back to article Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

The long-lost, dustbin-lid sized British Mars lander Beagle 2 - whose fate had been unknown since it departed from its Mars Express mothership in orbit above the red planet on Christmas Day 2003 - seems likely to have been found at last. The UK Space Agency has scheduled a press briefing on the Beagle for Friday and is …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they can only see a handful of pixels, what makes them sure these are human-made objects?

    1. yakitoo

      Position and shape presumably.

      And the tyre tracks from the LGM first responder de-contamination vehicles.

      1. Tim Jenkins

        Made me think of the opening sequence of "The Martian Chronicles" (1980), where the camera pulls back to reveal the city just out of sight of Viking 1. Still haunts me, that image...

        (about 2m 15s into , and try not to be watching it 4 1/2 hours later)

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          about 2m 15s into

          Clouds on Mars? Ridiculous

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'Position and shape'

        Top of my to-do list when I become Administrator of NASA is to send a cylinder shaped spacecraft to mars. Payback for when they sent that one to Horsell Common.

        1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

          Re: 'Position and shape'

          Waste of time, the chances of anything coming from Mars must be a million to one

          1. Martin Milan

            Re: 'Position and shape'

            And still they come...

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      There were a handfull of pixels sitting on a wall...

      A few pixels in this photo, a few pixels in the next one, and next one, and next one...

      And a some rocket science level image processing. Actually not rocket science, spy sat science.

    3. DJV Silver badge
      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Pixels? Easy...

        Just ask Kryten:

        Gah! Can we not post Back to Earth clips? Especially ones misidentified as CSI spoofs by idiots?

  2. AdamT

    Too much time has elapsed....

    for the crater made by this beagle to still be smoking.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Too much time has elapsed....

      poor thing had to go cold turkey without even a nicorette patch to help.

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Wwas then never heard from again

    The little lander detached from Mars Express on schedule, but was then never heard from again.

    Someone in the launch team forgot about "requires 4 AA batteries, not included" warning on the box...

    1. Christoph

      Re: Wwas then never heard from again

      No, the re-entry temperature was too much for the sticky-back plastic they built it with.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Wwas then never heard from again

        But not enough to melt the frozen airbag enough for it to inflate.

        This is a serious post. They reused the test article airbags because there was no money for actual flight ones (until it was too late to make them) and water vapour was still coming out of the things in dangerously high amounts when they had to be pulled out of the vacuum chambers and packed for launch.

        Knowledgeable cow-orkers were predicting that the thing would crater even before the launcher left the tower, but the choices were "include the thing as is" or "launch with a block of lead replacing Beagle's mass". Delaying the launch was not an option.

        1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

          Re: Wwas then never heard from again

          I also heard on the side someone saying that you don't want to do that, but I can't tell you why. Nor can you have any data on it (International Trade in Arms Regulations). Just here it is, slightly used but no real data on performances, etc.

          I wasn't close enough to know if others did get hints on how to use it, but having worked on other projects, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't. Far too often, they go and have an hour teleconference, and then come out of it saying that they can't tell you anything.

  4. AndrueC Silver badge

    former spacecraft like Beagle 2

    That made me smile a bit. Yes. After smashing into the surface of Mars it is no longer a spacecraft.

    1. TitterYeNot


      "After smashing into the surface of Mars it is no longer a spacecraft."

      Nah, it's not an ex-spacecraft, it's just, erm, resting, pining for the fjords...

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      That made me smile a bit. Yes. After smashing into the surface of Mars it is no longer a spacecraft.

      Let's face it: it was never a spacecraft in the first place. At best it was an attempt to test whether Mars has gravity too.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Let's face it: it was never a spacecraft in the first place. At best it was an attempt to test whether Mars has gravity too.

        It most definitely was a spacecraft: it successfully travelled through space from Mars Express detachment to martian atmosphere entry, at which time it transitioned to "air"craft. Things had been going fine up until that point...

  5. ukgnome

    What they won't tell you is it has a hole blasted in it and burn marks on it's hull.

    1. 7

      Re: it has a hole blasted in it and burn marks on it's hull

      But clearly visible in pixels 24 to 42.

    2. Bunbury


      Look far too regular for Sand People...

    3. Steve Foster


      But what about after it left earth?

  6. Fullbeem

    Watching from afar

    I wonder why, when the security services have satellite based cameras that can see what im eating for lunch these days, that cameras have not been deployed to Mars to watch the locals eating habits at Starbucks Mars

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Watching from afar

      Probably for the same reason Hubble can't see the Apollo landing sites:

    2. John G Imrie

      Martians are inteligent

      They don't have starbucks

      1. stucs201

        Re: They don't have starbucks

        Indeed. They have bars, not overpriced coffee.

        1. Sarah Balfour

          Re: They don't have starbucks

          Why the fuck was this downvoted?! Here, have another upvote, some folks clearly have no sense (of humour).

      2. Simon Harris

        Re: Martians are inteligent

        "They don't have starbucks"

        What? Neither Katee Sackhoff nor Dirk Benedict?

      3. Isendel Steel

        Re: Martians are inteligent

        no starbucks? must be Martian Credits ?

    3. cray74

      Re: Watching from afar

      "I wonder why, when the security services have satellite based cameras that can see what im eating for lunch these days, that cameras have not been deployed to Mars to watch the locals eating habits at Starbucks Mars"

      Because the best spy satellite cameras are large and expensive, exceeding the mass and cost of Hubble (itself a civilian version of the 1970s US KH-11 Kennan spy satellite). Both of those points makes it hard to get them to Mars. Consider:

      The HiRise imager of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is 65kg and $40 million. At launch, MRO totaled is 2180kg and $720 million. A pair of latest-generation KH-11s purchased on short notice when, say, Boeing is to busy screwing a pooch to build a KH-11 replacement seems to run $5 billion. Each one is 19,600kg, give or take. Not only would that be a record mass to send to Mars, the off-the-shelf price tag doesn't include Mars-specific instrumentation; the launcher; Mars-arrival braking systems (aerobraking and/or rockets); and ongoing operational costs.

