Scientists hope for survival of Mars probe
LONDON: British scientists kept up their hopes on Friday for the survival of the Beagle 2 Mars Lander despite its silence since it arrived on the planet’s surface early on Christmas Day.
“I’m not feeling too down yet,” said Colin Pillinger, the scientist in charge of the lander project. He said at least 13 attempts to get in touch with the lander had been programmed in coming days, including another try by the giant radio telescope at Jodrell Bank to pick up Beagle’s call signal. Despite being wrapped in protective balloons, the craft may have been knocked out by a hard landing. But scientists were optimistic that the problem was no more serious than an antenna misaligned or perhaps blocked by a stone. “You have to liken this to the early days of mobile phones,” Mr Pillinger said. —AFP