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MSL landing site ephemeris
Tom O'Reilly
post Aug 6 2012, 03:57 PM
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Does anyone know where I can access a daily ephemeris for the Curiosity landing site? E.g. Sun rise/set, Earth rise/set, MRO/Odyssey/Mars Express transits, etc?

Thanks,
Tom

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Adam Hurcewicz
post Aug 6 2012, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE (Tom O'Reilly @ Aug 6 2012, 05:57 PM) *
Does anyone know where I can access a daily ephemeris for the Curiosity landing site? E.g. Sun rise/set, Earth rise/set, MRO/Odyssey/Mars Express transits, etc?

Thanks,
Tom


Hi, i use Guide software to calculate sunrise/sunset on Mars
Sunrise at 20:10 UTC - Transit (Alt 74) at 02:15 UTC - Sunset at 08:20 CET

Earth rise at 17:45 UTC - Transit (Alt 62) at 23:45 UTC - set at 05:45 CET

MRO/Odyssey/Mars Express I don't know, I don't have good orbital data of this.

Adam


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jmknapp
post Aug 6 2012, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE (Tom O'Reilly @ Aug 6 2012, 10:57 AM) *
Does anyone know where I can access a daily ephemeris for the Curiosity landing site? E.g. Sun rise/set, Earth rise/set, MRO/Odyssey/Mars Express transits, etc?


It can be calculated with the NAIF SPICE data. If such a facility is not already available maybe I'll set up a web page.


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Tom O'Reilly
post Aug 6 2012, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (Adam Hurcewicz @ Aug 6 2012, 09:20 AM) *
i use Guide software to calculate sunrise/sunset on Mars
Sunrise at 20:10 UTC - Transit (Alt 74) at 02:15 UTC - Sunset at 08:20 CET

Earth rise at 17:45 UTC - Transit (Alt 62) at 23:45 UTC - set at 05:45 CET

MRO/Odyssey/Mars Express I don't know, I don't have good orbital data of this.


Very cool Adam - what is "Guide" software? (LOTS of google results searching for that!)

Does anyone know of a publicly-accessible MSL surface operations page or other resource that would include this information?

Thanks,
Tom
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Adam Hurcewicz
post Aug 7 2012, 07:44 AM
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QUOTE (Tom O'Reilly @ Aug 6 2012, 07:58 PM) *
Very cool Adam - what is "Guide" software? (LOTS of google results searching for that!)


It's here http://www.projectpluto.com
Very good soft.

Adam


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jmknapp
post Aug 8 2012, 11:50 AM
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I made an almanac up through Sept. 30 showing the MRO, ODY and MEX passes along with sun/earth rise and set:

MSL almanac

Times are UT. If you click on the google calendar button on the lower right you can add it to your own google calendar & display times in other time zones.

The data are based on the most current SPICE kernels published on http://naif.jpl.nasa.gov/naif/data_mars.html and are predictions subject to change.


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Reckless
post Aug 8 2012, 12:35 PM
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Very good and very useful.
Thanks Joe
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Tom O'Reilly
post Aug 8 2012, 03:07 PM
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Fantastic - thank you!
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Adam Hurcewicz
post Aug 8 2012, 03:34 PM
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Very good job, Joe! Thank you !


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lyford
post Aug 8 2012, 04:41 PM
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Thanks Joe!


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elakdawalla
post Aug 8 2012, 04:45 PM
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Super!


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jmknapp
post Aug 9 2012, 12:52 AM
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Hopefully there aren't any bugs--open to suggestions for V2. Emily asked for a basic table showing the UTC for sunrise, sunset, etc. Here it is for the first 1000 sols (see attached zip file):

Attached File  msl_sundata.zip ( 29.41K ) Number of downloads: 177


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elakdawalla
post Aug 9 2012, 02:10 AM
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Marvelous. Thank you!


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jmknapp
post Aug 9 2012, 11:45 AM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Aug 8 2012, 10:10 PM) *
Marvelous. Thank you!


I should point out that that table reckons the start of each sol from midnight LTST (local true solar time), i.e., when the sun actually crosses the meridian. I since gather that the landed missions use LMST (local mean solar time).

From Technical Notes on Mars Solar Time

QUOTE
The Mars Science Laboratory rover project also defined Sol 0 as the solar day on which the lander would touch down. Mission controllers originally specified a mission clock based on the Local Mean Solar Time for a landing site at 137.42E. Thus, official mission time specified the Sol 0 epoch would start at local mean midnight at 137.42E prior to landing. However, as the landing site coordinates were later refined, after course corrections were made while MSL Curiosity was in-flight to Mars, and as the rover touched down somewhat "long" of the final target coordinates, the landing site turned out to be at 137.441635E. Following the example of Phoenix, there was no re-definition of the MSL mission clock to match the actual landing coordinates, and so a difference of a several seconds between LMST at the landing site and mission clock resulted.


LMST diverges from LTST over the year as Mars speeds up and slows down in its eccentric orbit. The difference can be as much as 51 minutes.

Also, as I understand the practice, the local time reference is not adjusted as the rover moves, but is fixed at some "time zone" so to speak, e.g., AMT+11:00:04 for Spirit.

Maybe that table needs to be redone, as soon as I can find out for sure how JPL defines the start of each MSL sol. At least, the sunrise and sunset UTC times are accurate


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mcaplinger
post Aug 9 2012, 01:20 PM
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QUOTE (jmknapp @ Aug 9 2012, 03:45 AM) *
as soon as I can find out for sure how JPL defines the start of each MSL sol.

See ftp://naif.jpl.nasa.gov/pub/naif/MSL/kern...gc120806_v3.tsc


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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