View Full Version : Discussion: Landers May Be at Risk From a ...

2003-Dec-16, 08:42 PM
SUMMARY: Engineers are worried that a new dust storm on Mars might put the three landers at risk when they arrive at the Red Planet in December and January. Right now, several small storms are combining to obscure part of the planet, but they could build to become a global storm - and event that's happened several times in the past. The obscuring dust could limit the amount of electricity the landers can generate with their solar panels; flying dust could damage delicate equipment; and it could also heat up and expand the atmosphere, throwing the calculations off when the landers try to enter the atmosphere.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2003-Dec-16, 08:43 PM
Is there an option to orbit until the storm passes?

Charles Bell
2003-Dec-16, 09:14 PM
The Brits are really sweating this mission. The whole thing could simply burn up and send up an outcry over "wasted pounds".

I hope the little guy makes it and we get to hear, "London, the Beagle has landed."

This to me is very exciting because the landing coincides with Christmas.

Charles Bell
2003-Dec-16, 09:21 PM
There is a complete story on the Mars Express and Beagle 2 at:

You can sign up for their news letter at theri web site:

December 19th, Beagle 2 separates from Mars Express
December 25, Beagle lands and NASA's Odyssey orbiter provides communications link, then we will know.

2003-Dec-18, 05:28 AM
I know the mars duststorm, it's terrible! if you walk there you'll see nothing! and blew out complety.
I fear that mars express'll fail! because mars express cannot just wait till end of sandstorm.

rob tillaart
2003-Dec-18, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by knealy@Dec 16 2003, 08:43 PM
>> Is there an option to orbit until the storm passes?

Or just land on another location where the storm will not pass?
Consider one of the two moons?

2003-Dec-18, 08:39 AM
The landing locations are pretty much set. There's no way Beagle 2 culd change its target, and the twin Mars Exploration rovers would need some pretty fast reprogramming.

From what I understand, though, the risk has been reduced recently.