Mars, Local and European Digital Time Display Boxes - used by the Beagle 2 Team

Whole Object Name

Mars, Local and European Digital Time Display Boxes - used by the Beagle 2 Team

Collection

Space Oddities

Description

Three digital display boxes set up to show local, Mars, and European time. They were installed at the Milton Keynes Open University site, as part of the science and engineering work carried out for the British Beagle 2 project, which formed part of ESA’s Mars Express Mission.

Beagle 2 was due to land on the surface of Mars on Christmas Day 2003, however no contact was ever received from the lander and the mission was presumed lost. The fate of Beagle 2 remained a mystery until 2015, when NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE Camera located the spacecraft intact on the surface of Mars, proving that the UK had landed its first spacecraft on another planet.

The time displays were donated to the National Space Centre by Judith Pillinger, whose husband Colin Pillinger was the Principle Investigator and driving force behind the Beagle 2 project. Judith also worked on Beagle 2 and coined the name 'Beagle' after Charles Darwin's ship HMS Beagle, in honour of the fact that the mission would search for evidence of life on Mars.

Object number

2016-36
  • image Digital Time Display Box, used by the Beagle 2 Operations Team
  • image Digital Time Display Box, used by the Beagle 2 Operations Team

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