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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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To: RWR8189; vikingchick; texasflower; hoagy62; johnny7
So much would be possible if only we could get beyond the monopolistic corruption that still pervades our bureaucratic governments’ space programs. Related thread:
Did Astrium, an ESA-anointed monopolistic contractor, actually WANT its lean-budgeted Beagle 2 Mars mission to fail in order to secure greater funding for subsequent interplanetary missions funded by increasingly stimulated European taxpayers? Why won’t ESA and NASA simply offer COMPETITIVE PRIZES?

21 posted on 12/27/2003 6:27:03 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
Are you again gonna contend -- completely absent any proof -- that the European Space Agency and British scientists conspired to purposely make Beagle fail?
22 posted on 12/27/2003 6:31:29 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Lazamataz
Occam's razor. Do you recall how LockMart profited from its 1999 skrew-ups regarding Mars? Meanwhile, Astrium didn't keep things simple...they complicated the design as if they quietly WANTED it to fail, but in dazzling ways that could capture taxpayers' interest.
23 posted on 12/27/2003 6:39:32 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
Occam's razor.

Precisely.

Never assume a conspiracy when simple incompetance will explain it.

24 posted on 12/27/2003 6:40:59 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Lazamataz
I used to think that until I worked in a prosecutor's office while in law school.
25 posted on 12/27/2003 6:43:01 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
I used to think that until I worked in a prosecutor's office while in law school.

You worked in a prosecutor's office for a while, during your schooling.

Ergo, massive conspiricies to purposefully fail abound in the space agencies of the world.

The logic astounds, boggles, shakes the mind.

26 posted on 12/27/2003 6:46:20 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Lazamataz
Well, I've also worked at NASA Headquarters.
27 posted on 12/27/2003 6:48:03 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
Well, I've also worked at NASA Headquarters.

Ah! Therefore you have some proof of your paranoic claims......!

 

 

 

(waiting....)

 

 

 

(waiting....)

28 posted on 12/27/2003 6:52:04 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
What did Bush know and when did he know it?! :-)!
29 posted on 12/27/2003 6:52:38 AM PST by zzen01
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To: Lazamataz
Prove that we're not dreaming right now.

Waiting...


Waiting...

YAWN.
30 posted on 12/27/2003 6:57:17 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: RWR8189

It's time for the British to put Professor Quatermass on the job!

31 posted on 12/27/2003 7:01:40 AM PST by Jonah Hex (Free Republic - the Truth Shall Make You Fret)
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
I take it from your limp and lifeless response that not even your position as a mole/watchdog in NASA afforded you the opportunity to collect proof as to your odd claim.

However -- and once again -- your logic is impeccable.

Your argument can be distilled to:

  1. I have utterly no proof of my contention, even though I worked at one of the agencies, and
  2. You, Lazamataz, are a weenie,
  3. Ergo, space agencies the world over conspire to fail on purpose.

Yeah, I can see how 1) and 2) yield 3). The logic is dazzling! I am thunderstruck! Awed! AMAZED!

32 posted on 12/27/2003 7:05:28 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Lazamataz
YOU probably don't even know what happened to Boeing these past few months. Figures.
33 posted on 12/27/2003 7:06:38 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: RWR8189

I didn't mean to fail! I'm sorry!

34 posted on 12/27/2003 7:09:24 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: Lazamataz
The logic is dazzling! I am thunderstruck! Awed! AMAZED!

He must've saw you wearin' those goatskin leggings.

35 posted on 12/27/2003 7:09:28 AM PST by uglybiker (If it ain't broke, you ain't tryin'!)
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To: hoagy62
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".)

Interesting, Richard C. Hoagland (who has lots of tinfoil hat comments about Mars space missions) actually took off his tinfoil hat and said something on the Coast to Coast AM radio show last night that makes considerable sense: Beagle 2 was essentially a very cheaply-developed component of the Mars Express spacecraft that was essentially added to the spacecraft almost literally at the last moment of the design of Mars Express. Because it was so cheaply developed, they never had the time to test all the components of the landing system, and if any one part of the landing system failed the whole Beagle 2 lander would have crash-landed on the surface of Mars in a couple of thousand pieces. Now, if the two NASA landers that will land on Mars on 3 January 2004 and 24 January 2004 failed to function, that would be a very different story indeed.

Anyway, the most important part of Mars Express--the orbiter with its state-of-the-art sensors--is functioning correctly and is now undergoing a slow retrobraking process using its onboard manuevering thrusters to adjust its orbit from its currently highly-elliptical path and also move it to a near-polar orbit. That should be completed by the end of January 2004, in which time the sensors on Mars Express will its its high-resolution camera (including stereoscopic views), infrared camera, and imaging radar to carefully look at every detail of Mars' surface--especially looking for water.

36 posted on 12/27/2003 7:09:35 AM PST by RayChuang88
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To: RayChuang88
Regarding Mars Express and the (admittedly very exciting) search for WATER up to 5 kilometers beneath the Martian surface, I've recently read what's at:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/express/mission/sc_science_marsis02.html

I am a little concerned, though, that the search won't do a particularly good job of detecting the presence of ICE. Mars is COLD and liquid may not be that abundant nowadays. The abovementioned link only makes a rather passing reference to the quest to distinguish between rock and ice near the surface, though. I'm concerned about the potential for "false negatives" and the adverse impact they could have on fervor for Mars exploration. WashingtonPost.com suggests that ice and rock will be distinguishable by Mars Express, but again I see few (if any) details:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30844-2003Dec25.html

QUOTE: "Mars Express can even probe beneath the surface of the planet using long wavelength radio waves from a 130-foot antenna to search for signs of subsurface water or ice."

