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The Official Mars Exploration Thread (merged and now with poll)

Poll Results: What should our focus regarding Mars be?

 
  • 57% (28)
    A manned mission
  • 42% (21)
    More unmanned of various types.
49 Total Votes  
post #1 of 340
Thread Starter 
Earlier today, the Mars Express spacecraft, carrying the British probe "Beagle 2" rocketed off the pad in Baikonur on it's trip to the red planet, with arrival scheduled for Dec. 24

before June 8, the first of a pair of twin rovers will be on its way, and by the 25th, it's sibling will be outbound on its six month trip to Sol 4.

details of the two rovers, MER-A and B can be found here

(i'll add some info on their computing systems as launch approaches)

gotta love the mission patches that were announced today...



ad luna, ad ares, ad astra
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
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post #2 of 340
Kewl.

(PS, go Cornell!)
post #3 of 340
Going to AppleOutsider....
I'm making plastics right now!
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I'm making plastics right now!
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post #4 of 340
Aww How come they forget the Beagle...They shoud have had a patch for the Dawg!

So I am suggesting this one:
There are 3 types of people in the world.

Those who count.

&

Those who can't.
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There are 3 types of people in the world.

Those who count.

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Those who can't.
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post #5 of 340


Who says there's reason to lose faith in our space programs? I love it.
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #6 of 340
Damn, I was feeling all bad about living in America today, and they come out with this. Damn them. Damn them all to hell. They rule. \
It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think.
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It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think.
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post #7 of 340
"Capture that creature, and return the stolen space modulator!!!!!"
post #8 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by ena
"Capture that creature, and return the stolen space modulator!!!!!"

Just heard on the news that Rock band BLUR are going to have a special piece of music they have written for the Beagle's landing, used upon touch down.

Apparently it is a riff based loosely around the Dr Who theme......neat.

It ties in so neatly with " K-9 " being both the name of Dr Who's trusty dog..as well as Marvin's side kick...

Ya gotta love em....

Who says science doesn't rock !
There are 3 types of people in the world.

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There are 3 types of people in the world.

Those who count.

&

Those who can't.
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post #9 of 340
I understand that when they were building the Beagle they had to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow....
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post #10 of 340
Thread Starter 
homepage for the Beagle2 lander seems to indicate a more sober mission logo

mind you the Mars Express logo isn't very inspiring either.

the ESA Web Special has links to launch video and nicer interface, IMO...

but give the NASA/Boeing/JPL/Cornell folks a look (links above)
and methinks we'll be able to watch Rocketcam footage of the launches this week and end of month.
Rocketcam rocks... next best thing to hitchin' a ride...

at least until Burt Rutan's birds win the X-Prize
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
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post #11 of 340
Thread Starter 
*rummages online to find the mission patch/logo of the Japanese Mars probe, already en route by slower trajectory.*
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post #12 of 340
Thread Starter 
no patch that i can discover (yet), but there is a cutout paper origami model

of course, the instructions are in japanese
and while the planet-b site does have some useful english facts, ISAS Nozomi pages are better
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post #13 of 340
Thread Starter 
MER-A "Spirit" LAUNCH! 2:42 RealVideo Clip of launch (with Rocketcam) here or here or alternate site list here

the "where is spirit now" page may be overloaded... telemetry jpgs don't seem to be serving.

Marvin is on his way... Daffy due in two weeks. Oh Dear
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post #14 of 340
I was just curious, have they decided to go English or Metric this time?
post #15 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by curiousuburb
MER-A "Spirit" LAUNCH! 2:42 RealVideo Clip of launch (with Rocketcam) here or here or alternate site list here

That was soooooo cool!
post #16 of 340
Before leaving, Marvin left his Illudium P36 Explosive Space Modulator in safe custody at One Infinite Loop. (The P36 is sometimes called Pu36, since Martians pronounce the letter 'P' that way.) The engineers at One Infinite Loop realized the P36 could be developed into a great new product. To keep this project from being recognized, the engineers changed its name. Being fans of the 2001 Space Odyssey and HAL, they knew that incrementing letters and numbers was a good way to do it. Yes, they gave it the code name Q37.
post #17 of 340
Thread Starter 
MER-B "Opportunity" is less than an hour from launch.

Tune in to NASA TV now to watch live RealVideo. Alternate linkage options here

Go Daffy!

Rocketcam links to follow.

Ad Luna, Ad Ares, Ad Astra
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post #18 of 340
So this bird flies on Tuesday July 2nd now....
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post #19 of 340
Thread Starter 
Webcast of Opportunity Launch (night footage not as clear) is here

For status reports and calculated position from current telemetry, click image

latest press release numbers lag the telemetry pages a bit...
Quote:
All systems on the spacecraft are in good health. As of 6 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time July 10, Opportunity will have traveled 6.6 million kilometers (4.1 million miles) since its July 7 launch. The Mars Exploration Rover flight team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is preparing to command Opportunity's first trajectory-correction maneuver, scheduled for July 18.

Opportunity will arrive at Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time (evening of Jan. 24, 2004, Eastern and Pacific times). The rover will examine its landing area in Mars' Meridiani Planum area for geological evidence about the history of water on Mars.

Opportunity's twin, Spirit, also continues in good health on its cruise to Mars. As of 6 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time July 10, it will have traveled 82.6 million kilometers (51.3 million miles) since its June 10 launch.
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post #20 of 340
Thread Starter 
And then there were three...

Japanese Abandon Nozomi -"Hope"

Quote:
... More than four years behind schedule, the probe was limping, nearly out of fuel, its electrical and communications equipment badly damaged by solar flares.

The probe will remain in [solar] orbit. Moriuma said scientists will continue to modify Nozomi to carry out alternative missions, including monitoring solar activity, as it carves a wide path round the solar system. One lap is expected to take two years, he added.
...

Nozomi was always the weakest mission, and might still provide some limited science, but its an additional failure for the Japanese Space Program, whose success rate is 0 for 3 or 4 of late.

The JPL telemetry linked image directly above this post still shows all 4 ships:
Nozomi (never to achieve martian orbit),
Mars Express and its Beagle2 lander (first in line to arrive around 12/25),
and the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity (both on course for Jan arrivals).

By late Jan (rover landing), this inflight telemetry page may come down.
I'm still searching for a purely Nozomi telemetry update page, but no joy.

That said, the loss of this data will be more than compensated for with new mars views.
It should be a fabulous next month, and if all goes well, we'll see streamed science for months.

More updates as mission milestones approach

[size=large]Now with Flash movie trailers![/size]
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post #21 of 340
The Beagle is scheduled for a Christmas Day landing, and the American machines are scheduled for landings within weeks of the Beagle's landing. Can we make this our official Mars Exploration thread?

Here are some good links....(fetching them, will edit this post shortly)
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post #22 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by drewprops
The Beagle is scheduled for a Christmas Day landing, and the American machines are scheduled for landings within weeks of the Beagle's landing. Can we make this our official Mars Exploration thread?

Here are some good links....(fetching them, will edit this post shortly)



This is an amazing Mars photo of the so called 'Fortune Cookies" on a plateau. Apparently they are dust-dunes illuminated when the sun is at a certain angle.

More pics here
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #23 of 340
I can't wait for Cassini to reach Saturn.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #24 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by drewprops
The Beagle is scheduled for a Christmas Day landing, and the American machines are scheduled for landings within weeks of the Beagle's landing. Can we make this our official Mars Exploration thread?

Here are some good links....(fetching them, will edit this post shortly)

we have a Mars probe thread, including telemetry

more Beagle news from Space.com
and the official Beagle 2 homepage

Red planet Santa sightings to follow
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post #25 of 340
Well crap, I did a search but didn't scroll all the way through the posts to see the telemetry and such...only the patch discussions....okay, this thread will either live or die, lock or unlock....

Here's the Athena Cornell page for the US Mars rovers
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post #26 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by drewprops
Well crap, I did a search but didn't scroll all the way through the posts to see the telemetry and such...only the patch discussions....okay, this thread will either live or die, lock or unlock....

Here's the Athena Cornell page for the US Mars rovers

This thread wont die : he will just be merged.
post #27 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
This thread wont die : he will just be merged.

Merci beaucoup, Powerdoc.
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post #28 of 340
Those dune things are amazing. So if that image is about 2km across... those things must be... what? 1/30 that amount... so...

...about 200 feet in diameter give or take? Strange size for a sand dune.
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #29 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Moogs
Those dune things are amazing. So if that image is about 2km across... those things must be... what? 1/30 that amount... so...

...about 200 feet in diameter give or take? Strange size for a sand dune.

Mars Global Surveyor snapped these dunes in Proctor Crater


Martian dunes tend to be larger than Terran ones due to lower gravity

as for earthly comparisons of look and size... from SpaceImaging
Quote:
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA [above]
This five-meter resolution black-and-white image of Great Sand Dunes National Park was taken by the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite. The 30 square-mile park showcases North America's largest and tallest dunes rising over 700 feet. The dunes are formed as sand blowing northeast over the San Luis Valley is deposited at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

but there are some "City eating dunes" on earth... from NASA


cue the Land Shark from SNL.
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post #30 of 340
I was actually thinking that our sand dunes are larger, but I suppose dunes come in all sizes and depend greatly on the terrain and consistency of the sand / debris being mounded.
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #31 of 340
The Beagle2 team is reporting that their craft is tight on-target and that the arrival ellipse is smaller than last predicted. Getting close now!!

The Spirit team has postponed future updates to their weblog until the rover is in Gustav crater.
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post #32 of 340
Thread Starter 
Spirit Realtime Approach Telemetry
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post #33 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius


This is an amazing Mars photo of the so called 'Fortune Cookies" on a plateau. Apparently they are dust-dunes illuminated when the sun is at a certain angle.

More pics here

So we had it wrong...it's MARS that's made of cheese...no the moon, silly us.
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post #34 of 340
Looks more like somebody spilled some Hershey's semi-sweet baking chocolates all over the place!!
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post #35 of 340
I finally looked at that again and saw it "correctly". At first it looked like those things were standing on-end, but the curves are from one lateral direction to the opposing one, not from the surface of Mars upward. Like fortune cookies laying flat. At first I thought they were tower-like structures. I was ready to cue the Twilight Zone music.

Still, they could be the work of some sinister Martian burrowing creature we are about to discover.

Boowahhhahahahahahahaaaa
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #36 of 340
Sandworms.

You hate 'em, I hate 'em.......




Hey, the Beagle should be down and (hopefully) safe in about two or three hours....it's interesting that the "down and safe" tone is a short tune written by Brit-pop band Blur. If you're in Europe you can download the tune, but there's a charge. I sure do wish they'd just put it out there as a .mid file and let us port it into our own phones with Bluetooth. Still, somebody has to make money on this thing...maybe that commercial tie-in was thought to be a way to help pay off the bill?
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post #37 of 340
Well it's around 2am EST and no confirmation yet on Beagle2's status. By the time I wake up there ought to be some word on the state of the lander.....but I'll be too busy drinking eggnog and singing songs to worry about stupid old Mars. At least for a few hours anyway.

Merry Christmas!
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post #38 of 340
No signal form Beagle2...Yet

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3344693.stm

I do hope thay get that signal.
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post #39 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by Alpha Mac
No signal form Beagle2...Yet

Well we know who to blame. Saddam.
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post #40 of 340
The Jordell Bank observatory will try to acquire signals from Beagle at 2200 GMT. In other news, Professor Pillinger has quite an impressive beard.
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