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Initially slowed by the friction on its heat shield, the probe deployed its parachute at altitude of about 6.8 miles (11km) The Exo Mars 2016 entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module, known as Schiaparelli, will land on Mars in a region known as Meridiani Planum.
Engineers stand in the main control room of the European Space Agency (ESA) prior to the expected landing of the decent modul Schiaparelli of European-Russian Exo Mars 2016 mission.
Mission control faces an agonising wait for the signal to be heard from the Mars Express orbiter Michel Denis, French Exo Mars Flight Director, works in the main control room of the European Space Agency (ESA) prior to the expected landing.
The lack of signal might not mean disaster, but it seems the world will have to wait for the main recordings from Mars Express to be sent back to Earth and analysed by the flight dynamics team, before a confirmation.
The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mothership was on its own hairy mission to enter the red planet's orbit, at a distance of some 175 million kilometres from Earth.
Scientists will be crossing their fingers as Schiaparelli (artist's impression) flies itself on autopilot through the Martian atmosphere, which is expected to welcome the probe with stormy weather.'The ESOC teams are trying to confirm contact with the Entry, Descent & Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), Schiaparelli, which entered the Martian atmosphere some 107 minutes after TGO started its own orbit insertion manoeuvre,' the official statement read.Dr Manish Patel, senior lecturer in planetary scientists at the Open University who has an instrument on board the lander told Mail Online he feels 'a mixed feeling, of great joy that the orbiter in successfully in orbit and our instrument is safe, and disappointment that we lost contact with the lander.' Signals from the Pune telescope were received up until the lander was expected to have landed.