or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › The Official Mars Exploration Thread (merged and now with poll)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Official Mars Exploration Thread (merged and now with poll) - Page 9

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 #321 of 340
Thread Starter 
Fragmented Shield


Quote:
Heat Shield Flank

This image from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows a portion of the heat shield that the spacecraft jettisoned shortly before landing. This flank piece broke off from the main piece of the heat shield upon impact. The crater created by the impact of the heat shield can be seen in the upper right of the image. Rover tracks appear across the top of the image. Opportunity took this image with its navigation camera during the rover's 331st martian day, or sol (Dec. 28, 2005).

From several new images approaching the Heat Shield here

See also the MER team's picks for the Rover's Top 10 Colour images of 2004
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #322 of 340
I'm looking forward to watching the NOVA episode on the rovers-it's taping as I write this. It has been a great year, let's see how much more we can get out of them.
post #323 of 340
Probably my favorite thread in AO in, like, forever.
I watched the new Mars NOVA and it was so awesome to see some of the team as they pondered the questions and problems that we fidgeted over during the trials and tribulations of the Spirit flash memory problem. Again, I'll hero-worship these scientists over movie stars ANY day of the week.

I could've watched another four hours of coverage. Wonder if there's a DVD available from JPL regarding a behind-the-scenes of the Spirit-Odyssey mission.

And don't think we didn't notice those Powerbooks all over the place!

Holy Smokes, we're almost on a year of the rovers' arrival on Mars!
Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon @ drewprops.com
Oldest Member of AI (Jan 99) until JRC snaps to his senses and starts posting again. (the blackout borked my join date)
Reply
Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon @ drewprops.com
Oldest Member of AI (Jan 99) until JRC snaps to his senses and starts posting again. (the blackout borked my join date)
Reply
post #324 of 340
Thread Starter 
Shiiiinnnnnyyyyy Heatshield.



Quote:
This image from the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity features the remains of the heat shield that protected the rover from temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit as it made its way through the martian atmosphere. This two-frame mosaic was taken on the rover's 335th martian day, or sol, (Jan. 2, 2004).

The view is of the main heat shield debris seen from approximately 10 meters (about 33 feet) away from it. Many rover-team engineers were taken aback when they realized the heat shield had inverted, or turned itself inside out. The height of the pictured debris is about 1.3 meters (about 4.3 feet). The original diameter was 2.65 meters (8.7 feet), though it has obviously been deformed. The Sun reflecting off of the aluminum structure accounts for the vertical blurs in the picture.

The fact that the heat shield is now inside out makes it more challenging to evaluate the state of the thermal protection system that is now on the inside. In coming sols, Opportunity will investigate the debris with its microscopic imager.

Engineers who designed and built the heat shield are thrilled to see the hardware on the surface of Mars. This provides a unique opportunity to look at how the thermal protection system material survived the actual Mars entry. Team members hope this information will allow them to compare their predictions to what really happened.

This is an approximately true-color rendering, generated using the panoramic camera's 600, 530 and 480 nanometer filters.

Large Img(1.3Mb)
Vs the Dec 22 Picture


And if you think those are alien worms, your shiny foil heatshield is probably damaged too
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #325 of 340
It is not very often that one enjoys looking at pictures of litter.

What is the word on that meteorite-looking thing nearby?

Also, looks like some more interesting rocks on Spirt's side of Mars. I saw some spoongy layered bubbly stuff on the raw images (sol 368 pan cam). Looked like layered splatterings of lava.
post #326 of 340
Well, the rock outcrop mentioned in my last post includes the rock "Peace" that has been in the news recently. Peace is a new type of rock for the Spirit rover that provides further evdience for water in the past at that site.

More interesing are the arguements of current life on Mars. There is a debate going on about the presence of methane in the Martian atmosphere. Some think that the Methane is likely to come from some form of life, but other possibilities exist. To add fuel to the fire there is one investigator suggesting that large amounts of formaldehye (oxydized methane) are in the Martian atmosphere, further proof of life he suggests:

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7014

Also, there are rumblings out of NASA Ames of a paper submitted to Nature linking methane and underground life:

http://www.space.com/scienceastronom...fe_050216.html

Interesting stuff, but far from conclusive. Fun times ahead. To find life on Mars would really be one of the biggest discoveries of all time.
post #327 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Well, the rock outcrop mentioned in my last post includes the rock "Peace" that has been in the news recently. Peace is a new type of rock for the Spirit rover that provides further evdience for water in the past at that site.

