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Author Topic: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!  (Read 1166 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« on: November 26, 2011, 06:20:31 AM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15882485

I filmed this below video about 3+ years ago at a talk I went to. It gives a basic run-down of how it'll work.

Mars Science Laboratory

Offline Redcap

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 11:34:58 PM »
Quote
"The machine carries a suite of sophisticated instruments and tools, including a hammer drill and a laser, to find out whether Mars is, or ever has been, suitable for life."

I seem to recall them finding fossilized remains of bacterial life form there already within the last 2 decades...

Quote
"look for evidence that ancient environments could have supported microbial activity"

Seems to me as though they're looking more at the possible sustainability (past or present) of life, rather than (fossil) evidence of it, this time round..?

Edit:

Was anyone lucky enough to actually catch the launch? Care to comment on how it went? :)
Have been sick the past few days so haven't really been keeping up with world events and the such.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 11:50:23 PM by Redcap »

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 01:24:18 AM »
Redcap, the 'fossilized bacteria' remains inconclusive. See NASA's statement:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/marslife.html

We got about 9 months before the landing on Mars. That's the hard part . . .

Offline Redcap

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 04:54:37 AM »
Ahhh, much thanks, Admin :)
For some reason I was thinking they found it -on- Mars. Makes a lot more sense now, cheers :)

Quote
[...] landing on Mars. That's the hard part

Heh, yea, that's very true  ;D Do hope it goes well, rather looking forward to hearing what they find.

As for the actual drop/landing, I find the Sky crane approach very interesting.
Would this be automated due to the delay in feedback (to Earth), I wonder?

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 05:02:25 AM »
Would this be automated due to the delay in feedback (to Earth), I wonder?
Yeap, it's all automated. Signals take ~40 minutes to reach Earth from Mars, while the re-entry time is much less than that.

Offline Redcap

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 05:21:15 AM »
Oh wow, that's pretty darn impressive :D

And a little more risky... I can't help but to think of a situation where one of the cables get wrapped/caught around something after the release of the rover, and prior to the Sky crane "flying off"...  :-\

BTW; I wasn't aware it was THAT big of a delay, again, thanks for the info ;)

Offline Canabots

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2011, 09:20:14 PM »
Oh wow, that's pretty darn impressive :D

And a little more risky... I can't help but to think of a situation where one of the cables get wrapped/caught around something after the release of the rover, and prior to the Sky crane "flying off"...  :-\

BTW; I wasn't aware it was THAT big of a delay, again, thanks for the info ;)

Mars landings have have mixed success due to the automated landings. I remember the Mars Polar Lander failed on landing because of a mechanical failure. When the legs shot out, they triggered the ground sensors and caused the thrusters to stop the controlled descent.

When Pheonix was developed from the failures of the Polar Lander, many of these issues were noticed and fixed, hence, Pheonix managed to succeed.
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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2011, 09:26:35 PM »
When the legs shot out, they triggered the ground sensors and caused the thrusters to stop the controlled descent.
Sounds like something that could have been prevented if it was tested on Earth first . . .  :P

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2011, 10:35:23 PM »
Odd I know, that's how they fixed it when developing Pheonix. I remember watching all the documentaries on Discovery when they were getting ready to launch Pheonix.  :P
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Offline Redcap

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 10:17:37 PM »
Mars Polar Lander failed on landing because of a mechanical failure. When the legs shot out, they triggered the ground sensors and caused the thrusters to stop the controlled descent.
Ergh, such a simple over sight (costing millions+). I wonder who got in trouble for the lack of testing?
Well... I guess you can do all the testing you want, you just need to do the -right- tests ;)

Nice to see they learn from the mistakes at the very least  ;D

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 10:24:14 PM »
In other news, "Europe ends calls to stranded Mars probe." Most probes to Mars fail when they reach Mars. This one didn't even make it out of Earth orbit lol . . .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16010332

(ok it's not funny, it's kinda sad actually . . . lost money and lost science . . .)

Offline Redcap

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Re: Curiosity Mars rover set to launch within hours!
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011, 11:40:31 PM »
Ouch... Barely got it out of the garage...
Quote
Phobos-Grunt imaged from the ground on 29 Nov, at an altitude of 230km
If it does fall back to earth, is it high enough to burn (any of it up) on reentry..?

It is rather sad to see such an opportunity to learn more about our universe, our surrounding planets & their moons (at this point) lost :(

 


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