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Jodrell Bank Telescope Gets No Signal From Beagle

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the lawn-dart dept.

Space 425

tipiyano writes "Continuing the story of Beagle 2 from earlier today it seems like the hope for Beagle 2 surviving the landing at Mars is reducing as the Jodrell Bank telescope didn't receive any signal from Beagle. In the words of a mission manager, 'I wasn't too worried about the missed link with Odyssey, but it starts getting serious if Jodrell Bank cannot get a signal either'."

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Wow... (5, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810768)

Makes all of those lame "NO CARRIER" posts seem all the more serious when NASA has the same pro%#$@#&!*^J@^ATDT[NO CARRIER]

maybe ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810789)

the jews have it....

FAG (Federation for Advancement of Jews) is the first organization which gathers jew mother fuckers from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being jew!

Are you a dumbfuck that thinks you know everything wired.com [wired.com] ?
Are you cheap as fuck linux.org [linux.org] ?
Are you deprecated because of your 2ton nose Ananova.com [ananova.com] ?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then FAG (Federation for Advancement of Jews) might be exactly what you've been looking for!

Join Todya!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!
First, masturbate while watching seinfeld ( come on you know thats a given! ;-) ).
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Third, join the official FAG irc channel #FAG on EFNet, and apply for membership. Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today! If you do not have an IRC client handy, you are free to use the FAG Java IRC client by clicking here [nero-online.org].
If you have mod points and would like to support FAG, please moderate this post up.
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I'd join IF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810805)

you were to create an organization AGAINST jews!

We could call it the National Socialist Party of Germany, for example!

fuck! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810777)

science is dead.

Somewhere near first post.

I am a fucking god.

i TOLD nasa not to use *bsd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810977)

BEAGLE confirms: science is DYING. :(

More Space Junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810778)

Another $100M paperweight!

DOA (2, Funny)

the arbiter (696473) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810779)

Looks like the Martians got another one...

Re:DOA (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810793)

They send these probes to find life, and I think the life on Mars is destroying them so they won't be found out. The next Mars mission should involve the Marines and 101st Airborne.

When wil they learn? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810780)

That bouncing a spacecraft is just a bad idea? We're waht - one for 3? The old viking probes had a much better track record!

Re:When wil they learn? (3, Interesting)

cascino (454769) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810836)

If I remember correctly, we're 1 for 2 with the "bouncing spacecraft" idea (Pathfinder was successful, it looks like Beagle was not). Of the two failures in 2001, neither craft used the inflated-airbag approach; the lander used the old Viking method of landing (ie: rocket braking), while the orbiter simply went off course.
I'm sure the Europeans are using a slightly different design than the Americans anyways, so from a NASA point of view, it's actually 1 for 1. We'll see within the next month whether this method is worthwhile or not.

Re:When wil they learn? (1)

thermopile (571680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810951)

I have an honest question, and maybe someone who's familiar with this kind of stuff can elucidate. IANARS.

Why not retro rocket thrusters? Okay, okay, I speculate they're heavy and they're complicated, but they seemed to work pretty well on the Vikings and the Russian-built Venera. And all the lunar landings, too. Can someone quantify *how* much heavier, or how much bulkier retro-rocket thrusters are than airbags? I really have no idea.

Re:When wil they learn? (3, Insightful)

Draveed (664730) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810841)

Airbags are still more cost effective than trying for a soft landing. The 2 Viking probes cost how much, like a billion? Beagle 2 cost only $62 million (or maybe it was in pounds, I forget). So if Britain built 16 Beagle probes (for $992 million) and sent them to Mars, it would cost about the same, but cover more of the planet than the Viking landers. Even if only a third survived, lets say just 3 since you can't a fraction of a working probe, it still covers one more spot than Viking.

Re:When wil they learn? (4, Informative)

applemasker (694059) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810844)

Try 1 for 1, not counting Beagle or the current Spirit and Opportunity probes.

The other failures did not involve airbags - Mars Observer was an orbiter that went silent some kind of problem with the thrusters is suspected to be the cause, but we'll never know for sure; Mars Climate Orbiter got crispy over the metric/imperial units mixup during aerobraking/orbit insertion; and Mars Polar Lander did, in fact, attempt a Viking-like powered descent and it's theorized that when the landing legs deployed and locked, they incorrectly signaled the guidance system that the craft had landed, and the engine cut off too early, and it fell from a height of some 50m.

Re:When wil they learn? (3, Interesting)

mijok (603178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810893)

No, they were luckier. If you've looked at the pictures they took one of them (I don't remember if it was 1 or 2) landed right next to a rock which was big enough to break the probe if it had landed on it. I remember seeing an interview with an engineer involved in the mission - he explained that all they could do was pick the safest looking area but the images taken from orbit were nowhere near good enough to spot such rocks (not to mention that they didn't have the precision to avoid them either).

Jordell Bank confirms: Beagle2 is dying! (4, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810956)

It is now official - Jordell Bank has confirmed: Beagle2 is dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Mars exploration community when recently ESA confirmed that Beagle2 accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of chances for survival. Coming on the heels of the latest Jordell Bank signal analysis which plainly states that Beagle2 has lost radio contact, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Beagle2 is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent radiotelescope comprehensive signal search.

You don't need to be a Aldrin to predict Beagle2's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Beagle2 faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Beagle2 because Beagle2 is dying. Things are looking very bad for Beagle2. As many of us are already aware, Beagle2 continues to lose power. Red dust covers it like a river of blood. The lander rover is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core systems. The sudden and unpleasant failures of long time rover systems of traction and cameras only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Beagle2 is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

All major surveys show that Beagle2 has steadily declined in survival chances. Beagle2 is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Beagle2 is to survive at all it will be among martian hobbyist junk collectors. Beagle2 continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Beagle2 is dead.

Fact: Beagle2 is dead

Everyone is talking about the problems on Earth (4, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810784)

But what about the Beagle's problems? It's all alone on Mars and probably can't signal back it's existence.

Poor thing.

Re:Everyone is talking about the problems on Earth (5, Funny)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810817)

I would have sent a black lab myself. Beagles never come back.

Re:Everyone is talking about the problems on Earth (2, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810937)

But what about the Beagle's problems? It's all alone on Mars and probably can't signal back it's existence.

It's not alone. It has the company of three other failed Mars probes, and is busy grokking Barsoom.


Bummer (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810787)

But the truth is, this is rocket science. Here is to hoping that the explorers do better.

Re:Bummer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810896)

Doh, this is just rocket science! This ain't no brain surgery!

2 possibilities (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810790)

1. The Europeans are as incompetent as the Americunts (naaaaaah!)
2. There is something on Mars which hates space probes!

Re:2 possibilities (1)

xeno_gearz (533872) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810846)

1. The Europeans are as incompetent as the Americunts (naaaaaah!)
2. There is something on Mars which hates space probes!

Maybe the ESA has problems with metric conversions as well. I think NASA will have better luck in January, or at least I hope.

Re:2 possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810875)

Converting metric to metric is pretty hard, yeah.

Re:2 possibilities (1)

xeno_gearz (533872) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810885)

Converting metric to metric is pretty hard, yeah.
Precisely, my point exactly.

Re:2 possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810943)

Please elaborate.

Re:2 possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810886)

Well, for backasswards EuroPansies, it probably is.

Re:2 possibilities (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810927)

Except that almost all cool scientists come from Europe and what comes from America is... well, Michael Jackson.

Re:2 possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810961)

Well our scientists don't work on being "cool", they work on being good scientists. You trendy EuroTrash need to spend less time pimping and preening.

ev'ry body sing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810792)

"dead puppies aren't much fun..."

Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810798)

and you are on slashdot. I bet you're all virgins.

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810812)

i'm not a virgin.

well at least my ass isn't.

hey, i needed the money.

does that count?

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810814)

maybe... but what would Linus T. do?

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810972)

He would get together with Anal Cox and some other "kernel developers" and have some hours of pleasure "developing".

If you catch my drift.

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0, Flamebait)

kiwipeso (467618) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810824)

actually, it's Boxing Day and you're the target for my boxing.

Seriously, most /. readers are not virgins they have their hands.

Too bad Beagle 2 is down without a trace, I actually thought it had a chance.

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810843)

Yeah. Like Christmas is the #1 day for sex in the year. Everyone's going like "Whoa, it's Christmas, I'm SO going to get laid!"

BTW: Anyone noticed that the symbol for "First Person Shooters" here on Slashdot looks somewhat like a Swedish penis pumb or something [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810849)

Anyone noticed that the symbol for "First Person Shooters" here on Slashdot looks somewhat like a Swedish penis pump or something?

No, because that sort of thing's not my bag, bay-bee!

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810900)

One credit card receipt for Swedish Made Penis Enlarger, signed by Anonymous Coward...

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (2, Funny)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810863)

> I bet you're all virgins.

Shhhh.... Don't tell my kids.

