And now, some real news. Mars Express, which has been behind Mars for an hour or so, has re-emerged, and it appears, judging by the carrier wave being received back on earth, to have made it into orbit. Details of which orbit won't be available till 09:00 or so, when it transmits some data back on a higher frequency and the mission controllers can get the details of its rocket burn. But there's no reason not to think it's done pretty much what was desired of it. The preliminary data are definitely good news.
You might expect this to have engendered a bit of a reaction -- glad yawps, whoops of triumph -- but most people are in the hall drinking coffee, not in the main room watching the transmission from ESA's mission control in Darmstadt. The media here are all highly focused on Beagle -- Mars Express is treated as a means to an end, rather than as a swiss-army-knife triumph of a spacecraft bristling with all sorts of new instruments for exploring the planet's surface and subsurface. Understandable -- but a bit galling.
Still, only two hours to go. The timeline for ESA's internal television coverage of what's going on informs me that at 06:30, when the Beagle signal is due to arrive, "Pillinger intends reaction". I bet he does.