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Innovation in space
Hitching a ride on a comet
Colin Pillinger grabbed the headlines when he led the European Space Agency Beagle 2 Project - to land a tiny spacecraft on Mars. Although the mission ended in disappointment and mystery (no radio communications were ever received), the spirit of Beagle lives on.
Having begun his career on the Apollo Programme, analysing samples of moon rock, Colin is now working with NASA to develop a craft to search for water on the dark side of the moon. The long-term plan is to establish a permanent station at the lunar south pole.
Colin also has an ongoing involvement with ESA's Rosetta mission, seeking to expand our knowledge of the origins of the Solar System. After a ten-year journey the spacecraft is programmed to rendezvous with a comet, drop a lander onto the surface and travel with it towards the sun - sending back a mass of scientific data.
In corporate lectures and after dinner speeches the Open University Professor of Planetary Sciences shows his undiminished enthusiasm. He admits that innovation isn't easy (- Edison first discovered 1500 ways how not to make a light bulb), but believes lack of resources needn't always impede progress: "You just have to think harder."
My Life On Mars is a dual biography telling Colin's story and that of Beagle 2.
'A real "Boy's Own" story' Proctor and Gamble
"We learnt more about space in half an hour than in a normal lifetime." BHP
"Colin's inspiring words really made a difference." Scottish Institute for Enterprise
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