Destination Mars!

Mattattattatt

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#1
New Mars Probe

The probe oddysey approaches Mars orbit tonight. The last two have been lost (according to ABC), as have others.

It'd be interesting to keep track of this one's progress, especially in light of confusion over the moons and the reccent storms
 

The late Pete Younger

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#3
On hearing the news of the probes safe arrival, my son reminded me of the two lost probes and said wouldn't it be funny if aliens have a base on Mars and are zapping our probes to keep us in the dark about their existence...Makes you think.:eek:
 
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Anonymous

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#4
its as credible a reason as "we got the trederectory (sp?) wrong" or the other
"it dissapeard till it had passed the planet"

why not zap them? it'd be more fun

cas
 
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Anonymous

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#5
I believe the second one disappeared as they got their metric and imperial units mixed up.

If it was my mistake, I'd probably blame it on aliens instead.
:eek:
 
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Anonymous

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#7
Mars Observer

It'll work this time...(I hope!!!) Let's give the scientists and engineers a huge round of applause...it didn't over-shoot or burn-up.Maybe it'll work also.And maybe...just maybe it'll detect water and maybe...etc.I will not hold my breath but I still hope for something at least interesting. :cool:
 
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Anonymous

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#8
interesting ?

Chances of plant life is laughable.

Water would be nice.

Bacteria would be interesting.

However, don't hold yer breath :eek:
 
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Anonymous

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#9
couldnt have said it better myself chris
i agree with chris on this one water would be nice but i dont think they would honesty find anything of any use,


cas
 

Mattattattatt

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#10
You gotta consider that to find anything of real importance conclusively requires at least an unmanned lander. Now, surely microbes or liquids will be in the rockier, more sheltered terrain rather than the desert plains - but it's the latter which happen to be the only safe place to put a lander down... which often go wrong because the French and the Americans count differently or similar problems...

They may find more indications of underground resevoirs, etc... anybody got any info what the probe's scanning for and what with?

And has the Mars glider been given the go ahead?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#11
what'll happen with Mars

I just know that when we sort mars out we will send all our criminals there.

150 years later when they have a tough but peaceful community everyone will wanna live there.

:rolleyes:

am I talking crap or what :confused:
 

rynner2

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#14
With several spacecraft heading for Mars, and the close conjunction coming up this summer, there are bound to be several stories coming up related to the Red Planet, so here's the thread for 'em. :)

For starters:
Historic Mars lander 'did find life'

By Helen Briggs
BBC News Online science reporter

Claims have re-emerged that the US space agency (Nasa) did find signs of life on Mars during the historic Viking landings of 1976.
Dr Gil Levin, a former mission scientist, says he now has the evidence to prove it, just days before the US and Europe send new expeditions to the Red Planet.

An image of Mars from the Viking II lander
The United States and Russia have spent billions since the 1960s on a handful of space craft designed to land on Mars.

Only three have succeeded so far: the two Viking probes in the 1970s and Mars Pathfinder in 1997.

In 1976, the world was gripped by excitement when a robotic spacecraft touched down on Mars for the first time in history.

Biology experiments detected strange signs of activity in the Martian soil - akin to microbes giving off gas.

Before announcing the news that life had been found on another planet, Nasa carried out more tests to look for evidence of organic matter.

However, the Viking experiments failed to find this essential stuff of life and it was concluded that Mars was a dead planet.

New evidence

Dr Levin, one of three scientists on the life detection experiments, has never given up on the idea that Viking did find living micro-organisms in the surface soil of Mars.

Beagle is looking for life
He continued to experiment and study all new evidence from Mars and Earth, and, in 1997, reached the conclusion and published that the so-called LR (labelled release) work had detected life.

He says new evidence is emerging that could settle the debate, once and for all.

He told BBC News Online: "The organic analysis instrument was shown to be very insensitive, requiring millions of micro-organisms to detect any organic matter versus the LR's demonstrated ability to detect as few as 50 micro-organisms."

Dr Levin, now president and CEO of US biotechnology company Biospherix, has a new experiment that he says "could unambiguously settle the argument".

But it was rejected by both Nasa and the European Space Agency (Esa) to go on-board this summer's Mars missions.

The British-built Beagle 2, which will be deposited on the Martian surface by Esa's Mars Express space craft, is going with the main purpose to hunt for life. This is a risky strategy, claims Dr Levin.

"Strangely, despite its billing, Beagle 2 carries no life detection experiment!" he said. "Neither its GCMS (organic detector) which is claimed to be more sensitive than Viking's, nor its isotopic analysis instrument can provide evidence for living organisms."

Robot geologists

Nasa's mission to Mars is taking a more circumspect approach to the big life question.

Its two identical rovers will roam the ancient plains of Mars acting as robot geologists.

