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Simulations May Explain Loss of Beagle 2 Mars Probe 98

chrb writes "Researchers at Queensland University have used computer simulations to calculate that the loss of the US$80 million British Beagle 2 Mars probe was due to a bad choice of spin rate during atmospheric entry, resulting in the craft burning up within seconds. The chosen spin rate was calculated by using a bridging function to estimate the transitional forces between the upper and lower atmosphere, while the new research relies on simulation models. Beagle 2 team leader Professor Colin Pillinger has responded saying that the figures are far from conclusive, while another chief Beagle engineer has said 'We still think we got it right.'"

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