Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Congratulations to NASA. Beagle 2 Team Still Hopes To Repeat Mars Landing Success

05.01.2004


At a press briefing in London today, Professor Colin Pillinger (Open University), Beagle lead scientist, and Dr Mark Sims (University of Leicester), the mission manager, congratulated their colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the successful landing of the Spirit rover on Mars.



“I’d like to give congratulations to NASA and the Spirit team for getting the lander down safely,” said Professor Pillinger. “We wish them every luck.”

Adding his congratulations, Mark Sims said, “I’d like to reiterate the international cooperation we’ve been getting in terms of looking for Beagle. In particular, the JPL team which has been working very strange hours supporting the Odyssey passes, Lockheed Martin, who’ve been running the Odyssey spacecraft, Jodrell Bank, Westerborg, the British Astronomical Association and Malin Space Science Systems. Mike Malin is looking at imaging the landing site potentially from tomorrow.“


Meanwhile, the search for Beagle 2 goes on.

“We haven’t in any shape or form given up on Beagle 2,” said Professor Pillinger.

“We have realised that Mars Express is not in the orbit we originally expected, so our communication strategy is now different from the one that we explained at the beginning of last week.”

Describing the ongoing work at the Lander Operations Control Centre, Mark Sims explained that teams from the University of Leicester, SciSys and Astrium are continuing their efforts to identify possible failure modes that can be addressed.

“We’re still concentrating on both the communications and timing/software issues, and working our way through the logic and fault tree on the basis that Beagle 2 is on the surface of Mars and for some reason is failing to talk to us,” said Dr. Sims.

“There are six or seven scenarios that we’re still working through and we still can’t eliminate any of those.”

However, possible failure scenarios involving a reset of the clock hardware and a problem with a tilted antenna seem to have been ruled out. Today’s successful transmission of signals from the Spirit rover via Mars Odyssey also indicates that the radio on board NASA’s orbiter is working properly.

Meanwhile, an attempt to send blind commands to Beagle 2 via Mars Odyssey on 31 December also resulted in no obvious response from the lander.

There has also been no response from the Beagle 2 transceiver during 11 programmed passes. Unfortunately, the last four contact opportunities pre-programmed into Beagle 2’s computer no longer coincide with Mars Express on its current orbit, so the team is now relying on the spacecraft switching to various back-up communication modes.

The mission team is now waiting for their little lander to switch to one of its backup communication modes. Beagle 2 could already be operating in ’communication search mode 1’, during which it listens for 80 minutes during both the Martian day and night in an effort to establish contact with an available orbiter at Mars Odyssey overflight times.
If no link is established by this method, ‘communication search mode 2’ should eventually be activated. The earliest date by which this mode could become operational was 3 January.

In this mode, the receiver is on for 59 minutes out of every hour throughout the Martian day, and the spacecraft sends a carrier signal five times in each daylight hour. During the Martian night, Beagle 2’s receiver will be on for one minute out of every five, but there is no carrier signal.

Although Mars Odyssey will continue to search for the lander, Mars Express will soon become the prime communication link with Beagle 2. After reaching its operational polar orbit today, ESA’s orbiter should pass over the Beagle 2 landing site regularly from 7 January onwards. Various modes of communication can be attempted during passes by Mars Express, although the team anticipates starting on 7 and 8 January with the standard ‘hail and command’ which has been used with Mars Odyssey.

The first four passes with Mars Express (7, 8, 9 and 10 January) are almost directly over the landing site and only 5 to 8 minutes long, so they are not ideal for communication, whereas the opportunities on 12 and 14 January are potentially much longer.

Peter Barratt | alfa

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars
21.02.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars

21.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Improved Speech Intelligibility and Automatic Speech-to-Text Conversion for Call Centers

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

36 big data research projects

21.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>