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  Attempt to contact Beagle fails
Updated 07 January 2004, 16.16
Beagle 2
A last-ditch attempt to contact the Beagle 2 probe - which has gone missing on Mars - failed on Wednesday.

Mars Express, the spacecraft which took the probe to the red planet, flew over the landing site to try to contact it, but could not get in touch.

Colin Pillinger, the lead scientist on the project, said the team would "play to the final whistle".

But he also added that the time was approaching when the team should give up and "start looking to the future."

Prof Colin Pillinger from the Beagle team isn't giving up
Prof Colin Pillinger from the Beagle team isn't giving up

Mars Express sent out a radio signal to the probe in the hope that it would respond.

No-one has heard from Beagle 2 since December 25, when it was set to land on the red planet.

Stunning images

Meanwhile, a probe successfully sent to the planet by a US-led team is continuing to beam stunning images back to Earth.

Even though Wednesday's attempt failed, there are further opportunities to contact Beagle 2 later in the month, but most people's hopes are fading fast.

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Watch Laura Jones' reportWatch Laura Jones' report
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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutFind out about Beagle 2!
Find OutCheck this space guide
QuizTry the Beagle 2 quiz
QuizThe planet Mars

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
US mission lands safely on Mars
Beagle may be stranded in crater
Professor won't give up on Beagle
Beagle 2 heads straight for Mars

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BBC Links
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Win astronomy goodies - Norfolk kids' site

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