Thursday, December 08, 2016 | Updated at 9:09 AM ET

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European Mars lander on its way to Mars

First Posted: Oct 18, 2016 04:47 AM EDT
In this handout image supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA), 'Bridget' the rover is pictured in the Mars Yard Test Area at Airbus D&S in Stevenage, UK, the location for a test in which ESA astronaut Tim Peake will drive the rover prototype from the

In this handout image supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA), 'Bridget' the rover is pictured in the Mars Yard Test Area at Airbus D&S in Stevenage, UK, the location for a test in which ESA astronaut Tim Peake will drive the rover prototype from the (Photo : Getty Images/Airbus D&S)

The lander is scheduled to reach Mars on October 19 and it will use parachute and thruster to slow down its landing speed of 21,000 kilometers an hour and for its safe landing according to reports. The lander got detached from its mothership on Sunday, October 16 and set to land on the surface of the Mars.

It is one of the most ambitious project of the European space agency. It is the second biggest Mars related project after Britain's Beagle mission, which got failed in 2003. The lander will help in understanding the Red Planet and the signs of life on it. The distance between Earth and Mars is more than 55 million kilometres.

The overall cost of the ExoMars mission is around $ 1.4 billion.  US has successfully landed its rover called "Curiosity" on marks in 2012, while India has also sent its Mars orbit, which is currently revolving around the red planet.

The name of the rover was named after Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer. He observed and mapped the surface of the Mars.

The primary goal of ExoMars is to find out whether life has ever existed on the Red Planet. The current spacecraft, TGO, carries an atmospheric probe to study trace gases such as methane around the planet, Aljazeera reported.

According to reports, the lander is currently in "hibernation mode" as it coasts towards Mars, pulled by gravity.

The 1,272-pound lander is expected to collect data during its descent and operate on the surface for a few days. The lander carries sensors designed to measure wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature and electric fields as reported by Fox News.

Most of the Mars mission so far failed. US, Russia, European and Chinese mission failed in their first attempt apart from India. The South Asian nation found the success in its first attempt.

 

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