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810916)

That you're a virgin and they were actually made by the postman because mommy thinks that daddy is too disgusting to be fuckable?

Re:Its CHRISTMAS, you smelly nerds! (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810942)

Oh geez.. I've been so totally ranked by an anonymous coward who is obviously a master of wit and prose and must be one handsome devil too, judging from the raking which he gave me! Oh, the humility! Did I mention you're a moron?

No Virgin, but what about you...... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810902)

So, what are U doing here?

this question says more about you than you would ever admit.

D'oh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810801)

I was having a pretty good Christmas until this news hit... :(

Well... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810802)

...the Europeans can't use conversion from the metric system as an excuse.

Meanwhile, on Mars... (5, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810803)

Flight managers ... said they had narrowed Beagle-2's likely landing area to an ellipse just 30 kilometers wide and 5 kilometers long

Yes. All over that area.

Re:Meanwhile, on Mars... (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810908)

its an elipse, but for quick maths, lets call it a retangle...
that leaves them with what? 150 square kilometers to find a nice little probe of all but a few meters across when unfolded? Pin in a haystak if you ask me.

Hopefully it will spring to life like pathfinder did (or has everyone forgot the 20ish hours where pathfinder looked dead?) And once it does, we can all be happy that it made one of the most long haul journies that you can make...
(thank god there were no kids on it repeatidly saying 'Are we there yet' every mile or so...)

If martians have got our little probe, hopefully they are smart enough to be able to hack our wi-fi from their Mars base and have enough time to look at slashdot; if so, would you please flip the batteries round so that the probe works? ;)


Another Triumph (4, Funny)

glomph (2644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810804)

for the Martian Air Defenses!

(Wonder if they buy their flying-saucer fuel from Halliburton?)

No...No...No... (1)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810907)

It's definately the Odyssey's onboard missle system which fired as soon as the thing went overhead. NASA didn't want the British to find our super secret martian underground lab.

Re:Another Triumph (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810947)

for the Martian Air Defenses!

Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons, perhaps?


They shot another one down (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810810)

1. I think Martians found out what happened to American Natives (American Indians). So they figured they don't want to be annihilated the same way. So they are shooting down the probes. Intelligent life will not try to contact humans. The probes that landed had their cameras pointed to desolate areas to deter humans from thinking about trying to colonize Mars.

2. Perhaps building space probes should be outsourced to India .. better... cheaper etc.. I think?

Re:They shot another one down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810854)

The Brit Pilgrims landed on Plymouth rock because most the Natives were already dead or weakened by disease passed on to them by British Cod fisherman that came them years before. The British actually purposely spread disease to the Native Americans because it would have been easier than killing them with bullets in war.

Many of the Mass. towns have the word "field" in them because the early settlements were abandoned Native crop fields that were abandoned by the dead and retreating natives and taken over by "pilgrims" .. Mayfield, Springfield, Deerfield etc.

No outsourcing needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810911)

India has it's own space program.

Dun Dun Dun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810820)

Another one bites the red dust.
And another one down, another one down, another one bites the red dust.
Hey! were going to spend millions.
Another one bites the red dust.

One more reason... (4, Interesting)

brinticus (581532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810825)

...why a human launch to Mars is not quite ready for prime time. This is very difficult to stomach, seeing how the scientists must be devistated. But it would be much worse if there were humans on the other end of the bad news. My hope now is that the US can get *both* of it's robots down on the surface to make up for this (probable) great loss to science.

-- "Technology is most likely to let you down when you need it most." (Montgomery's axiom)

Re:One more reason... (4, Interesting)

kbonin (58917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810889)

I'd have to disagree - one of the basic advantages of sending humans is that if a computer decides to shut off the engines 50m in the air, a human would be smart enough to turn them back on and land the thing.

Remember the first moon landing? Armstrong saw the rocks at the site were too big and numerous, and flew it somewhere safer...

There are advantages to sending humans, and enough lost space missions could pay for one Mars Direct launch...

You know... (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810827)

It's looking more and more as if the Martians have installed a "lander-zapper," much akin to our bug-zappers.


"Whoo! That was a good one, Earl-tar."
"Yeah, the ones from that northern continent sure seem to burn good."

I know why (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810833)

The british cocksuckers were prolly running lunix on it.

Re:I know why (0, Troll)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810874)

Lunix?!?! Is that even an OS?

No. The answer is "no".

I would beg to ask which OS you suggest they run, but then I'd have to explain that "TV's Incredible Hulk" is not an OS.

