:: system overview

Beagle 2, integrated onto the ESA Mars Express spacecraft, was launched from Baikonur on June 2nd 2003 on a Soyuz/Fregat rocket supplied by Starsem, a system which has proved itself during four test flights carried out in 2000.

Beagle 2 has no propulsion system of its own so it is carried to Mars by the Mars Express spacecraft which will go into orbit around the planet for remote sensing purposes. Just before that manoeuvre the host spacecraft will power Beagle 2 batteries through an electrical interface and a mechanism which remains on the orbiter will send the lander package on an atmospheric entry trajectory. From now on Beagle 2 is on its own and looking after itself in terms of stability, power, thermal control and entry sequencing.

The probe is designed with a lifetime compatible with the mission phases: