Long-Missing Beagle 2 Mars Lander Finally Found

Turns out the mission was a success, after all.

ByABC News
January 16, 2015, 7:25 AM

— -- More than a decade after it went missing, the Beagle 2 Mars Lander has finally been found.

Turns out the mission was a success, after all.

The U.K.-led project was spotted in high-resolution images captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, seen partially deployed on the surface of the Red Planet.

Beagle 2 has not been heard from since its landing Christmas Day 2003.

David Parker, chief executive of the United Kingdom Space Agency, acknowledged the significance of the finding in a statement.

“The history of space exploration is marked by both success and failure,” Parker said. “This finding makes the case that Beagle 2 was more of a success than we previously knew and undoubtedly an important step in Europe’s continuing exploration of Mars.”

The British-built Beagle-2 was launched on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter and was supposed to look for life.

After the project failed, two U.S. spacecraft landed on Mars and sent back many pictures and extensive scientific data.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.