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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."

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India's low-cost mission to Mars arrives in orbit

ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft seen prior to launch. Credit: ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

The Indian space agency's low-cost mission to Mars has successfully entered the red planet's orbit on Wednesday, making India the first country to carry out such a project in its maiden attempt.

The success of the Mars Orbiter Mission, praised for its relatively low price tag of $74 million (£45 million), will boost India's 50-year-old space programme that newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to expand with better infrastructure and technology.

One step closer to finding whether there's life on Mars

We could be one step closer to finding out if there is in fact life on Mars after a spacecraft successfully entered the orbit around the planet.

After almost a year of travelling the universe to get there, Nasa's Maven probe is beginning its one year mission to study the Red Planet's atmosphere.

ITV News reporter Sally Biddulph has the details:

Spacecraft explores 'mystery' of Mars climate change

Nasa's Mars spacecraft is to explore the "mystery" of climate change on Red Planet.

Scientists confirmed that the Maven science vessel will now be able to beam back data after the mission successfully place it into orbit.

Spacecraft explores 'mystery Credit: Nasa

Mars has a relatively thick atmosphere compared to the moon. The more interesting comparison is that we have a fleet of earth science and weather satellites around the earth for us to understand the earth's atmosphere.

The Mars atmosphere, being something like the earth's - Maven is something more akin to our earth observing satellites.

Somehow Mars changed billions of years ago from a thick atmosphere like earth to the very thin one today. That's the big mystery the team with Maven is trying to solve.

– Astronaut John Grunsfeld

Speaking at a press conference, Astronaut John Grunsfeld from the Nasa Science Mission Directorate said the mission aimed to solve the riddle of the planet's history.

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