RSS Featured Blog Posts
  • Poker, Probability, Monte Carlo, and R
    My daughter just started a business analytics Master's program. For the probability sequence of the core statistics course, one of her assignments is to calculate the probability of single …
    steve miller
  • What a CEO needs to know about Machine Learning algorithms
    During my first project in McKinsey in 2011, I served the CEO of a bank regarding his small business strategy. I wanted to run a linear regression on the bank's data but my boss told me: "Don't do it. They don't understand statistics". (We did not use Machine…
    Pedro URIA RECIO
  • Are You Ready To Become A Chief Data Scientist?
    You know who you are. A high-calibre machine learning magician, a well-versed wrangler of data... but you want a bit more from your role. That may be progression, more money or the chance to work on new, more exciting projects, but where do you go from here?   Many companies are looking to increase investment […]
    Matt Reaney
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Retail Market to hit $8bn by 2024
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Retail Market size is set to exceed USD 8 billion by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.  The AI in retail market is driven by the increasing investments in it across the globe. The growing investment in the technology is attributed to the wide applications […]
    Sagar
  • Summarize and explore the data using SmartEDA
    Created an R package for exploratory data analysis. Package name is SmartEDA now available on CRAN. This package includes multiple custom functions to perform initial exploratory analysis on any input data describing the structure and the relationships present in the data. The generated output can be obtained in both summary and graphical form. The graphical form […]
    Dayanand

 UK’s Beagle 2 lander spotted on Mars

(CNN)Turns out the Beagle had landed, after all.

The 11-year-old mystery of what happened to the UK-sponsored Beagle 2 Mars lander on its trip to the red planet’s surface appeared to be mostly solved Friday with the announcement the craft had been spotted in high-resolution NASA images taken from orbit.

The lander — crammed with devices to look for signs of life on Mars — never radioed home after hitching a ride aboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter and dropping into the atmosphere on December 25, 2003.

Beagle 2 lander

The images appear to show that the lander’s solar panels didn’t fully open after landing, preventing the craft from getting power and exposing the antenna it would have used to communicate with controllers on Earth, according to the space agency.

While the reasons for that failure remain unknown, the discovery of the lander helps solve one of the most enduring mysteries in Martian exploration, said Mark Sims, a Beagle 2 team member from the University of Leicester.

“Every Christmas Day since 2003 I have wondered what happened to Beagle 2,” he said, adding that he’d almost given up hope of ever knowing what had come of the lander.

“The highly complex entry, descent and landing sequence seems to have worked perfectly and only during the final phases of deployment did Beagle 2 unfortunately run into problems,” he said.

The lander, which is less than 2 meters (6.56 feet) across when fully deployed, was first spotted in the NASA images by Michael Croon of Trier, Germany — a former member of the European Space Agency’s Mars Express operations team, the UK Space Agency said.

Croon is among a group of Beagle 2 team members who have spent years combing through images from NASA’s HiRISE camera, which is on the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, looking for signs of the missing craft, the agency said.

He found it in an area near the planned landing zone, an impact basin called Isidis Planitia close to the Martian equator.

The grainy images appear to show the lander resting on the surface, its solar panels only partially deployed. The craft’s rear cover and parachutes are nearby.

Had the lander deployed properly, a suite of onboard tools would have been used to analyze rocks, soil and atmosphere for signs of life.

The lander — the first European craft sent to the Martian surface — was named after the HMS Beagle, the ship that carried Charles Darwin on a groundbreaking 5-year scientific survey.

While its namesake resulted in no such breakthroughs, David Parker, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said the discovery proves the Beagle 2 had its successes.

“The history of space exploration is marked by both success and failure,” he said. “This finding makes the case that Beagle 2 was more of a success than we previously knew and undoubtedly an important step in Europe’s continuing exploration of Mars.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *