Beagle 2 'was so close to Mars success' - bbc.co.uk
Beagle 2, the failed British mission to Mars in 2003, came "excruciatingly close" to succeeding, a study shows.
A new analysis of pictures of the Beagle 2 spacecraft shows that it did not crash-land on the Martian surface.
Instead, it indicates that the landing went to plan and at least three of its four solar panels opened successfully.
The analysis also suggests that the probe may even have worked for several months, but was unable to send its data back to Earth.
Prof Mark Sims of Leicester University, who commissioned the study, told BBC News that there is an extremely small possibility that Beagle 2 might still be working on the Martian surface.
"It may have worked for hundreds of days depending on how much dust was deposited on the solar panels and whether any dust devils were cleaning the panels - as happened with Nasa's Mars Exploration Rovers," he said.
"One possibility is that it could still be working today - but it is extremely unlikely and I doubt that it is."
Researchers created this computer simulation of sunlight reflecting from Beagle 2.