On the use and abuse of Technology and its Management from the perspective of an academic at UCL specialising in Project Management, Systems Engineering and Space Science/Technology.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Beagle 2 criticised

What? UK semi-amateur mission to Mars, added on (by embarrising series of press conferences) to ESA orbiter. Or, depending on your POV, glorious Blur/Hirst brit-art spin-off with science bit added in for show. Come Christmas day 2003, there wa-as no-o blee-eed-din signal.

What happened? It left the mothership (ugh) Mars Express Orbiter in a nominal manner, but then probably crashed, probably probably because the height detection part of the freshly-developed and innovative landing system (aero braking, chutes, airbags) sent false data.

A comission of enquiry has critised the handling of risk in the project.

Why? Start here. Seek the ESA report.

24/5/04: "Report won't be published, only ... recommendations" Press Conf today ...

24/5/04: So, space robots are tricky, but surely the answer isn't space men? Link

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