Beagle 2 arriving at Mars

Beagle 2 arriving at Mars

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Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY,Medialab/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Beagle 2 lander entering the Martian atmosphere, computer artwork. This British probe will travel to Mars on the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express mission. A heat shield will protect the probe from the heat of re-entry into the planetary atmosphere. Parachutes will then deploy to slow its descent. Finally, airbags inflate to protect the probe from the 100 kilometres an hour impact speeds. The probe carries instruments designed to detect signs of past or present life on Mars. Mars Express is due for launch in June 2003.

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