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Curiosity Goes To Mars  
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 13447 times:
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NASAs Mars rover Curiosity will be landing on Mars at 0131EDT (0531UTC) Monday morning.

Curiosity is targeted to land in Gale crater via the previously untried SkyCrane landing method. Curiosity is much larger and more capable than any previous rover.

Should be an interesting mission.

Launch thread:
Mars Science Lab - Curiosity Rover (by zanl188 Nov 12 2011 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLbSvMk4Pf0&feature=g-all-u

edit; added launch thread

[Edited 2012-08-04 06:36:47]


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122 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 13375 times:
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Interesting animation. Real time or you can fast forward...

http://eyes.nasa.gov/



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User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 13242 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Thread starter):
Curiosity is much larger

No kidding, it's the size of a small car...

This is really exciting. And it must be nerve wracking for the engineers down here to have to wait for over 10 or 20 minutes to know whether the landing was successful.

I'm crossing fingers. We haven't gotten any exciting news from Mars for a while now.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 13204 times:
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Quoting francoflier (Reply 2):
No kidding, it's the size of a small car...

Indeed...

Pathfinder on the bottom, Opportunity/Spirit on the left, and Curiosity on the right..

Courtesy: NASA/JPL



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User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13136 times:
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Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
Pathfinder on the bottom,

Pathfinder was the base station or the whole probe/mission. The cute little fella in the picture was the associated rover "Sojourner."


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 13094 times:

The BBC did an hour long doc on this mission last week.
Ambitious mission, including that landing method.
But then you see with that pic above comparing it previous Mars rovers, Curiosity looks more like a 'Transformer'.
Good luck to NASA/JPL.


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 13009 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 6):
But then you see with that pic above comparing it previous Mars rovers, Curiosity looks more like a 'Transformer'.

A camel is a horse designed by a committee, and to me Curiosity looks like a camel next to some horses.

Good luck tonight for all involved in this critical landing maneuver.

It's kind of a shame it's happening in the dead of the night, unless of course it doesn't come off well, but I'm thinking that it will come off just fine.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 13004 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 7):
unless of course it doesn't come off wel

In which case it will go splat just in time for the monday morning news cycle in the US.

I think it will go well. There isn't as much new with this mission as we are led to believe. Guided entries are fairly commonplace - this is just the first one at Mars. Powered descents have been done at Mars before, this one just isn't powered all the way down.. etc...

Risky? yes, just not as risky as it's hyped to be.



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User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 581 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 12994 times:

I disagree. Six configuration changes incur significant risk. A mass suspended by nylon cables from a rocket powered platform? What could possibly go wrong!?

While hardly a valid comparison, I tried flying a Tri-copter (look it up) with a suspended mass and it was impossible! I don't claim my fingers are as good as a NASA computer, but it gave me an appreciation for the difficulty involved.

It seems to me it would have been much easier to have the landing go to the surface with a powered descent, and then have the rover roll out of a pod.

My prediction? It ends up rolled up on it's side. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I'll be up tonight watching anyway!

Cheers!

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 12977 times:
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Quoting SLCPilot (Reply 9):
It seems to me it would have been much easier to have the landing go to the surface with a powered descent, and then have the rover roll out of a pod.

This rover was to big for the air bag landing & a legged lander would have been very large with great risk of tipping over. I just heard a JPL engineer point out that with the skycrane method the spacecraft can land on anything it could drive over - this allows them to target a landing much closer to the areas they want to see.



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User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5421 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12902 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 7):
A camel is a horse designed by a committee, and to me Curiosity looks like a camel next to some horses.

Now I know it's a joke, and I'm sure you know, but truth is a camel is a very well designed animal for its environment. It will outlive any wild horse and if in the desert I would rather a a camel than a horse. Like I said, I do realize it's a joke....

Oh and shouldn't the "committee camel" actually be f**king the "single creative vision" horse? I mean that's what committee's do isn't it?    
.
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 8):
In which case it will go splat just in time for the monday morning news cycle in the US.

I think it will go well. There isn't as much new with this mission as we are led to believe. Guided entries are fairly commonplace - this is just the first one at Mars. Powered descents have been done at Mars before, this one just isn't powered all the way down.. etc...

Risky? yes, just not as risky as it's hyped to be.

I actually just had a friend relay a conspiracy theory to me, that the landing is so complex so that people will be OK and expect it when it does fail because NASA didn't spend the funds on the mission but instead spent them elsewhere (so I guess it's just a box of scrap parts that it about to hit the surface). I explained that it would be a conspiracy of thousands all going along with it and keeping the secret. But I can believe some people believe this.

For me, I will be watching tonight and since I'm on the west coast the timing is great! I am really hopping to see some images from Mars before I go to sleep.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19410 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12873 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
I actually just had a friend relay a conspiracy theory to me, that the landing is so complex so that people will be OK and expect it when it does fail because NASA didn't spend the funds on the mission but instead spent them elsewhere (so I guess it's just a box of scrap parts that it about to hit the surface). I explained that it would be a conspiracy of thousands all going along with it and keeping the secret. But I can believe some people believe this.

Why would anyone believe that they would go to all that effort to send a bucket of bolts to Mars?


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9780 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12828 times:
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Woohoo!

Landed, and first images viewed!



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12825 times:

Well done NASA/JPL!
Thinking back, though the landing method seemed extra risky, there was the 'bouncing airbags' of previous missions, which if anything, seemed even more risky. And they worked.

Looking forward to this beast of a Rover powering up and trundling away.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5421 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12824 times:

Huge congratulations to NASA, JPL, and the entire Mars Curiosity team! An amazing job! Just incredible.

Of course now comes the hard part. The next one hundred thousand steps and processes have to occur and get the thing actually working! But it's only one hundred thousand or so, I guess not bad in the grand scheme of things....  relieved 

First image: a wheel on Mars!


Tugg

[Edited 2012-08-05 22:58:12]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12795 times:

Well done NASA and especially to my best friend and college room mate there at JPL mission control who has overseen Curiosity and all of the previous rovers.

User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 581 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12769 times:

Way to go JPL! I was a skeptic, but happy to be wrong tonight!

It will be great to see Curiosity drive around Mt. Sharp for the next year!

Cheers!

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12734 times:

Quoting SLCPilot (Reply 9):
My prediction? It ends up rolled up on it's side. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I'll be up tonight watching anyway!

Luckily you were wrong! 

Was watching live this morning in Amsterdam from my bed before going to work. Been following this project since the beginning and I cannot believe it all went so smooth!

Following the live press con now, landing is described as extremely "clean".    



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12662 times:
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Congrats NASA/JPL team!!!


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User currently offlinemaxter From Australia, joined May 2009, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12642 times:

Yes indeed, a hearty congrats to the whole Curiosity team.

Well done all!



maxter
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12595 times:

Congrats.....Now let the images flow......


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 12550 times:

Fantastic news!

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Now let the images flow......

Yes, and hopefully we get to see the real HQ stuff soon.
It's always a bit surprising to see that the first pictures on these missions are always low res, grainy, out of focus, black and white pictures when the damn thing carries more Megapixel power than a bus load of Chinese tourists.

But then I'm not very familiar with uploading digital pictures from another planet. And maybe it was night time on Mars...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 12530 times:

Great accomplishment for the NASA and JPL. It seems the skycrane is the way to go.

Now some critizism: Why does such a expensive bot can make only black and white images and why only one until now.

That seems a bit pathetic for the year 2012.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinecharlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 164 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 12523 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
But then I'm not very familiar with uploading digital pictures from another planet. And maybe it was night time on Mars...

Mars rotates like the Earth, and Curiosity's landing site had rotated out of view from the Earth just prior to touchdown - so the Mars Odyssey satellite orbiting the planet actually relayed the first few thumbnails on behalf of Curiosity. But Odyssey, being a rotating satellite itself, also went out of view from Curiosity ~2-ish minutes after landing if I remember from last night. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is also acting as a relay. So that's the reason it was small - they wanted to get one taken real quick and send before waiting for Gale Crater to rotate back into Earth view (and/or one of the Mars satellites come into view to act as a relay). Plus I think they wanted telemetry data more at first than too many pics.

I think they even were able to use signals from Odyssey and MRO to act as a mini GPS-like system. All very fascinating, if you ask me, that we have a whole bunch of assets in orbit and on the surface of another planet!!   It's really just dang cool!

[Edited 2012-08-06 06:01:16]

User currently offlinecharlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 164 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12507 times:

Additionally, here is a link about how Curiosity communicates with Earth, using Odyssey and MRO...

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/video...lery/index.html?media_id=149830651

I find this part very interesting - it's like our own Martian broadcast network. Wonder what channel it is...  


User currently onlinewingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2213 posts, RR: 5
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12688 times:

Radio Free Space man...in time for China to tune in when they land on the Moon. Amateurs!

User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 26, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12702 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 22):
Now some critizism: Why does such a expensive bot can make only black and white images and why only one until now.

I'm betting that you are jumping to conclusions, and that it take pictures in color, as well as in many other spectrums like ultraviolet and infrared and x-ray.

The articles I've read say that it's going to be sitting right where it is for a few weeks while they run tests to see exactly what works and to what degree.

Basically the thing has been in a cocoon for months flying through space, and probably some of the instruments haven't been powered on for a while before that too.

I'm sure you'll be seeing nicer pictures soon, inshallah...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 27, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12853 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):

I'm betting that you are jumping to conclusions

True, it's just a dissapointing picture. I expected something like spirit and opportunity images.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
as well as in many other spectrums like ultraviolet and infrared and x-ray

I know that thing can make pictures from infrared to x-ray but seriously who cares (except scientists)

What the non scientists people would like to see are great images or video's.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
Basically the thing has been in a cocoon for months flying through space, and probably some of the instruments haven't been powered on for a while before that too.

Maybe, but still even huygens probe could make a colored picture already in the descend. And it was for much longer time in standby and didn't have any RTG.

[Edited 2012-08-06 06:53:12]


“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 28, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12802 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 27):

True, it's just a dissapointing picture. I expected something like spirit and opportunity images.

Never satisfied huh? First MER pics came after a few hours, this was a few minutes...


The reason for this very VERY first picture is simple;

- To check if the rover is standing upright and is not somewhere in a ditch

So they only need this simple picture. Also communications with earth is by far from being garantueed, so the best chance to get a picture right after landing is to send the most simple and smallest in byte size that they can still use.

Mars Odessey was the only means of DIRECT communications just after landing as Mars was between Curiosity and the Earth, as said, that communications line doesn't have guarenteed availability. So Curiosity was programmed to pump out these thumbnails in an effort to get at least SOME imagery to Earth.

If you had taken the time to read up on Curiosity you would know there are 17 camera's, a few of them are full color (and not filtered but true color, unlike the MERs) and HD..... And the first of those will be downloaded later this week...

[Edited 2012-08-06 07:29:47]

[Edited 2012-08-06 07:32:17]


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 29, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12753 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 28):

(checkmark)

PLUS the glass cover was on that camera to protect the optics from the dust kicked up on landing.


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 30, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12766 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 28):
- To check if the rover is standing upright and is not somewhere in a ditch

So they only need this simple picture. Also communications with earth is by far from being garantueed, so the best chance to get a picture right after landing is to send the most simple and smallest in byte size that they can still use.



You are right, i stand corrected.

That makes sense.

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 28):
(and not filtered but true color, unlike the MERs) and HD..... And the first of those will be downloaded later this week...

I will be waiting with pleseant anticipation to this pictures.   



[Edited 2012-08-06 08:00:09]


“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 31, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12718 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 30):
I will be waiting with pleseant anticipation to this pictures.

You're not the only one!!! Besides the really great science I am really looking forward to some truly awesome imagery. I was already amazed by the sometimes earth-like panorama's from the MER sisters, but this is really gonna be something.

Also something to watch out for; in a few weeks they will release the 720p 4frames/sec video from the descent imager, this is going to be...forgive me for using this word again...AWESOME! 

[Edited 2012-08-06 08:21:56]


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 32, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12621 times:

Will there be a communications blackout near conjunction? If so, for how long?

User currently offlineflood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1381 posts, RR: 1
Reply 33, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 12601 times:

Cool image of the descent taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:

http://www.pdxlight.com/other/curiosity.jpg


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5421 posts, RR: 8
Reply 34, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 12584 times:

Quoting charlib52 (Reply 23):
I think they even were able to use signals from Odyssey and MRO to act as a mini GPS-like system. All very fascinating, if you ask me, that we have a whole bunch of assets in orbit and on the surface of another planet!! It's really just dang cool!

That is one of the most amazing aspects to me too. We have actually begun the colonization of Mars when you think of it. We just use robot explorers now for these first beginning steps. But we have satellites in orbit and systems on the ground on another planet. It is just amazing!

Quoting flood (Reply 33):
Cool image of the descent taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:

Neat pic. It is amazing what they have been able to do with the assets they now have on site at Mars.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineLimaNiner From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 12451 times:

Some of the details of this entire operation were just amazing. Did anyone else notice fairly early during EDL, they jettisoned a 168kg block of tungsten to shift the center of gravity of the landing package (I forget if this was before or after they jettisoned the heat shield)?

So, they shlepped a 168kg blob of tungsten -- the weight of each of the previous-generation rovers, "Spirit" and "Opportunity" -- all the way to Mars for the sole purpose of ditching it right after entering Mars' atmosphere to change the vehicle's CoG!

Wow!

And the other fun factoid: the cost of the mission was only about $7 for each U.S. citizen -- less than the price of a movie ticket. Not bad.  


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 36, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 12424 times:

Quoting LimaNiner (Reply 35):
And the other fun factoid: the cost of the mission was only about $7 for each U.S. citizen -- less than the price of a movie ticket. Not bad.  

And apart from the exploration and discovery potential, projects like this maintain, improve upon important technical, engineering and scientific skills, which will, in time, feed into other industries,
Then there's the inspiration of youth. Many of those working on this project would have been enthused, fascinated by earlier great space missions and worked/studied hard to follow that path.

The JPL flight director guy, whose name escapes me but I refer to as 'Micheal Madsen', looked a happy man. He was interviewed in the BBC doc last week.

[Edited 2012-08-06 14:00:28]

User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 37, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 12400 times:

I followed the landing last night on Twitter. It really was amazing how many people were on and following it at what was around 10:30 PST here.

IMO NASA is doing a lot of good work with the limited resources it has. The Martian missions have done extremely well with the amount of money they've spent and I am anxiously awaiting New Horizons mission to Pluto.

I've been hooked on our space program since I was in 7th grade and I sent off a hand written letter to JPL asking for pictures from the Voyager program for a science project. A scientist there sent me a 2'' thick legal sized envelope full of photos he'd printed off of Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus. Above and beyond his job description. Well deserved congrats to all involved.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19410 posts, RR: 58
Reply 38, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 12366 times:

Quoting flood (Reply 33):
Cool image of the descent taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:

Which is one of the most awesome, slam-dunk space images of all time, really. Never before has one robotic spacecraft taken a picture of another robotic spacecraft landing AFAIK.

Actually, a lot of people from my Burning Man camp were in that control room last night. The camp's internal facebook page pretty much blew up today.

And then that rotting pile of garbage in Wisconsin had to go and take the spotlight off of what should have been a happy day.  


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 12318 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 38):
Which is one of the most awesome, slam-dunk space images of all time, really. Never before has one robotic spacecraft taken a picture of another robotic spacecraft landing AFAIK.

HiRise has gotten images of landing spacecraft before, at least once, Phoenix 4 years ago.

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/05_26_pr.php

IIRC it's also gotten pictures of other spacecraft orbiting Mars.

Quoting LimaNiner (Reply 35):
Some of the details of this entire operation were just amazing. Did anyone else notice fairly early during EDL, they jettisoned a 168kg block of tungsten to shift the center of gravity of the landing package (I forget if this was before or after they jettisoned the heat shield)?

I'm not sure but I've been watching the coverage all weekend and it seems to me that they have two sets of ballast. One set gets jettisoned just after cruise stage seperation & despin, and the second set gets jettisoned just before chute deploy.

Confirmed, I just watched a landing replay and there were two sets of ballast. Curiosity was spin stabilized during cruise and needed to be perfectly balanced, like a tire on a car. But during the entry phase it needed an offset center of gravity to generate lift for the guided entry. I suspect the second jettison was to reduce mass beneath the chute.

[Edited 2012-08-06 16:26:47]


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User currently offlineboacvc10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 609 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12272 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 18):

Congrats NASA/JPL team!!!

.... for accomplishing, what will be referred to by future generations as, "the first interplanetary 'hole-in-one' shot from Earth to Mars".


BOACVC10



Up, up and Away!
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 41, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12272 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 37):
IMO NASA is doing a lot of good work with the limited resources it has.

NASA is doing a good job indeed, but I don't think it's resources are all that limited.

I'm glad they are focusing on high value science missions like this and the Webb Telescope and am looking forward to the day that the ISS gets shut down or privatized.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinespink From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 318 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 12208 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 41):
I'm glad they are focusing on high value science missions like this and the Webb Telescope and am looking forward to the day that the ISS gets shut down or privatized.

Well if they did things right, ISS would be an intermediate assembly and launch point...

I do agree that the current design and use of the ISS is at best sub-optimal.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 12218 times:
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Quoting flood (Reply 33):
Cool image of the descent taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced someone should have designed in a big "JPL" on the top of that 'chute!  



