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If the Beagle had landed?

Beagle 2

Beagle 2 was a British-built space probe that was sent to explore Mars in 2003. Named after biologist Charles Darwin’s famous ship, Beagle 2 sadly it never made it. It was due to land on Christmas Day that year, but something went wrong and it vanished without a trace. Beagle 2’s disappearance is perhaps the inspiration behind the Guinevere One space probe in the 2005 Doctor Who episode ‘The Christmas Invasion’, but Beagle 2 is unlikely to have been stolen by the Sycorax.

Had Beagle 2 made it through, the first thing we would have heard was its radio call sign, which was some digital music specially composed by Britpop group Blur. It wasn’t the only part of the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission that had an artistic twist. Famous British artist Damien Hirst (the man who had previously pickled halved calves in formaldehyde tanks), had designed one of his famous spot paintings – rows of differently coloured spots – that was to be used as an instrument calibration chart. It would have been the first art on Mars, but now it’s probably the first art all over Mars.

Image credit: all rights reserved Beagle 2.