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Colin Pillinger, colorful scientist of failed Mars probe, dies at 70
Colin Pillinger, colorful scientist of failed Mars probe, dies at 70

Colin Pillinger, a colorful British space scientist who sported thick mutton-chop whiskers and became a symbol of national pluck in masterminding a failed search for life on Mars, died Thursday in a Cambridge hospital. He was 70. Pillinger collapsed in his garden after a brain hemorrhage, his family said in a statement. The Beagle 2, a 155-pound landing craft that Pillinger developed despite bureaucratic resistance, was lost as it approached the surface of Mars on Christmas Day 2003. Nobody knows whether it burned in the Martian atmosphere, shattered on impact or failed to perform once it landed. A geochemist with a flair for public relations, Pillinger was philosophical about its...

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