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User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 44, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 12201 times:
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Quoting spink (Reply 42):
Well if they did things right, ISS would be an intermediate assembly and launch point...

Only if the moved it to a much less inclined orbit. Which isn't going to happen.


User currently offlineboacvc10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 609 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12136 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 44):
Only if the moved it to a much less inclined orbit. Which isn't going to happen.

It should not be that difficult to move the ISS anywhere, the mechanics of such movement are well understood, and the ISS is boosted ("moved") periodically anyway by docked spacecraft - and it is also moved when risk of collisions are high with orbital space debris.

That said, to bolster this case, I would probably be not far off the mark is saying that upon first glance, the Curiosity Mars EDL maneuvers must have looked absolutely impossible to achieve, when they were first proposed a few years ago. Think about it, the 7 minutes of terror timeline, was never able to be fully tested on Earth, it was very difficult to simulate as there were countless unknown unknowns. (e.g., what would the weather on Mars be on arrival? which direction would the wind be? what would the final attitude be at entry interface etc.) Given a computer's limitations when operating a deep space mission, and a 20 minute time delay, do you think they actually programmed _all_ possibilities - no, and it all got swept under the "acceptable risk" mantra. The landing could have been a disaster, and probably we will find out how close they went, to the "edge", but as they didn't go over into the abort modes, their conservative planning exercises paid off handsomely.

(Ghost of Phobos-Grunt to Curiosity: I give up, you win)

Of course, at first glance any new idea ("in space") is usually poo-poohed. That's just the nature of this business. If it were faithfully followed, Curiosity would be much smaller rover, and delivered in the traditional way with much damage due to high G landing.

If the ISS by 2020 will finally be producing science/habitat support services to astronauts efficiently, there should be no excuse to not move it to another location, as building another ISS replacement would be supremely difficult in coming years - there is not a shuttle sized transport system ready to go in less than 8 years, and the ISS took many missions to be assembled in place.



Up, up and Away!
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 46, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 12055 times:
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Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 45):
It should not be that difficult to move the ISS anywhere, the mechanics of such movement are well understood, and the ISS is boosted ("moved") periodically anyway by docked spacecraft - and it is also moved when risk of collisions are high with orbital space debris.

That said, to bolster this case, I would probably be not far off the mark is saying that upon first glance, the Curiosity Mars EDL maneuvers must have looked absolutely impossible to achieve, when they were first proposed a few years ago. Think about it, the 7 minutes of terror timeline, was never able to be fully tested on Earth, it was very difficult to simulate as there were countless unknown unknowns. (e.g., what would the weather on Mars be on arrival? which direction would the wind be? what would the final attitude be at entry interface etc.) Given a computer's limitations when operating a deep space mission, and a 20 minute time delay, do you think they actually programmed _all_ possibilities - no, and it all got swept under the "acceptable risk" mantra. The landing could have been a disaster, and probably we will find out how close they went, to the "edge", but as they didn't go over into the abort modes, their conservative planning exercises paid off handsomely.

It's not a technical difficulty. The energy requirements are immense. To make a 34 degree plane change (56 to 22 degree inclination) on the (approximately) 1 million pound ISS, you'd need to haul about a quarter million pounds of LOX and LH2 to the station (assuming you upgraded the propulsion system to use LOX/LH2 - if you stuck with nitrogen tetroxide/hydrazine, you'd need about a third of a million pounds of fuel).


User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 12003 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 39):
I suspect the second jettison was to reduce mass beneath the chute.

Not only that: for the parachute deployment and deceleration phases, the descent stage needed to be "balanced" again (center of mass aligned with geometrical axis of symmetry), and aerodynamic lift was no longer needed.

Quoting spink (Reply 42):
ISS would be an intermediate assembly and launch point

It will be a long while until ISS will have the man-hours available to perform such a labor-intensive task as spacecraft assembly and testing onboard in a reasonable time-frame: AFAIK the crew spends much of their time just running ISS itself. And of course, as already noted, ISS is on a hopelessly wrong orbit for an interplanetary-travel launch platform (and for almost everything else).

Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 45):
It should not be that difficult to move the ISS anywhere

I'm afraid it would be *very* difficult (as in expensive-difficult, rather than not-well-understood-difficult).

Back to the topic, I am waiting impatiently to see onboard footage of the descent itself (Curiosity is equipped with a dedicated hi-res descent imager - MARDI). I guess it will take a while to download the full-res video all the way from Mars, but I'll be grateful to anyone pointing me to any available previews.

[Edited 2012-08-07 03:00:13]

User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 48, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 11984 times:

Quoting jollo (Reply 47):
Back to the topic, I am waiting impatiently to see onboard footage of the descent itself (Curiosity is equipped with a dedicated hi-res descent imager - MARDI). I guess it will take a while to download the full-res video all the way from Mars, but I'll be grateful to anyone pointing me to any available previews.

Here you go buddy; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcGMDXy-Y1I



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 11950 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 48):
Here you go buddy; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcGMD...y-Y1I

Thanks so much. Wasn't that difficult to find, after all (should have re-cheked NASA's website)...   

Awesome video, if you consider it's coming from *another planet*: the heath shield going "zoom" as it falls away from the lander at the very beginning is exhilarating (and gives a good idea of the parachute's pull).

Also, there's a moment around 0:30 when, despite the poor thumbnail resolution, it becomes suddenly clear that the surface beneath is definitely *alien*: no soil like that anywhere on Earth... fascinating. Can't wait for the full-res version.

Well done JPL. Well done NASA. Way to go!


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 50, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11911 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 48):
Here you go buddy

Thanks, I sent that around to my FB buddies and have gotten a lot of likes from it!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 51, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 11896 times:

Looks like it'll be another week before the dust caps are taken off the lenses as nasa.gov - be prepared for some stunning hi-res pics!

User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 52, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 11900 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 51):

I can't link to the photo from my tablet but NASA just released the first color photo this morning. They have been good at releasing updates on twitter @marscuriosity and @NASA the photo link is there.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 53, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 11880 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 52):
the photo link is there.

It leads to https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232829705504571392/photo/1/large




Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 11843 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 44):

Only if the moved it to a much less inclined orbit. Which isn't going to happen.

Nonsense. That inclination only has about a 6% payload penalty and makes it more accesable for partners. It's location has nothing to do with it's potential for being a way station. That's just not it's job. It's set up for research, not as a floating hotel for assembling planetary missions. That would be better handled by a specialized facility that included a fuel depot.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 55, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11660 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 53):
It leads to https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232829705504571392/photo/1/large

From the picture they must have been overly optomistic. It appears it landed on a rock 

They couldn't have picked a better place to land the rover. That seems like the perfect place to land, void of any large rocks or obstructions. That could be someone's back yard in Yuma.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 56, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 11643 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 55):
That could be someone's back yard in Yuma.

Don't even say that in jest! It could be the beginnings of a whole new conspiracy theory.


User currently offlineAF1624 From France, joined Jul 2006, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11596 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 55):
That could be someone's back yard in Yuma.

That sentence just made me dream.

That could be someone's back yard, tens or more probably hundreds of years from now. Shame I was born so early. Imagine being born now, or 20 years from now. In time to still learn about the Apollo moon missions. And just in time to maybe participate in Mars missions.

You see, it does cost a lot of money. The US are still too busy fighting the whole planet and spending billions in doing so. Priorities have changed.

But imagine if we could go back to the time where entire nations were supporting advances in technology, understanding of our universe and space exploration. The times when kids wanted to be astronauts - not singers or reality TV show stars. The times when a whole nation would dream of futuristic landscapes and living on another planet someday, riding flying cars and stuff.

That dream motivated tons of people at the time. However unrealistic these things might have been, in 25 years they went from inventing the jet engine to going to the moon. 25 years after that we should have done even better.



Cheers
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11557 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 54):
That inclination only has about a 6% payload penalty

Just out of Curiosity (no pun intended ): a 6% penalty relative to what? Launching to a Hohmann-like (least energy) transfer orbit from LEO should be most efficient when the departure LEO is closest to the ecliptic plane (23° or so). My gut feeling is that getting to Mars (or other planets) starting from a 50°+ Earth orbit should entail a higher "payload penalty" (in terms of fuel fraction) than just a few percent...

[Edited 2012-08-08 04:16:52]

User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 11525 times:

Quoting jollo (Reply 58):
Just out of Curiosity (no pun intended  a 6% penalty relative to what? Launching to a Hohmann-like (least energy) transfer orbit from LEO should be most efficient when the departure LEO is closest to the ecliptic plane (23° or so). My gut feeling is that getting to Mars (or other planets) starting from a 50°+ Earth orbit should entail a higher "payload penalty" (in terms of fuel fraction) than just a few percent...

Departure from 51 would be a matter of luck. Some parts of the year the plane will line up with your course and no penalty. Other parts of earth's orbit, no so good. But it's not like you're in polar orbit. The difference will be less than 1% escape velocity in the worst case. It's a guess, but I'm thinking 9 or 10% payload penalty to Mars at worst.
It's not completely outside reality. If they go with fuel depots, Russia could be the main supplier of low value launches from Baikonur to carry fuel to the depot and make it worth while.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 11404 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 59):
Some parts of the year the plane will line up with your course and no penalty.

I'm having a hard time visualizing this... I'll think it over when I'm less sleep-deprived. In the meanwhile, if you know of any nifty diagram to make me go "duh" please point me to it. Thanks a lot.


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 61, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 11399 times:

Guys, a question;

Using the excellent NASA Eyes on the Solar System ( http://eyes.nasa.gov/ ) I noticed that the Sun is between Mars and the Earth around February/March 2013 for about a few weeks or even a month. So would communicating be completely impossible during this time?

Thanks!



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 62, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 11345 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 56):
Don't even say that in jest! It could be the beginnings of a whole new conspiracy theory.

LOL! 



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 11351 times:

Quoting jollo (Reply 60):
Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 59):
Some parts of the year the plane will line up with your course and no penalty.

I'm having a hard time visualizing this... I'll think it over when I'm less sleep-deprived. In the meanwhile, if you know of any nifty diagram to make me go "duh" please point me to it. Thanks a lot.

My apologies to Rwessel. Now that I think of it, it's worse than I thought. I was just thinking of getting to the station/depot/whatever.
You pretty much just need to visualize where you're going and where you want to go. To go to the extreme, in a polar orbit, the orbital plane could be as much as 90 degrees from the direction you'd like to head when you depart for deep space, so you'd never be heading the right direction. In an Earth orbit about the same plane as the planets are on, you'd be heading almost the right direction at some point every orbit.
Of course, there are other complications. If you're lucky, the moon will be in a good place to use for a bank.
So, unless you're at the right time of the year, or the right time of the month for the moon to be helpful, a 51 degree inclination could cost you quite a bit. In fact, it would pretty much make it impossible most of the time.

[Edited 2012-08-08 12:29:47]


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 64, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 11232 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 56):
Don't even say that in jest! It could be the beginnings of a whole new conspiracy theory.

Hey, don't blame me! NASA's doing all they can for the tin foil hat crowd.

"You would really be forgiven for thinking that NASA was trying to pull a fast one on you and we actually put a rover out in the Mojave Desert and took a picture," project scientist John Grotzinger said.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...rs-curiosity-first-look/56891026/1

They imaged a 360-degree view today they'll release before the end of the week. The article says you can see the depressions in the soil from the landing rockets.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 65, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 11214 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 64):
Hey, don't blame me! NASA's doing all they can for the tin foil hat crowd.

 

That indeed is read meat for the tin foil crowd!

- Interesting read. Next the fiscally prudent crowd will be wondering why we didn't just send Curiosity to the Mojave and save the big bucks.


User currently offlineLimaNiner From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 11210 times:

Here are NASA's latest photos of the tungsten ballast(s) hitting the surface of Mars:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16015.html


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 67, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11187 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 64):

They imaged a 360-degree view today they'll release before the end of the week. The article says you can see the depressions in the soil from the landing rockets.
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/674896main_pia16013-43_946-710.jpg

Amazing sight. Sadly it's not colored. Keep the good work up NASA!



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 68, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11174 times:

I prefer b&w to false color...ordinary folks like me want to know what things really look like. I would have also been OK if this had just been a photo mission, speaking as an occasional taxpayer...but maybe studying those rocks could result in some exciting find.

User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5421 posts, RR: 8
Reply 69, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 11029 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 68):
I prefer b&w to false color...ordinary folks like me want to know what things really look like. I would have also been OK if this had just been a photo mission, speaking as an occasional taxpayer...but maybe studying those rocks could result in some exciting find.

Actually one of the exciting things this time is the cameras on the Curiosity are "true color", in other words not a black and white that has the color added it via other data sources. Yes it is digital, but it is basically similar to a "normal" 2MP camera that you use (or would have used when 2MP was normal) here on earth.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10889 posts, RR: 37
Reply 70, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10939 times:

I've been very busy and had hardly any time to follow the Curiosity Rover landing. This is fantastic. Congratulations to all involved making this a success.

     

Curiosity Rover has a official Twitter account -- very nice -- with lots of updated information and pictures

Curiosity Rover
@MarsCuriosity

NASA's latest mission to Mars. I arrived at the Red Planet, Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (Aug.6 UTC).
·http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

Edited:

Follow Curiosity Cam on Ustream with beautiful images from Mars!

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl


Enjoy!

  

[Edited 2012-08-10 03:44:29]


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 71, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 10903 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 67):
Amazing sight.

Agreed, absolutely amazing!

Congrats to NASA and everyone involved!

Now, let's get that Martian Minivan rolling!  



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 72, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10909 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 70):
Curiosity Rover
@MarsCuriosity

Don't forget the hilarious SarcasticRover twitter account;

https://twitter.com/SarcasticRover

A few gems;

SarcasticRover ‏@SarcasticRover
Just noticed there's a SUN-DIAL on my back! Bet that'll be real handy when I lose power and don't want to miss an appointment. WTF?

SarcasticRover ‏@SarcasticRover
HEY GUYS!! Some Neptunian Prince needs help getting his money, and he'll give us a reward for helping! Just need 30 million Quatloos!

SarcasticRover ‏@SarcasticRover
HEY .@TheRealBuzz Aldrin! I hear you walked on THE MOON! LOL, THAT'S ADORABLE. JK - you're a hero. BTW, I'M ON MARS. WINNER!

SarcasticRover ‏@SarcasticRover
Super proud to be inspiring a new generation of nerds to reach for the stars and never get laid!



:D Big grin Big grin

[Edited 2012-08-10 05:39:28]


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 73, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10843 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 69):
Actually one of the exciting things this time is the cameras on the Curiosity are "true color", in other words not a black and white that has the color added it via other data sources. Yes it is digital, but it is basically similar to a "normal" 2MP camera that you use (or would have used when 2MP was normal) here on earth.

Tugg

Thank you, Tugg.

It might have been nice if Curiosity could have a tracking 'cameraman' robot filming its adventures!

I looked up the bios of the folks on the NASA panel and there are some uber-heavyweight scientists out there! They should not be wearing those self-effacing, schlubby polo shirts. For example, Dr John Grotzinger is a world authority in his field. I mean, would Feynman or von Karman be walking around in blue polo shirts?

On another note, I urge all to read Dr Grotzinger's excellent piece in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/04/op...onto-mars.html?_r=1&ref=marsplanet


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 74, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 10719 times:
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Quoting rwessel (Reply 46):
It's not a technical difficulty. The energy requirements are immense. To make a 34 degree plane change (56 to 22 degree inclination) on the (approximately) 1 million pound ISS, you'd need to haul about a quarter million pounds of LOX and LH2 to the station (assuming you upgraded the propulsion system to use LOX/LH2 - if you stuck with nitrogen tetroxide/hydrazine, you'd need about a third of a million pounds of fuel).

  

Well... It's always nice to get one of these spectacularly wrong... Even worse when the numbers are obviously wrong.

Actually, those numbers are just fine - assuming ISS were in orbit around the moon. *sigh*

For some reason my spreadsheet had the some lunar data in it, and I missed a fixing a spot.

Anyway, you'll basically need to quadruple the fuel requirements for that plane change if ISS stays in earth orbit.

  


User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 10440 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 74):
It's always nice to get one of these spectacularly wrong

Your revised numbers, however, reinforce the same conclusion: if the goal is to stage interplanetary missions out of an orbital assembly/fueling platform, ISS is on the "wrong" orbital plane (the only "right" orbits being more or less co-planar with the ecliptic). That's fine, however, since ISS was never intended for this use (its only goal is to build up know-how).

Building, testing and prepping interplanetary (unmanned) probes and their spaceships is a hugely labor-intensive task, and is IMO better done where large humans teams work most comfortably, effectively and economically: Earth surface, that is. Besides, so far interplanetary missions seem to work out just fine launching directly from Earth surface. A fuel dump in LEO would make them more capable, but I think not much more cost effective.

That's the rub: *real* science gets the crumbs of NASA's budget. Cooperative missions that make huge sense (such as a sample-return follow-up to MSL, a joint NASA/ESA mission) are scrapped because even the crumbs get cracked down upon. In a tight budgetary environment, unmanned, real-science missions should get precedence, if anything because they're cheaper.

And Curiosity is a very important milestone because it just demonstrated that successful unmanned missions can get huge attention and gather much public approval for a fraction of the cost (and getting real science done as well).

Let's all hope your politicians pay attention to the Curiosity lesson.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 76, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10296 times:
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Quoting jollo (Reply 75):
Building, testing and prepping interplanetary (unmanned) probes and their spaceships is a hugely labor-intensive task, and is IMO better done where large humans teams work most comfortably, effectively and economically: Earth surface, that is. Besides, so far interplanetary missions seem to work out just fine launching directly from Earth surface. A fuel dump in LEO would make them more capable, but I think not much more cost effective.

As a practical matter, we seem to have large enough boosters for even quite large probes. I could see needing something extra large for something like a Mars sample/return mission, and a couple of launches to a 22 degree orbit with some light assembly (little more than a docking, say), might make sense.

Quoting jollo (Reply 75):
That's the rub: *real* science gets the crumbs of NASA's budget. Cooperative missions that make huge sense (such as a sample-return follow-up to MSL, a joint NASA/ESA mission) are scrapped because even the crumbs get cracked down upon. In a tight budgetary environment, unmanned, real-science missions should get precedence, if anything because they're cheaper.

I've argued that for years. The manned program is undeniably cool, but hugely expensive, and the scientific return for that huge expense is meager. I've never claimed it has no return, but the results per dollar ratio is pretty bad.

Quoting jollo (Reply 75):
And Curiosity is a very important milestone because it just demonstrated that successful unmanned missions can get huge attention and gather much public approval for a fraction of the cost (and getting real science done as well).

Let's all hope your politicians pay attention to the Curiosity lesson.

We can hope, but I'm not confident - the unmanned program has always been the first to get the axe when budget cuts threaten, even though they're usually a much smaller part of the budget. The same appears to be happening now.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 77, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10386 times:
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Quoting jollo (Reply 75):
ISS is on the "wrong" orbital plane (the only "right" orbits being more or less co-planar with the ecliptic). That's fine, however, since ISS was never intended for this use (its only goal is to build up know-how).

Although it was talked about before the Russians were brought on board, and the planned station was moved to a much more inclined orbit to accommodate them.


User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 10320 times:

Quoting jollo (Reply 75):
ISS was never intended for this use
Quoting rwessel (Reply 77):
Although it was talked about before the Russians were brought on board

You're quite right: "never" is a tricky word to use, I should have said "since 1993, that is, 5 years before the launch of the first ISS component".  

Completely off topic, and with the benefit of hindsight, that turned out in my opinion to be a good choice: the advantages of cooperating with the Russians outweigthed by far the loss of capability to stage interplanetary manned missions that, given the budgetary constraints applied since then, wouldn't have happened anyway.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 76):
We can hope, but I'm not confident - the unmanned program has always been the first to get the axe when budget cuts threaten, even though they're usually a much smaller part of the budget. The same appears to be happening now.

Curiosity showed that *successful* umanned missions can be pretty cool themselves in today's web-driven public attention (I could easily see Curiosity being Time's "Person of the Year"). Short term political returns are all politicians care about, and manned missions are drifting further and further away in the future. If not because it makes sense, let's hope your politicians turn their attention to unmanned space exploration because there ain't many other cool games in town right now.


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 79, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10139 times:

There is a amazing panorama picture from curiosity, made by a fotographer Andrew Bodrov. Enjoy!

http://www.360cities.net/image/curio...rtian-solar-day-2#71.00,9.30,100.5



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 80, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9968 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 79):
There is a amazing panorama picture from curiosity, made by a fotographer Andrew Bodrov. Enjoy!

http://www.360cities.net/image/curio...100.5

Awesome!!! 

I hate to bump my own question, but does anyone know the answer?

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 61):
Guys, a question;

Using the excellent NASA Eyes on the Solar System ( http://eyes.nasa.gov/ ) I noticed that the Sun is between Mars and the Earth around February/March 2013 for about a few weeks or even a month. So would communicating be completely impossible during this time?



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 81, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9917 times:
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Quoting travelavnut (Reply 80):
I hate to bump my own question, but does anyone know the answer?

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 61):
Guys, a question;

Using the excellent NASA Eyes on the Solar System ( http://eyes.nasa.gov/ ) I noticed that the Sun is between Mars and the Earth around February/March 2013 for about a few weeks or even a month. So would communicating be completely impossible during this time?

Not knowing the specifics for MSL, but...

Short answer: No.

Long Answer: In general the closer to the Sun (from our perspective) the more the Sun will interfere with communications, but this will manifest more as a decrease in usable data rate, and an increase in noise/error rate. Since all the main communication on modern probes is digital, you're basically looking at lower data rates when the Sun and Mars are in conjunction. If Mars were eclipsed (directly behind) the Sun, communications would likely be impossible. But since Mars and Earth are not in exactly the same orbital plane, it's very rare for that to actually happen, and then only for a period of hours.

As a general comment, until Mars gets to within a few degrees of the Sun, the major impact on communication will be from the increased distance between Mars and Earth - when farthest apart (and on opposite sides of the Sun), Earth and Mars are six times further apart that at their closest approach.


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 82, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9898 times:

Not that rare. Mars is actually blocked by the sun something like 15% of the passes. But even if you could still see it 1/2 degree or so from the sun, trying to keep a data link would be asking for trouble. The DSN could probably pick up MSL ok, but the antenna on MSL and the orbiters aren't anywhere near as directional and the signal would be pretty junked up by the mess around the sun at the Mars end. They don't like to boost the signal from the Earth end too much because they worry about causing problems for spacecraft it wasn't meant for.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 83, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 9887 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 81):
Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 82):

Thanks guys, much appreciated! Forgot about the possibility of a different orbital plane, always had the idea they were basically the same. Having simulated it now with Eyes I see it almost never seems to happen, this is the closest I got;

April 19th 2013




Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 84, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago) and read 9650 times:

Long overdue: to the EDL team at JPL, WAY TO GO !!! A total tour de force, using an EDL system and technology that was untried (at least all-up). You have my complete admiration.

Hopefully Curiosity will exceed its' design lifetime in a similar manner as did Spirit and Opportunity.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago) and read 9662 times:
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Outstanding imagery of this landing as well...

This one shows heat shield impact...

http://youtu.be/vVLPXfF3l_U



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User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 86, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 9584 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 85):

Ouch. Hopefully, no Martians were hurt in the filming of this sequence.

Seriously, these pictures are just amazing, as is the whole effort. Wish there was a Nobel Prize for Engineering!


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 87, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9412 times:

And the full landing video in HD from the MARDI is here! Looks out of this world  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RyBffhiOuVU


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5421 posts, RR: 8
Reply 88, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9336 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 87):
Looks out of this world

Well.... it actually IS out of this world!  

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinetxjim From United States of America, joined May 2008, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 89, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9259 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 43):
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced someone should have designed in a big "JPL" on the top of that 'chute!

How about a Nike logo?


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 90, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9162 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 88):
Well.... it actually IS out of this world!  

Haha, touché!  

Just a small heads-up, in 35 minutes (10AM PDT) a live telecon will be broadcasted at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 91, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 9142 times:

Generally good news on the telecon, they tested the arm by extending it using all the joints, also they stowed it again successfully. They jiggled the four steering wheels and tested a radiation experiment and the weather station. Apparently that weather station incurred some damage during landing, but because of the horrible English of the Spanish scientist I have no idea how extensive it is. Anybody got that?

EDIT: some pics:



[Edited 2012-08-21 10:52:59]


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 92, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 9065 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 91):
Apparently that weather station incurred some damage during landing, but because of the horrible English of the Spanish scientist I have no idea how extensive it is. Anybody got that?

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...curiosity-sol-15-wheel-wiggle.html


User currently offlineboacvc10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 609 posts, RR: 0
Reply 93, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 9046 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 81):
Short answer: No.

Hi, with a long answer, the result should be "yes". I proposed a two-constellation network of relay satellites to allow 24x7, 1 Gbps or greater communications between Earth and Mars at the AIAA ASM 2011 conference. Futuristic, but not improbable, as advanced electric propulsion systems are viable for the purpose. 'twas my MS thesis.

If any one is interested: a simple search on scholar.google.com should find, "A Broadband Multi-hop Network for Earth-Mars Communication using Multi-purpose Interplanetary Relay Satellites and Linear-Circular Commutating Chain Topology"

So, for those mission managers (of the year 2020+) remember this will you please? the science behind the concept is sound.

BTW, I'm developing electric propulsion microthrusters at school, which could be the ticket to use in these sorts of scenarios.



Up, up and Away!
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 94, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8999 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 81):
I noticed that the Sun is between Mars and the Earth around February/March 2013 for about a few weeks or even a month. So would communicating be completely impossible during this time?

For anyone with an access to IEEE digital library, I suggest this excellent (if a bit dated) paper for a general discussion of the topic.

