BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
The Race to Mars Europe's mission to Mars

MARS EXPRESS BEAGLE 2 THE LAUNCH ARRIVAL LIFE SEARCH MARS FACTS
BACK NEXT Back to intro
Arrival

Mars Express will make preparations to drop Beagle 2 by heading straight for the Red Planet.

The lander will make a fiery plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere protected by a heat shield. As it nears the surface, parachutes will open to slow its descent.

Just before touch down, gas-filled bags will inflate to cushion the landing. Beagle 2 should bounce to a halt on the Isidis basin, a flat boulder-strewn plain.

Meanwhile, Mars Express will fire its main engine and turn away from Mars ready to orbit the planet and begin the hunt for water.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific