The Beagle 2 Mission...
Mission controllers have not yet been able to contact the Beagle 2 lander,
neither via the orbiter, Mars Express, nor by ground stations. One possibility
is that the lander might be at the bottom of a crater, therefore limiting
its field of view. A crater not formerly known to exist was discovered
slap-bang in the middle of the proposed landing site. Now, I don't
want to be pessimistic, but I wonder how that came to be? The craft can't
be contacted, and there's a crater that nobody saw before, right where
the craft is supposed to be...
I hope to have some pictures of this mission soon!
The Pathfinder Mission...
Getting into NASA's page isn't easy right now, is it? It's just as well
that I managed to get a few pictures last Saturday (July 5th) before the
world woke up to that site. I've never managed to get on it since! I could
always get up while the USA sleeps, I suppose, but we're not going to get
easy access onto the web until North America has to pay for it's phone
calls to the ISPs. It'll happen! Ha ha haaa!
Where were we? Oh, yes. Here, on the right, the Sojourner vehicle carefully
negotiating the Martian landscape...
We seem to have solved the problem with the slightly blurry picture
just in time to see the mobile vehicle nosing up to the rock nicknamed
'barnacle bill'. It will shortly bring its powerful array of state-of-the-art
sensors into play to determine the composition of the rock.
Be back soon to see the Sojourner vehicle encounter out-of-this-world
landscapes and, just possibly, alien life-forms!
Comments from an enthralled General Public
It took a while to convert the JPG file so that I could see it on screen
but it was worth the effort. I hadn't actually seen the vehicle itself
yet and I'm amazed that it looked so small. Maybe it's just the picture
quality but it looks like its only about an inch and a half long! I assume
its just packed with transponders to relay to a mother ship? The wheels
are an interesting style too. I assume the blue polymer at the hubs is
a sealant to prevent corrosion from the hostile environment? The aerial
is the most interesting feature. Does it screw up and down out of the chassis
when not in use? I can't wait to see some of the pictures it takes of the
strange new environment it's exploring, just think what can be learned
Is there another mission on the table, I mean, in the pipeline?
Jamie Downs, GEC-Marconi
"I thought that there were a lot more rocks than that" - Jamie Roberts,
Author: Martyn Arnold