ExoMars EDM Landing Site in Meridiani Planum
ExoMars EDM Landing Site in Meridiani Planum
ESP_048041_1780  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
The ExoMars Schiaparelli Lander or Entry, Descent, and landing Module (EDM) reached the Martian surface on 19 October 2016, along with the Trace Gas Orbiter. According to the ExoMars project, both the heat-shield and backshell-plus-parachute separated as planned, but the lander crashed at more than 83 meters per second (more than 300 kilometers per hour) velocity. This is the first HiRISE image of this location, captured in the black and white but not the color image area.

The image reveals 3 anomalous features within about 1.5 kilometers of each other, as expected. The annotated image shows the HiRISE subscene covering all 3 features, with 6x enlargements of each feature with a local min-max stretches to each enlargement to best show the details. These images are in raw image geometry rather than map-projected, and north is about 7 degrees west of straight up.

At lower left is the backshell and parachute. The parachute is many times brighter than the Martian surface in this region. The smaller circular feature just south of the bright parachute is about the same size and shape as the backshell (2.4 meter-diameter).

At upper right are several bright features surrounded by dark radial impact patterns, located about where the heat shield was expected to impact. The bright spots may be part of the heat shield, such as insulation material, or specular reflections.

At mid-upper left are the markings left by the Schiaparelli module. The dark circular feature is about 2.4 meters in diameter, about the size of the shallow crater expected from this mass (approximately 300 kilograms) impacting at about 100 meters per second into dry soil. The crater should be only approximately 0.5 meters deep. From this image we cannot clearly see the topography indicating the presence of a crater, which may be confirmed in later HiRISE images. Surrounding the dark spot are dark radial patterns expected from an impact event. The dark curving line to the northeast of the crater is unusual for a typical impact event, and we do not attempt to explain it here. Surrounding the dark spot are several relatively bright pixels or clusters of pixels. This could be image noise, or they could be real features, perhaps fragments of the lander. A later image will confirm if these spots are image noise or actual surface features.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (27 October 2016)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_048120_1780.
Acquisition date
25 October 2016

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
269.9 km (167.7 miles)

Original image scale range
29.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~88 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
50°, with the Sun about 40° above the horizon

Solar longitude
248.8°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  334.3°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (1150MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (633MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (572MB)
non-map           (527MB)

IRB color
map projected  (241MB)
non-map           (501MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (344MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (331MB)

RGB color
non map           (480MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.