Missing Spacecraft Found on Mars After 11-Year Search
Europe's Beagle 2 is sitting on the Martian surface, dead but mostly intact.
The European Space Agency's Beagle 2 lander, which vanished from contact after setting down on the red planet on Christmas Day 2003, has been found at last.
The find solves a mystery of more than a decade—whether and where the craft landed—but has yet to explain why Beagle 2 never established radio contact. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the craft's remains from space, lying with its solar panels partially deployed about three miles (4.8 kilometers) from its intended landing site. The Beagle lies in the Isidis Planitia region of Mars, at the edge of a long-vanished ocean.
"Every Christmas Day since 2003 I have wondered what happened to Beagle 2," said Mark Sims, of the U.K.'s University of Leicester,