More interesing are the arguements of current life on Mars. There is a debate going on about the presence of methane in the Martian atmosphere. Some think that the Methane is likely to come from some form of life, but other possibilities exist. To add fuel to the fire there is one investigator suggesting that large amounts of formaldehye (oxydized methane) are in the Martian atmosphere, further proof of life he suggests:

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7014

Also, there are rumblings out of NASA Ames of a paper submitted to Nature linking methane and underground life:

http://www.space.com/scienceastronom...fe_050216.html

Interesting stuff, but far from conclusive. Fun times ahead. To find life on Mars would really be one of the biggest discoveries of all time.

I was reading that this morning... interesting tie-ins to Titan.

I also enjoyed the full impact heatshield picture

Quote:
This stunning image features the heat shield impact site of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. This is an approximately true-color mosaic of panoramic camera images taken through the camera's 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters.

The mosaic was acquired on Opportunity's sol 330 (Dec. 28, 2004), shortly after Opportunity arrived to investigate the site where its heat shield hit the ground south of "Endurance Crater" on Jan. 24, 2004. On the left, the main heat shield piece is inverted and reveals its metallic insulation layer, glinting in the sunlight. The main piece stands about 1 meter tall (about 3.3 feet) and about 13 meters (about 43 feet) from the rover.

The other large, flat piece of debris near the center of the image is about 14 meters (about 46 feet) away. The circular feature on the right side of the image is the crater made by the heat shield's impact. It is about 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) in diameter but only about 5 to 10 centimeters (about 2 to 4 inches) deep. The crater is about 6 meters (about 20 feet) from Opportunity in this view. Smaller fragments and debris can be seen all around the impact site.

The impact excavated a large amount of reddish subsurface material. Darker materials cover part of the crater's flat floor and have formed a streak or jet of material pointing toward the two largest heat shield fragments.
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #328 of 340
God, humans suck. We're not happy enough making a garbage heap of our own planet that we'd fly a hundred million miles to dump crap on other planets \ in the name of science

**i am moody today. great mars pictures overall... is it in qtvr ??**

edit: that should be "...that we'd fly 283 million miles to dump crap on other planets..."
post #329 of 340
post #330 of 340
The news on Mars keeps right on surprising lately. I really think the case for the possibility of extant life on Mars is becoming compelling.

edit: spelling
post #331 of 340
Thread Starter 
One quarter of ESA scientists believe life exists on Mars NOW.

Quote:
Quarter of Mars Scientists at European Meeting Believe Life Possible on Red Planet
By Peter B. de Selding - Space News Staff Writer
posted: 25 February 2005 11:06 am ET

PARIS Three-quarters of the 250 Mars science experts meeting to analyze the results from U.S. and European Mars probes believe life could have existed on Mars in the past, and 25 percent think life could be there even now, according to a poll released Feb. 25.

The poll was announced during a press briefing following the First Mars Express Conference, held Feb. 21-25 at the European Space Agencys Estec technology center in Noordwijk, Netherlands.

The results perhaps reflect the sober caution of scientists who refuse to jump to conclusions before conclusive evidence is in about the No. 1 issue on the minds of everyone attending the conference, held to review a years operations of Europes Mars Express orbiter.

Everett K. Gibson of NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston, who attended the meeting as a Mars interdisciplinary scientist reviewing the results of all the Mars experiments, said the available data lends credence but as yet offers no proof to the idea that the methane and formaldehyde present in Mars atmosphere is evidence of underground life.

Gibson said definitive proof likely will require a future Mars mission carrying sophisticated drills to penetrate beneath the Mars surface to take samples directly or a preferred option to return them to Earth for laboratory evaluation. Mars is revealing her secrets, but slowly, Gibson said. We need those samples or in-situ measurements.

In a series of presentations on each of Mars Express seven experiments, several scientists stopped just short of saying that the evidence so far points to life buried under the surface of Mars away from the ravages of the solar wind.

One possible explanation for the absence of liquid water on the surface of the planet is that Mars, which unlike Earth does not have a protective magnetic field, is being shorn of its surface by the solar wind. An estimated 100,000 kilograms per day of Mars surface material is blown off the planet, according to Stas Barabash, lead scientists for the Mars Express ASPERA-3 experiment, which measures the phenomenon.