From the abstract:

Quote:
The direct communications link can easily be realized during most of the 780-day Earth-Mars synodic period, except when this link encounters increased intervening charged particles during superior solar conjunctions. The effects of solar charged particles are expected to corrupt the data signals to varying degrees. During superior solar conjunctions of interplanetary spacecraft, flight projects routinely scale down or suspend operations by invoking command moratoriums, reducing tracking schedules, and progressively lowering data rates.
Quote:
Using a number of techniques [...], it should be possible to maintain some degree of communication throughout all of the superior conjunctions occurring between 2015 and 2026, except for one occurring in 2023, in which actual occultation of the signal source by the Sun's disk occurs.


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12340 posts, RR: 25
Reply 95, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8924 times:

Makin' Tracks!




Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 96, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 8844 times:

My big wish to NASA:

Please show us a high quality color picture from Mars which was not enbrighten, filtered or colored or manipulated.

Which shows how exactly the colors of Mars are.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5421 posts, RR: 8
Reply 97, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8594 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 96):
Please show us a high quality color picture from Mars which was not enbrighten, filtered or colored or manipulated.

As near as I can discern, the last picture in this "panorama" is a "true color" picture of Mars. It was taken by Curiosity's true color camera's and show the colors that exist in the much thinner Mars atmosphere. (The link will let you see the much larger full size image)
http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wi...science/2012/08/wired-panorama.jpg
http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2012/08/wired-panorama.jpg

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinenicoeddf From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1099 posts, RR: 1
Reply 98, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8502 times:

Is it just me seeing those pictures and have this feeling of craving for the stars in the nights' sky?

User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 99, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8455 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 97):

As near as I can discern, the last picture in this "panorama" is a "true color" picture of Mars. It was taken by Curiosity's true color camera's and show the colors that exist in the much thinner Mars atmosphere. (The link will let you see the much larger full size image)

Thanks a lot!!!      

However after seeing the different pictures in this panorama. How is it possible all the pictures have all different colors. (much more red then curiosity's true color)

Either the cameras are crap(when it comes to color) or all this pictures were manipulated in a pathetic way.

If you look at the true color the differences are huge..


After searching at JPL:

Here the same picture unmodified and white balanced:

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA16053.jpg

and now the modified:

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/figures/PIA16053_fig1.jpg

Sorry to be so harsh, but that's a desaster. After all people get the wrong impression. For me it's utmost important to see the real colors and not something manipulated by people. Else i don't see any reason why i should care about astronomy.

JPL and NASA TAG please each picture if it's modified(or what they call white balanced) or not please..

[Edited 2012-08-27 08:47:42]


“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 100, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8377 times:

In the past, with the MER rover missions in particular, there were no automatically acquired "color" images, but rather single-filter greyscale images that had to be manipulated to create color images, and the more straightforward versions of those color images didn't match what the human eye would perceive. Garish color was simple, true color was hard.

MSL actually has at least one color camera, and so those images can be released as color without processing, however to perceive the geology better, scientists may still want those garish hypercolor images-- it's less useful to have everything appear red and dusty.

The irony, though, is that I think you have an attitude based on MER images, which had to be heavily processed to create anything resembling "true color," and are railing against MSL, which actually can deliver color images directly from its mastcams, which you can find here: http://curiositymsl.com/?limit=100&cams=mastcam amongst other places. There is a caveat about Bayer filters, with some good info here http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...a/2012/08241439-mastcam-bayer.html


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 101, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8284 times:

three color filters in front of the camera

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 100):
"color" images, but rather single-filter greyscale images that had to be manipulated to create color images, and the more straightforward versions of those color images didn't match what the human eye would perceive.

My question is why even to make black and white pictures. Today there are cameras with 25MP or more and Curiosity as high-tech as it is is seems to me outdated to use such camera systems.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 100):

The irony, though, is that I think you have an attitude based on MER images, which had to be heavily processed to create anything resembling "true color," and are railing against MSL,

True, because i had the perception on mars it's as red as on the MER images, after all it's the red planet.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 100):
, which actually can deliver color images directly from its mastcams, which you can find her

Incredible images, many thanks for the link. Exactly what i was searching for.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 100):
There is a caveat about Bayer filters,

Nice link, it explains me a lot. However i still don't understand why to use such a obsolete system.

Take a look at this picture, it's exactly the same problem. Why don't ESA, NASA release pictures unmodified to the public? I don't need a recycled, manipulated picture. You see even more details on the original and take a look at the color difference. What a mess!




“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1308 posts, RR: 52
Reply 102, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8280 times:
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http://openwetware.org/wiki/BIO254:Phototransduction
Nikon D70
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 100):
Garish color was simple, true color was hard.

Replace "was" with "is" in both statements.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 99):
If you look at the true color the differences are huge..

What you are seeing has nothing to do with 'true color' - it has to do with image processing and exposure - not "true" color.

People tend to be very confused on the subject of "color" and what is 'true' - driven in a large extent by marketing.

Color is a perception that occurs in the HVS (human vision system) - which, btw, includes both the sensors (rod and cones) and the brain. By that definition, a true color camera would have to capture and process the image the way the HVS does. Problems with that include:
- We don't know precisely in all cases.
- It includes chemical processes in the eye that vary with time.
- It includes memory - expectation of perceived colors. (Memory colors).
- It includes the spectral sensitivities of the HVS - which includes negative lobes.
- It includes the illumination source.
- It includes surround and adaptation factors.

No camera made does this. There are some cameras that come close, but they are not in any sensor you can put on Mars, or in your DSLR. It requires spectral imaging - that is basically a camera that measures the full spectrum of light captured for each pixel - basically a sample every few nm in wavelength. RGB cameras capture 3 values, one for an integration of wavelength in red, green and blue. A spectral camera may capture 100-400 samples per pixel. Put that in your memory chip and smoke it! Then send it from Mars for processing. Not gunna happen soon. Spectral cameras are very complex and expensive. And this is only the very beginning of the imaging chain.

There are "colorimetric" cameras/scanners. A colorimetric camera/scanner is one that will capture and process a color image in a way that the error between the color, as represented in some perceptual space like CIELAB, will differ from what you would see by an amount that is less that most people will notice. In that same CIELAB space, it would have a Delta-L of
http://scien.stanford.edu/pages/labs...rization/spectral_sensitivity.html

Not even close -
So step one is to do a transformation from one to the other - but of course, you cannot. You can only approximate.

Thankfully - we have something called metamerism - which means that two very different spectra can be perceived as the same color. A fancy way of saying you can make "green" multiple ways. Good think - or photography would not work, nor would printed pictures or color displays - at least not the ones we have today.

And, please, don't tell me about "film" being "true color" - it is worse than digital these days.

As you may guess - I've worked in this area for, oh, 25 years. Designed scanners and digital cameras for much of my career - focused on image quality and color science.

The only 'problem' I have with the Curiosity camera is it is called a "true color" camera - false. It is a camera that captures images in a way we can process to create color images that will appear much like the landscape would appear to us if we were there.


rcair1
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1308 posts, RR: 52
Reply 103, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8278 times:
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Quoting rcair1 (Reply 102):
http://openwetware.org/wiki/BIO254:Phototransduction
Nikon D70

Sorry - in my previous post - some of the quoting seems to have broken. The link above is to the image for the D70. The link to the human visual system is below



rcair1
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 104, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8237 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 101):
three color filters in front of the camera

... quote snip ...

My question is why even to make black and white pictures. Today there are cameras with 25MP or more and Curiosity as high-tech as it is is seems to me outdated to use such camera systems.

No, actually, the CCD on the MER Pancam does not capture color images. It's color filters in front of a detector that dectects photons from near-IR through the visual range. Think of each CCD bit as integrating the number of photons detected over the exposure time, and if there's a filter in front, it is then detecting photons of only a very specific wavelength.

As for technology-- these are space missions, and camera detector chips are very sensitive to the effects of radiation. If you used a COTS chip, it would be speckled with noise from radiation. Not to mention the chips are selected for science, reliability, precision, and there is an extremely long lead time.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 101):
Why don't ESA, NASA release pictures unmodified to the public?

NASA does-- everything goes to the PDS for archiving. In the meantime for the mars surface missions, the "raw" images go almost immediately to the web, where the only modification is JPEG compression.

