seems likely that the Schiaparelli lander made a hard landing on Mars. The 'chute seems to have opened, and then detached early, and the retro-rockets fired for only a fraction of the expected duration. All of which -- along with the radio silence -- would largely point toward an obliterating, catastrophic crash on impact. Disappointing news, if it holds up -- to be sure. Yet onward, as ever. [End, updated portion.]
[Earlier] UPDATE: 1 PM EDT -- still no signal confirming that the Schiaparelli lander has made a safe touch-down, but the Indian tracking station may have been unable to lock on to the signal -- it may be safe; we just don't have proof of it yet. So we are (still) in white knuckle mode, here. [End, updated portion.]
Well -- this is a moment when Europe "dares mighty things." Again. White knuckle time.
And a computer animation of the first non-NASA engineered soft landing on Mars:
[My apologies if that embedded framed link above doesn't work on your browser. Here's a solid in-line link.] Onward, to all of good will. . . a soft landing ahead, and hoping that estimable twisty copper colored space engineering prowess is rewarded -- in Europe, later this morning. . . smile. . . .