Beagle 2 found 12 years after disappearing on Mars

The Beagle 2 Mars lander, lost more than a decade ago after its launch by the European Space Agency (ESA), has been spotted on the surface of the red planet. New images from the HiRise camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) show that the coffee-table sized lander — which was designed to unfold “like a giant fob watch” — made it safely to the surface of the planet, but did not fully deploy.

The spacecraft was originally launched in 2003 onboard the ESA’s Mars Express orbiter, and was intended to touch down on the planet on Christmas Day. The last signal from Beagle 2 suggested that it had detached safely from the orbiter and was on its way to its landing site at Isidis Planitia, a massive impact basin near the planet’s…

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