ESA: Images indicate European Mars lander destroyed

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Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that Europe’s missing craft fell to the Red Planet’s surface from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.2 to 2.5 miles) and was destroyed on impact, the European Space Agency said on Friday.

The disc-shaped 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of a broader mission to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet, descended to Mars on Wednesday to test technologies for a rover that scientists hope to send to the surface of the planet in 2020.

But contact to the vehicle was lost around 50 seconds before the expected landing time, leaving it uncertain until the NASA images were received whether Schiaparelli made it to the surface in good working conditions.

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