ESA's not so forthcoming, mostly because they tend to let the scientists monopolize the data for much longer periods. However, Cassini-Huygens was a dual mission, and the all of the unmodified DISR data is available here:
http://atmos.nmsu.edu/data_and_servi...atmospheres_data/Huygens/DISR.html
And this is what the final images looked liked, unmodified:
http://atmos.nmsu.edu/PDS/data/hpdis...WSE/IMG_BRWSE_1063_031638_9814.PNG
The technology is late-80s at the best, because that's when Huygens design started, and it's optimized to transmit imagery quickly, before the Cassini spacecraft moved out of the radio line-of-sight.
This sort of thing took a heck of a lot of manual labor to create:
http://www.beugungsbild.de/huygens/rawimages_work.html
http://anthony.liekens.net/index.php/Main/Huygens

[Edited 2012-08-28 12:51:20]

User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2713 posts, RR: 8
Reply 105, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8114 times:

The pictures being sent back are incredible. Make you want to go there for a look.




OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1308 posts, RR: 52
Reply 106, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8023 times:
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Quoting SSTeve (Reply 104):
As for technology-- these are space missions, and camera detector chips are very sensitive to the effects of radiation.

Yes indeed. We worried about air-shipment. We prefer ocean shipment of sensors.



rcair1
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 107, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7684 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 102):

Color is a perception that occurs in the HVS (human vision system) - which, btw, includes both the sensors (rod and cones) and the brain. By that definition, a true color camera would have to capture and process the image the way the HVS does. Problems with that include:
- We don't know precisely in all cases.
- It includes chemical processes in the eye that vary with time.
- It includes memory - expectation of perceived colors. (Memory colors).
- It includes the spectral sensitivities of the HVS - which includes negative lobes.
- It includes the illumination source.
- It includes surround and adaptation factors.

No camera made does this.

On this site you learn always something new. Thanks for explanation.

However what i do not understand if you look at the picture of reply 97: How can be such a dramatic difference in colors between all the images from the previous missions and curiosity.

What does reflect more what we would see if we were on Mars?

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 102):
any sensor you can put on Mars, or in your DSLR

Because of ?

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 102):
There are "colorimetric" cameras/scanners. A colorimetric camera/scanner is one that will capture and process a color image in a way that the error between the color, as represented in some perceptual space like CIELAB, will differ from what you would see by an amount that is less that most people will notice. In that same CIELAB space, it would have a Delta-L of

While i had in the school some color theory and densitometry, i didn't know that.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 104):
If you used a COTS chip, it would be speckled with noise from radiation.

Do old filmbased cameras behave better against radiation? How much radiation is on Mars?

Quoting windy95 (Reply 105):
The pictures being sent back are incredible. Make you want to go there for a look.

This is a modified picture(white balanced), and does not represent the "true illumination" on mars.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 106):
Yes indeed. We worried about air-shipment. We prefer ocean shipment of sensors.

Interesting. But when you see the many pictures made onboard of planes then they aren't as sensitive as assumed?



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 108, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7669 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 106):
Quoting windy95 (Reply 105):
The pictures being sent back are incredible. Make you want to go there for a look.

This is a modified picture(white balanced), and does not represent the "true illumination" on mars.

So? It's still incredible that this is possible in the first place. And it still makes we want to go there for a look.



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 109, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7655 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 108):
So? It's still incredible that this is possible in the first place.

Agree, i do not want to play down this amazing achievement. I only blame the way they present the pictures to the public.

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 108):
And it still makes we want to go there for a look.

I would second that!



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 110, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7587 times:

There should be a lot more full color now that MSL's Mastcam can acquire color in a single image, as stated here by a camera engineer.

As an interesting example of what goes on with the older MER cameras, Opportunity has just crept up to a really interesting outcrop. Pretty unique in 8 years. And here are the raw pancam images:
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/opportunity_p3062.html

If you click "text only version" you can see the filter used in the image names. And you can see in the discussion starting here that creating color from these is more art than science. As noted, the filters chosen were "far infrared, far UV, and plain old green," so no resulting color is truly as a human would see it. And so you get this versus this and neither's actually "true color."


User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1308 posts, RR: 52
Reply 111, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7563 times:
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Quoting autothrust (Reply 107):
On this site you learn always something new. Thanks for explanation.

You are welcome. I do want to correct a fact - the spectral response of the human vision system does not have negative lobes. Negative lobes come in when you do some transformations into standard color spaces.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 107):
However what i do not understand if you look at the picture of reply 97: How can be such a dramatic difference in colors between all the images from the previous missions and curiosity.

What does reflect more what we would see if we were on Mars?

I don't know. I would hazard a guess that the new cameras/processing are 'better' in that we know how they respond better and know more about the environment on mars, so I'm guessing the new ones are 'closer' to what you'd see if you were there. However, as I look at some of these photos - I see very subtle shades of red/green on some of the rocks. Without some spectral data (which curiosity may be able to capture), I would be nervous about how close some of those changes are.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 107):
Because of ?

Hyper spectral cameras are big, slow and require lots of bandwidth/computing.

Let's just do the size/bandwidth part. Curiosity's mast cameras are 2MP. Since they are mosiac cameras (each pixel has a color filter over it in a mosaic pattern - probably a bayer), they capture 1 "color" per pixel. I haven't found anything that tells me what the bit depth of the cameras are - so I'll assume 8 bits, or 1 byte per pixel. That means a 'raw' image is 2 Mbytes. Compress that and you can easily get to 5x - so lets say 400 Kbytes. Bandwidth is a premium - so I'd guess more like 10x compression- or 200 Kbytes per image.
Now - let's go hyperspetral, 2 MP. say we are capturing the spectrum from 390 to 750nm at 4nm resolution (not that great). 750-390=360nm/4=90 samples per pixel. Let's be generous and assume only 4 bits per sample (that is only 16 levels - so pretty crappy). 90 samples at 4 bits is 45 bytes per sample, times 2 million pixels = 90Mbytes per picture. Jpeg doesn't really work - so how to compress? Assuming you can do something lossy to 10x (same as I assumed for jpeg) - we are 9 MBytes/picture as compared to .2 MBytes.

45 times more data.

Oh - by the way- you need a spectral sensor looking at the 'sky' (illumination) too.

The camera is also much more delicate and complicated.

Could you create a "true" color image - defined as what a person sees? Mostly - but we are forgetting the 'brain' part.

Not really worth it. The cameras, combined with the instruments, on Curiosity are going to allow Nasa to do a darn good job of representing color. But - subtle color shades? Be careful.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 107):
Do old filmbased cameras behave better against radiation? How much radiation is on Mars

Well - depends on the film. X-ray film will be sensitive to x-rays. High speed (high sensitivity film) can be fogged by radiation. However, you only use a piece of film 1 time. So if a small area (grain size) is exposed, you probably won't notice. When you loose a pixel or a few due to radiation in a digital camera - that defect is reproduced in every image. Most modern cameras have a way to fix that.

As for radiation on Mars - I don't know.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 107):
Interesting. But when you see the many pictures made onboard of planes then they aren't as sensitive as assumed?

A sensor in a camera has less exposure. I was talking about trays of sensors or camera modules being shipped in bulk. Also - as stated, most modern cameras can deal with a few bad pixels.

Heck - the "resolution" of most modern digital cameras (including DSLR's) is a lie anyway. It is sample rate - how many pixels per unit area are sampled, not resolution. Resolution (resolving power) will likely be optics or motion blur limited.

Just to be clear - I think the photos from Mars are MARvelous. Stunning. Beautiful. I was just explaining that they are probably not "true" color. We could be pretty surprised when we arrive (I hope we do! - meaning I hope the dolists don't win and we never have the money to do manned missions).

I suspect the "true color" description for Curiosity's cameras comes from the fact that they are color mosaic cameras - like a modern digital camera. Strangely, registration issues and speed aside, an achromatic 2mp camera that takes 3 pictures through 3 colored filters would provide better quality (color and sample rate [resolution]).

Oh - BTW - a bayer camera is a lossy compression system. Each pixel 'looses' 2/3 of the data. That 2/3 is recreated from estimates based on surrounding pixels in a process called demosaic (not debayer - debayer is only a demosaic of a bayer sensor - not all sensors are bayer). Demosaic is darn good, but not perfect.



rcair1
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 112, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7418 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 111):
so I'm guessing the new ones are 'closer' to what you'd see if you were there.

But we don't know? This uncertanity is what i blame about to the NASA/ESA.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 111):
so how to compress?

TIFF can be compressed really good and you don't loose pixels wouldn't it be a alternative?

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 111):

Well - depends on the film. X-ray film will be sensitive to x-rays. High speed (high sensitivity film) can be fogged by radiation. However, you only use a piece of film 1 time.

I have seen a lot of movies from Chernobyl. There is one movie which was recordered on site of the explosion a day aftermath.

The liquidators were exposed to incredible levels of high radiation up to 20Gray. My point you didn't almost notice any artifacts in the film.



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User currently offlinemaxter From Australia, joined May 2009, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 113, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7396 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 112):
But we don't know? This uncertanity is what i blame about to the NASA/ESA.