Re:I know why (1)

sbergman2 (523735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810940)

Actually Lunix *is* and OS. It stands for "Little Unix" and runs on the Commodore 64.

Re:I know why (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810949)

If the original poster knew this, I hereby donate my left kidney. Well, maybe he did and wasn't just drunk. You learn something new every day.

Re:I know why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810941)

Lunix [sourceforge.net]

Read and learn, please. Actually, looks like a good OS for low cost space probes, seems to me.

Just what I always wanted (1)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810840)

What a bunch of nice guys those british are, giving the martians millions of dollars worth of useless, broken equipment, and I thought only Bill Gates did such things.

Next time, test it first! (4, Informative)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810850)

From This guy from MetaFilter [metafilter.com] : It probably will fail.

The balloons used to cushion the fall were never tested. The original balloons failed testing and they didn't have time to test the replacements.

Wow! Sounds like the way to run a space program.

Wow, they have truly adopted the NASA model... (2, Funny)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810872)

...of simply crossing their fingers and hoping everything works out for the best.


What OS is running it? (2, Funny)

eforhan (631605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810852)

Maybe it's suffering from the BSOD and no one is there to hit ctrl-alt-del?

I'm really not too surprised (-1, Troll)

George Walker Bush (306766) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810860)

Typical Eurotrash junk failing. It doesn't surprisitate me too much.

When will the Europeans learn to just partnerize with the US instead of misunderestimating us in all areas. Ya'know, we've been sending them probes to Mars for years, and you think that experience counts for something.

Thank you, and God bless America this Christmas season.

Re:I'm really not too surprised (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810884)

When will the Europeans learn to just partnerize with the US instead of misunderestimating us...

Yeah, and we could teach them a thing or two about grammar too.

Ich hab kein problem Deutsch zu reden... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810955)

..so stick superior attitude in some (spider)hole.

At least my country wasn't severely humiliated by the poorest people in the world

better lookout, up above...

is it superman?
is it a bird?
Its plane
(and the pilot had his training in Afganistan)

happy holiday to you too..

Re:what's with all the trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810890)

Is it that all the moderators are enjoying the holiday, or is it that most trolls have no family and nothing better to do?

The signal to noise ratio has definately gone done.

And btw christmas was yesterday here.

Re:I'm really not too surprised (1)

juglugs (652924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810945)

Parle Vous Englais? "Nobody has ever lost money betting against the intelligence of the American public"

Mod me down. (0)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810979)

Every little anti-american thing i post, even if it's on-topic gets moded down, but this shit doesn't??

Fuck all of you bunch of Criminals!.
You and your CNN are the real terrorists!.

Suggestion: Venus (1, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810862)

I myself am a fan of going to Venus instead - one advantage is that it would be alot softer to land a balloon in the upper atmosphere of venus than on mars. But my main motivation is that I think Venus would be more suitable for human habitation.

Venus (in the upper atmosphere) has nearly the same temperature, air pressure, gravity, and light as earth. Even though it has a lot of sulfuric acid (and CO2) - that is a lot easier to deal with than the cold hard vacume rock of Mars. With enough energy - lots of water, air, and carbon byproducts would be readially available. In addition, it is my understanding that a balloon of regular air would float on its own weight.

USS Reliant Spotted in Orbit (3, Funny)

Michael.Forman (169981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810867)

Goodbye, Admiral. Oh, and don't
count on the Beagle. She can't
move. My next act will be to blow
her out of the heavens.


(Obscure Star Trek reference craves moderation of the Funny type from hip Gen-Xer with a softspot for nostalgia.)
Michael. [michael-forman.com]

Re:USS Reliant Spotted in Orbit (4, Funny)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810935)

NASA Administrator: So, what the hell happened to our probe?

NASA Scientist: We think that it got sucked through a black hole and got seriously upgraded by omnipotent living machines. We'll probably see it again in several hundred years when it returns as an entity called B'agel that threatens to destroy the earth in it's question for knowledge. Hey, it could happen...

Bounce landing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810878)

(Inside the next ESA meeting)

So uhh... since our last plan to cras----er, bounce a 100 million dollar sensor suite off the mars surface failed..... anyone else have any good ideas?

5 watts...Crazy (5, Informative)

MrFreezeBU (54843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810895)

From the article, Beagle is only broadcasting a 5 watt signal. Quick calculation..5 watts power output with a free space path loss of ~200db means that the amount of power reaching the Lovell dish is roughly 1/5x10^-66 of a watt.. I'm blown away that they are able to pick that out of the backgound noise at all.

