Racing towards the Red Planet

Cutaway model of composites used within Beagle 2 lander, 2003

F1™ cars used to be made from the same everyday materials as our own vehicles. Today F1™ teams use cutting-edge technology to optimise the performance of every part of the car. Materials are chosen for their lightness, strength and durability, with careful consideration given not just to performance but also to reliability.

With their specialist knowledge, F1™ experts have engineered a solution to meet the extreme rigours of space exploration. In 2003 Beagle 2 was launched on a quest to seek out life on Mars. Sending a probe into space jam-packed with sensitive on-board equipment is no mean feat.

The casing of the Mars lander was made of the same special plastic used on the exhaust systems of F1™ cars. The material was light enough to allow the lander to be sent into space but tough enough to cope with the impact of landing at speed on the planet’s rocky surface.

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