Mission to Mars from Milton Keynes Electronic Telegraph

THE man most likely to answer the question “Is there life on Mars?” is not a Nasa scientist in a Houston laboratory but a 58-year-old, wild-haired professor who keeps cows on a farm in Cambridgeshire. Prof Colin Pillinger is the mastermind behind Britain’s first space probe, Beagle 2, which is due to land on Mars on December 23, 2003, and spend six months analysing Martian rocks, soil and gases for signs that the planet ever supported life. It is only Prof Pillinger’s enthusiasm and implacable faith that have turned into reality his academic obsession with the search for life on Mars. He is a specialist in analysing rocks from other planets and has extensively studied Martian meteorites.