Free Space path loss [planet.nl]
Nifty WLAN link calculator

I have hope... (3, Insightful)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810909)

Not that having hope will somehow change the fate of the lander, but I think we shouldn't all discount the very probable circumstance that it survived. I truly hope it has survived the landing.

Twin deployment? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810919)

Considering how bad the track record of landing something on Mars is, wouldn't it make lots of sense to build satellites with two or more identical landers? The engineerining and design is already done with the landers so it wouldn't cost as much as building a whole seperate mission and it would add fault tolerance if one of them fails to land.

Or maybe NASA and the EU can pitch in a build a giant craft that will carpet-bomb Mars with landers. Mars Air Defense won't stand a chance.

Re:Twin deployment? (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810959)

So when something prior to descent goes wrong, both landers die? Remember that quite a few have died on their way to Mars and not during landing. That includes failing to reach Earth orbit, failing to travel to Mars, failing to get into Mars orbit, ed cetera.

Calling all Bookies! (4, Interesting)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810931)

Flurry of bets on life in Mars
Vijay Dutt

Bookmakers in London were biting their nails with nervousness as Beagle 2 approached the touch down on Mars. On Tuesday Ladbrokes cut the odds on the mission discovering life there after a flurry of bets.

Ladbrokes received many large bets following successful separation of the lander from its mother ship, Mars Express, on Friday. Others too reportedly similar increase in number of bets.

Proof of life on Mars would leave the bookmaker liable for a huge payouts on wagers placed with them. Warren Lush, a Ladbrokes spokesman was quoted saying that odds on finding evidence of life on Mars were being reduced from 33-1 to 25-1 after facing a potential payout of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

He conceded that the odds did not represent the true odds on finding life on the planet but the price was shortened because of the liabilities of hundreds of thousands of pounds. " We first took money for Mars life on Mars back in 1969 and would be looking at a black hole in our accounts if Beagle 2 discovers something," the spokesman told the Times.

Colin Pillinger, professor of Planetary Sciences at the Open University and Beagle's lead scientist has not placed any bet. He feels it would be like insider trading.

Meanwhile, Sir Patrick Moore writing in the Mirror said we would know after a few hours if there is some form of life on Mars, 34,500,000 miles away from us. There are craters, old riverbeds, canyons, valleys and volcanoes, the Olympus Mars being three times higher than the Everest.

The scientists are agog with the expectation that signals from Beagle 2 could confirm life forms even if it was very lowly.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_507223,0005 .htm [hindustantimes.com]

santa, green men on mars. must be a conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810933)

Well, im sitting here bored on my ass. and this is what I think it must be. Ive been thinking for about a week about all of this christms stuff. And im SURE it must be a conspiracy. and this is why.

Christmas birth of jesus. or jolly fat man

Firstly, I thought that christmas is supposed to be the celebration of jesus's birthday. But is that really what were celebrating, what I think is that all of this santa mumbo jumbo is all setting up for every man woman and child to worship Satan/the Antichrist.

Is it a coincidence that we celebrate a man dressed in red, and with a beard i think not. . When in fact Santa when you switch around the words makes SATAN. See we are all made to think that its about giving gifts to one another, when really its an attempt to make Santa aka "Satan" more popular. Because how else do you make someone popular.... You do it with the media. But of course the media wont back satan, but they would have to have motivatated to do so. And that motivation was the commercialization of santa. Every TV in every home in america tells every person in america. That you if your family, friends, lovers, ETC love you, they will buy you lots of gifts for christmas. Also the christmas stories indocrinate the children and trin them to do as santa says, by promising them lots of presents. This is why little timmy learns to accept this "santa" as a good person, and even believes that he should do what santa wants him to. or else timmy might find himself on the "naughty" list.

Now why is all of this important??

Because when satan comes back on earth, he is going to come in the vision of santa. And with so many years of indocrtrination, people wont pay attention to satans real plan, to make a super soldier breed of evil green MARTIANS. maybe you thought those were elves I THINK NOT. notice the similarity of little green men on mars. and little green men that serve santas ever will. and this is why were trying to go to mars, so that when satan comes, he can bring back and breed his race of martain soldiers. In actuallity, there isnt a single thing that we will benifit by going to mars,(except starting a space race, or satisfying our mental curiousity).

Well, what are we going to do, it doesnt matter. Every man woman and child on this earth is screwed. So lets get really drunk, lets enjoy ourselves, lets forget about seperating the recycling, Lets forget about energy star. Because even if satan doesnt get us. According to the discovery channel in 20 billion years, were going to be ripped apart (on the mollecular level) by a super expanding universe.

