And in his collaboration with Chandra Wrickramingsinge, they saw, and this was very far sighted, they saw comets are sending all these particles to the earth, and that they do land softly on the earth, although they are moving high speed, is a soft cushion that slows them down gradually, so they can drift to the earth's surface, and actually detecting these in dust and debris and sand storms is very difficult, the way to find them is to go into space.
BUT HOW COULD CHANDRA GET TO SPACE? AFTER YEARS OF RIDICULE AND DERISION, NO ONE WOULD GIVE HIM A SPACE SHIP. CHANDRA HAD RETREATED TO HIS BIRTHPLACE IN SRI LANKA AND REALISED THE WAY TO BEAT HIS TORMENTORS WAS IN HIS OWN BACK YARD. INDIA'S SPACE AGENCY HAD A BALLOON. THE INDIANS DIDN'T HAVE NASA BILLION DOLLAR BUDGETS. BUT THEY COULD MAKE A DEVICE TO CATCH PARTICLES HIGH ABOVE THE EARTH. IN 2001, MISSION CONTROL ASSEMBLED IN A FIELD IN HYDERABAD FOR LIFT OFF. THE BALLOON FLEW 41 KILOMETRES TO THE EDGE OF SPACE AND BROUGHT BACK SAMPLES. THEY WERE FLOWN TO CARDIFF, THEN TO A SHEFFIELD LABORATORY.
Indians making device.
Milton Wainwright, chemical biologist.
Well, Professor Vikram Singh and Fred Hoyle have this theory that life comes from outer space, it comes from the universe, that life is a cosmic imperative, life comes from everywhere out there in space, and it lands on earth. They have been lampooned, people have called them mad. This will be vindication of their work, their ideas over this period.
PROFESSOR WAINWRIGHT HAD TO ISOLATE LIVING BACTERIA FROM SPACE DUST. AFTER CULTIVATING THE SAMPLES, THE PROFESSOR LOOKED THROUGH A MICROSCOPE. HE SAW EVIDENCE THAT WHAT HAD BEEN CAUGHT OUTSIDE THE EARTH WAS GROWING IN HIS LAB.
Your first response is doubt, there must be something wrong, I've done something wrong. But eventually as the data comes in, as the information comes in, you begin to realise that it is okay, and that you can get exited about it. It is probably the most, one of the most important findings certainly this century, probably of all time. Life exists elsewhere.
Comets are bringing material, living material onto the earth.
It is the greatest discovery in biology.
THE SPACE BUGS CAPTURED BY THE BALLOON APPEAR SIMILAR TO EARTH MICROBES, GIVING A BOOST TO THOSE WHO SAY LIFE, BOTH ON EARTH AND ON MARS AND THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE, ORIGINATES FROM SPACE.
When Beagle 2 lands and we get the first data back, it will be the culmination of six years of effort, it will be a mixture of elation, and now we have to actually do the science.
This is a complete geological field trip. You are going there with a set of cameras that enable you to look around. You have a way of grinding off the outside of rocks which are close to the lander. There is also a way of getting below the surface called the mole. The best place to get a sample is below a rock which hasn't been moved around. The mole does not just borrow straight down, it can crawl under a rock. There is actually another camera that is part of a microscope, so you can look very closely at the sample. The instrument which is designed to look for past life on Mars is a mass spectrometer, and this is a rather versatile instrument, in that it can look for carbon compounds, it can also measure nitrogen, which is the main element in water, so it can look at other elements, which is biological. If there is any biology anywhere on Mars, it doesn't have to be close, it could be miles and miles away. It could be under the polar ice cap of Mars, it could be deep down in some geological hot spot. If there are some organisms working and doing biological things, then a way organisms can get energy is to reduce carbon dioxide to methane. If an organism does that it, pumps out methane as waste product. Methane gets contributed into the atmosphere, so something that is happening thousands of miles away, a trace of it occurring will go past the Beagle site, and if we process enough of the atmosphere, we may be able to come up these tiny tiny trace constituents, and if we were able to come up with some traces of methane, we could say that maybe somewhere on this planet, there is some real living organisms that are currently doing their thing now.
Beagle gunna sit on the surface of Mars and be exposed to cold temperatures, winds of 20 metres per second. Lots of radiation.
As the mission progresses, and dust settles over the arrays, it will be more difficult to charge up the battery.
Beagle is designed to survive that environment, but ultimately that environment will kill Beagle.
There will come a time when there isn't enough battery charge to get you through the night, and a day it just won't wake up.
Beagle will probably die a few hundred days after it lands on the surface.
We may put it out of its misery before that, but my guess is that we will let it run until it just doesn't wake up one day.