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Where is Beagle 2? The search continues (Forwarded)

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Old February 19th 07, 03:58 AM posted to sci.space.news
Andrew Yee[_1_]
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Default Where is Beagle 2? The search continues (Forwarded)

Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council
Swindon, U.K.


Prof Colin Pillinger
The Open University
Tel: +44 1908 655 169

Peter Barratt
PPARC Head of Communications
Tel: +44 1793 442 094

16 February 2007

Where is Beagle 2? The search continues

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft has used its onboard
High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (HiRISE) to take a colour
image of a region of Mars in the vicinity of the intended landing site of
Beagle 2.

Included in the image is new coverage of the crater H2O which was considered
by the Beagle 2 team as unique in the area that had been searched for
evidence of the missing Lander. Beagle 2 was targeted to land in an ellipse
approximately 50km x 10km in size.

The new image does not show any features inside the crater that can be
reconciled with peculiarities (i.e. possible components of the entry descent
and landing system) encountered in the two previous lower resolution images
taken soon after Beagle 2 was due to arrive on Mars in December 2003. The
previous images were captured by the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars
Global Surveyor spacecraft.

Commenting on the latest image, Prof Colin Pillinger of the Open University
and lead scientist for Beagle 2, said: "Of course this is disappointing. We
had hoped that the HiRISE camera would clarify the oddities we had seen in
the crater but this is not the case. Nevertheless, I am extremely grateful
to the camera team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of
Arizona for trying and congratulate them on the exceptional quality of the
images. I remain optimistic that future images may yet show us where Beagle
2 finally came to rest."

About PPARC,

Notes for Editors

Image and caption:
[http://www.pparc.ac.uk/nw/mro_crater.jpg (163KB)]
H20 crater. Credit: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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