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 Nanotechnology for energy materials: Electrodes like leaf veins
27.09.2016 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH

nachricht First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source
27.09.2016 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

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: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development

28.09.2016 | Medical Engineering

Innovate coating extends the life of materials for industrial use

28.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market

28.09.2016 | Business and Finance

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>