European scientists think they know the reason of Beagle-2 module disappearance. It has landed on Mars the last Thursday, but radio contact was not established. Now scientist think the module could land into a 100 meter crater, reports Sky News.
“It is fantastically bad luck”, comment the scientists. Approximate landing area for Beagle-2 was 70 by 10 kilometers, yet it was unlucky enough to land into a crater of 1 kilometer diameter only.
This conclusion was made upon studying the photographs of the module’s landing area made by American Mars Satellite “Mars Global Surveyor”.
The scientists confess they did not know of the crater’s existence before.
There is still some chance that other reason lies behind Beagle-2’s silence, and the European Space Association isn’t in despair yet.
But if Beagle-2 did really land into a crater, there’s virtually no chance it would get out there itself.
All hopes of the scientists now are on Mars Express station. On the 4th January it will be right over the lost module, and may receive its signals.
The first attempt to establish connection with it was unsuccessful. At the time planned (Thursday morning) Beagle-2 remained silent. American satellite module “Odyssey” did not record the expected signal.
Experts believe loss of the module will not mean the entire Martian project of ECA fails. Mars-Express station armed with solid equipment, which would gather information during two years. In particular, its powerful radar will search for water or ice beneath the ground of the planet; the station will also take 3D photos of Mars for subsequent work on its detailed map.