Shooting for Mars – and missing

This week, mission controllers lost contact with the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander seconds before it was to touch down on the surface of Mars. ESA and NASA are working together to determine the fate of the lander, which was designed to test entry, descent, and lander principles for future missions. Although Schiaparelli’s “mothership,” the ExoMars Orbiter, in in good shape and preparing to take scientific readings, the lander is just the latest of many Mars-bound landers and orbiters to fail en route to the Red Planet. Casey Duncan, a doctoral student of geology and geophysics who studies rocks and sediments on earth to better understand the geology of Mars, is available to comment on the heartbreaking legacy and ups and downs of trying to get to Mars.

Casey Duncan | 208-881-3487 |