addition to the ExoMars mission or did they truly need this step? I just can't fathom going to all that trouble to set something down like this and not include solar panels and a camera.
climber
Does somebody know when Oppy's images attempt will be on the ground?
xflare
Looks like the Orbiter burn was successful - signal acquired right on time.
nogal
ExoMars TGO is now confirmed to be in martian orbit.

QUOTE (Art Martin @ Oct 19 2016, 05:06 PM) *
I have a question about this lander mission for the experts....


Hello Art Martin. I think most of your questions are answered in these ESA pages: About ExoMars
Fernando
Explorer1
Oppy's image attempt should come this afternoon, PST. Regarding the final fate of the lander, the Mars Express data is being analyzed now, and should shed light, on what occurred.

MRO imagery would of course, give the ultimate ground truth, but I don't known when that is planned for...
PaulM
QUOTE (Art Martin @ Oct 19 2016, 05:06 PM) *
I have a question about this lander mission for the experts. I was surprised to hear the lander has no solar panels, will operate briefly until batteries run out, and has no surface cameras at all, that this mission was primarily just to practice landing techniques in preparation for a future rover mission. It sure seems that these techniques have been fully developed by the US and we are having stunning successes at landing in difficult conditions and I would assume that there would be no reservations at all about sharing the technology with ESA. While I understand that ESA wants to show they can do it on their own, the costs to send a lander are astronomical and not reinventing the wheel seems to be a very logical step. Why is ESA not piggybacking off our experience more? Was this simply a situation where they had such limited payload weights available and this was some last minute addition to the ExoMars mission or did they truly need this step? I just can't fathom going to all that trouble to set something down like this and not include solar panels and a camera.

Entry descent and landing technology is classified because of its relationship with ICBM technology. This is why we were lucky to see oppy's microscopic images of her heat shield. However, you will notice that jpl have never described what the images revealed. I was surprised that communications protocols between opportunity's central computer and it's instruments were also classified. I have read that this is why opportunity's European made instruments have an analogue interface and not a digital interface to the main computer.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (PaulM @ Oct 19 2016, 09:35 AM) *
Entry descent and landing technology is classified because of its relationship with ICBM technology.

While there is some truth to this (for "classified" read "covered by ITAR"), there is plenty of open-literature information about US Mars EDL systems.
xflare
According to BBCs Jonathon Amos Mars Express saw pretty much the same thing as the radio telescope.... which doesn't sound good. Perhaps something happened at backshell separation or engine ignition.
B Bernatchez
When might we get HiRise coverage of the landing zone?
Phil Stooke
Have to figure out where it is first. Tracking might help. A CTX image might be the first thing they would try, to find it for targeting HiRISE next time.

Phil
James Sorenson
There are two candidates that I spot in the Oppy images that have come down. But these really do look like CR hits to me. I wouldn't rule out the lander though. smile.gif
http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...ARP2857L6M1.JPG

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...ARP2857L6M1.JPG
Steve5304
QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Oct 19 2016, 11:03 PM) *
There are two candidates that I spot in the Oppy images that have come down. But these really do look like CR hits to me. I wouldn't rule out the lander though. smile.gif
http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...ARP2857L6M1.JPG

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...ARP2857L6M1.JPG




Those definately are not cosmic Ray hits...pictures were taken some time apart and the second picture hives with the trajectory of the first that's definately the lander.
Explorer1
Flipping between the two links James posted I see something around the 9 o'clock position in the 2nd image a lot fainter than the cosmic ray hits (near the black dust spec on the lens).
I know, I know, grasping at straws, but look at my avatar, I can't help myself! wink.gif
Trouble is we can only guess what it would look like...
tanjent
Based on the shape of the landing ellipse relative to the rover's position, I would have expected the lander to move from left to right across Opportunity's field of view. The phrase "landing long" has been used to express the prerequisite for Schiaparelli's getting near Opportunity's position at all. That said, there are many possible ways to become disoriented when viewing pictures like this for the first time.
TheAnt
The second image, at top right, look a bit like a comet. Isn't that Schiaparelli?

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...ARP2857L6M1.JPG

Last news from BBC, the same, no signal so isn't it a risk the batteries run out even if the lander mission would turn out to be retrievable after all?
Regardless, this was a crucial step for the Exomars rover, so another delay seem likely.
fredk
QUOTE (Steve5304 @ Oct 19 2016, 11:36 PM) *
Those definately are not cosmic Ray hits...

As I mentioned in the MER thread, this is daytime at Meridiani, so the exposures are very short. I wouldn't expect the lander to be streaked, especially since if anything we'd be seeing the slow end of the descent trajectory. So I think everything we see is consistent with CR's and noise.

The real clincher would be a feature appearing in simultaneous L6/R2 frames, but I don't see anything matching.
nprev
Had to work all day so just catching up.

Let's please remember that members of the Schiaparelli team may well be reading our posts, if they have the time to do so given the enormous amount of frantic work that must be underway trying to understand--and hopefully recover from--this anomaly.

Mars is hard. There's no denying that. There's no such thing as a 'routine' landing there, not for anyone. But the only way to truly fail is to never have tried at all.

Best wishes to them, and best of luck.
JRehling
I've seen a spacecraft re-enter (Stardust) from downrange, albeit at night. I'm not sure what the martian daytime version would look like, but the terrestrial nighttime version was pretty cool.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (PaulM @ Oct 19 2016, 09:35 AM) *
I have read that this is why opportunity's European made instruments have an analogue interface and not a digital interface to the main computer.

This is not only OT but pretty nonsensical. As an example, the foreign instruments on MSL (RAD, part of Chemcam, and REMS) are not analog interfaces. The digital interfaces may not be publicly documented, and ITAR is often invoked, but they are certainly not secrets within the project.

IMHO the ESA EDL demonstrator is as much about politics and nationalism/regionalism as it is about technical issues, and I have been working on space missions with international participation since the mid 80's.
JRehling
QUOTE (nprev @ Oct 19 2016, 06:48 PM) *
Mars is hard. There's no denying that.


This is nothing we don't already know, but Mars is almost the worst-case scenario for landing. The atmosphere is thick enough to burn a craft up, but not thick enough for a parachute to finish off a soft landing. The Moon, Earth, Venus, Titan, asteroids, comets – all are easier to make a soft landing on than Mars. Mercury might be harder, but at least there, the entire braking would have to be via thrust with no need for a heat shield. Mars requires Rube Goldberg entry schemes, and many attempts at landing there have paid the price.
xflare
I followed the edl on twitter, they got so close I really thought it was going to make it, then the tweets just stopped... The sad thing also is that the successful arrival of the ExoMars Orbiter is going to be completely overshadowed like Mars Express.
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