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Jodrell Bank fails to find Beagle again

Press Release From: Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The 250 ft (76 m) Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, UK, was turned towards Mars between 19:30 GMT and midnight on 28 December, but no response was received from the Beagle 2 lander.

This will be Jodrell Bank's last opportunity for some time to listen for a signal from Beagle 2. The longer day on Mars means that the planet has rotated so that the Beagle 2 landing site on Isidis Planitia is no longer above the horizon at the observatory when the spacecraft should be transmitting its pulsing "Morse Code" call.

The Stanford University radio telescope in California also attempted to search for Beagle's signal on the night of 27-28 December, but no data were received.

Earlier on the evening of 28 December, no signal from Beagle 2 was received by the Mars Odyssey orbiter during its pass over the landing site. The next communication opportunity with Mars Odyssey will take place at 07:41 GMT this morning.

Other opportunities to communicate with Beagle 2, including sessions with Mars Express, are listed on the Beagle 2 Web site, http://www.beagle2.com

The next press briefing will be held in the Beagle 2 Media Centre at 08:30 GMT this morning, when Lord Sainsbury, UK Minister for Science and Innovation, will be a principal speaker.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Beagle 2 has been pre-programmed to send a pulsing on-off signal once a minute (10 seconds on, 50 seconds off) during daylight hours on Mars. Some 9 minutes later, this call home should reach Earth after a journey of about 100 million miles (157 million km).

For further details on Beagle 2 and Mars Express see the following websites:

Links

The planned communication times are detailed in the landing timeline, http://www.beagle2.com/landing/timeline.htm

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