A realtime animation of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Schiaparelli module entering and descending through the atmosphere to land on Mars. The animation starts when the lander enters the atmosphere at an altitude of 121 km at 14:42 GMT. In six minutes it will use a heatshield, parachute and thrusters to brake from 21,000 km/h to a near standstill 2 metres above the surface, where a crushable structure on its underside will absorb the final shock.
A powerful European Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana late Friday and boosted a pair of satellites into space for a seven-year plunge into the inner solar system, a voyage requiring seven planetary flybys to slow down enough in the sun’s gravitational clutches to slip into orbit around hellish Mercury.
Inside NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s massive clean room in Greenbelt, Maryland, the ninth flight mirror was installed onto the James Webb Space Telescope’s structure with a robotic arm. After being pieced together, all 18 primary mirror segments will work together as one large 6.5-metre mirror. The full installation is expected to be complete early in 2016.