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The Official Mars Exploration Thread (merged and now with poll) - Page 7

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 #241 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Hell's bells, I see what BR meant!

Extinct Martian civilisations are certainly unlikely. Running water on Mars is certainly a possibility now, though?

Fossils are found in sedimentary rock, and sedimentary rock appears to have been discovered on Mars, so... I was exercising my imagination in the light of this astonishing news. As you do.

Scratch when it itches.

Sneeze when you... uh... have to sneeze.

Heretics will be stamped out!

Burn down the Mars Mission Control Place/Thingy before an Unacceptable Truth is revealed and a Sacred Truth is toppled!

Thank you for your support of the Space Program.

Aries 1B

Beagle's loss is an unfortunate accident.
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post #242 of 340
Aries, I'm kinda curious. Could you tell me whether or not you actually believe that Beagle 2 was interfered with?

post #243 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Aries, I'm kinda curious. Could you tell me whether or not you actually believe that Beagle 2 was interfered with?


You're cracking me up!

I had nothing to do with whatever happened to the ESA Threat to the Terrible Secret.

Details on the Terrible Secret can be found at http://www.enterprisemission.com/

You like exercising your imagination? Enjoy.

Most Cordially,

Aries 1B
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post #244 of 340
Hey kids, they're making noises about those rocks in front of Opportunity looking rather sedimentary....I guess we'll know more by this time next week! Hope they roll that bugger onto the regolith and start scrunching around.
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post #245 of 340
Aries is a crackpot.

Saw the press briefing today (surprise surprise). They were backpeddleling from the water hypothesis. Sedimentary layers could also occur from volcano activity it seems,
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post #246 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Aries is a crackpot.


Agreed.


Quote:
Originally posted by Aries 1B
Details on the Terrible Secret can be found at http://www.enterprisemission.com/

Holy fuck these people have too much time on their hands.
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post #247 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Aries is a crackpot.

I call the reader's attention to the Judy Dean in 2008! thread

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...ghlight=Anders

Quote:
_ _ _ _

quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Liberal-haters piss me off!


Liberal-haters piss me off too! Check out this window into a sensitive, Liberal soul:


quote:
Anders
Fair and Balanced Moderator

Posts: 2884
From: Yurrup? in what dialect?
_ posted 08-31-2003 11:20 PM _ _ _ _ _
_


There is one thing you haven´t done yet Reagan. Looks like you have recovered from altzheimers so could you please die a slow and painful death and be totally aware of the process all up until the end? This way thing will have been sat straight for all you iresponsible rhetoric that fueled the hearts and heads of million kids in th 80s with fear of huge fireballs, sudden death and atom winters.

Sory but I can´t find any love in my heart for you (sory fellowshi


Liberal-Haters....

Aries 1B

Your animosity, Anders, is understandable. Now, if we could, perhaps, resume the fascinating speculation on Mars...?

Aries 1B
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post #248 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Aries is a crackpot.

Agreed. Everybody knows that the Moonbase is in Tycho.
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post #249 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Aries 1B
I call the reader's attention to the Judy Dean in 2008! thread

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...ghlight=Anders

Your animosity, Anders, is understandable. Now, if we could, perhaps, resume the fascinating speculation on Mars...?

Aries 1B

And quoting off topic posts from non-Mars related threads serves this purpose how?

This was meant to be the serious Mars thread. Hence its name and focus on the actual data.

Maybe you should keep the tinfoil hat stuff in the wingnut Mars thread you already started.
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post #250 of 340
Yes guys, please don't pollute this thread.

There's the Mars Wingnut thread for the "outsider" type discussions and the NASA in the 21st Century thread for general discussion of America's policy for space exploration.

Thanks guys, that would be really cool of you to respect this topic.
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post #251 of 340
Thread Starter 
First colour panorama of the Great Wall outcropping



This high-resolution image captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's panoramic camera highlights the puzzling rock outcropping that scientists are eagerly planning to investigate. Presently, Opportunity is on its lander facing northeast; the outcropping lies to the northwest. These layered rocks measure only 10 centimeters (4 inches) tall and are thought to be either volcanic ash deposits or sediments carried by water or wind. Data from the panoramic camera's near-infrared, blue and green filters were combined to create this approximate, true-color image.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
from http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...20040128a.html


an interesting writeup on the Rover computer systems is here

Quote:
The computer, called a RAD6000, is a tried and true component for NASA space mission that has formed the brains of past Mars missions , as well as the recent Stardust comet encounter.

"This has become a real workhorse for space missions," Scuderi said. "We currently have about 150 of these [computers] in space today."

RAD6000 microprocessors are radiation-hardened versions of the PowerPC chips that powered Macintosh computers in the early 1990s, with 128 megabytes of random access memory (RAM) and capable of carrying out about 20 million instructions per second. A critical feature of the spaceworthy chips_-- developed jointly by BAE systems, JPL and the Air Force Research Laboratory_-- is the radiation shielding, which uses a series of resistors and capacitors to ground harmful radiation before it can damage onboard electronics.

"In space, there are tons of high-energy particles, X-rays, gamma rays, you name it," Scuderi told SPACE.com. "If [a computer] is not protected against them, they could create short circuits, create fake bits or burn up electronics."

Since the MER rovers are much larger than Sojourner, with missions planned to last almost three times as long, JPL engineers added another 256 megabytes of "flash" memory - the same type used to store pictures in digital cameras - to hold more mission data. Altogether, each MER robot has more than 1,000 times the memory capacity as Sojourner.

The operating systems running on Spirit and Opportunity are based on a flexible commercial platform initially chosen by JPL engineers for its reliability.

"[JPL] needed the tools to be able to develop their mission software on a system from someone with a proven track record," explained Steven Blackman, director of business development for aerospace and defense for the software company Wind River. The Alameda, California-based company developed the VxWorks real-time operating system used in aboard the MER rovers, as well as other NASA and European Space Agency missions.

In addition to VxWorks' reliability, the system allows users to add software patches_-- such as a glitch fix or upgrade_-- without interruption while a mission is in flight. "Weve always had that [feature] so you don't have to shut down, reload and restart after every patch," Blackman said, adding that some commercial desktop systems require users to reboot their computers after a patch.
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post #252 of 340
HEY! Good news!

Spirit sent back an image showing that its robotic arm is still hovering over the rock dubbed "Adirondack", basically saying "so, like, do you guys want me to check this thing out or not??". Sounds pretty good to me!
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post #253 of 340
Thread Starter 
Spirit sent back Mossbauer Spectral data from the rock "Adirondack" as well...


Morning MER briefing optimistically suggested Spirit may return to 'full' function within a few days
this sounds like they're having more success solving the Flash file system problem than expected.

Opportunity is scheduled to egress its lander late tonight (Sat/Sun)
almost three Sols earlier than the same stage in the timeline on Spirit.

Live commentary of Opportunity egress is set for Midnight-3am EST 1/31/04
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post #254 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by curiousuburb
Spirit sent back Mossbauer Spectral data from the rock "Adirondack" as well...
(img)
Morning MER briefing optimistically suggested Spirit may return to 'full' function within a few days
this sounds like they're having more success solving the Flash file system problem than expected.

Opportunity is scheduled to egress its lander late tonight (Sat/Sun)
almost three Sols earlier than the same stage in the timeline on Spirit.

Live commentary of Opportunity egress is set for Midnight-3am EST 1/31/04

Looking at that it looks like the rock has highly concentrated magnetic properties. Could this have been/be an issue with the rovers? Magnets+Electronics=bad.
post #255 of 340
I suppose if the magnetic materials were persistent in everything around Spirit and if the rover's CPU's rad-shielding didn't protect against that magnetism then perhaps it could be.....be a neat question to ask the science team anyhow.

Oh yeah, Opportunity is "in the dirt"! They estimate they'll have it over to the Great Wall within a week...and it sounds like Spirit's going to eat some Cake, maybe today?
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post #256 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
Looking at that it looks like the rock has highly concentrated magnetic properties. Could this have been/be an issue with the rovers? Magnets+Electronics=bad.

The Warm Electronics Box is in a well shielded part of the rover body, so magnetic damage is unlikely.

Mars doesn't have anything near the magnetic strength of Earth,
though local magnetic variation in hot spots is measurable from orbit,
but the largest result of this is the relative absence of "Van Allen Belts",
which provide natural protection from lots of nasty cosmic radiation.

Cosmic rays and other energetic particles can and do fry electronics,
as demonstrated on previous missions outside Earth's protective belts.

The rovers actually have some externally mounted magnets on them,
specifically to try and attract some of these magnetic particles,
in part for a variety of scientific measurement purposes, and in part for
testing potential methods to remove dust that settles on the solar panels.
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post #257 of 340
Thread Starter 
Opportunity makes tracks


This 3-D image captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's rear hazard-identification camera shows the now-empty lander that carried the rover 283 million miles to Meridiani Planum, Mars. Engineers received confirmation that Opportunity's six wheels successfully rolled off the lander and onto martian soil at 3:01 a.m. PST, January 31, 2004, on the seventh martian day, or sol, of the mission. The rover is approximately 1 meter (3 feet) in front of the lander, facing north.

Image credit: NASA/JPL


Hematite confirmed!

This spectrum captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's mini-thermal emission spectrometer shows the presence of grey hematite in the martian soil at Meridiani Planum, Mars. On Earth, hematite forms in the presence of water, at the bottom of lakes, springs and other bodies of standing water. But it can also arise without water in volcanic regions. Scientists hope to discover the origins of martian hematite with the help of Opportunity's robotic set of geological tools. The yellow line represents the spectrum, or light signature, of the martian soil, while the red line shows the spectrum of pure hematite.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University


Interestingly, today's Press Briefing said they see hematite in the course grained soils,
but they no longer detect it in the 'lilypad' bounce marks,
suggesting that it has been pushed more than .5mm into the finer, brighter, redder dust below.
Science return provided by bouncing airbags even before the Rover emerged.

The lunchtime (Meridiani time) lecture during egress (around 2am last night PST)
included a great explanation of the Pancam filter wheels and their spectrographic results,
including mentions of the " /. folk who question the colour of images".
Calibration target images in several filter sets were shown along with spectral data of the mineral chips.
The colour chips shift because the filters they're shot with detect spectral responses outside our vision.
The 'blue' chip is actually cobalt, which has very high reflectivity in red channel above 780nm,
so it appears pink if they shoot it with the near-infrared filters.

If our eyes (400 - 700nm sensitivity) could see up to the 1009nm the rovers can, we'd see cobalt pinkish too.
(Most 'blue' colours we see, including most synthetic blue dyes are actually quite pink in the infrared).

Fascinating lecture, if brief and quite late at night for optimal brain function.
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post #258 of 340
Thread Starter 
Opportunity returns first High-Res 360 degree Colour Panorama

Not only can you see the outcropping and hints of what's beyond the crater,
but a distinctive rolling mark from the airbags shows on one rim, as well as multiple bounces
can't wait to see the EDL reconstruction animation of the crater hole in one.


click for medium res (298kB)


This expansive view of the martian real estate surrounding the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is the first 360 degree, high-resolution color image taken by the rover's panoramic camera. The airbag marks, or footprints, seen in the soil trace the route by which Opportunity rolled to its final resting spot inside a small crater at Meridiani Planum, Mars. The exposed rock outcropping is a future target for further examination. This image mosaic consists of 225 individual frames.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

8.5Mb version and more of todays images, including arm instrument checkout, spectra, etc at
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...20040202a.html

Spirit is due for a Flash reformatting Tuesday, but was back doing science today,
and according to Jennifer Trosper at 02/02/04 briefing, "as healthy again as it was on Sol 1".
Sounds like they've solved the problems and understand the anomaly.
The full purge of Flash should eliminate any need to defrag, but they expect normal operation after.
Both rover teams got a memo advising them to limit the # of Flash files RAM can manage, etc.

Hope the engineers have everything dialed, but them rocket scientists are smart folks.
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post #259 of 340
Ooooooh!
There's a new weblog section!!!!!

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/journal/
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post #260 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by drewprops
Ooooooh!
There's a new weblog section!!!!!

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/journal/

Sweet.

(shameless bump lest this thread falls off the front page)
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post #261 of 340
Thread Starter 
New MiniTES compositional map of Opportunity's crater from today's briefing



Red = high hematite concentration (above and below outcrop)
Blue/Green = almost no hematite detected (notice the bounce marks)

official caption to come later at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...20040204a.html

Spirit is in the midst of reformatting 224Mb of its 256Mb Flash memory today
(the remaining memory holds bootable disc images of its Flight software)
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post #262 of 340
This stuff is so cool... one of the few bright spots in the news these days. Keep posting the photos / graphs / updates guys. This is the best thread in AO right now.
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post #263 of 340
Thread Starter 
a few GIFanimated movies for you to click today

Both rovers now back to "full functionality". woo hoo!


Opportunity drives to towards the right edge of the (10cm high) outcropping

front Hazcam animation rolling Northeast


rear Hazcam view as Lander recedes. nice tracks.


Opportunity's Mossbauer spectrometer leaves impact depression in soil
notice how larger particles are pushed into the finer grain dust.


meanwhile, over at Gusev...


Spirit Back in Action

This image shows the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's "hand," or the tip of the instrument deployment device, poised in front of the rock nicknamed Adirondack, the rover's first science target since developing communication problems over two weeks ago. In preparation for grinding into Adirondack, Spirit cleaned off a portion of the rock's surface with a stainless steel brush located on its rock abrasion tool and seen here at the end of the yellow arrow. The image was taken by the rover's panoramic camera.


