Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo

These views of sites where hardware from Europe's Schiaparelli test lander hit Mars on Oct. 19, 2016, combine two HiRISE camera orbital views from different angles, as a stereo pair for viewing with red-blue glasses. Top: lander; lower left: parachute and back shell; lower right: heat shield.
November 15, 2016
CreditNASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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These three views of locations where hardware from the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli test lander reached the surface of Mars on Oct. 19, 2016, combine two orbital views from different angles as a stereo pair. The view was created to appear three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses with the red lens on the left, though the scene is too flat to show much relief.

The stereo preparation uses images taken on Oct. 25, 2016, [] and Nov. 1, 2016, [] by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The left-eye (red-tinted) component of the stereo is from the earlier observation, which was taken from farther west than the second observation.

These views show three sites where parts of the Schiaparelli spacecraft hit the ground: the lander module itself in the upper portion, the parachute and back shell at lower left, and the heat shield at lower right. The parachute's shape on the ground changed between the two observation dates, cancelling the three-dimensional effect of having views from different angles. The scale bar of 20 meters (65.6 feet) applies to all three portions.

Schiaparelli was one component of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 project, which placed the Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit around Mars on the same arrival date. The ExoMars project received data from Schiaparelli during its descent through the atmosphere. ESA has reported that the heat shield separated as planned, the parachute deployed as planned but was released (with back shell) prematurely, and the lander hit the ground at a velocity of more than 180 miles per hour (more than 300 kilometers per hour).

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.