August 2002 -
Beagle 2 to land in Godalming!
man-made object to land on Mars will be the British-led Beagle 2 lander,
to be carried by the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft. After
a planned launch in June 2003, Beagle 2 will land on Mars around Christmas
2003. University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory leads
the team building the Stereo Camera System - Beagle's eyes. The laboratory,
at Holmbury St Mary, is also involved in an experiment on the Mars Express
30 August a full-size model of the Beagle 2 lander will be on display to
the public at Godalming Museum. This sneak preview is part of the 'Hands
On the Solar System' exhibition there, which also finishes that day after
a successful few weeks. The Mars Day starts at 2pm with a series of talks,
a chance to look at the Beagle 2 model and a competition to land a simulated
payload (an egg!) onto the surface of Mars. It will be suitable for all ages.
2 lands on Mars we will use our tiny on-board cameras to produce 3-dimensional
images of the landing site to aid Beagle's hunt for signs of life on Mars'
says Dr Andrew Coates, lead investigator for the Beagle 2 cameras. 'We will
also look for traces of water, one of the key compounds for life, in the
atmosphere and how the water escapes to space'. Mars has no large-scale magnetic
field unlike the Earth, so the solar wind can 'scavenge' water from the top
of the Mars atmosphere, and orbiter measurements will be used to study this
experiments for the surface of Mars is a huge challenge because of the low
temperatures and atmospheric pressure at the surface' says Dr Andrew Griffiths,
Beagle 2 camera project manager at MSSL. The daytime maximum temperature
is expected to be around 0 degrees C and the nighttime temperature may plummet
to -90 degrees, while the pressure is less than 1 percent of Earth's surface
as the special Mars exhibits on 30th, the exhibition will continue to highlight
the other members of the solar system using interactive hands-on displays.
An art competition is running every day until 30 August, and the Mars lander
competition is on the 30th. Exhibition organiser Dr Chris McFee from MSSL
says 'We have exceeded our wildest expectations in terms of number of visitors
and bringing the solar system to Godalming has been a huge success'.
Green, joint exhibition organiser, says 'The many people involved from MSSL
and the museum can be justly proud of what they have achieved over the last
Dr Andrew Coates Beagle 2 camera lead investigator
Dr Andrew Griffiths Beagle 2 camera project manager
Dr Chris McFee Hands On the Solar System organiser
Dr Lucie Green Hands On the Solar System organiser
Day is on Friday August 30 at Godalming Museum. Competition to build a lander
running all day
the red planet, and Beagle 2's mission Dr Andrew Coates
2.45 When will people land on Mars? Discussion with Dr Chris McFee, Dr Lucie
Green, Dr Andrew Griffiths and Dr Andrew Coates
3.15 Beagle 2 model Dr Andrew Griffiths
4pm Competition judging and announcement of the winner!
information and tickets from the Museum, call 01483 426510.
on the solar system is a collaboration between UCL's Mullard Space Science
Laboratory (www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk) and
Godalming Museum (www.godalming-museum.org.uk).
It is partly funded by PPARC.
3. At 7pm
on 28 August, Dr Paul Roche will talk on Impact Earth! at the Pepperpot.
For tickets call 01483 426510.
Beagle 2 project is led by the Open University and involves industry and
academia. More information at www.beagle2.com