Beagle 2, ESA’s Mars Express Orbiter, Found 11 Years After Disappearance

After 11 years, it appears the mystery of the Beagle 2, the European Space Agency’s attempt to land a rover on Mars, has finally been solved.

On Dec. 19, 2003, the Mars Lander was ejected from the Mars Express to land on Mars. But after the Mars Lander reached the surface, communication ceased. No one knew what had happened, and the mission was considered lost.

It has now been announced  that images taken by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have identified a partially deployed Mars Lander on the surface of Mars.

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Images of Beagle 2 on Mars, including parachute and rear cover. (Screenshot/YouTube)

 

The images appear to show the Lander and key entry and descent components within the expected landing area.

Members from the Beagle 2 team and NASA analyzed the images that appear to show the Beagle 2, along with the main parachute and what looks like the rear cover.

The images are consistent with the size and shape of the Lander, and light reflections suggest the object is metallic.

So this 11-year-old mystery now appears to be solved.

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