TIME space

See The Photo NASA’s Orbiter Took Of the Crashed Mars Probe

The image shows a black spot in the place that the craft Schiaparelli was supposed to land

An experimental Mars probe crash landed on the surface of the planet Wednesday, and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter may have just taken a photo of the remains.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The image shows a black spot in the place that the craft Schiaparelli was supposed to land to begin its multi-year mission of sampling the planet’s atmosphere. The Associated Press reports that the images seem to show that the probe’s rocket fuel exploded on impact. But as TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger writes, the image of a black speck on the surface of the red planet belies the heartbreak of everyone behind the Schiaparelli mission, and the unity it inspired between nations. “If space is hard and expensive, it’s also scary as hell—deep and deadly and exceedingly mysterious,” he writes. “I don’t care how tough you think you are, if you’re walking through the woods on a very dark night with three of your worst enemies, you’re going to huddle up close when the wolves begin to howl. So we go to space boldly, but holding hands. That might, to a cynic, make us look timid, but it makes us feel sweetly human.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team