After the crash of Schiaparelli lander, the European Space Agency (ESA) has raised another 450 million euros for the ExoMars mission which will send the rover to the Red Planet even though the first test lander crashed on the Martian surface last month due to false readings.
The 22 countries that are members of ESA and the Canadian government has funded 450 million euros for the project. The reports of support to the mission came after a meeting held in Lucerne, Switzerland. The mission aims to put European rover on Mars by 2021.
Schiaparelli that crashed on mars 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 reports 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 ExoMars mission sent the Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli test lander to Mars earlier this year. The Trace Gas Orbiter is orbiting the planet, looking for gases such as methane that may indicate the possibility for life on the planet. The Schiaparelli lander, meanwhile, crashed in October: a software glitch caused the lander to detach its parachute more than 2 miles above the planet’s surface, thinking it was already on the ground.”
Mars mission is a daunting task and crashing of Schiaparelli lander has given a setback to ESA. Now, meeting the deadline of sending mars lander before 2021 has become very tough. Also, lack of funds might have forced the ESA to shut down the mission, but now several nations have stood up and contributed $469 million to continue to the mission and explore the mars in search of life and water.
“It’s not an easy thing, but we are confident we will succeed,” said ESA Director General Jan Woerner. “The Agency is encouraged to strive to reap the benefits expected from the significant investments made through the ExoMars program, including those earmarked for the successful completion of the second ExoMars mission.”
Moreover, the ExoMars mission is part of 10.3 billion euros ESA project.