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Kodak moments at Pluto: Help requested
centsworth_II
post Apr 4 2008, 05:07 PM
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It doesn't make sense to design a craft so that part of a camera's field
of view is obstructed, and yet it sure does invoke powerful feelings to see
part of the craft (self portraits) in any of the images it takes. I assume
this is not a possibility with NH?
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djellison
post Apr 4 2008, 05:28 PM
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I don't think there's any way to do that - all the instruments are essentially bolted to the vehicle and point in a similar direction.
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nprev
post Apr 5 2008, 01:54 AM
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QUOTE (john_s @ Apr 4 2008, 09:57 AM) *
Thanks for all these! To answer questions, the Charon occultation by Pluto might be observed (for instance we might use Charon to backlight nighttime hazes on the dark side of Pluto), but science would be the driver (well, 90% of the driver- we like scenery too!).


smile.gif ...cool!!! The emergence of Charon then would be the right opportunity for a very favorable convergence of goals.

On the other hand, maybe I'm underestimating both Charon's luminosity & Pluto's atmosphere (a big unknown at encounter time, I assume?) This is pretty close to a center occultation; any chance of looking for a partial ring of atmospheric glow on the dark side of Pluto when Charon's directly behind?


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tfisher
post Apr 5 2008, 02:57 AM
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Here's pretty much the last chance to get a full Pluto (& plus Charon) by MVIC in framing mode with allowance for pointing error:
link

Question: are there any of the kernels which give sufficient ephemeris to go beyond July 26? I keep getting an error when I go past
that date...
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tfisher
post Apr 5 2008, 04:01 AM
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Here's a chance for an MVIC family portrait (P+C+N+H), post closest approach :
link
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tfisher
post Apr 5 2008, 04:11 AM
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MVIC Pluto+Charon post closest approach: link
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Alan Stern
post Apr 5 2008, 11:57 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Apr 4 2008, 06:28 PM) *
I don't think there's any way to do that - all the instruments are essentially bolted to the vehicle and point in a similar direction.


Doug-- We thought about exactly this in 2001 when the mission was proposed. Various schemes for cameras that showed part of the s/c were considered, but in the end, practicalities intruded and this never materialized. (As an aside I suggest to the MSL team last year that they carry a mirror around that they could deploy to take rover self portraits at various locales.) Regardless, for NH, the imagers are all body mounted and none have s/c in their FOVs, which is the right way to do the science mission, public engagement aside.

-Alan
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vjkane
post Apr 5 2008, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Apr 5 2008, 11:57 AM) *
Various schemes for cameras that showed part of the s/c were considered, but in the end, practicalities intruded and this never materialized. (As an aside I suggest to the MSL team last year that they carry a mirror around that they could deploy to take rover self portraits at various locales.)

Now that cameras of the capabilities of the MER navigation cameras are lightweight and (I think) pretty cheap, I'd love to see one put at the end of solar panel or other boom to look back at the spacecraft purely for public relations purposes. This would require the project to be willing to add a piece of equipment that doesn't have the same testing requirements as the essential parts of the craft -- i.e., give it your best shot, but it's not a mission requirement.

As it is, I'm delighted that Juno has a camera for public relations, even though it won't see any part of the spacecraft.


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nprev
post Apr 6 2008, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Apr 5 2008, 12:47 PM) *
This would require the project to be willing to add a piece of equipment that doesn't have the same testing requirements as the essential parts of the craft -- i.e., give it your best shot, but it's not a mission requirement.


I'd love to see that too, but gotta urge caution with respect to requirement definition. If it doesn't have to work & doesn't have a significant mass budget impact, that's all well & good. You'd still have to test it pretty thoroughly at the system level to be certain that it doesn't have a possible failure mode that could take out other mission-critical capabilities, though (power, databus, etc.); what a fiasco that would be!


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mcaplinger
post Apr 6 2008, 05:08 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Apr 6 2008, 09:24 AM) *
You'd still have to test it pretty thoroughly at the system level to be certain that it doesn't have a possible failure mode that could take out other mission-critical capabilities, though (power, databus, etc.)...

Payload items in general are designed so that the worst-case failure modes (dead shorts on the power bus and data lines, usually) don't affect anything else. You don't have to test this, it's shown by design.

Spacecraft designers never trust payload to not screw up in the worst possible way smile.gif


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vjkane
post Apr 6 2008, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Apr 6 2008, 04:24 PM) *
You'd still have to test it pretty thoroughly at the system level to be certain that it doesn't have a possible failure mode that could take out other mission-critical capabilities, though (power, databus, etc.); what a fiasco that would be!

Which is why I don't think we'll ever see cameras that can view the spacecraft. Each one introduces a failure mode. As I said, I am just glad that Juno has a camera, although we'll see if it survives the inevitable descope/money crunch that seems to occur in all significant technology designs/development.


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mcaplinger
post Apr 6 2008, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Apr 6 2008, 10:09 AM) *
Which is why I don't think we'll ever see cameras that can view the spacecraft. Each one introduces a failure mode.

If properly designed, they needn't introduce a failure mode.

But they do cost resources, and pretty pictures alone aren't usually considered worth it. But there are sound engineering reasons to want to view parts of the spacecraft (to verify deployments, for example) and these may end up flying if the need is judged sufficient. An example would be the RocketCams on various launch vehicles.


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djellison
post Apr 6 2008, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Apr 6 2008, 06:09 PM) *
Which is why I don't think we'll ever see cameras that can view the spacecraft.


Well - the MI on MER can and does observe PARTS of the spacecraft. If you had an MI that could pull focus, you could photograph bigger chunks of the spacecraft. Like MSL's MAHLI smile.gif Creative sequencing of the MSL IDD could allow some stitched images that cover quite a bit of MSL.

Doug
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Pavel
post Apr 6 2008, 06:18 PM
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Maybe we need a separate mission, which would be dedicated to observing the spacecraft itself. The spacecraft would visit several planets to make pictures of itself in front of those remote worlds. The mission could be called Narcissus rolleyes.gif
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ElkGroveDan
post Apr 6 2008, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Apr 6 2008, 10:18 AM) *
The mission could be called Narcissus rolleyes.gif


laugh.gif


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