Colin Pillinger

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The triumphant landing of the Phoenix craft on Mars is a tribute to the team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California - one of whom, Peter Smith, was a colleague of mine on the Beagle 2 mission to the planet in 2003. Using the Mars reconnaissance orbiter, they selected an excellent place to land, and were able to use thrusters to hit the spot safely and softly.

But it's also a tribute to the perseverance of Nasa, which has launched missions to the planet every 26 months. They have built at least 23 orbiting spacecraft, and have now had three successful landings.…  Seguir leyendo »