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Finding Beagle 2
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post Feb 9 2004, 02:00 PM
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The most recent edition of BBC's "The Sky At Night" disscussed the recent Mars missions and the subject of trying to find Beagle 2 on the surface came up. One of the participants mentioned detecting methane from the airbags. How would this work?
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DavidVicari
post Feb 9 2004, 02:29 PM
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My guess is it's too late to detect it. Unless the airbags have an extremely slow loss rate, I'm sure it has all leaked out by now and carried away by the wind.
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djellison
post Feb 9 2004, 02:29 PM
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Colin P has mentioned the chance of using one of the spectrometers on MEX to detect Ammonia from the airbags. Essentially - there's a few cubic metres of gat that shouldnt be on mars that's been taken there in the gas bag inflation devices. As the airbags deflate that gas gets release into the atmosphere.

If the bags actually inflated, there there is a chance that gas could be detected - but it's a very very slim chance, and an absence of proof in this is certainly not proof of absence.

Doug
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