Second failure of ExoMars parachute test throws schedule in jeopardy
Engadget - Tue 13 Aug 12:07 GMT

The European Space Agency plans a third test later this year.

  Given that the parachutes will be lowering the ExoMars rover onto the Red Planet itself, such flaws are more than a slight hiccup.

  "It is disappointing that the precautionary design adaptations introduced following the anomalies of the last test have not helped us to pass the second test successfully," said Francois Spoto, team leader for the ExoMars mission at ESA, in a statement.

  Spoto went on to say that the mission team is working on understanding the reasons for the failure and remains hopeful it will still be able to launch next year as planned.

  Europe and Russia's rover, known as the Rosalind Franklin, has an especially crucial mission.

  In order to avoid another failed landing, ESA will conduct a regular forum of exchanges between experts from their agency and NASA.

  "Getting to Mars and in particular landing on Mars is very difficult," Spoto said in the statement.

  "We are committed to flying a system that will safely deliver our payload to the surface of Mars in order to conduct its unique science mission."