Development of the Thermal Design for the Beagle 2 Mars Lander 2004-01-2414
Beagle 2 was a British-led mission to place a scientific Lander on Mars to search specifically for evidence of past or present life and to conduct geochemical and environmental investigations. It was launched aboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express on 2nd June 2003 and was scheduled to land in the Isidis Planitia region of Mars in late December 2003.
The 33 kg Beagle 2 Lander had to be designed to survive the extreme thermal environment of Mars, where temperatures can fall to around −100 °C overnight. Critically, the on-board battery could not fall below −30 °C and overnight heater usage needed to be minimized to conserve battery energy. One novelty was that a thermal design was developed that did not require radioisotope heater units. This paper describes the development and evolution of the Beagle 2 thermal control sub-system.