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Inside Mission Control (UK), preparing for Christmas Day landing on Mars The Independent

An industrial estate in Leicester is an unlikely home for Britain’s first ever mission into space, let alone the base for a team of scientists who could be the first people to find life on Mars. But in a small complex of buildings next to the council vehicle depot, the British National Space Centre, as it is grandly named, is the command centre for the European Space Agency’s first attempt to explore the surface of another planet. It is where a team will direct Beagle 2, a tiny, shell-shaped, British-built lander, which could find the first proof that alien life exists.