Colin Pillinger

It is with much sadness that we heard yesterday of the death of Professor Colin Pillinger. He began his career in planetary science at NASA working on Moon rocks but his passion was to place a British designed and built lander on the surface of Mars, specifically to look for signs of life. Thus it was that Beagle II was conceived. The probe was carried to Mars on ESA's Mars Express Mission programmed to reach the red planet on Christmas Day 2003. Unfortunately, disaster struck and no communication was received from the lander. But the work producing the lander turned the Open University to a leading research centre for planetary science. Professor Colin Pillinger was awarded the CBE in 2003 and will be remembered by the re-naming of Asteroid 15614 to 15614 Pillinger.

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Last updated   10-May-2014