Beagle 2 Found


Champion Elect
Beagle 2 has been found sitting on Mars's surface by one of NASA's space orbiters, 12 years after contact was lost before landing.

It now appears that contrary to widespread assumptions the probe had crashed on the planet's surface, the probe had actually landed safely. The failure of just one little motor prevented its solar panels from fully opening, which meant it could not transmit any data back to earth.
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Interesting that it has taken so long for Beagle 2 to be found and that it, apparently came so close to working. Unfortunately, it is also an illustration of Murphy's Law in that it was necessary for 5 "petals" to open for the probe to function, and it appears that only two, or at most, three managed to do so.
Well the project had attracted some criticism before it was launched anyway... critics back then were claiming the project was being rushed through and would be compromised because of insufficient testing...
I never really understood the point of Beagle 2. Pathfinder had already been on the planet 7 years previously taking pictures and soil samples. Beagle 2 seemed destined to be doing the same thing but without the ability to move around.
I feel really sorry for the guys behind the Beagle 2 project. I think certain people within the ESA took a dislike to the showbiz elements of the mission with the Blur callsign jingle and the Damien Hurst picture onboard. The post mission enquiry seemed to be one very public kick in the nuts for the whole team.

Clearly not its primary or even secondary function but Beagle 2 did engage quite a few young people in space, science and engineering which is no bad thing at all.

Finally, and perhaps saddest of all, the lead man behind the project, and a fine Bristolian, passed away last year without ever knowing what happened to his lander.
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Totally agree with all of the above.

The upper echelons of the scientific community sometimes comes across as a bit elitist. They turn up their noses at anything that is making a deliberate effort to reach out to the younger or casual audiences, which is what it should always do.It's meant to be there for everybody.
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She was broken up sometime in te 19th century, shortly after they stopped calling her "HMS Beagle" :)

Beagle II was named after it. It was the ship that had Charles Darwin onboard when he studied species everywhere around the globe.
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