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Possible Evidence Found For Beagle 2 Location

Date:
December 22, 2005
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
The news that Beagle 2 may have been spotted on the surface of Mars in the immediate vicinity of where it was expected to land was welcomed by the European Space Agency.

A specially processed NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) image taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). The Beagle scientists believe that out of the many thousands of craters and hundreds of square kilometres of Beagle 2’s landing ellipse, no other candidate site has come close to providing such compelling evidence of Beagle’s landing. Impact ejecta can be seen similar to the one produced by MER-A’s front shield in the Bonneville crater and a cluster of symmetrically arranged objects that match a successful gas bag segment separation, dropping the lander to the ground.
Credit: s: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems/Virtual Analytics Ltd

The news that Beagle 2 may have been spotted on the surface of Mars in the immediate vicinity of where it was expected to land was welcomed by the European Space Agency.

ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft had delivered the Beagle 2 lander to Mars on 25 December 2003.

ESA’s Director of Science David Southwood said, "If this turns out to be a definitive sighting then we can feel very pleased not only for the Beagle 2 team but also for everyone else involved in getting the probe to Mars and accurately into its descent."

"Although the discovery cannot make up for the loss of science, there can be more confidence that Beagle 2 made it down to the surface. The search itself has been not been easy and it says something for the persistence and dedication of the team that this report has emerged."

It is also important if the scenario of impact, as outlined by the team on the basis of the NASA Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft images, can be further investigated.

"This information, if consolidated, can limit what might have gone wrong two years ago and we can use it to increase our own confidence and faith in the methods used when we next face the challenge of going to Mars," added Southwood.

ESA received the go-ahead for a new European lander mission to Mars, Exomars, with the subscription by Member States for a new exploration programme, Aurora, just a few weeks ago at the ESA Council of Ministers in Berlin on 5-6 December 2005.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Possible Evidence Found For Beagle 2 Location." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051222085255.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2005, December 22). Possible Evidence Found For Beagle 2 Location. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051222085255.htm
European Space Agency. "Possible Evidence Found For Beagle 2 Location." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051222085255.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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