NASA Phoenix lander images
Posted: 26 May 2008 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Touched down safely yesterday. The Phoneix webpage with images is HERE. Enjoy!

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Doug

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 26 May 2008 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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dougsmith - 26 May 2008 07:06 AM

Touched down safely yesterday. The Phoneix webpage with images is HERE. Enjoy!

Thanks Doug. Amazing pictures. We start to take it for granted.

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Posted: 26 May 2008 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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As much as I try, I feel a little excitement when looking at these photos.  downer I guess I do take it for granted. Perhaps after having seen Cassini’s pictures from Saturn I am hoping for photos from new, never-before-seen planets.

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Posted: 26 May 2008 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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And yet another excellent reason to keep science in the schools! Awesome pictures——where will the next generation go/see?
Thanks for the links

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Posted: 27 May 2008 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for posting that Doug, it will be interesting to see what is learned. 

If you found these photos underwhelming, think about how hard it was to get the Mars Orbiter to photograph Phoenix as it came down.  Even if it was not travelling more than a few mphs, it’s not like we can instantly manipulate the Orbiter to the right position and get it to take the photo instantaneously.  One small hunk of metal studded with specialized equipment was launched and put in orbit around a planet that is at a minimum, 36 million miles away.  Another small hunk of metal was launched more than a year later and we can control the first hunk enough to get it to photograph the second one as it comes in for a landing. 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/multimedia/9247.html

NASA sometimes seems inefficient, but they do pull off some impressive feats. 

Well said Asanta, more science in school.

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Posted: 27 May 2008 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, is going nuts on his blog about this mission (good for him!) ... posts HERE, HERE and HERE. Enjoy!

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Posted: 28 May 2008 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I caught a segment on the news 2 days ago showing the landing. That was just so impressive and exhilarating . I was blown away. and the speed at which it shot to Mars: 12,000 miles per hour. I wonder if a human being was inside, in what shape they would have been at the time of the arrival? the link is incredible. Thank you.

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Posted: 28 May 2008 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Daisy - 28 May 2008 11:57 AM

I caught a segment on the news 2 days ago showing the landing. That was just so impressive and exhilarating . I was blown away. and the speed at which it shot to Mars: 12,000 miles per hour. I wonder if a human being was inside, in what shape they would have been at the time of the arrival? the link is incredible. Thank you.

Actually the astronauts in the space shuttle are traveling at about 17,500 mph when they reach orbital velocity. The crew of the Interantional Space Station are traveling at about the same speed, and if you notice, they all look pretty comfortable.  The absolute speed you are traveling is not really very important. It’s the change in speed per unit time also known as acceleration that causes the g-forces that put all the stress on an organism/astronaut.

When they are preparing for re-entry the shuttle fires its OMS ( orbital manuevering system) engines ( those are the engines you see on the two pods on either side of the tail) to slow the shuttle to about 15,000 mph. At this speed the shuttle begins to fall out of orbit. As it does it encounters friction with the atmosphere which slows the shuttle down to its final landing speed of about 200mph. Going from 15,000mph to 200mph requires the shuttle to lose a lot of speed, but since it does this over an extended period of time, the g forces can be reduced to a manageable level.  I’ve had trouble finding a reliable source of information for this fact, but I believe I read that the maximum g forces experienced by shuttle astronauts on reentry are less than 3 G’s during reentry.

So assuming a human was approaching Mars at 12,000 mph he/she should be just fine. Its the re entry thats the tricky part.

[ Edited: 28 May 2008 06:12 PM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 29 May 2008 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If you are having trouble finding data for Earth, Mars re-entry would probably be even more hard to find.  Given the significantly lower gravity and atmosphere density, you wouldn’t have to worry as much about burning up, but slowing down might be more difficult.

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Posted: 29 May 2008 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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JRM5001 - 29 May 2008 08:08 AM

If you are having trouble finding data for Earth, Mars re-entry would probably be even more hard to find.  Given the significantly lower gravity and atmosphere density, you wouldn’t have to worry as much about burning up, but slowing down might be more difficult.

Actually according to this article, the phoenix experienced a maximum of about 9.3 G’s while decelerating throught he martian atmosphere. Apparently a human can withstand 9 G’s for 30 seconds or so without a special suit, but you can assume that future manned mission, if there are any, would alter the angle of attack and take a gentler route down to the planet.

[ Edited: 29 May 2008 09:26 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 29 May 2008 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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macgyver - 28 May 2008 04:56 PM

 

Daisy - 28 May 2008 11:57 AM

I caught a segment on the news 2 days ago showing the landing. That was just so impressive and exhilarating . I was blown away. and the speed at which it shot to Mars: 12,000 miles per hour. I wonder if a human being was inside, in what shape they would have been at the time of the arrival? the link is incredible. Thank you.

Actually the astronauts in the space shuttle are traveling at about 17,500 mph when they reach orbital velocity.

thank you so much, your unassuming post is turning out to be a true little Iron Course. Holy Smoke… 17,500!!! I don’t intently mean to sound oblivious here but I am starting to believe that science is a god, not god to be worshipped but to be commanded and even ridden grin .

The crew of the Interantional Space Station are traveling at about the same speed, and if you notice, they all look pretty comfortable.

Yeah, they look more than confortable. The type of work, effort and search invested to get to such an end result must be astronomical.

The absolute speed you are traveling is not really very important. It’s the change in speed per unit time also known as acceleration that causes the g-forces that put all the stress on an organism/astronaut.

Again, I can only imagine what type of “accelerations” is meant here.

When they are preparing for re-entry the shuttle fires its OMS ( orbital manuevering system) engines ( those are the engines you see on the two pods on either side of the tail) to slow the shuttle to about 15,000 mph. At this speed the shuttle begins to fall out of orbit. As it does it encounters friction with the atmosphere which slows the shuttle down to its final landing speed of about 200mph. Going from 15,000mph to 200mph requires the shuttle to lose a lot of speed, but since it does this over an extended period of time, the g forces can be reduced to a manageable level.  I’ve had trouble finding a reliable source of information for this fact, but I believe I read that the maximum g forces experienced by shuttle astronauts on reentry are less than 3 G’s during reentry.

would that be ok with you if you could elaborate on the type of “friction” you mentioned as well as the shuttle composite compounents used to managing that please?

So assuming a human was approaching Mars at 12,000 mph he/she should be just fine. Its the re entry thats the tricky part.

thank you so much for taking time, truly appreaciate it. Do the G’s get affected at all outside of gravity or do they remain the same? how do astronauts prepare for the re-entry (as well as exit out of earth) phase when they are still on earth?

PS: thank you so much for the article.

[ Edited: 29 May 2008 01:48 PM by Daisy ]
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Posted: 29 May 2008 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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This is a pretty awesome image that popped up on the Phoenix website.  The blue object at the top is Phoenix, the black object is the heat shield and the bottom object is the back shield and parachute. 

When you think about the fact that we have now flown a satellite 36+ million miles where it was able to fall into orbit and take a photo of another machine humans launched and successfully landed.  When you consider that the second most advanced toolmaker on Earth (other than the alien videotaped in Denver) is probably a chimpanzee who uses a stick to get ants out of an anthill, this is a pretty amazing feat.

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Posted: 29 May 2008 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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McGyver, I would add that the Earth is moving at 18.55 miles per hour around the sun, rotating at over 1000 miles per hour, (I had to look those up) the sun is also moving as is our galaxy such that we’re all moving at all times.  We are at a point in the universe that we have never been to before and will probably never return to the spot as well (unless the universe begins contracting until it collapses)  It’s all relative and very confusing to my small brain. 

The ceramic tiles on the Shuttle are a scientific wonder to me.  All heat dissipates almost instantly allowing someone to heat the tile to a glowing red hot, but once the heat source is removed, the tile cools off enough to hold in one’s hands in a matter of 5 seconds or less.

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Posted: 30 May 2008 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Macgyver,

the article you posted is so visual. I had to go back and re-read several paragraphes numerous times, they seem to be able to put one right where Action is taking place, it’s soo beautiful. Thank you so much.

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