      What you get out of the delivery of such a behemoth to Mars is an increase from MRO's best 30-centimeter resolution to about 15 centimeters.

      The idea is being considered, though. NRO generously donated a couple of "stubby Hubbles" to NASA in 2012. NASA's got schemes and plots for the first mysterious spare space telescope, but the second one has no funding allocation and is thus subject to wilder concepts - like being shipped to Mars.

    4. 142

      Re: Watching from afar

      A live mars cam would be really cool. Probably not too far off, either. But for the record, the satellite photography NASA supplied for some regions of Google Mars is higher resolution than the aerial photography on most cities in Google Earth! Check it out, around Olympus Mons.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So farewell then

    Colin Pillinger

    Space Wurzel supreme

    you made a small dent in Mars

    But we forgive you that

  8. MJI Silver badge

    Pity it was too late for Colin

    He would have loved this news

    1. Huey

      Re: Pity it was too late for Colin

      Agreed we need more proper prof's!

      In other news Scotty you can come out of exile we have found where you beamed Admiral Archer's dog!

  9. RISC OS

    The UK Space Agency ... is refusing to discuss details in advance...

    Yeah, first they have to photoshop the laser beam scorch marks, caused by the aliens that shot it down, out of the images...

    1. Sanctimonious Prick

      Re: The UK Space Agency ... is refusing to discuss details in advance...

      PMSL!! Too true!!

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The UK Space Agency ... is refusing to discuss details in advance...

      I don' think the UK Space Agency has access to that level of technology.

      It will be in MS-Paint

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: The UK Space Agency ... is refusing to discuss details in advance...

        oh ye of little faith - it will be Paintshop Pro version 8

  10. JeffyPoooh

    Beagle sitting there...

    "LANDING Complete! Press any key to continue..."

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Beagle sitting there...

      The martians are still looking for the Any key.

  11. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge

    10 years

    Blimey. Feels like only yesterday.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10 years

      Yep, a child of the days of "Cool Britannia", with its Damien Hurst spot painting to calibrate the camera and the "Blur" sample to, uh, annoy the locals? And somewhere in the background is Blair explaining why invading Iraq is the right thing to do...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: 10 years

        The martians had giant walking tripods of mass destruction

    2. TheRealRoland

      Re: 10 years

      >Blimey. Feels like only yesterday.

      Probably because of imperial vs metric system?

  12. Little Mouse

    Rocket Science

    It's both small AND far away?

    Someone's going to have to explain that to me again.

  13. Forget It

    A handful of pixels:

    ... some corner of a Martian field / That is for ever England.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By the time we land on mars....

    It will be a junkyard already!

    1. TheRealRoland

      Re: By the time we land on mars....

      What are the chances of getting there with all the space junk flying around Earth :-(

  15. Simon Harris

    Missing Beagle found on Mars..

    See - the Snoopy charter's not all bad!

  16. paulc



  17. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Who you gonna call? Quotebusters?

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    And all easily paid for with virtually quite worthless printed paper bills/fiat currency supply and spend.

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    1. Tail Up

      Re: Who you gonna call? Quotebusters?

      "Operational ... Environment, which ... is perceived as Reality"

      You said :-) Why the idea of calling anyone, isn't it a personal device with personal, hmm, mind-settings?

      55 73

  18. Stevie Silver badge


    NASA should prioritize a rover mission to nip over and graffiti-up this UK dustbin lid by writing in the dust covering it.

    I suggest "Wot, no wheels?" and the obligatory "Clean Me".

  19. Simon Harris

    Main photograph...

    If that's anything to go by, it seems they'd forgotten to put it on the spacecraft and just discovered they'd left it behind in the lab.

  20. Lt.Kije

    British eggface lander's resting place ...

    Jees, come on chaps, credit where it due. Near misses count for something in this game.

    1. Roj Blake

      Re: British eggface lander's resting place ...

      But it wasn't a near miss. It seems to have hit Mars.

  21. graeme leggett

    Is it in a pit?

    Cos I met this guy at the British Experimental Rocket Group. Name was Quartermain, or Candlemass, or somesuch. Anyway he says whatever we do don't bring it back to Earth.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully they will find a nearby crater and name it Colin.

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

      I suspect there is a small crater directly underneath which wasn't there 11 years ago.

  23. VinceH

    Dustbin lid-sized

    I think the key point is that it's dustbin lid-sized.

    We all thought the Clangers lived on a small moon - but, no, it turns out they're on Mars, and they appropriated Beagle 2 to use to cover one of their entrances.

  24. solaries

    Sure took a long time to discover Beagle's remains. Just wondering what NASA is covering up by the way that they sabotaged this probe just my speculation.

  25. Roj Blake

    It's Still Working

    I reckon that the only thing that was damaged on landing was its comms array. It's been working away for the last decade doing some great science, but it can't tell us about it.

  26. ScottAS2

    Was it that the impact on landing was too high, and caused the ram pack to wobble?

  27. After the Tone

    We all know what happened. When the pictures are released I bet we see the footprint of a Decepticon.

  28. cortland

    Doomed from the start? Aye, but a good try still.

  29. HOW many?

    Must've been an astronomer who coined the phrase?

    Small world eh?

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