back to article Crashed Schiaparelli lander's 'chute and shields spotted

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has sent home fresh snaps of debris from the European Space Agency's (ESA's) failed Schiaparelli lander, offering a few more hints about what went wrong. The image below shows the failed lander's front heatshield, parachute and rear heathshield. The ESA says it's confident the image …

  1. TimR

    So now we have two (or four) Schiaparelli craters on Mars

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schiaparelli_%28Martian_crater%29

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      That's going to be confusing...

      As to the point of failure: I call hydrazine acting up.

      1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge
        Alien

        It'll be more confusing once the Mysterons have repaired everything and the Schiaparelli weapon is heading back to earth!

  2. DrXym Silver badge

    This is what happens

    When you plan your missions with Kerbal Space Program.

    1. Swarthy
      Joke

      Re: This is what happens

      When you plan your missions without Kerbal Space Program.

      TFTFY

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Got those pictures just in time...

      This is not red weed.

      It is Schiaparelli's red shirt.

      "Dead, Jim!"

  4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    What happens

    When you use Java to code your spacecraft automation... :-P And the coders are used to churning out buggy software, "cause we can always patch it up later"...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: What happens

      What are you even talking about?

      This is likely to be something in the ballpark of MISRA C. Or some Ada derivative.

      When I orbited the general vicinity of the Galileo Software Development Gas Giant, these - and assembler - were the only ones listed as allowed in high-assurance cases. It's been some time though. Today, it is likely there is use of Esterel and/or Lustre for adequate descriptions.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: What happens

        Sorry, was my attempt at a joke :D

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: What happens

          Goddammit, Vladimir!

        2. BinkyTheHorse
          Trollface

          Re: What happens

          "Attempt" being the crucial word here.

          Maybe you should have implemented it in another language.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: What happens

            What, in COBOL? :-P

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: What happens

              GROAN!

            2. Mark 85 Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: What happens

              What, in COBOL? :-P

              I was thinking FORTRAN...

  5. DropBear
    Joke

    Come on now...

    ...we all know it's a cover-up; it was clearly a surface-to-air missile!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Come on now...

      You may jest but I have long suspected ESA has been perfecting orbital weapons. Even mission 'successes' get pancaked at the end to see what happens.

      Just wait, the 2020 mission is going to be an orbital cannon with a payload robust enough to survive terminal velocity. No need for that drill if you can 'land' beneath the surface.

      Anon because their on to me!

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Come on now...

        ESA? Ah, no!

        It's all the Russians. I'm pretty sure there are witnesses who've seen a big Russian rocket being launched at just about the right time to hit a target landing on Mars - back in March this year!

        Oh... wait a moment...

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Come on now...

        "Just wait, the 2020 mission is going to be an orbital cannon with a payload robust enough to survive terminal velocity. No need for that drill if you can 'land' beneath the surface."

        Funny you should mention that:

        http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/planetary/missions/Micro_Penetrators.php

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Come on now...

        "You may jest but I have long suspected ESA has been perfecting orbital weapons. Even mission 'successes' get pancaked at the end to see what happens."

        Maybe they are just salting the surface with various potentially useful "stuff" in case a future manned mission goes wrong and some poor bugger gets left behind and needs various spare parts?

    2. Annihilator Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Come on now...

      Or, a surface-to-air-to-space-to-thinair-to-surface missile and it was a test of our first strike capability...

    3. ma1010
      Joke

      Re: Come on now...

      Can't see why anyone is having trouble with this. Extra craters or discoloration? It's very simple. The Martians, in self-defense, fired a volley of SAMs at the intruder. Unfortunately, some of them were defective and exploded on launch scattering bits of burning fuel and oxidizer. Extra craters and discoloration explained! Despite this setback, they did kill the invader, though, which is something we should think about before trying to invade their homeland again.

      I'll be back in just a minute. I can feel that the government people are starting up the rays again. Need to get my tinfoil hat on.

      1. PNGuinn
        Stop

        Re: Come on now...

        Oh, come on ...

        Never put down to Martian malice what can be put down to Clangers.

        A few of 'em just popped up to see what all the row as about.

    4. PNGuinn
      Boffin

      Re: Come on now...

      ... or the playmonaut had eaten too much Soylent.

      Suitable icon when powdered farts are around >>

      OOOh La!

  6. TheProf Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Anon because their on to me!

    And hiding behind a misspelled 'they're'. Cunning.

  7. Professor Clifton Shallot

    Fun

    Personally I find all the analysis of the failures of these missions at least as interesting as the remaining parts of the plan that will now never happen.

    1. AndyS

      Re: Fun

      As in all types of engineering, it's astonishing how much it's possible to learn from a good failure. And the better the failure, the more interesting / fun it is!

      (Differentiation between "interesting" and "fun" is largely determined by whether there were lives lost during the failure. Therefore this one is very firmly on the "fun" side).

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Fun

        Differentiation between "interesting" and "fun" is largely determined by whether there were lives lost during the failure

        And also whether you were involved in the project or are merely a spectator ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fun

          It's too early to call whether any lives were lost. That impact looks much like sciaparelli splattered a martian.

          Well, they are looking for life on Mars.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    I blame Brexit

    Someone get Metric and Imperial Units mixed up again?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I blame Brexit

      "Someone get Metric and Imperial Units mixed up again?"

