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Old Jul 16, 2012, 05:46 PM
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NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover


Pretty exciting stuff.

http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012...ing-on-mars-2/

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/video...a_id=146903741
Old Jul 16, 2012, 05:47 PM
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Woot! I love this stuff, sure hope this baby makes it!!!
Old Jul 16, 2012, 06:13 PM
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Shouldn't it scare us that they had 500,000 L1NES of COD3 with "Zero Margin of Error"?
Old Jul 16, 2012, 06:45 PM
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That would be the least of my worries. Mechanical issues would be much higher on my list of spinchter pucker factors. One of the RCS motors fails at the wrong time, and the whole thing might end up a $2.5B pile of debris.
Old Jul 16, 2012, 06:49 PM
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We should be happy mr obama was unable to cancel it!
Old Jul 16, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Call me silly, but that landing sequence sounds absurdly complex.
Old Jul 16, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Call me silly, but that landing sequence sounds absurdly complex.
If it doesn't make it I sure hope it can transmit the failure just before it crashes so we'll know what failed. I have to agree with one of the comments on their web page, NASA sure has balls.
Old Jul 16, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Call me silly, but that landing sequence sounds absurdly complex.
That was my first thought as well. Curiosity is about the size of a small SUV, so that calls for more extreme measures than the `beach ball' technique of the smaller Rovers (which I also thought to be a bit exotic ), but that worked, and I'll give JPL the benefit of the doubt this time. There's still a lot that could go wrong.

If JPL pulls this off, I'll be on my knees, bowing to the engineering crew!

Now, there appears to be a problem with the Mars Odyssey, which is supposed to be the orbiting relay for Curiosity's landing data uplink. It won't stop the mission, but will delay the final sequence of data to be returned to Earth.

http://news.discovery.com/space/nasa...te-120716.html

Here's a photo showing the relative size of Curiosity compared to the earlier rovers:
Last edited by Zaurak3; Jul 16, 2012 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Added photo.
Old Jul 16, 2012, 08:08 PM
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There's a nifty `Augmented Reality' (AR) app to examine the Curiosity rover, and other spacecraft. It's free and has just been released by JPL to run on iOS systems.

Looks really good on an iPad!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/space...541089908?mt=8
Old Jul 16, 2012, 08:29 PM
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That would be the least of my worries. Mechanical issues would be much higher on my list of spinchter pucker factors. One of the RCS motors fails at the wrong time, and the whole thing might end up a $2.5B pile of debris.
Yep, the EDL (Entry Descent Landing) system is sophisticated, but is really no worse than every other system used. The early Viking landers touched down using smallish liquid-fueled rocket engines, and the Rovers (shown in Zurak's post #8) used an airbag deployment system. They cushioned the landing impact and it bounced like a beachball till it stopped rolling, at which point the airbags deflated and the Rover moved off the landing platform.

The "Skycrane" system is just a rational development of those earlier systems. It just looks scary.

Here is another in-depth description of how that will work:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...nd-part-3.html

(NASA images)





--Bill
Old Jul 17, 2012, 10:38 AM
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It is faszinating and gutsy.

I hope it works as planed
Old Jul 17, 2012, 10:44 AM
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We're taking odds here at work.

We all want it to work ... but Rube Goldberg couldn't have come up with a more complicated way to deployment.
Old Jul 17, 2012, 11:18 AM
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And to frustrate things: an existing orbital mapping satellite, Odyssey, was to be used to receive the landing telemetry real-time at Mars and then relay this data back to Earth (14 light-minutes away by radio). Odyssey has had problems with it's gyroscopic orientation system and will not be able record and transmit the telemetry. And none of the other Mars orbiters will be positioned to do the relay, either.

This won't affect the landing, it's automated, but we won't get the engineering telemetry to know what was happening during the landing, nor (heaven forbid) know what happened if the landing fails. We'll get a low powered "beep-beep-beep" from the lander if it makes it in one major piece {G} and the Rover will then automatically "unpack" itself, swing out it's high-powered antenna and, uh, Call Home.

And hopefully Odyssey will get it's problems resolved since it is serving as a relay station for both Curiosity and the older MER Rover Opportunity.

News Linky

--Bill
Old Jul 17, 2012, 11:29 AM
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If it fails it will be either Bush's fault or Obama's fault, guaranteed.
Old Jul 17, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
We're taking odds here at work.

We all want it to work ... but Rube Goldberg couldn't have come up with a more complicated way to deployment.
Violates the KISS principle on every level.
Not saying it can't be made to work ....if enough of the contractors who built it had enough money shoveled at them to do a first rate job on every little detail.


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