View Full Version : Beagle 2 Mission Lost

26th Dec 2003, 07:33
ABC News 7.30 A.M. 26 Dec. 2003 AEST

By Jan Kelly in London

British scientists have announced today that the Beagle 2 mission has been lost.

Despite several attempts to contact the space probe no response has been received.

There has been no signal from the small probe, which was supposed to send a weak call sign via an orbiting NASA craft back to earth.

Beagle 2's failure to communicate has been analysed by the team behind the mission who have quickly ascertained the cause of the mission's failure.

One of the scientists on the project, Andrew Jones, says that final telemetry indicates that as the craft approached the Mars surface it had collided with another object flying at low speed.

Mr Jones said "The problem was the air traffic control system being used on Mars at the time. Mars uses the same air traffic control system as the one recently introduced in Australia. It is widely believed that the losses of numerous past US and Russian Mars missions were attributable to collisions with light aircraft."

A Virgin Blue spokesperson confirmed that no Virgin Blue aircraft was involved in the loss of the Beagle 2. Virgin Blue management are concerned at the failure of a Virgin Blue aircraft to be involved in this incident as "Branson wants us in the media as much as possible and... any publicity is good publicity".

Mr Jones added. "Beagle 2 was fitted with TCAS and this appears to have activated when the lander came within radar range of the light aircraft however the light aircraft did not have its transponder switched on and did not answer any radio calls. Everyone knows that even a high speed computer can't avoid a light aircraft at 250 knots".

Fuzzy data obtained from an orbiting Mars satellite has revealed a picture of the light aircraft just before the impact. The aircraft was an open 4 seater aviation vehicle pulled by 6 white boomers (Flying Kangaroos) and steered by a gentleman dressed in a red and white suit. Qantas have indicated that the aircraft was not a commercial Qantas flight although the paint scheme is similar.

Further investigations are continuing but one thing that has been agreed by all scientists involved in the project, namely that ultimately a biscuit manufacturer is somehow responsible for the mission loss. It has not been ascertained yet whether the Beagle 2 was carrying a cargo of Tim Tams or not.

26th Dec 2003, 19:33
Not good reporting.
The local news here in Europe says that they're going to have at least another try tonight, at about 6pm UK time, to try to get contact.
There may be more tries as well.
Don't give up hope just yet!

29th Dec 2003, 03:49
No comments from that recalcitrant organisation the AOPA or Brett Godfrey himself?

Surprised the AOPA aren't lobbying to protect their Martian affiliates!