A Martian Birthday Present 

On the 19th of October, the Schiaparelli lander from the European Space Agency will land on Mars, actually almost on top of the now twelve years old Opportunity Rover from NASA. Unfortunately, the lander is only designed for a four day operational life, and so is something of a mayfly. 

On the other hand, the Trace Gas Orbiter that will drop it off and act as it’s relay to Earth will survive for years, hunting down the chemical composition of the Martian atmosphere.

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