Mars is sort of a graveyard of landers. But I'm confused a bit. I thought we (collectively) had figured out how to use bouncing bubble-wrap (so to speak) and dropped-near-surface techniques. Did this one try something new or did a previously successful way fail?
Bubble-wrap is okay if you don't want to stick the landing, and your pay load is very rugged. There's a whole lot of bouncing goin' on in that system. Curiosity used the sky-crane system, it worked once but no guarantees it will work every time. Schiaparelli just used rockets, rather like trying to soft land a Gemini capsule.
"Splat". Got it. You know, until we can put landers safely on Mars routinely, I'm not going to volunteer for the trip...
It has always been a Russian thing ... to land on hard ground, not in the sea like the US. So they should have known how to do that.
After 10K years of microbial engineering?