Mark Adler, deputy mission manager, said the main science objective was to understand the water environment of Mars not to search for life.

He told BBC News Online: "What we learnt from Viking is that it is very difficult to come up with specific experiments to look for something you don't really know what to look for."

Claims of life on Mars have always proved highly contentious. Twenty years after Viking, microbe-like structures discovered inside a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica led to more claims that were later rejected.

As the astronomer Carl Sagan once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And there is no reason to believe that anything found this time will be any different.

"It's going to take a number of missions if we want to know whether there is life on Mars or not," said Dr Charles Cockell, a Mars biologist at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridgeshire, UK.

"If we find no evidence of life on Mars it may just mean we have looked in the wrong place."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2941826.stm


And an Interactive timeline of missions to Mars so far.
 

rynner2

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#15
An account of the difficulties encountered designing the parachute and airbags for the British Beagle 2 lander.
Beagle 2, Mission to Mars, the inside story of the Beagle 2 project, is broadcast in two parts on BBC Two at 2320 BST on 2 and 3 June.
(Digiguide has a film of the same name showing, but I guess the Beeb knows what it's putting out!)

And, as an interesting sidebar, the Search for Darwin's Beagle in the Essex marshes.
Scientists search for Darwin's Beagle

The final resting place of HMS Beagle, the ship on which Charles Darwin made early discoveries about evolution, could soon be uncovered.

Charles Darwin circumnavigated the world on the HMS Beagle

St Andrews University's Dr Robert Prescott, who has led the team retracing the ship's final fate, said sensor equipment was to be used at an undisclosed site in the Essex marshes this summer.
 

Timble2

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#17
Can I get in first?

The British-built Beagle 2, which will be deposited on the Martian surface by Esa's Mars Express space craft, is going with the main purpose to hunt for life.
With

25 December 2003:

'The Beagle has landed'
You just know one of the papers or the TV is going to do it (barring accidents).
 

rynner2

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#18
Yep, they showed lift-off! Looked like a perfect launch.

Yay, way to go! Woop, woop!

Let's hope it hits the right trajectory OK.


[Um, is there anybody there?
Oh well, I'll just carry on talking to myself, then. :D ]


EDIT:
Europe's Mars mission lifts off

Europe's first mission to Mars began its half-year journey to the Red Planet when it lifted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 1845 BST (1745 GMT) on Monday.

The Russian launcher lifts clear of the pad
A Soyuz-Fregat rocket rose into the night sky carrying the Mars Express craft and its Beagle 2 lander, set to become the first British-built probe to explore another world.

Once the rocket reaches Earth orbit it will complete a single lap of our planet before the Fregat booster kicks it on to its journey towards Mars.

It will be about 90 minutes into the flight before Mars Express separates from this final rocket stage.

Then the solar arrays will open and the space craft should make contact with Esa's ground station in Western Australia. It is at this moment that European scientists and engineers on the mission will begin to relax - but not for long.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2955910.stm
(and more...)
 

Philo_T

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#19
The launch isn't the exciting part.

Things get really interesting when a probe nears Mars orbit and the Martians shoot it down! :p
 
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Anonymous

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#20
Yay, way to go! Woop, woop!

Let's hope it hits the right trajectory OK.


[Um, is there anybody there?
Oh well, I'll just carry on talking to myself, then. ]
No,
I'm here-
good luck, Beagle-
You are going to need it.
 
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Anonymous

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#21
[Lord Sainsbury] read out a message of support for Beagle 2 from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Oh gawd. That'll jinx it if nothing else does. :)

Best wishes to Beagle, and it'll be great for Britain if it's a success, as I sincerely hope.

I guess the more successful missions to the Red Planet, the more likely it is that humans will follow sooner rather than later.

Big Bill Robinson
 

mejane

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#22
Here is the official Beagle2 website - it even has a "spacecam" (which doesn't appear to be working at the moment, but that's probably because the technicians are too busy whooping and congratulating each other) :)

Jane.
 
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Anonymous

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#23
They've Been Going On About This One For So Long Now.

Just to give you an idea how long this one's been in the making:

Blur and Damien Hirst were still famous celebrities when they were asked to contribute music and art to the project.

Remember them? ;)

I hope it makes it and it isn't gunned down by the Martian Department of Home Planet Security! :p
 

rynner2

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#24
Re: They've Been Going On About This One For So Long Now.

AndroMan said:
Blur and Damien Hirst were still famous celebrities when they were asked to contribute music and art to the project.

Remember them? ;)
Who?

:D
 

beakboo1

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#26
So why have they called it Beagle exactly? I love the fact that the American ones all have thrusting feck-off names, and ours is called after a comical, long eared dog. A dog famous for smoking.
I'll be looking forward to *mas day for once. :)
 
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