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Beagle 2 Announcement


furball
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Saw a piece about it on the BBC website earlier.  Must be unbelievably frustrating for the people involved in the project to know that it reached the ground in one piece only to have it fail because one of the solar panels didn't open properly.

James

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So near and yet so far, you could argue that the 'mystery' of what happened provided more interest in the project than a successful landing would have (see also the bouncing Philae lander).  I'm sure lessons will have been learned regarding future lander designs.

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Saw a piece about it on the BBC website earlier.  Must be unbelievably frustrating for the people involved in the project to know that it reached the ground in one piece only to have it fail because one of the solar panels didn't open properly.

James

Very true, although I work with a guy who worked on the various descent mechanisms, he is at least pleased it made it down in one piece!

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They're still not sure why the solar panels didn't open, whether it was a failed motor, or something like that, or whether one of the airbags was wrapped around it, the pictures they're working with are only a few pixels across.

And it needed all the solar panels depoyed to expose the transmitter, which is why they never heard anything.

Lance

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I feel so sad for the late Colin Pillinger. 

His enthusiasm deserved better reward, even though Beagle2 could not send back any data,

the fact that it got to the Martian surface in one piece would have been regarded as a huge success by him.

RIP CP, You were certainly not by any stretch of the imagination, a failure. Your enthusiasm was infectious.

Ron.

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I'm glad they have found the craft and it must be some consolation for the team that they managed to land on Mars. A number of much more expensive missions have failed to manage to even hit the red planet !

I can recall during the Beagle 2 mission coverage hearing the team being realistic about the risks of failure. The low buget for the project meant that they had just one shot at each phase of the operation wheras missions with higher funding levels could afford to build in at least a few "safety nets" at some points.

I did think of the late Professor Pillinger when I heard the news. I feel he would have been very proud of the achievement of the team but still frustrated that the science experiments on the lander had not had the opportunity to be used. "Doing Science" as he termed it was very much the driving force for Colin Pillinger I seem to recall.

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Did anyone else notice that it came down only 5 km from the centre of a landing target 500 x 100 km? There are car GPSs that can't manage that!

Desperately sad that Colin didn't live to see Beagle found.

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Some very good comments on here, as stated such a shame it got so far and to fall at the last leg as it were. As mentioned above given how little a budget given to Beagle 2 I think everyone expected there to be nothing left when it was not heard from, I recall the media attention around the time for both Colin and the lander being so positive and how inspiring a project it was. The fact it survived intact on the surface and got as far as it did to me is proof that we can do things on a smaller cheaper scale if you have the right passionate team behind it and be realistic about your aims within your budget, such a shame Colin didn't live to see this but hopefully his legacy and Beagle's will inspire another mission and other people to get involved with science.

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I'm glad they found it intact! remarkable really, I think the mission was more of a sucess then people give credit for. From what I can tell from reading articles ESA learned alot from the mission which is sometimes part of the journey.

Im sure CP will be smiling down at us from the stars as it were..

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It's bitter sweet news but now we know. 

I remember being gutted when it failed to call home. It seemed such a great project.

There is most definitely no shame in the end result, lets not call it "failure". NASA flew a few turkeys to Mars in that era too and look at the money and experience they had to hand.

The Prof. would have been so proud to hear this news. I can hear him chortling, somewhere, out there.. :)

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