Last week a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) attempted to land on Mars. The landing was not successful and the lander, named Schiaparelli, crash landed on the planet.
NASA released these ‘before and after’ photos of the landing site captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showing what is believed to be the parachute (white spot) and landing spot (dark patch).
We thought this would be a good time to see what other Mars landers / rovers can be seen in Google Mars or MRO imagery.
The rover Curiosity has particularly good coverage. We already managed to find it in an image from March 30th, 2016, which we showed you last week in this post. However, there is also good imagery of its landing area, including an image of it while still descending by parachute!
Top Left: Sky Crane. Top Right: Parachute on ground. Bottom Left: Rover on ground, 24 hours after landing. Bottom Right: Descent by parachute.
Also see here for a time-lapse of the parachute blowing about in the wind.
The rover Opportunity is not far from Schiaparelli’s crash site, but far enough that it probably could not get there to investigate.
In this image from August 26th, 2016, Opportunity just looks like a rock.
The location above was identified with the help of this thread which keeps track of Opportunity.
Top Left: Parachute. Top Right: Landing base. Bottom Left: Heat shield. Bottom Right: Track and multiple images of rover.
The rover Spirit is no longer active, but we can see it in its final resting place as well as its parachute, lander and heat shield.
Top Left: Parachute. Top Right: Landing base. Bottom Left: Heat shield. Bottom Right: Final resting place.
The Pheonix Lander has good imagery in Google Mars showing the heat shield, the back shell, the parachute and the lander.
Top Left: Lander, Top Right: Heat Shield, Bottom right: back shell and parachute.
The very best image of the Beagle 2 is these two white dots:
Also seen here in colour. Its parachute and rear cover are equally difficult to make out, but we have marked their locations in the KML file.
The above are just some of the residents of Mars. We will continue with the rest next week.
See the imagery and placemarks in Google Mars with this KML file.
Don’t forget to turn on Google Mars’s ‘Landers/Rovers’ layer for extra imagery, tracks, panoramas, 3D models and more.
To be continued …..
About Timothy Whitehead
Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.