Damien Hirst’s Artwork on Mars

On June 2, 2003 the Beagle 2 launched as part of a European Space Agency mission – expected to land on Mars 6 months later. It was hoped to be the first Mars space lander since the Viking probes of the 70s. Unfortunately the Beagle 2 never landed and all contact was lost until roughly a decade later when it was spotted 6 kilometers away from the expected landing zone.

Artist Damien Hirst’s iconic spots were used on the Beagle 2 as a special instrument calibration chart. Back in 2003, Hirst shared, “The spot painting lends itself to this project and as an artist all the things you make you want to be useful on some level.” Unfortunately, professor Colin Pillinger, responsible for the creation of Beagle 2 and for vetting Hirst for the opportunity, passed away before news of Beagle 2 spread through the international community. Nearly 12 years later, Hirst celebrated his part of the European victory even if the man he owed it to wasn’t there to bask in it with him. “This is fantastic news!” he said of Beagle 2’s discovery. “I can’t believe Beagle 2 has been out there all this time and I have a painting on Mars! It’s amazing! It makes me think that Colin must be looking down on us smiling and still have a hand in it.”

Read more at damienhirst.com

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