      You may jest, but thankfully, all our launches will use someone else's rocket for the foreseeable future, and they will dictate that we use metric units.

      Heaven help us if engineers end up having to use "British" units again. I'd expect that any engineer in the UK under the age of 53 would struggle, given that they should have spent their time since starting at secondary school using metric units.

      I'm not that old yet, but if I never have to perform a calculation involving "British Thermal Units" again, I can die happy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I blame Brexit

        BTU - a sort of imperial calorie - the energy to raise a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

        That it's roughly a kJ must be helpful for rough calculations though

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I blame Brexit

        Oh come on, how hard is it to calculate the height in London RouteMaster Buses?!

      3. PNGuinn
        Happy

        Re: British Thermal Units

        Since my Mears radiator sizing calculator is Imperial (and I'm not about to spend several tens of squids on a new metric one) I for one am grateful that rads are still specified in both kW and BTU - saves wasting time on the conversion after the sizing.

        Some of us old farts do still use, and think in the old units as well as the new. Unlike kids of today who can only think? in one system.

        Some of us still remember cgs units.

        We need a getting old icon.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I blame Brexit

        "any engineer in the UK under the age of 53 would struggle, given that they should have spent their time since starting at secondary school using metric units."

        FWIW, I'm 54 and we were using metric units in infant school. So certainly by age 7 and before moving up to junior school and then secondary school I have a vague recollection that we started with inches and then also did metric later so either there was a national or local LEA curriculum change at that time, 1968/69 thereabouts.

        Ah, just googled a bit. Teaching the metric system wasn't compulsory until 1974. I was in secondary school by then and I'm pretty sure that in maths, physics, chemistry and biology, it was SI units all the way anyway.

  9. Chris King

    For Sale

    One parachute, used once. No stains but a large crater or two. Buyer collects.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: For Sale

      "Hey, Grxlyknurrr, see this ad on the pan-galactic tat bazaar? Think it's for real?"

      "Only 3 Hard Money Units? Well, this may be an artifact of an underdeveloped retardo civiization, possibly simian. I would say go for it. We could make some money reselling it to Hoornnooool's "Museum of Curiosities", she needs some good stuff to rekindle visitors' interest."

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: For Sale

      Get some astronauts up there with a wheel barrow to pick up the bits of this and the old Beagle lander.

      A bit of t-cut and they should be good to go again.

      Obviously the astronauts will need to take a few seed potatoes in case of any mishaps.

  10. Annihilator Silver badge
    Happy

    Guardian

    "The images show that the craft touched down well within its target landing zone"

    This is how the Guardian reported it, showing massive amounts of glass-half-full attiude!

    1. fedoraman
      Mushroom

      Re: Guardian

      Hmm, describing Schiaparelli's landing as a "touchdown" is a bit like describing a tornado as an "air current".

      For the first few milliseconds, yes, it was a "touch" down. After that, no.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Guardian

        It's the Graun.

        Finding Russian military camps in Russia is an "invasion of Ukraine".

        Finding few nonwhite people in leading management positions in Ireland is "white privilege"

        etc.

        1. Hollerithevo

          Re: Guardian

          Um, Russia went into territory it and other countries had called 'Ukraine' until Ukraine pissed them off.

          'White privilege' is not in play when the non-white population is vanishingly small.

          This is snark for the sake of snark.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Guardian

            This is snark for the sake of snark.

            Of course it is.

            Also, I'm sorry. It was not the Guardian, it was the Irish Times raising the issue in question. I don't know how I mixed up those two.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Hollerithevo - Re: Guardian

            Yeah and US led coalition went into territory other countries had called Serbia and carved a new country out of it and nobody bothered to piss them off. Oh, and Ukraine too has some territories they got gifted with by the Soviets but I doubt they would like to remember about it.

            So this kind of things are considered moral or immoral depending on who's doing it, the righteous West or the barbaric East. It's nothing new, it has been like this for the past centuries.

            I'd like to add that I'm not a native of any of the countries mentioned here, Russia included.

  11. mrslappy
    Alien

    Expectation of Privacy

    It was obviously the Martian equivalent of this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/30/man_arrested_shooting_camera_drone/

  12. Fizzle
    Boffin

    Maffs 'n' stuff

    All this talk about "maffs", as my teacher lithpilly saith reminds me of two of my favourite sayings of his:

    1. Do NOT use the quadratic equation formula all the time as it's like "getting the air force to shoot down a fly", and,

    2 An erg is the amount of energy a fly uses doing a push-up

    Happy memories from 1967 Mr Cajetan. BTW he was also a good billiards player who delighted using geometry to calculate angles for canons.

    Do they still make teachers like that, I wonder?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ker...SPLAT!!!!!

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      More precisely, the ker-Splaterelli crater.

  14. captain_solo

    "It's a good bet the Empire knows we're here." -Martian Rebel Alliance

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah, they have the data but they will never be able to connect the dots because of imperial bureaucracy.

      (Next step: X-Wing suicide mission to crash into the Coruscant "Galactic Trade Center")

      1. captain_solo

        You don't know the power of the Dark Side

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No claim bonus

    Gone

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