Crash report: Confused by spin, Mars probe failed to brake

May 24, 2017
In this Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, a model of Schiaparelli· the mars landing device , is on display at the European Space Agency, ESA, in Darmstadt, Germany. An independent report on Wednesday May 24, 2017 concludes Europe's Schiaparelli probe crash-landed on Mars last year because its systems couldn't cope with a brief, wild rotation during its descent. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP,File)

An independent report has concluded that Europe's Schiaparelli probe crash-landed on Mars last year because its systems couldn't cope with a brief, wild rotation during its descent.

The report commissioned by the European Space Agency says the sudden spin—lasting only one second—overloaded the probe's sensors, making it think it had already reached the ground.

This made the probe release its parachute early and only briefly fire its thrusters. Schiaparelli hit the ground at 540 kph (336 mph), leaving a visible crater.

ESA's director of and says if engineers had foreseen the high rotation rate the system could have been designed to cope with it.

David Parker said Wednesday the results will help scientists prepare for a robotic mission to Mars in 2020.

Explore further: Photos show European Mars probe crashed, may have exploded (Update)

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not rated yet May 25, 2017
A one second brief 'spin' is an instability isn't it?
not rated yet May 25, 2017
Schiaparelli was killed by the Bug from Earth:

" However, the lander's inertial measurement unit, which measures rotation, became saturated (unable to take higher readings) for about one second. This saturation, coupled with data from the navigation computer, generated an altitude reading that was negative, or below ground level."

That's from the wikipedia article.

"The Sciaparelli Inquiry Board believes that with the resources available on board, landing could potentially have been achieved even after the wrong handling of saturation. For instance, the RDA could have been used to determine attitude in two axis with respect to vertical and a proper set of GNC modes could have posed the EDM softly on the surface. As consequence of implementation of robust "sanity checks", GNC "back-up modes" would need to be implemented to attempt landing in degraded cases.."

From the horse's mouth:

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