A couple of Universities from my hometown of Leicester uncovered something interesting today, and that is that the Beagle 2 spacecraft had more success on Mars than we originally thought.
Originally, it was thought that the spacecraft crash landed on the red planet, but according to a recent report by De Monfort University and Leicester University, that was not the case.
The Beagle 2 actually landed successfully, however, the mission still wasn’t a complete success, with only three of the four solar panels opening successfully. The report claims that the probe might have even worked for “hundred of days” and it is entirely possible that it might still be working today.
But because one of the unopened solar panels was covering equipment, it was not and will remain unable to send data back to Earth.
All of this information came from a study that was commissioned by Professor Mark Sims from the Leicester University.
However, no signal was received on Christmas Day.
The team behind it continued to search after that, however, they received no response.
Thanks to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Beagle 2 was later found in a photo that was taken by the MRO in 2004, indicating that some of the panels had opened.
Nick Higget and his team at De Monfort University used these images to confirm the news that the Beagle 2 had deployed at least three of its solar panels.
This is certainly interesting space news and shows that space is always full of surprises but it can also be full of peril.