Beagle 2 - No signal received during the first pass of Mars Odyssey

Status Report From: Open University
Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

image No telemetry from Beagle 2 was received during this morning's passage of NASA's Mars Odyssey over the Isidis Planitia landing site.

Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist for the Beagle 2 project, commented that this certainly does not mean that the probe had been damaged during its descent. There were a number of possible explanations, the most likely being that the Beagle 2 antenna was not pointing in the direction of Mars Odyssey.

The next opportunity to communicate with Beagle 2 will be late this evening (between 10pm and midnight GMT) when the Jodrell Bank Observatory will listen out for a signal from the lander.

The Beagle 2 Team

At 2.47am GMT the Beagle 2 probe entered the martian atmosphere to begin the final descent to the surface, coming to rest at 2.54am.

But it will be several more hours before the waiting scientists and engineers will get the vital message confirming that all went to plan.

Beagle 2 will wait for the time that NASA's Odyssey passes overhead and send a message. This is then relayed back to Earth and the start of the message - the notes of the music composed by Blur - will tell us all is well.

The Beagle 2 Team

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