Nommos Prime (Dogon) "Getting Too Close...?"
“Notwithstanding that Mars is a very harsh mistress--missions fail with rueful frequency --it is now clear the cards were more heavily stacked than usual against the diminutive Beagle 2, and long before it was launched toward the red planet . Courted for its support during development, the public is now being shut out of the post-mission report. This is ostensibly on the grounds of commercial confidentiality and an ongoing legal spat between two of the program participants. That sounds like a thin excuse. Even just the recommendations from the joint European Space Agency/British National Space Center (BNSC) failure review team make for uneasy reading. There is, however, more than a waft of suspicion that the underlying motivation is to avoid numerous red faces among the various players.
If there are legal or proprietary concerns about a name here or an assertion there, then black out the offending words. But publish the rest, warts and all. Withholding the whole report is wrong.”
For those who came in late, see previous Physics Forums’ Links regarding my “outrageous” Beagle 2 Lander “hijacking” theory.
I said “this whole episode would be buried”, and BURIED it is…
Beagle 2 Lander Inquiry “Derailed and CENSORED”
“2. The Inquiry Commission was set up jointly between ESA and BNSC and was chaired by the ESA Inspector General. The Commission included senior managers and experts from Europe and also from NASA and Russia. Its remit was to:
· assess the available data/documentation acquired during development, integration and testing of the Beagle 2 lander on Earth and that pertaining to the cruise phase operations prior to release of the spacecraft to Mars;
· analyse the programmatic environment (i.e. decision processes, funding level and resources, management and responsibilities, interactions between the various entities) throughout the project;
· identify possible issues and shortcomings, both programmatic and technical, in the above and in the approach used, which might have contributed to the loss of the mission.
All members of the Commission have signed a non-disclosure agreement.”
Regarding (The Potential for “Hijacking” Beagle 2 Lander, and it’s subsequent Cover-up).
From the same link, regarding SSMM “Hijacking Potential”;
For future planetary entry missions, a more robust communications system should be used, allowing direct commanding of the lander for essential actuations and resets without software involvement – enabling recoveries in catastrophic situations.”
Regarding (The Potential for “Air-Bag Failure/Suss Tests by USA” on Beagle 2 Lander);
Adequate competencies in air bag and parachute technology must be available for future European planetary missions, making best use of existing expertise e.g. in USA and Russia.”
Nice, but Tests WERE carried out by the USA scientists.
And (A PATHETIC ATTEMPT) to cover-up the MARSIS “Knobbling”;
Adequate and realistic deployment tests should be performed, and sufficient time and resources must be available in the development of a new planetary mission.”
AGAIN, Tests WERE carried out (by the USA company)!
And (still), from the same link (COVER-UP!);
“The Commission of Inquiry, which included senior managers and experts from within Europe and also NASA and Russia, held several meetings in the UK and in ESA, interviewing the key actors, directors, managers, scientists, and engineers, who participated in the development of Beagle 2. The report has been submitted to the UK Minister for Science and Innovation and the Director General of ESA and accepted. No single technical failure or shortcoming was unambiguously identified but a few credible causes for Beagle 2's loss were highlighted. More importantly, the Board made it clear that there were programmatic and organisational reasons that led to a significantly higher risk of Beagle 2 failure, than otherwise might have been the case.
The scope of the Inquiry covered a wide range of important issues of concern to the UK, ESA and other Member States in ESA. Some of these matters are necessarily confidential between governments and the Agency and cannot be released. Furthermore, the development of Beagle 2 entailed close working relations between many firms in the UK. Many of those firms invested their own funds in the project and formed relations which remain commercially sensitive.
Although deciding that the Report should remain confidential, we believe it is important that the full set of Recommendations is published together with our appreciation of lessons learnt.”
But perhaps the most telling comments, are Pillinger’s final words…;
“"We gave Beagle the very best shot we could within the constraints that were placed upon us," he said.”
I'm disgusted with the whole episode...
Europeans Shouldn’t Look For Life And Artificial Structures
Here’s one (OF MANY) reasons, why I believe this whole debacle has occurred;
“The lander's Gas Analysis Package, or GAP, was central to its mission to discover signs of past or present life on Mars. The only previous life-detection experiments on Mars were carried out by NASA's Viking 1 and 2 landers in 1976. "It wasn't that Viking didn't find life," said Beagle 2 Chief Scientist, Professor Colin Pillinger, "it was that they thought the conditions were just so horrid, so harsh, nobody anticipated that life could exist there."
"The Beagle 2 project was based on martian meteorite studies," said Pillinger. "I think the real thing that is driving us back to wanting to look at whether there is life on Mars is something that Viking did that nobody anticipated, nobody planned. It was that they were able to show that we have martian meteorites on Earth."
"The discovery of water in martian meteorites was made just after Viking. Of course, we didn't know then they were martian meteorites," said Pillinger. "But we found evidence of water trickling through martian meteorites, we found carbonates in martian meteorites that was definitely indigenous. And we found organic matter. I believe that the organic matter is there in an amount that can't just be explained by contamination. However, I can't prove it. And if I can't prove something, I just simply say, right, what are we going to do next? Go find another experiment."”
And, from the same interview, (“A METHANE TEASER…”)
See my previous links to METHANE DETECTION ON MARS SINCE VIKING 2 LANDER;
"“As for the future, the Beagle 2 team is already considering what might be possible with a Beagle 3 mission. "Viking did a very noble job," said Pillinger. "They had three experiments, which were configured to see whether there were any actively metabolizing organisms on the planet. [Beagle 2] was not doing a metabolism experiment. The thing which is crucial as far as I'm concerned is we need to see whether we can detect any organic [biologically produced] matter."
Sometimes, I think they wish I was on their side...
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