Source Pravda.Ru

Russian scholars participate in Beagle-2 programme on Mars

Russian scientists are taking part in the majority of experiments to be carried out on the Mars with the help of Beagle 2, an automated scientific module, said a spokesman for Rosaviakosmos (the Russian Aviation and Space Agency).

"The units of many apparatuses mounted to the European Mars Express interplanetary station, such as Omega scanner and the spectrometer of the Spicam apparatus were made in Russia. Therefore, our experts will also take part in assessing the results of the Mars studies," the spokesman said.

The Mars Express was orbited on July 2 by a Russian Soyuz rocket carrier with a Frigate boost unit. On December 19, the automatic module Beagle 2 was separated from the interplanetary station.

The main aim of the Mars Express mission is to find out whether there is subsoil water on the planet, to analyse its geological structure and to study the Mars climate.

The Beagle will be studying the soil and the atmosphere of the planet for six months.

On Thursday, the module successfully landed on the Mars at a planned time. However, the first attempt to establish contact with the Beagle-2 failed, reported the German mass media.

Scientific director of the project Dr. David Southwood said on Thursday morning that the next opportunity to establish contact with the module would be available on Thursday evening.