The curse of Mars The Daily Telegraph

The British-led Beagle 2 probe is about to enter the last, and most risky, stage of its six-month-long, 250-million-mile journey. Robert Matthews meets Professor Colin Pillinger, the driving force behind the mission to the Red Planet Professor Colin Pillinger is not remotely superstitious. Even so, as the driving force behind Beagle 2, Britain’s first mission to Mars, he knows all about the curse of the Red Planet – about how it took the Cold War superpowers seven attempts to get their first probe anywhere near it, and how two thirds of those sent since have failed to complete their missions.