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Sciency stuff....European Mars lander to start descent...

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  • European-led Mars lander to start descent to red planet

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    A Mars lander is due to leave its mothership on Sunday and head toward the red planet's surface to test technologies for Europe's planned first Mars rover, which will search for signs of past and present life.

    After a seven-month journey from Earth as part of the European-Russian ExoMars program, the Schiaparelli lander is expected to separate from spacecraft Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) at 1442 GMT (10:42 a.m. EDT) and start a three-day descent to the surface.

    Schiaparelli represents only the second European attempt to land a craft on Mars, after a failed mission by the British landing craft Beagle 2 in 2003.
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