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Beagle 2
Beagle 2 Mission to Mars

Goals: Great Britain's Beagle 2 lander was a barbecue grill-sized lander equipped with a suite of instruments to search for signs of life on Mars. It also had instruments to look for signs of water and study Mars' geology and atmosphere. It rode to Mars aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter.

Accomplishments: Beagle 2 was targeted to land in Isidis Planitia, a large flat sedimentary basin on Mars, but mission controllers were unable to contact the lander. After an extensive search for signals by orbiting spacecraft, the mission was declared lost.


Key Dates
2 Jun 2003:  Launch
24 Dec 2003:  Lost on Mars (21:54 EST)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Beagle 2 Facts Beagle 2 will play a tune written by the British rock band Blur to announce its safe arrival on Mars.

Beagle 2 is named in honor of HMS Beagle, the ship on which Charles Darwin (left) formed his theory of evolution.

Beagle 2 weighs 71 kg (157 pounds).

Beagle 2 is named after the ship HMS Beagle, in which Charles Darwin (right) visited the Galapagos Islands and South America. The voyage inspired the theory of evolution outlined in his book, On the Origin of Species.

The British band Blur composed a short musical track for Beagle 2 to beam back to Earth after landing. It was intended to be the first music beamed back from another planet.

It is unclear if Beagle 2 reached the surface of Mars. Contact was lost shortly after separation from Mars Express.
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Last Updated: 24 Nov 2010