I'm not sure in what context you use the word "blame" in... As rcair1 has gone to pains to explain, unless you make the camera with the equivalent human eye/brain interface you will never know. And as each person perceives colour slightly differently, if the system was developed to some common standard, it could possibly not be the same as what you "see".

I really can't understand why you have this issue with NASA/ESA, considering what it is they have already delivered in the realms of imagery. You have a concept of the colour of mars based on some previous system, just accept that the current system is different, maybe closer to the "true" colour (whatever that may be) and move on I reckon.



maxter
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 114, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7393 times:

Quoting maxter (Reply 113):
unless you make the camera with the equivalent human eye/brain interface

I know, my issue is the incredible difference in colors between the images. It's like you make a panoramic picture of new york with one camera and a second picture with a other camera. One picture is green the other blue.(exaggerated)

I don't ask for picture which reflects to 100% what a standard human eye would see. Shouldn't the pictures have some commonality?



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 115, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7383 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 114):
Shouldn't the pictures have some commonality?

Not really.

Take a snapshot of the same scene, at the same instant, with two different prosumer digital cameras that you would both unhesitantly call "true color" (because nobody ever told you otherwise: "false color camera" makes for very poor marketing): you'll get noticeably different color renditions. For example, Canon and Nikon cameras are notorious for conveying different color perceptions, with deeply entrenched fan crowds each swearing that only their favorite make is "true", while the other is visibly "fake".

It doesn't stop there. Look at the same digital photo through two different computer screens, especially LCD: you'll get amazingly different color perceptions (even if both monitors are calibrated to the same nominal color temperature setting). Take the same file to two different reputable digital print shops: unless you get very technical in asking for a specific color calibration, you'll get differently hued prints.

I'm afraid there's no such thing as "true color" as in "as perceived by the human eye". The only "true color" you'll get is through a colorimeter, but that's a numeric representation.

So I don't think it's really surprising if pictures sent back by different generations of interplanetary probes aren't very color-consistent.


User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1308 posts, RR: 52
Reply 116, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7370 times:
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Quoting autothrust (Reply 112):
But we don't know? This uncertanity is what i blame about to the NASA/ESA.

I suspect "we" do know this - meaning the designers of the camera do. "I" don't know this because I've not paid any attention to how the cameras are designed/built on Curiosity or previous rovers. My expectation, based on years of experience, is that it is better.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 112):
TIFF can be compressed really good and you don't loose pixels wouldn't it be a alternative?

TIFF supports a number of compression schemes - including Jpeg. Most of them are loss-less - meaning you can recover perfectly the original information. However, the compression ratio is far less than JPEG. Perhaps 2:1.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 112):
My point you didn't almost notice any artifacts in the film.
And you will probably have the same experience with digital.
However, remember, if a photon of radiation exposes a small physical location on a film, particularly a moving film, that physical location is 'used' only for 1 photo - or 1 frame. It is then replaced by another physical piece of film that is unexposed. In a digital camera, if a pixel is damaged, that pixel appears in every photo, and every frame.
One of the things we had to deal with in digital imaging (cameras or scanner), is "correlated noise" as opposed to "random noise". In the film case, the exposure causes random noise. In the digital case, damage causes correlated noise.
Correlated noise, also called pattern noise, appears as a pattern in the image. Lines, streaks, etc. The correlation may be with space (a line in a specific location) or time (a line correlated with some time factor that marches across a sequence of image). The point is you are much more likely to notice it. I did some ad-hoc research at one point when I was doing scanner image quality evaluation and my data suggested you are 10x more sensitive to a correlated noise than a random noise of the same magnitude.


Quoting autothrust (Reply 114):
I don't ask for picture which reflects to 100% what a standard human eye would see. Shouldn't the pictures have some commonality?



Somewhat a valid point. I wonder if Nasa has a standard processing pipeline that they are using, or if it is up to the particular person processing the image. It may be they are still experimenting with the processing and will shift to a more standard one. It may also be they are just trying to make each picture as "pretty" as it can be for PR reasons - and assuming people will not do what you are doing and compare.

Frankly, the color of the picture is probably not that important from a scientific standpoint. These pictures are more about PR.



rcair1
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 117, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7339 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 116):
Somewhat a valid point. I wonder if Nasa has a standard processing pipeline that they are using, or if it is up to the particular person processing the image. It may be they are still experimenting with the processing and will shift to a more standard one. It may also be they are just trying to make each picture as "pretty" as it can be for PR reasons - and assuming people will not do what you are doing and compare.

Raw to the web with lossy JPEG compression is standard for Mars rovers and Cassini at Saturn, thanks to NASA.
Raw data to the PDS after 6 months is standard, absolutely required by NASA.
ESA's data releases suck. They'll sit on stuff for years.

Any composite attached to a press release has no standard. Certain color composites, like any color image of Saturn and its rings, takes way too much human intervention to really standardize. Cassini acquires R/G/B separately, and with enough delay between the images that R/G/B doesn't line up without games like spherical reprojection. You also have to remember that, even for press purposes, NASA's not a monolith, and there is definitely zero requirement that guy making composites at JPL does things the same way as a scientist in Tuscon.

I do wonder if autothrust has similar issues with Hubble images? Exactly zero of those are true color.
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=20361

Similarly, the Huygens images he complained about were from a 660-1000nm spectral range, which don't approximate the wavelengths that a human perceives at all, most likely because they knew in advance that the haze at Titan doesn't transmit a lot of light in the half the visible range they didn't capture. Demanding that those images be transformed to what a human would see there is both impossible, and demands deletion of useful data... anything that came from near-IR.


User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1308 posts, RR: 52
Reply 118, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7325 times:
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Quoting jollo (Reply 115):
Quoting autothrust (Reply 114):
Shouldn't the pictures have some commonality?

Not really.
Quoting jollo (Reply 115):
So I don't think it's really surprising if pictures sent back by different generations of interplanetary probes aren't very color-consistent.

I didn't catch that autothrust was talking about consistency between different generations of cameras - I assumed he/she was talking about consistency between photos from a camera.

You are absolutely correct, I would not expect different generation cameras to create similiar images. As you rightly mentioned, different models give different results based on the bias of the manf and even the 'location' of the development engineers. Where I worked we are high mountain desert and we tended to optimize for different scenes and places than say - Taiwan.

Even populations from different regions of the world have different color preferences. We thought about using location data to alter our image processing. Didn't do that, but we considered it.



rcair1
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 119, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7255 times:

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 117):
I do wonder if autothrust has similar issues with Hubble images?

I do, however i find it less important then the surface colors of our neighbour planets.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 117):
Exactly zero of those are true color.

This picture is close to be true color, according the description.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970718.html

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 118):
You are absolutely correct, I would not expect different generation cameras to create similiar images

I know what you mean and of course that are all resonable points. But i have to criticice the huge differences. It's like day and night. Am i the only one which annoys this inconsistencies?

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 117):
ESA's data releases suck.

Indeed.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 120, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7253 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 118):
I assumed he/she was talking about consistency between photos from a camera.

Talking about photos taken form the *same* camera, I would say that the *data* sent back should be consistent from photo to photo (barring sensor degratation over time). After being processed for different purposes, or even for the same purpose (e.g. public release) but by different people, the *pictures* will show different hues.


Quoting SSTeve (Reply 117):
Any composite attached to a press release has no standard. [...] there is definitely zero requirement that guy making composites at JPL does things the same way as a scientist in Tuscon.


  


Quoting rcair1 (Reply 118):
We thought about using location data to alter our image processing.

I didn't know about that, but it makes sense. I'm glad you didn't actually do it, though.


Quoting autothrust (Reply 119):
This picture is close to be true color, according the description.

Ah, the devil is in the details: "This picture closely depicts the true colors of ..." only in the subjective evaluation of the person in charge of the processing. The best objective claim you could take out of that statement is that *data* that went into the making of that image doesn't come from outside the human-visible spectrum. It doesn't mean that if you could peek through Hubble's eyepiece (doesn't have one, of course) *you* would be seeing those colors.

The only way of getting "consistency" (always a good thing to have), as already mentioned, would be to enforce a standard for the processing of images meant for public release. Given the vast variety of data sources and sensor technologies, that standard wouldn't be trivial: I don't see it happening.


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 121, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6591 times:

Here's a good example of how the narrow spectral bands and hypercolor can be scientifically useful:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/i....php?act=attach&type=post&id=28217
(From the Opportunity rover a few years ago.)

The 1 micron band they use to highlight hydrated minerals isn't within the visible spectrum.


User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 122, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6167 times:

Apparently, Curiosity has found evidence of an old streambed on Mars now.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120927.html

My degree is in forestry not geology, but this is really interesting stuff. I had to take a couple geology courses for my degree so I have a basic understanding of what their talking about but it's amazing that they can determine the amount of water per second that was flowing across this landscape off a photo.



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