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Beagle's Long Silence Continues
The BBC ^ | December 27, 2003

Posted on 12/27/2003 12:58:44 AM PST by RWR8189

Artists' impression of the Beagle on Mars
The Beagle was meant to land on Mars early on Christmas Day

There has been no signal detected from the surface of Mars on Friday that would indicate the UK-built Beagle 2 lander got down safely.

The US orbiter Mars Odyssey flew over the assumed landing zone just after 1800 GMT but heard no transmission.

The giant radio telescope at Jodrell Bank in northwest England also failed to make contact after listening to the planet for hours on Friday evening.

Scientists refuse to give up hope and will continue to scan Mars for a call.

Team leader Professor Colin Pillinger said he had faith Beagle had landed safely, adding: "We will hang on testing and waiting."

Both Odyssey and Jodrell will continue their sweep in the coming days. Other radio telescopes including one at Stanford in California and at Westerbourg in the Netherlands have offered to help in the search.

If Beagle 2 is alive it will transmit at a frequency of 401.56 Mhz.

Blocked line

Long-term, the Mars Express [Beagle's mothership, which carried it into space and set it loose about a week ago] should be in position to try to make contact with its "baby" on 4 January.

Mother and child were designed to talk to each other and a communication with Mars Express may be the best hope.

"We're still early days in extra time," said Professor Pillinger.

If it had landed safely, Beagle was designed to survive on its automated systems for weeks, if not months, he said.

It's very much like sending somebody a love letter - you know they've got it and you're waiting for their response


Professor Colin Pillinger

"So we're not concerned about not being able to contact it.

"If we can contact it, we can pull this thing round. But it's very much like... sending somebody a love letter. You know they've got it and you're waiting for their response."

Scientists say there are a number of possible explanations for Beagle's failure to call home.

Perhaps the most likely is that Beagle 2 landed off course, in an area where communication with Mars Odyssey is difficult, if not impossible.

Another possibility is that the transmission from the lander's antenna is blocked from reaching Mars Odyssey or the ground-based telescopes.

Wrong time

Beagle 2 was targeted to land in a large lowland basin called Isidis Planitia at 0254 GMT on 25 December.

The "pocket watch" design of Beagle 2 ensured that it would turn upright irrespective of which way up the little lander fell. Soon after, the onboard computer was expected to send commands to release the clamp band, open the lid and begin transmission.


TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: bbc; beagle2; britishengineering; canuhearmemajortom; mars; theroaringsilence
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1 posted on 12/27/2003 12:58:44 AM PST by RWR8189
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To: RWR8189
It seems that the only way to get a beagle to shut up is to send it to Mars.

Sorry to hear it.

2 posted on 12/27/2003 1:10:17 AM PST by Riley
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To: RWR8189
I hope they hear from the Beagle very soon. I mean, this thing is on MARS for goodness sakes. MARS. That's really far away. [/understatement off] I can't believe it. It's wonderful.
3 posted on 12/27/2003 1:17:28 AM PST by vikingchick
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To: RWR8189
Me thinks it crashed and went BOOM.

Too bad.

4 posted on 12/27/2003 1:23:29 AM PST by Fledermaus (Just to help out all of you morons on the left - an Orange Alert doesn't mean stockpiling juice!)
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To: RWR8189
Doesn't look good for Beagle. Sad to say that this dog isn't going to hunt. If they haven't heard from it by now, I doubt they ever will. : (
5 posted on 12/27/2003 1:24:11 AM PST by Prime Choice (Americans are a spiritual people. We're happy to help members of al Qaeda meet God.)
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To: Prime Choice; hobbes1; xsmommy; Gabz
No wonder it didn't report back.

Who wants to report, "London, Mother base. The Beagle has landed."
6 posted on 12/27/2003 1:30:02 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only support FR by donating monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: RWR8189
What is it with all of these pocket-protector stumblebums that they can't get a damned lander on the ground there anymore? Jeez, they used to be able to phone that sort of thing in.
7 posted on 12/27/2003 1:34:39 AM PST by Viking2002
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To: RWR8189
Yep, the local LGM Union has another source of off-planet parts.....
8 posted on 12/27/2003 1:36:02 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (This tagline manufactured in the U.S.A.)
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To: RWR8189
If Beagle 2 is alive it will transmit at a frequency of 401.56 Mhz.

"401.56 Mhz?! I thought you said design it for 401.56 Khz!!"

9 posted on 12/27/2003 2:16:31 AM PST by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: RWR8189
If Beagle 2 is alive it will transmit at a frequency of 401.56 Mhz.

Well, I'll turn on my scanner. If I hear anything, I'll give them a call.

10 posted on 12/27/2003 2:17:58 AM PST by Dont Mention the War
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To: RWR8189
Well maybe the "Beatles Long Silence" is because they broke up years ago and two of them died!

I wish the BBC would check their facts!
11 posted on 12/27/2003 2:38:03 AM PST by My Dog Likes Me
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To: RWR8189
This is such a shame.
12 posted on 12/27/2003 2:42:37 AM PST by texasflower (in the event of the rapture.......the Bush White House will be unmanned)
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To: Riley
The British Beagle fell down the well.

Time to send Lassie!

13 posted on 12/27/2003 2:55:35 AM PST by battlegearboat
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To: Riley
I'm not normally comfortable making fun of the way that people look but, when I saw a picture of the project leaders of the Beagle2 team, I knew it was doomed.

Some geeks you look at and think "There's a steely-eyed missile-man: maybe he can't throw a baseball but I guarantee he's been over every byte of his re-entry program 34 times."

Some of the people on the Beagle2 team look like they were probably making bongs out of spare parts of the test craft.

I'll be very, very surprised if they ever hear from it.

14 posted on 12/27/2003 2:59:15 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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maybe it ran aground

15 posted on 12/27/2003 3:00:12 AM PST by KneelBeforeZod (If God hadn't meant for them to be sheared, he wouldn't have made them sheep.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
The Brits probably could have succeeded if they didn't have the euro-trash in on the project. They have their own wingnuts too but know how to rein them in.

The French really wanted this to be huge. They wanted to show up the US bigtime. Now all we need is just one of our two probes to get the job done!

16 posted on 12/27/2003 3:12:36 AM PST by johnny7 (“If you are being murdered, raped or molested... please hold... ”)
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To: Fledermaus
Maybe it landed on the American flag the astronauts left there. (/democrat idiotic statements off)
17 posted on 12/27/2003 3:28:49 AM PST by NCLaw441
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To: RWR8189
How many of these disappearing probes do we need before we admit it? There are Martians down there, and they don't like these things getting too close.
18 posted on 12/27/2003 4:32:54 AM PST by FlameThrower
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To: RWR8189
It's a little known fact that many Beagle parts came from a junkyard MG Midget.
19 posted on 12/27/2003 4:51:38 AM PST by searchandrecovery (America - Welcome to Sodom & Gomorrah West)
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To: RWR8189
Generally, if they haven't heard from it by now, they're not going to ever hear from it.

Why is it that so many of our craft going to Mars have gone silent recently? (No, I'm not having a "tinfoil hat moment".)
20 posted on 12/27/2003 5:01:12 AM PST by hoagy62 (I'm pullin' for ya...we're all in this together.")
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