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Author Topic: Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars  (Read 755 times)
Siliconous Skumins
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« on: January 16, 2015, 01:28:45 pm »


Image analysts are confident that the features seen are those of Beagle2



The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact.

High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece.

The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags - but no radio contact was ever made with the probe.

Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact.

The new pictures, acquired by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, give the lie to that notion, and hint at what really happened to the European mission.

Beagle's design incorporated a series of deployable "petals", on which were mounted its solar panels.

From the images, it seems that this system did not unfurl fully.

"Without full deployment, there is no way we could have communicated with it as the radio frequency antenna was under the solar panels," explained Prof Mark Sims, Beagle's mission manager from Leicester University.

"The failure cause is pure speculation, but it could have been, and probably was, down to sheer bad luck - a heavy bounce perhaps distorting the structure as clearances on solar panel deployment weren't big; or a punctured and slowly leaking airbag not separating sufficiently from the lander, causing a hang-up in deployment," he told BBC News.

The discovery of Beagle comes less than a year after the death of the probe's principal investigator, Colin Pillinger. The Royal Society scientific institution announced an award in commemoration of Prof Pillinger on Friday.

The Open University scientist was the driving force behind the project, and although his mission never got to explore Mars, he is credited with sparking a huge enthusiasm among the public for space research.

His wife and fellow Beagle team-member, Dr Judith Pillinger, said: "Colin was always fond of a football analogy. No doubt he would have compared Beagle2 landing on Mars, but being unable to communicate, to having 'hit the crossbar' rather than missing the goal completely.




    The image features are at the limits of what MRO can see
    But the objects and separations conform to what is expected
    Beagle is partially deployed, with two (max three) petals out
    Backshell with the drogue chute and main chute are close by
    Scenario in images confirms that EDL software did its job
    Beagle's on-surface operations software began its tasks
    Why deployment tasks were not completed is unknown
    Component damage or airbag obstruction are possibilities
    Incomplete deployment meant radio transmitter was blinded
    Nothing can be done to bring the Beagle probe back to life


Full story : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30784886
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Drew P
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 01:33:19 pm »

Sure something can be done. Send a Rover with a long arm to open it up. But would it be necessary?
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 01:47:56 pm »

Part of a good Mars story.  Sometime in the future with humans walking the planet.  Someone gets lost, but stumbles onto the Beagle and manually opens up the petals and is able to use the radio to communicate to earth and be saved.
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Atterton
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 02:03:37 pm »

I think it defected and is now working for the martians.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 08:57:06 pm »

Sure something can be done. Send a Rover with a long arm to open it up. But would it be necessary?
No point troubling with a rover; why not just send another Beagle? Better yet, a rover with duplicates of Beagle's instruments. On third thought, scratch the whole business. It's becoming more and more obvious that there was and is life on Mars, though NASA continues to be coy about it.
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 01:14:42 pm »

Looks to me as if it just needs a touch of percussive maintenance to deploy properly. Someone get over there and give it a sharp kick.
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 04:53:10 pm »

Have they tried turning it off & on again? or is it waiting for a XP update?
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2015, 09:34:47 pm »

It made it!

The company I work for colaborated on the stereo cameras for Beagle 2. This was some years ago but I was so excitecd that we were off to Mars, and so crest-fallen Christmas morning when we failed to make contact. We never knew if it made it to the surface. If this really is Beagle, then something I actually soldered and worked on is on Mars!

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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2015, 02:56:03 am »

Looks to me as if it just needs a touch of percussive maintenance to deploy properly. Someone get over there and give it a sharp kick.



Good news, NASA has agreed to add the British 'recovery device' to the newest and even bigger Mars rover, in hopes that the Beagle 2 mission can yet be saved.




If on the other hand it can't be saved, at least we can vent our frustrations give it the send off it deserves...

 Wink
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