Before the RAT does any abrasion with brushes only


This image taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rock dubbed Adirondack before the rover wiped off a portion of the rock's surface with a stainless steel brush located on its rock abrasion tool. Spirit cleaned off the rock in preparation for grinding into it to expose fresh rock underneath.

After Brushing with the RAT (but not grinding)

This image taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a cleaned off portion of the rock dubbed Adirondack. In preparation for grinding into the rock, Spirit wiped off a fine coat of dust with a brush located on its rock abrasion tool. Scientists plan to analyze the newly-exposed patch of rock with the rover's suite of science instruments, both before and after the top layer is removed.

Microscopic Imager view of Adirondack after dust brushing.
note dust still present in some depressions. Sun source is upper right.

This microscopic image shows a cleaned off portion of the rock dubbed Adirondack. In preparation for grinding into the rock, Spirit wiped off a fine coat of dust with a stainless steel brush located on its rock abrasion tool. Some of this dust coating can be seen to the left of the image. Scientists plan to analyze the newly-exposed patch of rock with the rover's suite of science instruments, both before and after the top layer is removed. The image was taken by the rover's microscopic imager. The observed area is 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS


That's pretty dusty. Robotic maids on Mars are cool.
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post #264 of 340
post #265 of 340
Oh my god you're right!!!
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post #266 of 340
Enlarged closeup of the UFO on Mars...

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/timages/page/sol33_2.jpg
post #267 of 340

Some photos are partial images, chock full of artifacts.

More interesting to me are some of the NavCam images from Sol 35. Look at the discoloration of Adirondack after the grind test. You can really see the round hole bored into the rock in these various images. I can only assume that the dark material on the rock is the detritus from the grind. Interesting images.
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post #268 of 340
Hey, there must be somebody on one of the teams who is from Georgia...they renamed the rock named "snout" to "Stone Mountain", which is a huge 600 foot tall outcrop of granite just to the east of Atlanta...in school we were taught that the entire blob of granite stretches under five states. Anyway, the real "mountain" has a granite carving on one side that features the officers of the Confederacy in the war between the states. The spot that the rovers are aiming to grind on has been named "Robert E.". Coincidence?
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post #269 of 340


Hole in one.
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post #270 of 340
Meridiani breaks to the left. Who knew!?

Screed
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post #271 of 340
now we just need to add an image of a penguin with a flag coming out its ass saying "541 feet" to that photo above and we have a new internet game


g
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post #272 of 340
<my 2 cents>

you know, there should be a 3rd option to the poll: neither

you guys all complain about bush wasting money and stuff, but you wanna go to mars. who gives a shit if we can go to mars??? its not gonna do a thing for us back here. and the moon is a stupid idea too b/c we're gonna mess it up, and then throw all of the natural processes that the moon affects way outta wack.

hey we have moon dust and red sand!!!! worship us!!!! even though we can only send 4 people there every 8 years!!!! and lose tons of money doing it!!!!

</my 2 cents>
post #273 of 340
Well, the real goal of course is to set up giant lasers.
post #274 of 340
Yes, the giant lasers and to begin the assembly of the giant robotic space-faring monkeys testicles. As always, Ganondorf is spot-on in regard to space policy.

I refer you to the Mars Wingnut Thread for the space laser discussions.

ipodandimac I will refer you to our Space Policy in the 21st Century Thread. I personally feel that the poll is not related to this thread and should instead be attached to the space policy thread...but what's done is done.

Give a hoot, don't pollute. If you post in those threads we'll come play!
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post #275 of 340
Thread Starter 
Opportunity sees its backshell and parachute



From its new location at the inner edge of the small crater surrounding it, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was able to look out to the plains where its backshell (left) and parachute (right) landed. Opportunity is currently investigating a rock outcropping with its suite of robotic geologic tools. This approximate true-color image was created by combining data from the panoramic camera's red, green and blue filters.


Plenty of awesome geological images of "Stone Mountain" and its spherules too. Great briefing yesterday.

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...20040209a.html
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post #276 of 340
That's pretty sweet if you ask me...
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post #277 of 340
Speaking of "sweet", go take a look at the next proposed Mars mission...it's one of those clone-trooper transports from "Phantom Menace"!!!! Close to it anyway.

Over at Space.com
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post #278 of 340
BBC.com has an article about a new proposal to send "steerable balloons" to Mars. Follow the link.
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post #279 of 340
Thread Starter 
Opportunity uses its wheels to trench the Martian soil



captions to come later at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...20040217a.html

Thursday's briefing is scheduled to release new APXS and Mossbauer data on the trench before and after.
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post #280 of 340
NASA killed the space bunny. Shame on NASA for killing the space bunny.
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