In the mean time, I'm not particularly inclined to trust anything that Astrium says on its website. Look at all the promises made by Space Launch Initiative contractors in the USA, for example, even as the cost of launching humans into space from North America has gone nowhere but UP over time. Judging from your recent MARSIS analysis, it's increasingly seeming like ESA's contractors were more concerned with putting on a good show in hopes of securing greater funding for future projects. Doing a particularly good job seemed secondary, if not worth avoiding altogether. After all, the sting of defeat could prod the taxpayers into forking over more hard-earned Euros to recover from the international embarrassment.

37 posted on 12/27/2003 7:20:59 AM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: RWR8189
The name obviously jinxed the thing.
38 posted on 12/27/2003 7:29:16 AM PST by greenwolf
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To: RWR8189
An awful lot of Mars missions seem jinxed. You don't suppose there is something up there defending something do you?

Citizens For A Freer America
&
The Upper Valley Free Press

Daryl L. Hunter - Editor

39 posted on 12/27/2003 9:06:30 AM PST by Daryl L.Hunter
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To: RWR8189
Wasn't Darwin's ship called The Beagle?
40 posted on 12/27/2003 9:09:51 AM PST by Zechariah11 (so they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver Zech 11:12)
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To: Lazamataz; Analyzing Inconsistencies
(Laz) Are you again gonna contend -- completely absent any proof -- that the European Space Agency and British scientists conspired to purposely make Beagle fail?

Who knows? However, as much as AI has been spamming a www.spaceprojects.com URL in so many of its posts:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046676/posts?page=19#19
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046590/posts?page=21#21
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=29#29
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=30#30
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=32#32
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=35#35
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=39#39
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=41#41
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=44#44
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=48#48
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=53#53
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046570/posts?page=80#80

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1046277/posts?page=210#210
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1047057/posts?page=20#20
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1047209/posts?page=15#15

I suspect that AI think the answer lies there somewhere.

41 posted on 12/27/2003 9:28:21 AM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Dimension Zero)
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To: Johnny_Cipher
I wish he'd Analyze his OWN Inconsistencies.

Because, at present, I am flabbergasted by his 'logic'.

42 posted on 12/27/2003 9:32:06 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
YOU probably don't even know what happened to Boeing these past few months. Figures.

Lay it out for me, Braniac.

And try not to formulate any arguments of the form:

  1. Celery is a vegetable.
  2. Pigs cannot fly.
  3. Therefore, international space agencies purposefully fail.

I mean, I know it will be tough for ya.

But try.

43 posted on 12/27/2003 9:34:58 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
Faith in your religion is a good thing to have.
44 posted on 12/27/2003 9:35:38 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Teacher317
I didn't mean to fail! I'm sorry!

Oh, come on! Don't do that to us! That puppy just looks too sad.

45 posted on 12/27/2003 11:02:58 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Johnny_Cipher
If you're an investor in Lockheed Martin, socialist NASA's Mars monopolist, hopefully you wouldn't mind disclosing it? You seem to have a lot of energy regarding this subject, energy which is not particularly geared towards the exploration of fresh new ways of interpreting otherwise overly disappointing results yielded by Astrium.
46 posted on 12/27/2003 12:33:49 PM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: Analyzing Inconsistencies
If you're an investor in Lockheed Martin, socialist NASA's Mars monopolist, hopefully you wouldn't mind disclosing it?

No, I wouldn't mind. However, since I have no connection nor affiliation with Lockheed Martin of any sort, it would be pointless.

You seem to have a lot of energy regarding this subject, energy which is not particularly geared towards the exploration of fresh new ways of interpreting otherwise overly disappointing results yielded by Astrium.

I expend energy in a variety of ways. Some of it goes toward recognizing patterns when I see them. And, you certainly seem to spam spaceprojects.com URLs a lot on FreeRepublic. So, perhaps you should disclose any connection (fiduciary or otherwise) that you might have with spaceprojects.com before asking me to cooperate in what is essentially an "opposition research" fishing expedition.

47 posted on 12/27/2003 2:29:10 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Dimension Zero)
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To: Johnny_Cipher
What kind of financial relationship could there be with a watchdog service that carries that conspicuous disclaimer that it accepts no sponsorship, is not-for-profit and is totally altruistically motivated? If that's not good enough for you then no, I make no money whatsoever from it. But one can't find the stuff they maintain anywhere else because the industry's so corrupt, along with its media sycophants:

http://www.spaceprojects.com/news
48 posted on 12/27/2003 5:32:20 PM PST by Analyzing Inconsistencies
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To: Teacher317
I didn't mean to fail! I'm sorry!

Awwwwwww!!!!

49 posted on 12/27/2003 7:14:33 PM PST by Riley
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To: Lazamataz
simple incompetance will explain it

Sometime it requires complex incompetance.

50 posted on 12/27/2003 7:22:59 PM PST by razorback-bert
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