Damien Hirst has spoken of his delight as he found out that Beagle 2 was safely on Mars and has dubbed it as ‘fantastic news’.
The artist had painted spots for Beagle 2 on a test card over a decade ago, which were to serve as special instrument calibration chart. The spots were applied with pigment that could withstand the rigours of space flight and were to be used by scientists back on Earth as reference to calibrate the probe’s equipment.
As soon as Hirst found that Beagle 2 did indeed land successfully, he said: “This is fantastic news. I can’t believe Beagle 2 has been out there all this time and I have a painting on Mars. It’s amazing!” as quoted by Leicester Mercury.
Discovery of Beagle 2 on Martian surface after over 12 years has confirmed that that the probe did go through with the landing sequence more or less perfectly and upon touchdown deployed at least 1 or its solar panels out of the possible four.
The discovery also proves that Professor Colin Pillinger’s vision was bang on target and as Hirst states: “It makes me think that Colin must be looking down on us smiling and still have a hand in it.”
As a means to honour the legacy of Beagle 2 the European Space Agency (ESA) is using some of the technology of the probe in its ExoMars 2018 rover mission