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15th March 2016
Schiaparelli on Mars

A module named Schiaparelli was launched on 14 March 2016 by a Russian rocket within the framework of the ExoMars programme. The module will make it possible to study the planet’s atmosphere, along with landing techniques for future European missions to Mars.

 

The spacecraft owes its name to Elsa Schiaparelli’s uncle, Giovanni Schiaparelli, the famous 19th-century Italian astronomer. Giovanni Schiaparelli notably made major discoveries about the planet Mars between 1877 and 1890. 

 

Elsa held a deep admiration for her uncle. He thought that the beauty spots scattered over his niece's cheek outlined the shape of Ursa Major. She designed her Winter 1938-39 Haute Couture "Astrology" collection, most likely inspired by her uncle's memory.

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