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.

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 August 30, 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 August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The space shuttle Discovery launched for the very first time 30 years ago. Here's a look back at its legacy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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