Skip to comments.Mars rover Curiosity nears make-or-break landing attempt
Posted on 08/05/2012 3:07:52 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
PASADENA, Calif., Aug 5 (Reuters) - The Mars rover Curiosity, on a quest for signs the Red Planet once hosted the building blocks of life, streaked into the home stretch of its eight-month voyage on Sunday nearing a make-or-break landing attempt NASA calls its most challenging ever.
Curiosity, the first full-fledged mobile science laboratory ever sent to a distant world, was scheduled to touch down inside a vast, ancient impact crater on Sunday at 10:31 p.m. Pacific time (1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday/0531 GMT on Monday).
Mission control engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles acknowledge that delivering the one-ton, six-wheeled, nuclear-powered vehicle in one piece is a highly risky proposition, with zero margin for error.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
I hope it works out for them ....but I have a doubt.
Good, not as bad as I first thought. Should make for some good video. I want this to work since the landing is straight out of a science fiction novel. Heck with the silly mission of finding life, I want the technology to be sound so we can invade and rule planets like Pandora in the near future.
The vehicle is the size of a car and has more delicate instruments then any before it. Can not use the any of the traditional methods since there is no water to splash down or landing runways. As complicated as the landing sounds and I might be eating my words, if this works this will be the way to land large complicated instruments. The traditional way of bouncing a lander that is surrounded by balloons off the surface seems more crazy if you ask me.
Launch windows are chosen for technical reasons, not to satisfy the entertainment addicted American public.
That said, NASA is an extreme Affirmative Action example, no longer the “best and brightest”. JPL succeeds, because the entire center is contracted out and there are very few “civil” servants located there. The rest of the agency is treading water with little mission except making Muslims feel good about their bloody history.
“I keep thinking: What if the upper part lands atop the rover?”
Watch the “7 Seconds of Terror” Video at the link Equaviator posted. The upper part rockets away after lowering the rover. Pretty fascinating. Hope it works.
7 MINUTES I should have said
Ouch. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... ;^)
I have an XBox, and NASA came out with a free game for the XBox called “Mars Rover Landing”. It uses the Kinect system to control the Curiosity through body movements. The first stage is keeping the Curiosity on the landing track during re-entry. Second, a three-stage pyro activation that blows out the parachute and seperates the heat sheild, then controlling the rockets to lower the rover to the ground.
I haven’t made it past the pyro stage. I hope that doesn’t bode ill for tonight.
Great tune for the thread!!
glad you made your post; you beat me to it
Gee, if only YOU had been on the engineering teams!!!
Or, can we otherwise assume that many cost and engineering factors resulted in whatever “might have been” not being selected for “what MUST be”.
from post # 8 of this thread:
Watch live online> http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/participate/
Your question explains why the JPL engineers for NASA refer to the descent as “7 minutes of terror” - the multiple phases of the descent requiring different engineering solutions for each stage, the total (short) time the descent will take and the long time (14 minutes) between a communication sent from the rover and its lander before that communication is received on earth, means whatever the scientists are being told happened, happened 14 minutes ago and something else - the next stage - is “happening now”, and it will be 14 more minutes before they will know about it. They’ll be “sweating bullets” until the rover is completely landed and safely so.
In case you missed post number 8 on this thread:
Watch live online> http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/participate/
I have NEVER been successful watching any of NASA’s “live threads”
I don’t know if it’s too much Java crap or whatever... I have DSL, and bandwidth is not a problem, just that the feeds do not work for me.
this one will entertain you - made me laugh
Music sounds like cartoons from the 60’s!
Let’s hope that is what happens - if any of those thrusters on the elevator thingie fail, it’s a 2 billion dollar pile of junk.
I read where 96 things have to happen for it to
land correctly. Seems to me they might have had
some cameras facing up ward to watch the chute
deploy, watch the rover deploy, separate to
at least have an idea of what if any went wrong.
I’ll be watching tonight.
Good luck NASA.
if you notice real closely on whatever video player the you tube selection is using, there are actually two tracks of “progress” being shown - one is how much of the video has been “shown”, and ahead of it is another track (different shade or different color on the “progress” track) showing how much of the video has been “loaded” either into ram or virtual memory as well.
usually “pausing” the “playing” does not stop the “loading”, until either it is complete or, in some cases, has “loaded” into all the memory that has been made available to it;
in these cases, performance can sometimes be improved by restarting the playing of the video, and briefly afterward pausing it, letting the loading get further and further ahead of the playing, and then hit the > button again. It will continue the play from the point at which it was stopped, but more of the video will be in memory ahead of the playing process, and the quality of the viewing might improve.
I found, when I had DSL, that method helped, sometimes, not every time
I have the highest speed Fios system now and I have not had problems with any “live” feeds of any kind.
Just listened to Bob Zubrin’s talk on the case for Mars. He’s been along some of these arguments since I had a subscription to Analog back in the 80s.