Beagle 2 Silent After Landing | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.25.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.25.14 **
** Airborne 07.23.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.23.14 **
** Airborne 07.21.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.21.14 **

Thu, Dec 25, 2003

Beagle 2 Silent After Landing

Speak, Boy, Speak!

After being instructed to land on the surface of Mars Christmas Day, the European Space Agency probe Beagle 2 has been ominously silent. Still, flight controllers say they're optimistic the lander is alive and well and will be able to start transmitting soon.

ESA officials had hoped Beagle 2 would send a signal to be picked up by NASA's Mars Odyssey satellite orbiting overhead. But NASA says it has received no signal from the European lander.

"This is not the end of the story – this was the first opportunity," the European Space Agency's director of science, David Southwood, said at mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. "Getting signals back from Mars is not a straightforward operation. We're sure Beagle is down on the surface, and we just need to hear from it." 

Controllers last heard from Beagle when it rounded the far side of Mars. The signal was received  by the lander's mothership, Mars Express. That was just after 11:00 pm EST Wednesday night.

"At least the initial checks show that the spacecraft is in very good condition," flight director Michael McKay said, to applause from controllers.

"It's a bit disappointing, but it's not the end of the world. Please don't go away from here believing we've lost the spacecraft," Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle 2 project, said in London.

The 143-pound lander was to have parachuted through the thin Martian atmosphere. Before touchdown, it was to have deployed airbags that surrounded the vehicle. The airbags would deflate after cushioning Beagle 2's landing and the probe was to then send a few musical notes composed by the British band "Blur" to confirm it had made it to the surface safely.

Mars has proven especially inhospitable to human attempts at exploration. A disappointing majority of the landers sent to Mars have malfunctioned, crashed or been lost.

Closely behind the Mars Express mission are two NASA landers, Spirit and Opportunity. They're scheduled to land on opposite sides of the planet January 3rd and January 24th. In the meantime, NASA's Mars Odyssey will continue listening for signs of life from Beagle 2 as the Mars Express spacecraft descends from its high initial orbit to a point where it can also listen.

FMI: www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Mars–Express/index.html

Advertisement

More News

It's Turbo Time! AeroVee Turbo Orders Now Accepted

Will Offer Significant Performance Boost For Sonex Aircraft Sonex Aircraft announced at a press and customer briefing Sunday morning that orders are now being accepted for the long>[...]

There's A New Light Sport Amphib Coming To The Block

MVP.Aero Introduces What It Calls The Worlds 'Most Versatile Plane' A new sport plane that is designed to operate from runways, water, and snow and ice was introduced Sunday aftern>[...]

Historic OSH2014 Sponsor: Bendix-King by Honeywell

OSH2014 Sponsor: Bendix-King by Honeywell The history of the Bendix name runs parallel to the development of King Radio until the mid-1980s, when the Allied Corporation purchased B>[...]

Revolutionary OSH2014 Sponsor -- Aviation Modifications Leaders

Aviation Modifications Leaders -- Unique Solutions For Critical Applications During two decades of designing, engineering and installation of Satcom systems with Honeywell (Allied >[...]

OSH2014 Sponsor: 'Super-App' ForeFlight

LONG-TIME ANN Sponsor, ForeFlight, Provides GREAT Guidance For Oshkosh 2014! ForeFlight was founded in 2007 by aviation entrepreneurs who set out to build elegant, high-performing >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC