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Pathfinder prepares for space launch

A landmark has been reached for space scientists who want to put Einstein's Theory of Relativity to the test. They've been working for more than a decade on a space module which is about to enter its final stages of testing before being propelled 1.5 million kilometres into space.

Known as the LISA Pathfinder, its job is to measure minute waves of gravity. It's said this will open a new pair of eyes for humanity and help us undertsand more about black holes and collapsed stars.

Wesley Smith put on his protective clothing at the lab in Hertfordshire to try to explain more.


Leading Norfolk astronomer to undertake ambitious live science show

Leading astronomer, Mark Thomson, is to undertake an ambitious live science show.

One of the region's leading astronomers, Mark Thomson, is to undertake an ambitious live science show.

In October Mark, who is from Norfolk, will be presenting a 24 Hour Space Spectacular at the Royal Institution in London. The event is in aid of the Marie Curie cancer charity.

Click here for more details.


  1. National

Beagle 2 scientist 'would have been pleased to defy critics'

Colin Pillinger died in 2014 Credit: PA Wire

The daughter of the space scientist behind the Beagle 2 project has said her late father would have been pleased to "defy the critics who wanted to say that Beagle 2 is a failure".

Professor Colin Pillinger's daughter Shusanah said: "He would have loved that this shows Beagle 2 landed on Mars, it got all the way through the entry and descend and the processes. It unravelled some of its solar panels.

"This shows such an immense success and not forgetting all the other things that went on in the background of Beagle 2, all the promotion of science, all of the inspiration to children.

"He would love that this is in the news again. He would love that this could inspire that next generation to do Beagle 3."

Adding that his death last year had been tough for her family, she said: "We are trying to carry on what dad would have wanted. He was someone who wanted science to be communicated to everybody. We want everybody to be aware of Beagle 2, to be inspired by it.

"But there is a tinge of sadness that he can't be here. You can see that in the room where all his colleagues, all the people he worked with, everybody is gutted he cannot be here."

Professor Colin Pillinger remembered as it's announced Beagle 2 did make it to Mars after all

Professor Colin Pillinger died in 2014. Credit: PA

Many people have been taking to Twitter to express their sadness that Professor Colin Pillinger didn't live to see that the Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on Mars after all.

The mission was led by the Professor, and he died assuming that the craft had been destroyed after it went missing in 2003.

However, the UK Space Agency today confirmed that high resolution pictures taken by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft showed it actually successfully landed 12 years ago.

Missing Beagle 2 spacecraft DID land on Mars, UK Space Agency confirms

The Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on Mars, it's been confirmed. Credit: Beagle 2

The Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on Mars, the UK Space Agency has confirmed.

The craft went missing on Christmas Day in 2003, and many scientists assumed that it had been destroyed.

David Parker, the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, announced today that Beagle 2 did land on Mars, but "only partially deployed."

Beagle 2 was built in Stevenage, and the mission was led by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University in Milton Keynes.

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