Beagle 2 Found On MARS
The Beagle 2 was sent to the surface of Mars to search for signs of extraterrestrial life on Christmas day of 2003. Unfortunately, no radio contact from the probe was heard of and was assumed to be destroyed. 12 years later the probe has been found and it did not crash at all. Pictures taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter display the probe’s landing spot. It appears to be intact. The images show what might’ve happened that Christmas day.
The probe was supposed to make a soft landing using parachutes and airbags. Some even believe it got caught by the thin atmosphere which would cause it to land too fast and hard. The images prove that the Beagle 2 did not crash, but it failed to open it’s petal-like solar panels, which would prevent it from communicating to scientists back on Earth. “Without full deployment, there is no way we could have communicated with it as the radio frequency antenna was under the solar panels,” Beagle mission manager Professor Mark Sims told BBC News. “What caused this failure is pure speculation, says Sims, although it could have been a heavy bounce or a punctured airbag”.