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Mars Space Science

Beagle 2 Probe Spotted on Mars 210

evilduckie writes "According to this BBC article photos taken by the Mars Global Surveyor show the European Beagle 2 probe which was lost after it apparently crash-landed on Mars."
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Beagle 2 Probe Spotted on Mars

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  • wait! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zxnos ( 813588 ) <zxnoss@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:29AM (#14298270)
    i think i see waldo in that high quality image...
  • Uhhh (Score:3, Funny)

    by lucabrasi999 ( 585141 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:30AM (#14298274) Journal
    He thinks the craft may have hit the ground too hard

    In other news, this evening, the Sun will set over the Western Horizon.

    • Re:Uhhh (Score:5, Informative)

      by NeoThermic ( 732100 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:38AM (#14298335) Homepage Journal
      The quote there is a bit short on words.

      Basically the probe was designed to impact on the surface, after being slowed by the parachutes. The underside of the probe was capable and designed to impact hard. However, what appears to have happend is that the impact was side on, hitting where the probe wasn't designed to be hit, and doing fatial damage.

      • Re:Uhhh (Score:3, Funny)

        by aug24 ( 38229 )
        Possibly only fatal to the antenna too.

        The suggestion is that Beagle is sitting in a martian crater wondering 'where did all the humans go?'!

        • Well, if Beagle is wondering where we went, instead of wasting money on another explorer why dont we just wait for it to launch "Earth Express 1" into orbit to scan for us?
      • Re:Uhhh (Score:3, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman ( 238306 )
        However, what appears to have happend is that the impact was side on, hitting where the probe wasn't designed to be hit, and doing fatial damage.

        Not fatal damage, just tranceiver damage. They currently believe that the Beagle was operational, but that its radio instruments were damaged, thus preventing it from calling home.
        • Well damn, I wonder if it's still opperational. If it is, maybe we can use one of our rovers (now that they've far exceeded their use) to relay the signal back home. That is, assuming we can get a rover close enough to pick up a signal to rebound back to us.

      • Wasn't the probe mounted inside three large inflated airbags [daviddarling.info]? It was supposed to use a 'hit, bounce and roll' landing technique so surley it should have been capable of withstanding a controlled impact on any point of the airbag.

        I think it's more likely either the parachutes failed, leading to higher landing speeds than the airbags could cushion, or the air bags themselves failed to inflact

    • Re:Uhhh (Score:3, Informative)

      by angusr ( 718699 )
      "He thinks the craft may have hit the ground too hard"

      In other news, this evening, the Sun will set over the Western Horizon.

      Bear in mind that impact damage was just one of many possible failure modes for Beagle 2. Transmitter failure, failure of the antenna to deploy, failure of the solar panels to produce enough power, failure of the onboard computers, and so on - there are lots and lots of reasons why it failed to transmit back to Earth. Up until now there's been an assumption catastrophic impact damag
      • Bear in mind that impact damage was just one of many possible failure modes for Beagle 2.

        Multiple failure points? Somehow that doesn't sound very good, not when we're talking pieces of equipment meant to be thrown out in space away from any kind of servicing. Aren't these things supposed to be both sturdy and have redundant failure protections?
    • in other news... Mars declares war after earth space probe kills their leader who was out for an afternoon stroll in the desert... diplomats not hopeful that a peaceful settlement can be reached!
    • You choose this, one of the darkest days of the year, to make fun of those of us living in the northern latitudes?

      (If you live far enough North, the sun will set over the Southern Horizon today - that is if you see it at all)
  • Holy crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by Viper Daimao ( 911947 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:31AM (#14298282) Journal
    I've seen less pixelated images of tits on network tv.
  • by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:33AM (#14298307)
    If it were closer to Cydonia, maybe we could pick up movement as the little guys take the spacecraft away and hide it in top secret Martian military bunkers.

    I hope they don't have an equivalent Will Smith fighter pilot capable of flying our space ships over there. It'll make our invasion that much harder.
  • Ooo! If it is a Beagle Active Probe, we will be able to see 4 hexes, regardless of terrain! It is the ultimate close quarters detection tool, really.
  • Incredible (Score:5, Funny)

    by PeteQC ( 680043 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:40AM (#14298346)
    Wow, we can't find Bin Laden on Earth, but we can find Beagle 2 on Mars.

    This is a funny world we live in...
  • by YA_Python_dev ( 885173 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:40AM (#14298350) Journal

    The Beagle 2 lander was part of the very successful European Space Agency (ESA) [esa.int] Mars Express [esa.int] mission.

    Mars Express contains 7 different scientific instruments and, amongs other things, it has already:

    • transmitted back gigabytes of beautiful images [esa.int] with a resolution of up to 2 meters/pixel;
  • I wonder how much different life would be today if the HMS Beagle had shipwrecked in the Galapagos and <i>Origin of the Species</i> had never been published.
    • by aapold ( 753705 ) * on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:52AM (#14298415) Homepage Journal
      Not much. Alfred Russel Wallace [wikipedia.org] independently developed the theory of evolution, such that Darwin had to rush his publication to establish precdedence. We'd have the Wallace awards, and little silver wallace fish with feet on cars, but otherwise much the same. His later conversion to Spiritualism would have given some ammo to anti-evolution arguments I suppose. ... in all seriousness he probably lacked the fame and reknown Darwin had prior to publication, and his theory would not have been taken as seriously coming form him as it did from Darwin.
    • Obviously, the secret world government would have hired someone else to write it.
    • I wonder how much different life would be today if the HMS Beagle had shipwrecked in the Galapagos and Origin of the Species had never been published.


