ESA's Missions to Mars. There are many reasons to explore the other planets and the smaller bodies in our Solar System. Studying these may actually give us answers on questions about the history of our own Earth. This 4.51 minute video, made prior to the launch of ESA's Mars Express in June 2003, describes the role of the Beagle 2 lander and the oribiter. Unfortunately, the Beagle 2 lander was declared lost after it failed to make contact with orbiting spacecraft and Earth-based radio telescopes. The Mars Express orbiter with its scientific payload of 7 instruments, is still sending images and data back to Earth.