Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beagle 2 Fails To Call Mars Express

Date:
January 8, 2004
Source:
Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council
Summary:
The first real opportunity for the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter to hear a signal from the Beagle 2 lander passed in silence.

Simulation of Beagle 2 on the martian surface.
Credit: Courtesy of Beagle 2 -- All rights reserved

January 7, 2004 -- Today's first real opportunity for the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter to hear a signal from the Beagle 2 lander passed in silence. Hopes were high that Beagle 2 would receive and respond to commands sent by Mars Express as it flew over the presumed landing site at around 12.15 GMT. Not only was Mars Express flying over Isidis Planitia at an altitude of just 220 miles (350 km), giving it an ideal listening position, but it was the first time that the primary communication link with the orbiter had been used during the Beagle 2 mission.

Related Articles


Speaking from the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, the ESA Science Director, Professor David Southwood, said," I have, I'm afraid, to make a sad announcement, that today, when we were in conditions we thought were very good for getting direct communication between Mars Express – the 'mother ship' - and Beagle 2 – the 'baby' – we did not get any content of a signal, nor indeed a signal from the surface of Mars.

"This is not the end of the story. We have more shots to play …… but I have to say this is a setback."

"There are opportunities to contact Beagle still to come, though we've established today that it is certainly not in a particular communications mode that we had expected it to be in."

Professor Colin Pillinger, Beagle 2 lead scientist, expressed his thanks to everyone at ESOC for the efforts they had put in over the last few days.

"I think all I can say to the whole team at this stage is 'play to the final whistle'. It only takes a fraction of a second to score a goal, and that's the way we will have to look at this and not give up at this time, although it is the moment when we have to start looking at the future as well."

Efforts to contact Beagle 2 and to pin down its position on the Martian surface will continue in the weeks to come.

"We have another opportunity to look tomorrow in a more sensitive mode, the canister mode on Mars Express, which is the most sensitive mode Mars Express has for detecting an RF signal," said Dr Mark Sims, Beagle 2 mission manager.

"We have two Odyssey sessions tonight, when we will be attempting to command Beagle 2 in order to have a maximum chance of seeing data with the canister mode tomorrow. Both of those Odyssey sessions coincide with CSM 1 mode, both am and pm, which will be another opportunity to rule those scenarios out."

The most favourable opportunity will be on 12 January, the last Mars Express overpass that was pre-programmed into the lander before its separation from the orbiter on 19 December. However, this window will only be available if nothing has happened to reset or alter the lander's timeline.

"If we see nothing …, we're left with the scenario of Beagle 2 potentially operating but not being able to receive a signal, in which case we will have to wait till the last back-up mode in Beagle 2 becomes active, which is autotransmit," said Dr. Sims. "The latest date that will become active is 2 February."

"My personal view is that, if we have not received a signal within 5 to 10 days of that event, then we have to assume Beagle is lost."

For further details on Beagle 2 and Mars Express see the following websites:

http://www.beagle2.com

http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Mars

http://www.esa.int/mars


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council. "Beagle 2 Fails To Call Mars Express." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108073622.htm>.
Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council. (2004, January 8). Beagle 2 Fails To Call Mars Express. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108073622.htm
Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council. "Beagle 2 Fails To Call Mars Express." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108073622.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Observers near Wallops Island recorded what they thought would be a routine rocket launch Tuesday night. What they recorded was a major rocket explosion shortly after lift off. (Oct 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Just hours after an American cargo run to the International Space Station ended in flames, a Russian supply ship has arrived at the station with a load of fresh supplies. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 29, 2014) A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) NASA and Orbital Sciences officials say they are investigating the explosion of an unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station. It blew up moments after liftoff Tuesday evening over the launch site in Virginia. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins