Spirit landed successfully! Woohoo! I’m not quite sure why the pics are only in black and white atm, but hopefully we’ll get some nice high resolution images in the near future. Opportunity, Spirit’s twin, should touch down in a couple of weeks, I think. Sophisticated, expensive and mobile as these Rovers are, they’re still not as cool as Beagle 2. S&P are only capable of looking for ‘evidence that life could once have existed’ – ie. water. There are no instruments to detect biological organisms at all, which is kinda sad. They’re very good at geology, though, and being mobile is of course a Good Thing 🙂
Mars Express is in a slightly unexpected orbit, so won’t pass over the B2 landing site until Wednesday 7th. B2 should be now hopefully be in ‘Search Mode 2’, which to quote from the website:
“In this mode, the receiver is on for 59 minutes out of every hour throughout the Martian day, and the spacecraft sends a carrier signal five times in each daylight hour. During the Martian night, Beagle 2’s receiver will be on for one minute out of every five, but there is no carrier signal.”
However the first four passes over the landing site will only be 5-8 minutes long, which isn’t a lot of time to search or try to send out messages to the lander. Extended opportunities aren’t until the 12th or 14th. The full press release is here (04-01-04 @ 11:23 when it disappears from the main page).
I cooked tea for myself a few days ago and managed to eat a very undercooked steak and kidney pudding (it’s a long story), and have been feeling a bit rough ever since. Today it seems worse, annoyingly. I wish I could just be sick or something and get it over with. Of course, Kate’s had a bad cold recently, so it could just be the beginnings of that. Paracetamol seems to stop the effects, thankfully.
The Google Zeitgeist is pretty interesting, btw. I’m not sure why Japanese people are so interested in little squares, mind.