It looks like one mystery is about to be solved – namely what happened to Beagle 2 – the British Mars lander, which was due to land Christmas Day 2003, never phoned home! There will be an announcement at the UK Space Agency this Friday.
I feel it is a pity that the lead scientist for this project, Chris Pillinger is no longer alive to get the answer to this mystery, may he rest in peace.
But now we will have some idea of what went wrong, and from that the space industry can learn to avoid similar situations for the future. This is particularly important given the current push to land men and women on Mars. There has also been news about finding a cheaper type of trajectory to the red planet.
But this still does not negate the recommendation of a NASA study that suggested Callisto, one of the big four moons of Jupiter was the best place t settle in the Solar System first. This is due to Jovian magnetosphere being of the right strength to project people from the dangers of the Sun’s radiation.
Mars as a setting for science fiction stories seems once again becoming popular. This has been helped by the success of Andy Weir’s novel: The Martian. A kind of Robinson Crusoe on Mars.
And I’m afraid C.A.T.’s also been busy, so to speak. Well what do you expect me to say when a picture like this appears on io9 website… where you can find out why! And yes this is mind-keboggling science…. and I have some science fictional thoughts about it all….