Mars lander undergoes drop test New Scientist

A simulated Mars landing took place at a remote airfield in Shropshire, England, at dawn on Friday, in a crucial last test for the UK’s first Martian probe. The trial run tested the parachute that will slow the Beagle 2’s rapid descent to the red planet’s surface. It was a success, with a dummy payload safely carried to the ground from a height of 90 metres. A prototype of the unique parachute design underwent testing in Arizona in September, but Friday’s experiment tested the final design.