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Fraser
2004-Nov-02, 05:07 PM
SUMMARY: A new report by the UK House of Commons science and technology select committee pins the blame for the loss of the Beagle 2 lander on a lack of early money. Because the UK government failed to provide adequate funds early on in the lander's development, the developers had to chase celebrities for sponsorship when they should have been testing their equipment. The government eventually poured in £25 million as the project started to stall, but it was too late to make up time by that point as Mars Express had a firm launch date.

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

Guest
2004-Nov-02, 05:08 PM
And this is why space exploration should be left to private business. <_< :angry: :rolleyes:

antoniseb
2004-Nov-02, 05:08 PM
Well, that&#39;s the lesson. Space probes should be built as cheaply as possible, but no cheaper.

Duane
2004-Nov-02, 05:33 PM
That and if you commit to a project, commit fully. Don&#39;t leave it till the last minute, then hope for the best.

lswinford
2004-Nov-02, 07:24 PM
Actually, I think the issue is consistency and short-cuts. Whether it was privately funded, where the potential for still greater short-cuts and a lack of consistent checking and verification is greatest, or publicly funded, where the potential for the same inconsistencies and quick (as in low) quality exists when a project is not in popular favor, or a mix of both, either way the process of test, check, and recheck was inconsistent. The issue is not whose pockets were picked or which prominant personages were implored, for that happens alike in public politics and private promotion. The issue is whether a proper follow-through was permitted, which it was not.

kdhrocks
2004-Nov-03, 10:34 AM
The bean counters win again&#33; Take a look at the last 30 years of space flight. Every time the bean counters won, the mission failed and generally at the loss of life A very good example was Beagle2. At what point are we going to say that&#39;s enough&#33;
I can send you to Mars, BUT, I may not be able to get you back
Dave

Spacemad
2004-Nov-03, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by kdhrocks@Nov 3 2004, 10:34 AM
The bean counters win again&#33; Take a look at the last 30 years of space flight. Every time the bean counters won, the mission failed and generally at the loss of life A very good example was Beagle2. At what point are we going to say that&#39;s enough&#33;
I can send you to Mars, BUT, I may not be able to get you back
Dave
I was so excited when it was announced that a British built probe was to be sent to Mars that it was all I could do to be patient & wait for it to land & send us back information. I was checking every day to see if there was any more new information on Mars Express & its little passenger, Beagle2.

When Beagle was sent on its way to the surface I could hardly refrain from jumping up & down (an exaggeration, true, but that´s what I felt like doing&#33;). I was on tender hooks all day waiting for some news - I checked the official website again & again through out the day & the next day & the next, during the ensuring days I practically wore my fingers out going there & to other sites & during the following weeks & months I never really gave up hope that some malfunction would somehow right itself & that Beagle would contact either Mars Express or Mars Orbital Surveyor. So it was a bitter day when all search attempts were given up & Beagle was declared "Missing, presumed dead"&#33; I could have cried :(


Report pins the blame for the loss of the Beagle 2 lander on a lack of early money. Because the UK government failed to provide adequate funds early on in the lander&#39;s development,

rynolds
2004-Nov-03, 01:35 PM
shame that
yet another example of the british goverment short changing their people
you know this country could be great again if it just listened to what the people want
wouldn&#39;t count on a beagle 2 if pillenger doen&#39;t get the funding, which he won&#39;t.

rynolds
2004-Nov-03, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Spacemad@Nov 3 2004, 10:57 AM
Dave
I was so excited when it was announced that a British built probe was to be sent to Mars [/quote]
so was i, I was so pleased that MY country was up their with the big bucks.
something from my country was going on a journey to such distant places that the human mind cannot grasp.
Christmas day came along and i woke up early, not just to see if santee had left me something nice, but to see if pillenger would leave a british mark on the red planet.
shame the goverment cant learn

zephyr46
2004-Nov-04, 04:12 AM
Guest,

Private industry?

Yeah, they have taken us to the Moon, to the edge of the solar system, and space telescopes that have seen back to the beginings of time.

Oh, no, hang on a minute, wasn&#39;t that NASA? :unsure:

Oh yeah, Private space missions have made it to Low earth orbit for what 9 minutes?

Get real, a good taxation system where the money is spent on good programs. Like ERBS (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/weather-04za.html) or Pioneer/Voyager. It is the fault of a nation when a government is put in power that doesn&#39;t have the creativity or knowlege for such positive investments.

But go on guest, wait for private industry to get you to Mars if you want. I beileve you need super consumers, or an advanced market before you will get anywhere.

mxsxsm
2004-Nov-08, 02:04 AM
:lol:
Private industry, for space exploration, is not a viable alternative to government funding.

The huge cost and commitment involved makes space exploration viable for the purpose of knowledge and science only, funded by a government organization.

Even NASA has learned the hard way that space exploration on the cheap is not the way to go as it painfully experienced with the failed Mars Polar Lander in 1999 that met the same sad fate as the Beagle 2.

NASA had offered the Beagle 2 project folks access to their landing technology that did wondrous work with the overwhelmingly successful Mars Rovers, which they did not seek out.

Private industry needs to make a profit to justify the investment made.

The current state of our technology which makes space exploration prohibitive in combination with the lack of any meaningful, financially justifiable purpose in space is the reason private industry will not be conducting business in space exploration anytime soon. :lol:

lswinford
2004-Nov-09, 04:52 PM
For those of short memories, such as myself: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3712998.stm

The prognosticators of the 20th century pictured space being commercially "paid for" from television and communications relay networks, pharmaceuticals or crystals grown in zero-gravity or solar power being beamed down to earth or partially processed lunar metals foamed with the refining gasses and shaped like space shuttles and dropped into the seas to be pushed to shore by tugboats. The communication satellite industry has helped to sustain our presence in space when government programs were falling into disuse. Now, it is possible that space tourism might get the private ball rolling. Frankly, I would rather fly SpaceShipOne than some of the vehicles NASA is currently using if I were putting my own could-be-carcass on the line.