Beagle 2

The UK's Beagle 2 is currently on its way to Mars. The lander is named after HMS Beagle - the ship which Charles Darwin travelled on and helped lead to the theory of evolution - as it will run several tests to check for life on the red planet.

Beagle 2 is being carried to Mars by Mars Express and will be released as they approach the planet. Beagle 2 is expected to land at about 3am on Christmas morning.

Most transmissions will be relayed back to Earth by Mars Express as Beagle 2 doesn't have a very strong transmitter, however, as Mars Express will take a few days to get into a suitable position, the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank is being used initially. This will allow Colin Pillinger and the rest of the Beagle 2 team to know if it landed safely and survived the first night on mars. The first signal should be transmitted - all being well - at 10pm on Christmas evening.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 11th Nov 2003 (15:31 UTC) | Permalink
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