EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Beagle 2 lander on the surface of Mars, computer illustration. This British probe was carried to Mars on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft. The small, disc-shaped probe was to have unfolded after landing to expose its solar panels (blue). It carried an array of instruments (upper right) designed to ascertain whether or not there was ever any life on the surface of Mars. These included two cameras, spectrometers and a burrowing, soil-sampling "mole". Mars Express launched on 2nd June 2003 and arrived at Mars on Christmas Day that year. However, the Beagle 2 lander was never heard of again after separating from Mars Express, and is assumed to have crashed on the surface of the planet.
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