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Beagle 2
Beagle 2 replica.jpg
Replica of the Beagle 2 at the Science Museum, London
Mission type Mars lander
Operator National Space Centre
Mission duration 6 months (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Landing mass 33.2 kg (73 lb)
Payload mass 9 kg (20 lb) science instruments
Dimensions Folded: 1 m diameter
Unfolded: 1.9 m diameter
Height: 12 cm
Power 60 W
Start of mission
Launch date 2 June 2003, 07:45 (2003-06-02UTC07:45) UTC
Rocket Soyuz-FG / Fregat
Launch site Baikonur Cosmodrome
Contractor EADS Astrium
Mars lander
Landing date 25 December 2003, 02:45 UTC
Landing site Isidis Planitia, Mars
11°31′35″N 90°25′46″E / 11.5265°N 90.4295°E / 11.5265; 90.4295 (Beagle 2 landing site)

The Beagle 2 was a British Mars lander that was carried to Mars by the European Space Agency's 2003 Mars Express mission. It was an astrobiology mission that was designed to look for past life on the shallow surface of Mars.

The Beagle 2 was conceived by a group of British academics. It was led by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University.

The spacecraft successfully arrived in orbit round Mars on 19 December 2003. It was going to land on the surface of Mars on 25 December. There was no contact at the expected time of landing. ESA declared that the mission was lost in February 2004, after several attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful.

Beagle 2's fate remained a mystery until January 2015. Then it was found on the surface of Mars by a series of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera. The images suggest that two of the spacecraft's four solar panels failed to deploy, blocking the spacecraft's communications antenna.

The Beagle 2 was named after HMS Beagle, the ship used by Charles Darwin.

PIA19106-Beagle2-Found-MRO-20140629
Image of the possible landing site of Beagle 2

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