Vittorio Formisano, lead scientist for the Mars Express Planetary Fourier Spectrometer, which is investigating Mars atmosphere, said the differing levels of concentration of methane and formaldehyde are cause for optimism that life exists under the surface.

We need more work for a final conclusion, Formisano said, adding: Life is probably the only source that could produce so much methane. The question is not any more, Was there life on Mars? The question is: Is there life on Mars today?
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #332 of 340
Thread Starter 
For those depressed by Shuttle foam failings, you can set your sights higher and redder...

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launch: 1hr 43 min and counting...
-Launch window opens on August 11, 2005 at 7:50 AM EST-

Official Mission Site

Launch Website (with webcast links)

Mission Animations

NASA TV is live with the webcast now
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #333 of 340
T-30+ minutes to launch... never send a human to do a machines job
three cheers for this inanimate carbon rod...!

edit:
7 months to get to mars, 6 months (WTF? ) of aerobraking....
OMFG my half life 2 demo just finished downloading. holy shit it is awesome
post #334 of 340
Thread Starter 
Another 24 hr scrub...
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #335 of 340
Thread Starter 
4 minutes and counting... all systems go
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #336 of 340
Thread Starter 
LAUNCH Success !! Mars ETA in 7 months.
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #337 of 340
Quote:
Originally posted by curiousuburb
LAUNCH Success !! Mars ETA in 7 months.

cool. 6 months of aerobraking to enter orbit after that. ah, thank the lords of kobol for probes and satellites.

looks like launch windows are pretty good for mars, with the missions that have been launched in the past 5-10 years.

18months tops. now to figure out how to survive such lengths for manned travel. i'd sign up for going sleepy sleepy and wake up when arriving.

anyway, when are we going to start mining the water on mars polar caps?

or melt them to create an atmosphere ala Total Rekall
post #338 of 340
Before this probe get there, we will get some cool info from Europe's Mars Express sounding radar wich is also looking for signs of water underground. I beleive they're getting data now but it involves a lot of analyses. I don't think t will be too much longer before they release some results.
post #339 of 340
Thread Starter 
Meanwhile... Spirit has now passed 2 years on Mars.

Originally warrantied only for 3 months, in part due to fears the solar panels would get covered by Martian dust and kill its ability to recharge, it just sent back this self portrait.

As usual, click pics for source pages and more sizes.
(1024x1024 images removed to avoid borking forum layout)

Woo... Shiny!

Still Shining After All This Time (Polar)

This bird's-eye view combines a self-portrait of the spacecraft deck and a panoramic mosaic of the Martian surface as viewed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The rover's solar panels are still gleaming in the sunlight, having acquired only a thin veneer of dust two years after the rover landed and commenced exploring the red planet. Spirit captured this 360-degree panorama on the summit of "Husband Hill" inside Mars' Gusev Crater. During the period from Spirit's Martian days, or sols, 583 to 586 (Aug. 24 to 27, 2005), the rover's panoramic camera acquired the hundreds of individual frames for this largest panorama ever photographed by Spirit.

This image is an approximately true-color rendering using the camera's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 480-nanometer filters for the Martian surface, and the 600-nanometer, 530-nanometer, and 480-nanometer filters for the rover deck. This polar projection is a compromise between a cylindrical projection (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...0051205a.html; http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA03610), which provides the best view of the terrain, and a vertical projection, which provides the best view of the deck but distorts the terrain far from the rover. The view is presented with geometric seam correction.


Opportunity is similarly sharp looking after almost the same length of time.



Bird's-Eye View of Opportunity at 'Erebus' (Polar)

This view combines frames taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the rover's 652nd through 663rd Martian days, or sols (Nov. 23 to Dec. 5, 2005), at the edge of "Erebus Crater." The mosaic is presented as a polar projection. This type of projection provides a kind of overhead view of all of the surrounding terrain. Opportunity examined targets on the outcrop called "Rimrock" in front of the rover, testing the mobility and operation of Opportunity's robotic arm. The view shows examples of the dunes and ripples that Opportunity has been crossing as the rover drives on the Meridiani plains.

This view is an approximate true color rendering composed of images taken through the camera's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters.


Meanwhile...

MRO telemetry updates:




and for those who missed it at the time, MRO launch videos are now online
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
Reply
post #340 of 340
like homer simpson said, they can send a man to the moon but they can't make my feet smell nice. here do we say IBM can make a robot run for 2 years on Mars but they can't make my laptop run faster?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › The Official Mars Exploration Thread (merged and now with poll)