Ive been thinking, Im really drunk off this egg nog, im sorry if I offended anyone. Im going to go hug the toilet


However... (4, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810934)

Bear in mind that they were not even sure that Jodrell Bank would be able to pick up the signal. This was only conjecture and has never been tested.

There is a window every day now to pick up a signal via NASA's Odyssey, and if for any reason that there is a problem with comms protocols between Beagle2 and Odyssey (this was never tested due to time constraints) then Mars Express will come online on Jan 4th 2004 which does know how to talk to Beagle2.

cry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810964)

sometimes i dream that i am on the banks of a river at night, looking at a crowd of small boats all going downstream. each little boat has a little person on it and they are holding a stalk with a glowing light. they see me on the banks with a broken stalk at my feet. ignoring me they press on. i don't feel sad at all. i take for granted my solitude at the banks of the river.
the thought of one day seeing another like me, with their broken light taps an emotional reserve i didn't think i had /bpr

maybe... (1)

breman (683776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810965)

Maybe the Beagle 2 is working fine, with exception to the communication link. I guess this would be just as well, but it still leaves hope to contact it in the future.

Everyone Knows... (0, Flamebait)

Kenterlogic (648880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810967)

Everyone knows it is impossible to leave the earth. All space programs are fake, the Europeans didn't know that because they never tried so they just went up, their probe exploded at 70,000 feet (20,000 meters) and they just kept saying "oh, its on it's way." Now they have a nice cop out point. But in all honesty, this sucks. European success along with some Asian activity in moon missions may have reignited the failing NASA program which hasn't really done anything important (succesfully) since Hubble and even then they messed up pretty good. Oh! We forgot the lens, our b.

Why space is expensive (5, Insightful)

fname (199759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810968)

Well, this episode goes to show you why space programs cost so much. As a prior poster pointed, Beagle was much cheaper that Viking landers. The quote I saw was $1 billion for Viking and $62 million for Beagle, although that $62 million is a bit fictitious since it piggybacked a ride to Mars on Mars Express, so the real cost may have been higher.

But let's say it cost $200 million. Let's say the Brits managed to send 5 identical models 1 year apart, and 2 worked fine. Would anyone be celebrating 2 successful landers for the price of 1 Viking? Nope, instead there would be an outcry about how the space program wastes money by destroying 3 $200 million missions.

So what do the managers do? Well, NASA had a couple high-profile disasters and a couple resounding successes. Pathfinder got a lot of ink, but NASA was held up to a lot of ridicule for its failure of the failed trips. After skipping the 2001 window for flights to Mars, in 2003 NASA & JPL sent 2 very expensive (think $400-600 million each) landers to Mars. Hopefully, both will be successful. If both fail, it may indicate that they just got lucky with Pathfinder and airbags aren't the way to go.

Oh, why did they cost so much more than Pathfinder & Beagle (keeping in mind that $400-600 million includes launch, the trip to Mars, the craft itself & the management of the program)? I'm sure it's because things were checked more thoroughly, the JPL managers were more conservative, and every problem that came up was fully addressed.

On the other hand, APL seemed to have a fairly poor approach to system architecture, as can be seen by reading the NASA inquiry into the Contour mishap [nasa.gov] . The APL investigation fixed blame quickly without making a thorough investigation. The full report dug into the cause a lot more thoroughly & made a much more likely assessment,
The CONTOUR Board concludes that the probable proximate cause for loss of the CONTOUR spacecraft was overheating of the forward-end of the spacecraft due to base heating from the SRM exhaust plume. The CONTOUR SRM nozzle was embedded within the spacecraft to a greater degree than is typical (Fig. 3), and the resultant near-field effect of exhaust plume heating was not adequately accounted for in the design. Overheating may have caused substantial material weakening and structural degradation, which could have led to catastrophic dynamic instability.
So why is space expensive? Almost every spacecraft (as opposed to satellites or launch vehicle) is essentially designed for 1 or 2 time use, and all the parts need to work, and, as highlighted above, need to work well together. That requires real engineering work involving analysis, research, testing and comparison to heritage programs. If you want to go from 50% to 90% reliability, you probably triple your costs (at least).

I hope they find Beagle. But landing a complex science instrument on a distant planet is difficult, and occasional failure is to be expected. If someone figures out a way to do it very well & very cheap, these missions may become as routine as a satellite launch. Maybe it'll be NASA or the ESA or some small entrepreneur. Good luck to them all!
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