The focus of this inquiry, by the Science and Technology Committee, was the support by the UK Government for the Beagle 2 project developed as part of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express mission. The Committee found the Government showed enthusiasm for this project, but was unable to provide a guaranteed financial backing for the development of a lander, resulting in a failure to secure sufficient sponsorship income, which was subsequently seen to have a detrimental impact on the project's success. The Committee feels, that Government needs to put in place a system that can deal with major financial commitments at short notice. In hindsight, the development of the lander and orbiter separately is seen as wrong, impeding the flexible co-ordination of the mission, leading to tensions between the Beagle 2 consortium, ESA and other contractors. Further, there was a lack of co-ordinated oversight between these three groups, and therefore a failure to identify important weaknesses in the mission. Despite the failure of Beagle, the Committee does see some positive potential for future projects, both in scientific and educational benefits, but that the costs of such projects would benefit from greater participation by other organizations.House of Commons Papers 2003-04, 711 Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Science and Technology Committee ... Casani declared the Beagle 2 project as aquot;eminently doableaquot; but did highlight major risk issues associated with ... These included compensation to Mars Express for integration costs and orbit analysis, agreement to invest Ap10 million in work packages at Astrium and MBA andanbsp;...
|Title||:||Government Support for Beagle 2,Twelfth Report of Session 2003-04,Report,Together with Formal Minutes,Oral and Written Evidence|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Science and Technology Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2004|