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Old 08-05-2012, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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I found this very cool JPL animation of Curiosity's landing and mission once on Mars.


Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation - YouTube
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:48 PM
 
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Here's another one that focuses on the remarkable complexity of the landing process and helps explain just what's going on and when.




NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Ready For Historic Landing Tonight - YouTube
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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Tonight's the night and NASA will be covering it live on their TV channel....
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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UPDATE:

Cross Your Fingers: How to Watch NASA’s Mars Rover Land on Sunday

Cross Your Fingers: How to Watch NASA's Mars Rover Land on Sunday | Wired Science | Wired.com


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Old 08-05-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
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Wall-e !!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Agreed, both are valid reasons to be nervous. Adding to the list of concerns is that the distance is such that by the time it lands, it still takes time for the transmission to reach the Earth. So there's that period of time that we'll have no idea whether it's a success or failure. And, yes, it's pretty much of a catchy attention-grabber.

There are potential difficulties which could spell failure. These fall into two categories: human error, and natural obstacles. An unforeseen problem in the design, constructon, or on-board programming. It could land on a good-sized rock or rocks causing the rover to tip over on its side making it impossible to right itself back on its wheels again. If a problem is due to human error that could cause a public reaction which could slow down the prospects of future missions. If a problem is related to a natural unforeseen conditions, it's more forgivable. It's a very hard target just to get to Mars, not to mention land in a specific location.

From the images I've seen of the target area, it looks like the landing site is fairly smooth. I'd guess surface rocks may be generally small, similar in size to the rocks in the areas of the other rovers. That should be no big deal for the MSL rover. However, looks can be deceiving. I haven't seen any images that give a fairly inspection of the terrain of the landing area. There must be some images that show a bit more detail than the images most commonly seen.
NASA - Revised Landing Target for Mars Rover Curiosity
NASA - Image Gallery

The main reason for the skycrane landing system has to do with the size and weight of the MSL. The airbag system used by previous rovers (which are much smaller than the MSL) would burst on impact. We'll know if the landing is a success or not by the signal received. If the landing is successful as expected, the signal will be strong. If the rover ends up on its side or upside down, the signal will be much weaker because of the position of the communication disk.

Engineers that have worked on the landing system are confident that the landing will be a be a success and may pave the way for landing systems for future landings of other large equipment, especially for delivering habitats, etc., for any future manned missions.
What a win or loss on Mars will mean - Cosmic Log

There are now three orbiters (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Odyssey Orbiter and Mars Express) around Mars that are in position to watch the MSL and relay data as it enters the atmosphere and heads for the surface. Exactly how much detail they will show and for how long is hard to say. It may just show up as a speck for a brief time or it might just be a view of the landing area. We'll have to wait and see.
NASA Mars Odyssey Repositioned to Relay Mars Science Laboratory Landing Data | Mars Today - Your Daily Source of Mars News

What's going to be interesting is that the MSL is designed to climb Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons). Mt. Sharp towers about 3 miles above the floor of Gale Crater. The path to be followed isn't too steep, and woill give a good look at the rock layers to try to determine if there was enough water, and for how long, on Mars that might show how suitable (or not) Mars may have been for the potential of life to form, not necessarily that there is life on Mars or that life ever did form in its past. On the other hand, you never know. MSL wasn't designed to search for life. It was designed to search for evidence of conditions that could have been suitable for life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Sharp_(Mars)
APOD: 2011 July 29 - Gale Crater

What would be really cool is if the MSL could happen to catch any rock slides or water flow from the crater walls. I don't know how likely that is though at Gale Crater.
Curiosity is programmed to land within a large crater so hopefully the terrain is relatively flat as you mention and obstacle free.

I'm wondering also about how much "real time" data NASA will release from our other functioning orbiters as the probe enters the Martian atmosphere and the lander deploys it's parachutes after jettisoning the heat shield and finally releasing the sky crane system.....

Curiosity is about TEN times heavier than Opportunity or Spirit.

It won't be much longer to wait!!!

THANX for the links!

Last edited by PITTSTON2SARASOTA; 08-05-2012 at 10:27 PM..
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Here are some NASA links>>>>>

NASA - Mars Science Laboratory, the Next Mars Rover

NASA - NASA Announces News Activities for Mars Landing



THREE hours and counting.......link has a countdown clock....LOL...

The building of Curiosity>>>>>

NASA - Watch NASA's Next Mars Rover Being Built Via Live 'Curiosity Cam'

NASA Curiosity CAM>>>>>

Curiosity Cam, Ustream.TV: UPCOMING EVENTS: Sunday, Aug. 5 NASA Mars Rover Update 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. PDT NASA Science News Conference Mars Science Labor...

More links>>>>>

NASA's Augmented Reality App Lets You Ride Along with Mars Rover Curiosity | Popular Science

Mars lander Curiosity protected by largest ever heat shield

NASA to livestream Curiosity’s big Mars landing - SlashGear

Curiosity Lander Almost to Mars | ThunderFeeds

The Internet’s 5 Best Things on NASA’s Curiosity Mars Lander | 80beats | Discover Magazine

Another Camera link>>>>>

Live coverage of the Mars landing! | COSMOS magazine

LET'S HOPE ALL GOES WELL.......
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:22 PM
 
5,206 posts, read 8,210,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PITTSTON2SARASOTA View Post
Curiosity is programmed to land within a large crater so hopefully the terrain is relatively flat as you mention and obstacle free.

I'm wondering also about how much "real time" data NASA will release from our other functioning orbiters as the probe enters the Martian atmosphere and the lander deployys it's parachutes after jettisoning the heat shield and finally releasing the sky crane system.....

Curiosity is about TEN times heavier than Opportunity or Spirit.

It won't be much longer to wait!!!

THANX for the links!
Below are a couple of reasonably detailed images at Gale Crater which are supposed to be of the proposed landing site. Better than most I've seen. I wish there was more information about the scale. It's going to be interesting. Better fasten your seatbelt in case it's a bumpy landing.

Gale Crater, MSL Landing Site Images


http://hirise-pds.lpl.arizona.edu/PD...ED.abrowse.jpg


http://hirise-pds.lpl.arizona.edu/PD...MAP.browse.jpg
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,797,392 times
Reputation: 11070
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Below are a couple of reasonably detailed images at Gale Crater which are supposed to be of the proposed landing site. Better than most I've seen. I wish there was more information about the scale. It's going to be interesting. Better fasten your seatbelt in case it's a bumpy landing.

Gale Crater, MSL Landing Site Images


http://hirise-pds.lpl.arizona.edu/PD...ED.abrowse.jpg


http://hirise-pds.lpl.arizona.edu/PD...MAP.browse.jpg

Thanx for the links...I'm excited and won't rest until we have some information about the mission's success.......or failure.

I have a good feeling all will go well though!
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
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Will.i.am is currently on the NASA channel, talking about his participation in working with school kids to get them interested in science and technology. The show is just the live broadcast waiting until 9 p.m. PST.

The live stream is about 5 seconds ahead of the TV broadcast.

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl (same as the Upstream link in PITTSTON2SARASOTA above)

Currently about 32000+ viewers streaming
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