Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Disappointing But Still Successful

You only have to read a newspaper or watch the evening bulletin to recognise just how awful, violent and downright idiotic us humans can be but amidst the madness we are also capable of outstanding technical brilliance such as landing a machine on another planet as we did today with the Schiaparelli probe ending its 130 million mile trip by touching down on a strip of Martian soil.
As for the fate of the two part mission, everything went well for the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) which is now in orbit around the Red Planet and searching for signs of life but as for the Schiaparelli down on the Martian surface, things don’t look quite so good.
The 'everything is fine' signal never arrived and after a patient wait the European Space Agency have moved from looking for the signal to trying to work out what could have gone wrong. 
Although disappointing for the landing to fail at the last moment, the signal was lost with two meters of the probes fall left, the most important thing is that we learn from it and use what we glean from this mission to improve future missions, namely the rover being sent to Mars in 2020.
The TGO will be searching for signs of life, current or extinct, so we still have an exciting mission on the go so today was another amazing success for humankind with more invaluable data added to the growing learning blocks that go towards the most important human objective of exploring the big black space that our planet inhabits.
Just shows what we can do when we act together and stop maiming and killing each other.

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