Joining Art Bell, for the full 4-hour broadcast, Richard Hoagland of Enterprise Mission discussed new Mars missions, as well as the significance of ancient artifacts on the red planet (related images). Addressing the notion of a "curse" on Mars missions, he commented that the failed signal from Beagle 2, was probably not due to sabotage, but more likely a problem that occurred in the tricky landing process. Hoagland was still upbeat though, saying a JPL source told him that the orbiting Mars Express's ground penetrating radar equipment may reveal far more (such as evidence for underground cities) than Beagle 2 would have anyway.
In a discussion about why finding artifacts of an ancient civilization on Mars is relevant to us, Hoagland suggested that critical parts of the human race's identity may lie on that planet and that there is a yearning to know the truth. Further, unearthing these artifacts could not only answer fundamental questions, but give us access to technology that is light-years ahead of our own.
"Even in ruins, there is an awesome, aching splendor there," he said of the photographic evidence which he thinks depicts a huge "encapsulated city" that runs a mile into the sky. He suggested there was a calamitous event there, possibly involving a former planet that Mars was orbiting, and this led to their rapid annihilation. But Hoagland believes they had advanced warning of this and took refuge here on Earth, and that we are their descendants.