      Pretty much the same. Satan would have found someone else to publish his deceits. However, Darwin himself would probably have been rescued by a bloody great fish and become a holy prophet for the LORD, so we might not be in such an appalling moral state today.

    • It's like saying "what if Issac Newton were never born. Likely 20 years later a group of other people would have figured out clasical physics. With Calculus being invented at that time it was only a matter of a few years before it all fell into place. Same with Darwin. Biologists would have figured it out, but later. ... What if there was life that beagal would have discovered had it not crashed? Same thing If it's there we find it later. Maybe 20 yers later but it it's there we find it.
    • Wallace came up with the same idea as Darwin a few years later and submitted it for reading before the Royal Society before Darwin wrote up his ideas. So the theory of evolution by natural selection was an idea "waiting to happen" and would eventually be published by somebody.

      Darwin's friends intercepted the paper, and told Darwin who nearly had a nervous breakdown. Wallace graciously allowed both papers to be presented before the Society simultaneously. Darwin fleshed his out with reams of observatio
  • by mark0 ( 750639 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:44AM (#14298382)
    ... it has probably been busy humping some poor martian's leg all this time.
  • by alephnull42 ( 202254 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:45AM (#14298386) Homepage Journal
    Allow me be the first to say:

                "Curse you, Red Baron!"

  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:46AM (#14298393)
    It all depends if you are a pessimist or an optimist.
  • ...it's a smoking hole in the ground!

    Thanks, I'm here all week.

  • Wouldn't you look? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eclipz ( 630890 ) <skyspirit@g m a i l . com> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:03AM (#14298492)
    Honestly, if you had a project fail so spectacularly, and with so many people watching, wouldn't you want to do something (or anything) in your power to get back some of your credibility? Sure, they may be able to pinpoint some generic area of failure, such as 'hit too hard' or 'just doesn't work', but it's possible that he may just want to know what happened to his creation and gain a little bit of his own confidence and social status back.

    If I sent a craft a few million miles, never heard from it again, and had the ability to possibly find it, I would probably do so.

    I'm makin' waffles! They got peanuts and soap in 'em!
  • What do those two things have in common?

    Horrible photos (usually blurry)
  • Oops (Score:3, Funny)

    by LaughingCoder ( 914424 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:05AM (#14298507)
    The robotic laboratory was designed to search Mars for signs of past or present life.

    Scientists are mortified to report that the Beagle 2 did indeed find life on Mars. Unfortunately, due to its poorly controlled re-entry it crashed into and killed all the Martian lifeforms ...
  • by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:05AM (#14298509) Journal
    Given that the Mars Polar lander crash site [newscientist.com] has been misidentified using better imagery, the chances that this is Beagle II are low. The image shown in the article is not compelling. There is the stench of politics surrounding the result. Very nearly worked? Uh Huh.
    • Agreed that the images may or may not be Beagle, but the idea of it being a political photoshopping? Nah! There's no need; they've blamed underfunding and/or the Prof. so there's really nothing to gain. Conversely, trying to fake evidence would be a super massively stupid risk.
  • by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:14AM (#14298547) Homepage Journal
    FTA: "Professor Pillinger claims the images show Beagle 2 came very close to being the first spacecraft to mount a concerted search for life on the Martian surface."

    The problem is, the Martian that saw it coming down mistakenly thought it was an interplanetary baseball, and gave it a good crack with his bat about 4 feet from the ground. Then it broke apart, he said "Mzck froltk!"(1) and ran off.

    (1) "Mzck froltk" translates from Martian native dialect into, roughly, "Oh shit"
  • Beagle Smash of Death? :-/
  • OK, let's just assume for the sake of argument that this is the Beagle...

    Is this site anywhere near one of the Mars Rovers? Could they possibly drive there and examine it?

    How cool would that be!?!?!
  • The French built-in a white flag for good measure to surrender to any Martians they may encounter.
  • Later On (Score:4, Funny)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:22AM (#14298632)
    Better High-Res images find a sign attached which reads "Up Yours Earthlings".

  • Looks like another entry on the Mars Scorecard.

    Mars is winning, folks.

    http://www.bio.aps.anl.gov/~dgore/fun/PSL/marsscor ecard.html [anl.gov]
  • by tezza ( 539307 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:50AM (#14298852)
    A crash reduces
    your expensive computer
    to a simple stone.

    - James Lopez [apparently]

    I always loved the Haiku that were all the rage a few years back.
    They did get a little overdone on /., but no more than In Russia and pWn3d. Some more I found on google [baetzler.de].

  • Accidentally skip "2 Probe" in the heading and we got news.
  • Great story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:57AM (#14298895) Homepage
    Isn't it fantastic what you can do with a few pixels and some imagination?
  • The Beagle looked like a suitcase anyway, they should have had the outer casing built by samsonite. The we would get back nice pictures of Martians jumping up and down on it to now avail.
  • by RealProgrammer ( 723725 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @12:46PM (#14299353) Homepage Journal
    Was it spotted before, or just mottled like other beagles?

  • Could it be possible that he is "seeing" too much in that photo, like Schiaparelli or Percival Lowell? I have seen some amazing analyses of photographic intelligence before, but interpreting so much from so few pixels is astounding. Obviously there is no wishful thinking happening here in this "extrapolation."

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.