The development of the European landing craft on Mars suffered problems when the spacecraft’s parachute disrupted during a recent test, but project officials said they still had time to correct the problem before it was launched within a year.
According to the site “space”, the European Space Agency reported that two of the parachutes suffered with unexpected damages during testing at high altitudes in Sweden for the system, which will slow down the process of landing ExoMars 2020.
The lander makes use of two main parachutes, each deployed with the assistance of a smaller pilot parachute. The first parachute, 15 meters in diameter, is deployed when the descending spacecraft is traveling at supersonic speeds in the thin Martian atmosphere. It is released and the second parachute, 35 meters across, is deployed once the spacecraft slows to subsonic speeds.
The second canopy, which is 35 meters wide, is used once the spacecraft has slowed at an ultrasonic speed.
“We have achieved a good level of antenna expected withdrawal, despite the damage to the parachute,” However, the agency acknowledged that the problem you need to understand and correct before the launch of the mission in one year, European Space Agency (ESA) said.
“We will carry out improvements to the design of bags to ensure smoother umbrella extraction, in addition to the reinforcement of the umbrella itself to limit the spread.” Francois Spoto, head of the team ExoMars said.
Two further testing of the canopy system is scheduled for later this year, but the agency did not confirmed when the tests would take place and what planned corrective actions would do according to the schedule.