Public chance to land Beagle on Mars

PUBLISHED: 12:58 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

THE public will have the opportunity to land the Beagle spacecraft on Mars - and the man behind the real mission will be there to see whether they succeed. Colin Pillinger was in charge of the British Beagle space probe which was planned to land on Mars t

THE public will have the opportunity to land the Beagle spacecraft on Mars - and the man behind the real mission will be there to see whether they succeed.

Colin Pillinger was in charge of the British Beagle space probe which was planned to land on Mars to gather scientific details - but was believed to have crashed landed.

Mr Pillinger, however, will be seeing other attempts to reach Mars when he visits the Royston May Fayre in the Priory Memorial Gardens on Monday.

He said: "It's great to see that the Beagle mission is continuing to raise awareness for science and engineering."

Mr Pillinger will be seeing whether anyone can land a replica of the Beagle spacecraft on Mars in a competition devised by members of the Royston Round Table.

Table chairman Arend Jan van Bochoven said: "The Beagle mission was a great scientific achievement."

He said the competition will "give people a good idea of how difficult and scientifically challenging the Beagle mission really was".

The group - which will be raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance - will have on display a full-size display model of the Beagle which had been loaned from the company, EADS Astrium in Stevenage.

Mr Pillinger will be signing copies of his book about the mission during his appearance at the event.

The event, which will be opened by Royston's mayor Cllr Bill Prime at midday, will include displays by the Tumblairs, a comedy trampoline act, and Paws for Thought, a dog display team.

Other entertainment will include music from the Royston Town Band and Opus 17.

- The Royston Tapestry will be on display in Royston Town Hall during the day.

The tapestry is set to become part of Royston's heritage in its own right and shows the history of the town from its earliest times.

- This year's event will include, as usual, a classic car display in the town hall car park.

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