Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT
Beagle 2 with shield in action
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Beagle 2 with shield in action

January 17, 2005
Beagle 2's heat resistant shield protects it from heat generated by friction with the martian atmosphere. Parachutes deploy to slow it down further, then gas-filled bags inflate to soften its landing.

Beagle 2 will land on Isidis Planitia, a large, flat sedimentary basin straddling the relatively young northern plains and ancient southern highlands, where traces of life could have been preserved.