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Dentist helps search for life on Mars

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Hong Kong dentist helps Europe's search for life on Mars again

Inveterate inventor has developed multiple gadgets for planetary rovers; his latest, a space dust compactor, should see action in 2018

Failure is very much an option when you're involved in space exploration. Just ask Dr Ng Tze-chuen.

Ten years ago he was anticipating planetary sampling tools he had designed for the Beagle 2 would begin digging into the surface of Mars, but contact with the British-designed rover was lost after it landed on the red planet. Two years ago a Russian probe carrying tools Ng designed to Phobos, one of the planet's moons, veered disastrously off course.

Now, at the age of 60, the Hong Kong dentist is hoping it will be third time lucky for his Mars-bound tools.

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