posted on Nov, 3 2004 @ 12:52 PM
The team behind the Beagle 2 mission to Mars has unveiled its design for the successor to the British spacecraft.
At a London meeting, Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the previous venture, outlined plans for putting a new robotic lab on the Red Planet.
Scientists hope to launch two landing craft from an orbiter that could fly in 2009 as part of Europe's Aurora programme of space exploration.
"This is us putting our cap in the ring," Professor Pillinger commented.
[The changes] are driven by all the lessons we learnt - both Esa's lessons and our lessons
Mark Sims, University of Leicester
The European Space Agency (Esa) did not solicit the proposal. Instead, scientists and engineers have worked up the plans of their own accord.
But Professor Pillinger told the BBC News website that he was pushing to make a presentation to Esa as soon as possible. But he added it was not
possible to put a cost on the concept at present.
The hope is that it will be considered for a so-called demonstration mission planned as part of Aurora.
The purpose of this mission is to demonstrate the ability to land on the Red Planet before sending a robotic rover there as part of Esa's ExoMars
project (also part of the Aurora programme).
The British team's working title for the project is Beagle 2: Evolution, as scientists are keen to keep the original mission's well-known brand.
one thing the last points noted in the story scientist are afraid of not being on time because of slow progress in the arora program.. well they can
launch on top of a privat craft around that time so don't see a problem