19 Jan '15, 9pm

Lost Beagle 2 Robot Found Intact on Mars After a Decade

Lost Beagle 2 Robot Found Intact on Mars After a Decade

A decade-long search for a lost Martian robot has finally discovered the UK-led mission’s fate. The Beagle 2 Mars Lander apparently made it down to the red planet in one piece but failed to fully deploy properly in order to make contact with mission controllers on Earth. The discovery of the lost robot brings some measure of closure to UK and European Space Agency team members after Beagle 2’s silence following its Christmas Day descent to the red planet in 2003. But the partial deployment of just two or three of Beagle 2’s four solar panels likely blocked the robot’s RF antenna and made it impossible for mission controllers to send a signal to revive the mission remotely. “To be frank I had all but given up hope of ever knowing what happened to Beagle 2,” said Mark Sims, professor of astrobiology and space instrumentation at the University of Leicester in the UK and forme...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/robotic-expl...

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