Did A UFO Shoot Down The Beagle 2?

LONDON  European scientists said Monday they are examining an image of its Beagle 2 Mars lander, taken moments after it separated from its mothership and later was lost, that also shows an unidentified object. The mysterious blot on the photograph is being scrutinized as one of several potential reasons for the failure of the mission, Europe’s first attempt to land a probe on the Red Planet. Mission controllers said they were also considering the possibility that Beagle 2 simply crashed onto the surface of Mars because its atmosphere was less dense than expected. Scientists said they are examining photographs of the landing site that show four bright spots, dubbed the “string of pearls,” that might be the remains of Beagle 2. Beagle 2 has not been heard from since it was ejected from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter in mid-December. The 65-kilogram probe did not respond to […] Read More

2011: High-speed 'space wedge' on track

23 June 2011 Last updated at 09:02 ET By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News, Paris The IXV would be launched atop a Vega rocket The European Space Agency (Esa) is pressing ahead with its re-entry demonstrator known as the IXV, which it expects to launch in 2013. This distinctive wedge-shaped vehicle will be put at an altitude above 400km from where it will begin its flight back to Earth. Its suite of sensors should give engineers new insights into how objects fall back through the atmosphere. Ultimately, the data should inform better spacecraft design. Even probes sent to land on other worlds like Mars should benefit from the knowledge. “IXV is providing Europe with important technologies and a step to more ambitious programmes in the future,” said Antonio Fabrizi, one of Esa’s senior directors. He signed an agreement at the Paris Air Show that will lead to manufacture […] Read More