Trouble for British Mars lander BBC

A race is on to finish building a British spacecraft in time for the first European mission to Mars. Engineers are working extra hours on Beagle 2, amid concern the project is running over budget and behind schedule. It would be a major embarrassment to the UK if the craft – designed to land on the Red Planet – was left on the launch pad when the primary vehicle, Mars Express, blasts off early next year. David Southwood, Director of Science at the European Space Agency (Esa), said the Mars Express probe would take-off with or without Beagle.