zanl188
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Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:25 pm

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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zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:26 pm

Interesting animation. Real time or you can fast forward...

http://eyes.nasa.gov/
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Francoflier
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:37 am

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.
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zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:37 pm

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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rwessel
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:20 pm

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."
 
GDB
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:48 pm

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.
 
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:14 pm

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.
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zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:27 pm

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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Slcpilot
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:56 pm

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!

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zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:17 pm

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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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:05 am

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.

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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:23 am

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?
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:38 am

Woohoo!

Landed, and first images viewed!
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GDB
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:42 am

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.
 
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:43 am

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!


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[Edited 2012-08-05 22:58:12]
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:00 am

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.
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Slcpilot
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:17 am

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!

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travelavnut
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:54 am

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".    
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zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:27 am

Congrats NASA/JPL team!!!
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maxter
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:48 am

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

Well done all!
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:00 am

Congrats.....Now let the images flow......
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Francoflier
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:04 pm

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...
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autothrust
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:47 pm

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.
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charlib52
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:53 pm

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]
 
charlib52
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:12 pm

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...  
 
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:37 pm

Radio Free Space man...in time for China to tune in when they land on the Moon. Amateurs!
 
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:38 pm

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...
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autothrust
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:50 pm

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]
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travelavnut
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:28 pm

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]
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comorin
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:52 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 28):

(checkmark)

PLUS the glass cover was on that camera to protect the optics from the dust kicked up on landing.
 
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autothrust
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:58 pm

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]
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travelavnut
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:21 pm

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]
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Areopagus
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:32 pm

Will there be a communications blackout near conjunction? If so, for how long?
 
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:22 pm

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

http://www.pdxlight.com/other/curiosity.jpg
 
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Tugger
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:28 pm

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
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LimaNiner
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:14 pm

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.  
 
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:37 pm

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]
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:56 pm

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.
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DocLightning
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:01 pm

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.  
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zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:58 pm

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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boacvc10
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:38 pm

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".


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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:49 pm

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.
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:23 am

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.
 
zanl188
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:23 am

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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rwessel
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:54 am

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.
 
boacvc10
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RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:29 am

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!
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:17 am

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).
 
jollo
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:24 pm

RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:56 am

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]
 
travelavnut
Posts: 1327
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:35 pm

RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:07 am

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!
 
jollo
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:24 pm

RE: Curiosity Goes To Mars

Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:02 pm

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!

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