Mars orbiter catches pic of Curiosity on its way down!
Posted: 06 August 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Awesome! From Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog:

673736main_PIA15978-full_full.jpg

Post: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/08/06/mars-orbiter-catches-pic-of-curiosity-on-its-way-down/

Be sure to read Phil’s post. It’s very eloquent.

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 10:28 AM by FreeInKy ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Was that coincidence or did they arrange it?

Just read the article, definitely arranged.

Intensely COOL!

psik

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 10:41 AM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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psikeyhackr - 06 August 2012 10:32 AM

Was that coincidence or did they arrange it?

Just read the article, definitely arranged.

Intensely COOL!

psik

Check it out: Curiosity : Communication
(showing the paths of the two orbiters and the lander,
and communication relays)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqTPwz2QCKc

Awesome picture

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 12:45 PM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks for the post Free. That photo really brings it to life. It was a lot of fun listening to this last night as it happened. i wasn’t really expecting a real time second by second account but it made the whole thing very exciting. I was blown away by the fact that they had a photo from the surface within seconds of landing. It was the sort of thing they do in science fiction movies but you dont expect it to be that way in real life where things tend to happen much more slowly and you only get the images and data the next day.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I see two seperate man made objects.  Where did the third (camera) come from?


Aahh,  The two visible objects are Curiosity and parachute. The picture taken from the already orbiting satelite Phoenix.

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 12:08 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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333669main1_D2009_0331_RTC_0182-226.jpg

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/msl_parachute.html
The parachute decelerator system for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft underwent extensive testing at Ames in support of the design and flight-qualification of the final MSL parachute canopy design. The basic design of the canopy is called the disc-gap band parachute, dating back to the 1970s, and has been used for all NASA spacecraft planetary entries to date. The MSL parachute is the largest ever built to fly on an extraterrestrial mission.

A total of six different tests for the parachute between October 2007 and April 2009 were conducted in the 80-foot-by-120-foot section of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC)
{...}

At the bottom of the page are some very cool videos of supersonic wind tunnel tests.  It’s wild how the shock wave and parachute interact.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Damn good stuff.

And damn good for NASA, too.

smile

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Posted: 06 August 2012 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Now I can go back and look at all of those videos about Curiosity on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4boyXQuUIw

I admit that when I saw all that was supposed to be involved in that landing and how it had to be computer controlled I just couldn’t believe it.  If I had been on the team I would have bitten my fingernails down to the elbow.  I can’t give enough props to NASA for pulling this off.

Did it make any kind of recording of its own landing?

psik

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 05:09 PM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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psikeyhackr - 06 August 2012 04:43 PM

Did it make any kind of recording of its own landing?

psik

This is a bit low res but its a series of images taken by the Mars Descent Imager during the final two and a half minutes of descent. The camera is looking straight down so you dont get a great picture of the landing but there are two interesting features. In the first few frames you can see the bottom half of the aeroshell dropping away after it is released and in the final frames you can see the dirt being blown away by the descent engine.

http://youtu.be/UcGMDXy-Y1I

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Posted: 07 August 2012 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The annoying thing about Curiosity is that unless it discovers life there is nothing it can do that can be as dramatic as that landing.

positions.jpg

psik

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Posted: 07 August 2012 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Posted: 11 August 2012 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Slow, but rugged, Curiosity’s computer was built for Mars

 

The electronic brain controlling NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has far less horsepower than the microchips typically found in a modern smart phone.
  But the RAD750 PowerPC microprocessor built into the rover’s redundant flight computers has one enormous advantage: It was engineered to be virtually impervious to high-energy cosmic rays that would quickly cripple an iPhone or laptop computer.
  The radiation-hardened single-card computers, built by BAE Systems in Manassas, Va., are designed to withstand charged ions and protons in interplanetary space or on the surface of Mars that can physically damage integrated circuits or trigger so-called “bit flips” in which the logic of the computer can be temporarily, or even permanently, disrupted.

  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57491281-76/slow-but-rugged-curiositys-computer-was-built-for-mars/?ttag=gpwl

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Posted: 11 August 2012 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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The whole thing is fascinating.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 09:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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psikeyhackr - 11 August 2012 04:10 PM

Slow, but rugged, Curiosity’s computer was built for Mars

 

The electronic brain controlling NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has far less horsepower than the microchips typically found in a modern smart phone.
  But the RAD750 PowerPC microprocessor built into the rover’s redundant flight computers has one enormous advantage: It was engineered to be virtually impervious to high-energy cosmic rays that would quickly cripple an iPhone or laptop computer.
  The radiation-hardened single-card computers, built by BAE Systems in Manassas, Va., are designed to withstand charged ions and protons in interplanetary space or on the surface of Mars that can physically damage integrated circuits or trigger so-called “bit flips” in which the logic of the computer can be temporarily, or even permanently, disrupted.

  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57491281-76/slow-but-rugged-curiositys-computer-was-built-for-mars/?ttag=gpwl

psik

Fascinating stuff, all of it.

However, Curiosity does not drive itself. It’s path is directed from earth at all times. To account for the time delay, they have come up with a solution where the rover advances along a preplotted route for some distance, then stops, scans the environment, sends info back and a new route is plotted which is then sent back, and once received the rover will start up and follow the (delayed) driver’s new instructions for another preplanned distance, then stop, and the “driving” process is repeated.
There is an exact duplicate rover here on earth which allows us to duplicate conditions on mars and find solutions to any problems. In simulations they have tested and experimented with all kinds of possible obstacles and surface conditions. If Curiosity gets itself in trouble they can test and use all the controls of the earth model to find a way out.

[ Edited: 11 August 2012 09:47 PM by Write4U ]
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