On December 25, 2003, astronomers lost contact with Beagle 2, a spacecraft sent to study the planet Mars. The spacecraft was never heard from again, although the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter located the debris in 2015.Beagle 2 was a space probe, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), to search for evidence of life on Mars. It was named after the Beagle, the 19th-century ship on which Charles Darwin made groundbreaking discoveries about life on Earth.Although there have been many “flyby” missions to Mars, few have managed to make it to the surface of the Red Planet. Less than a month after the loss of Beagle 2, however, NASA, the American space agency, successfully landed Spirit. Spirit was a rover that provided data about the Martian landscape until 2010.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry astronomer Noun
person who studies space and the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere.
layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body.
Encyclopedic Entry: atmosphere communication Noun
sharing of information and ideas.
data Plural Noun
(singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.
to expand or grow.
data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.
innovative or pioneering.
the geographic features of a region.
Encyclopedic Entry: landscape NASA Noun
(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) the U.S. space agency, whose mission statement is "To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind."
path of one object around a more massive object.
large, spherical celestial body that regularly rotates around a star.
Encyclopedic Entry: planet prevent Verb
to keep something from happening.
to give or make available.
vehicle that remotely explores a region, such as the surface of a moon, planet, or other celestial body.
object that orbits around something else. Satellites can be natural, like moons, or made by people.
vehicle designed for travel outside Earth's atmosphere.
space probe Noun
set of scientific instruments and tools launched from Earth to study the atmosphere and composition of space and other planets, moons, or celestial bodies.