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Supporting A Follow On Mission, Write to your MP
post Mar 10 2004, 12:31 PM
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I emailed Colin. P. asking how I can demonstrate my support and desire for the goverment to reach into it's pockets and fund a '07 follow on to Beagle 2 - and his suggestion was to email my local MP. Which I have done. This is what I wrote..

I am writing to urge you to investigate and promote the governments spending on space science.
I attended a meeting at the Royal Society on Monday (8th March) at which Professor Colin Pillinger, head
of the Beagle 2 project reasserted his aim to assemble and fly another space mission in the 2007 time
frame. It is impossible to underestimate how much has been achieved and learnt in the design, building and
flying of Beagle 2. Whilst as a mission it has failed, in promoting science and engineering to the youth of
today, it has been a glorious success. Investigation into why the mission failed is ongoing but the team is
convinced that the opportunity to fly again in 2007 must simply not be missed. Leicester played a pivotal
role in Beagle 2 as you will be aware. Much of the instrumentation was designed, built and managed by the
University of Leicester, and the Lander Operations Control Centre have been an enormous focal point in
interest at the National Space Centre. We helped build it and we should be damn proud of that. Taking into
account the mass, power, financial, volume and time constraints into consideration - it is a miracle and
testament to the abilities of the engineers and scientists at the University of Leicester that Beagle 2 even
made it as far as the launch pad in Baikanour, let alone all the way to Mars.
The opportunity and the technology is there to try again, to learn from the Beagle 2 and put together a new
mission for 2007 - but funding is needed to do this. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of such
a mission in terms of science, engineering, and education. There is little for this country to be proud of at
present, but a new mission to mars would be one. I believe the proposed mission would be around 100
million euros, and the intention is to build two craft similar to Beagle 2, and a mother ship dedicated to flying
them to mars, and deploying them to the surface, and thereafter act as a communications relay from
Martian orbit back to earth.
I am utterly convinced that this mission would be worth each and every penny that it would cost. It would be
a crime to allow to astonishing talents of the people here at the University of Leicester, in Stevenage at
Astrium, and at the OU in Milton Keynes to go to waste and not fund - fully - this follow on mission. The
potential for learning is enormous - and Leicester would once again be the focal point of the mission.
I will also be attending a public meeting at the National Space Centre tomorrow evening (11th March) at
which I intend to voice my support and echo this request that the government fully funds such a mission,
and does so immediately. To have achieved so much with so little help from the government with Beagle 2-
I would find it a disgrace if the possibility for enormous success is left untapped, because an amount of
money totalling less than 2 per person can not be found to fully fund such a project
I urge you to raise this matter at Westminster, and offer it your full support - as our representative, as a
proud Britain and resident of Leicester
I would be happy to enter into discussion on the matter via email if you would like to further investigate the

Any UK chaps ( are there any in here ohmy.gif ) who feel the same - use www.faxyourmp.com and contact your MP and tell them that you think the goverment should back this thing to the hilt. Hopefully - if there are enough voices, we'll see some action

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