Image credit: Beagle 2
Mars Express has made several more attempts to reach the British-built Beagle 2 lander, and so far it hasn’t received any communications. At this point the European Space Agency will go into a phase of radio silence until January 22, when Beagle 2 is supposed to go into a new communications mode where it will attempt to transmit a signal throughout the Martian day. It’s expected that the teams will consider the probe a lost cause if it can’t be reached by March.
No signal was received from Beagle 2 this morning when ESA’s Mars Express orbiter passed over the landing site around 0220 GMT. Prof. Colin Pillinger, Beagle 2 Lead Scientist, was present at ESOC when the data came through and although the news was disappointing Prof. Pillinger was encouraged by the continued support and determination of the team at ESA’s mission control centre to continue the search. The next phase will be to initiate a period of radio silence where no communication attempts will be made with Beagle 2 until the 22 January. Adopting this approach will force Beagle 2 into communication search mode 2 [CSM2] where the probe will automatically transmit a signal throughout the Martian day [power is still conserved during the night].
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The results from future communication attempts will be posted on the Beagle 2 and PPARC web sites.
Original Source: PPARC News Release