Radio ham interviewed on TV about Beagle 2

Illustration of the UK Beagle 2 lander on Mars - Credit ESA

Illustration of the UK Beagle 2 lander on Mars – Credit ESA

Essex-born radio amateur Dave Rowntree M6DRQ was interviewed on Channel 5 TV news about the Beagle 2 Mars mission.

Dave, formerly drummer in the band Blur, is currently a DJ on London radio station XFM 104.9 MHz.

On December 25, 2003 the pioneering UK spacecraft Beagle 2, developed by a team led by Professor Colin Pillinger, landed on Mars, however, communications with it could not be established. This meant it was not known if the landing had been successful or where on the planet it was.

On July 30, 2004 Professor Pillinger gave a presentation about Beagle 2 to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford, he received a standing ovation from the audience.

On January 15, 2015 it was announced that Beagle 2 had been located in images taken of Mars. These confirmed it had made a successful soft landing on the planet. Sadly Professor Pillinger had passed away a few months earlier on May 7, 2014.

Watch Dave talking about Beagle 2

Radio ham becomes XFM 104.9 DJ

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2011 BBC interview with Professor Colin Pillinger

BBC Interview with Professor Colin Pillinger

Professor Pillinger at AMSAT-UK Colloquium - Credit GM8ARV

Professor Colin Pillinger at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium. Picture credit: David Taylor GM8ARV

On Dec. 27, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Professor Colin Pillinger about the UK Mars exploration mission Beagle 2 which landed on the Red Planet on Christmas Day 2003. An MP3 of the interview is now available.

Eight years ago, planetary scientist Colin Pillinger was still hopeful that the Beagle 2 Lander that he had spent years designing, building and publicising (with the help of Blur and Damien Hirst) might yet be found somewhere on the surface of Mars. But, as more time passed, it became clear that The Beagle 2 Lander would be forever lost in space. Jim al -Khalili talks to Colin Pillinger about studying moon rock and meteorites from Mars whilst running a successful dairy farm; broken space dreams and why, even if a space project fails, useful scientific lessons can still be learned.

During the interview Colin Pillinger says that the biggest lesson learnt was not having had a radio beacon active during the decent phase and therefore not knowing what finally happened.

The interview was first broadacst on BBC Radio 4, at 9:00AM Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 and a podcast of the show ‘The Life Scientific’ can now be heard at

Beagle 2 : The UK led exploration of Mars

The 2012 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be held September 14-16

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