>> So close, yet so far. The European Space Agency confirming it lost contact with its Mars lander just 50 seconds before it was supposed to touchdown on the Red Planet.>> We are still processing the data of the descent from the surface we have no data at all.
>> The landing was never going to be easy. The probe was traveling at 21,000 kilometers an hour through temperatures reaching 1,600 Celsius. While the heat shield and parachute both worked okay, the thrusters did not a nd only fired for a few seconds. Reuters Correspondent Maria Sheahan was at the European Space Agency when the news came through.
>> The Space Agency is not sure why the thrusters turned off and how far off the ground the lander was when this happened. It could have been that it was very high up and then just free-fell down to the surface and fell apart. Or, it could have been very close to the surface in which case it might not have been such a big problem.
>> The probe was a dry run for 2020 when scientists plan to send up a rover to search for signs of life. But, even if this landing didn't go to plan, overall the mission is being seen as a success.>> The orbiter on which the lander traveled to Mars made it into orbit which is quite a feat in itself and it's gonna do its job there for years to come hopefully.
Also, the lander sent lots of data while it was going down before the transmission broke off. And that data should also deliver valuable information for future missions.>> And scientists aren't giving up hope on the plucky probe just yet. If it is intact, it still has a few days to send back a signal before its battery runs out completely.