Nasa Name 'Pilinger Point' On Mars After Brit Space Legend Colin Pilinger

British 'Beagle' Hero To Be Immortalised On Mars

Mutton-chopped space legend Colin Pillinger has been immortalised in red rock after Nasa named a ridge on Mars after the late gent.

A rocky ridge on the slopes above Endeavour Crater will be named Pillinger Point.

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Professor Colin Pillinger

Pillinger became a professor in interplanetary science at the Open University in 1991, where he led the Department of Physical Sciences until 2005, and earned a host of other qualifications and awards during his prestigious career - which included work with NASA.

But he was best known for his work as lead scientist on the unfortunately doomed Beagle 2 mission to find life on Mars.

Despite losing contact with the craft on Christmas Day, 2003, the mission captured the imaginations of the British public and Pilinger distinctive manner and look won him many fans.

It was the first time that an individual researcher had sent a craft into space to search for life, and was widely admired and closely followed by the public. Pillinger was brutally disappointed by the mission's failure, but was awarded the CBE for his work in the same year.

Prof Pillinger was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005.

He said at the time that the illness would not stop his efforts to get Beagle technology back on Mars.

He lobbied Nasa to include technology similar to that on Beagle 2 in its most recent Mars lander, the Curiosity rover, and maintained that sending human explorers was largely pointless unless we could first establish the existence of life on the surface.


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