image 24-February-2018 00:36:29

Schiaparelli's heat-scorched shield

Date: 20 June 2016
Satellite: Schiaparelli
Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab

Artist's impression of the Schiaparelli module depicted as it might appear after decelerating in the Martian atmosphere and prior to the deployment of the parachute.

On 19 October 2016, Schiaparelli will enter the atmosphere at an altitude of about 121 km and a speed of nearly 21 000 km/h. In the next few minutes, it will be slowed down by the increasing atmospheric drag, with the front shield of the aeroshell bearing the brunt of the heating. This will slowly char and ablate, allowing the absorbed heat to be carried away from the rest of the spacecraft.

Then, at an altitude of 11 km (3 minutes and 21 seconds after entering the atmosphere) a parachute is deployed.

Further details of the entry, descent and landing sequence can be found here.

Last Update: 20 June 2016

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