ESA’s Mars Express orbiter made its first attempt to establish contact with the Beagle 2 lander, after the two spacecraft separated on 19 December 2003.
The orbiter made its first pass over the Beagle 2 landing site today at 13:13 CET, but could not pick up any signal from the tiny lander. More attempts to contact Beagle 2 are planned in the days to come.
Beagle 2 was released on 19 December on a course towards the Red Planet by Mars Express, the mothership for the 400 million kilometre interplanetary cruise. Six days later it entered the Martian atmosphere and should have landed on the near-equatorial site of Isidis Planitia.
Franco Bonacina | ESA
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