The UK Space Agency announced a press conference for Friday January 16th regarding it’s Mars probe Beagle 2. What’s so special about this is that when the Beagle 2 was ejected from the Mars Express orbiter on December 19th, 2003 all contact was lost with the probe and was presumed lost.
Having a press conference about a lost probe 12 years later is just a tiny bit odd, don’t you think?
The agency has attempted to find the probe over the years which was due to set down in Isidis Planitia December 25th, 2003. The probe was supposed to open up a parachute and inflate it’s triple air bags just before landing which has led many scientists to suspect it had broken upon impact.
While the UK Space Agency is tight lipped we know that the NASA team behind the HiRise satellite orbiting Mars has been invited to speak at the conference as well. Here’s what team member Shane Byrne told The Guardian about the press conference:
HiRise is the only camera at Mars that can see former spacecraft like Beagle 2. It’s definitely pretty close to its intended landing spot, no matter what. It entered the atmosphere at the right time and place
Other than that, we have no idea what shape the lander is in or whether it’s even possible to reactivate it.