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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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UK Space Agency Mars probe 'may have been spotted'

Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter may have found clues as to Beagle 2's whereabouts. Credit: NASA

The doomed Beagle 2 Mars probe may have been spotted near its intended landing site on the Red Planet, according to reports.

The UK Space Agency announced that it would provide an "update" on the ill-fated craft, which vanished while attempting a Christmas Day landing on the planet in 2003, in a briefing on Friday but is refusing to discuss in advance what will be revealed.

But according to the Times, a senior space scientist who has had sight of the images of Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter said they showed an object "about the right shape and in about the right place" to be the lost lander.

The paper's source added: "It tells us how close it got to the right landing spot and that it was in one piece."

Horse bones could be famous thoroughbred from history

A skeleton of a horse has been uncovered in Newmarket that could be one of Britain's most successful thoroughbreds. The bones were discovered during excavations of the former royal stables in the town.

Historians hope they're those of Dr Syntax, the most famous racehorse of the 19th century. Archaeologists are assessing the remains to try and find out more.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer

Stevenage: Historic comet landing named as Physics Breakthrough of the Year

A 10-year space mission to land on a comet for the first time has been named Physics Breakthrough of the year. Credit: Philae Lander

A 10-year space mission to land on a comet for the first time has been named Physics Breakthrough of the Year.

Scientists at Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage built the 'Rosetta' spacecraft which carried a probe to the comet more than 300 million miles from earth.

The landing of the Philae probe which carried equipment built at the open university in Milton Keynes was watch by millions world-wide.

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