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SUPRISE......New Steve Q'n'A, Recorded Nov 6th 2006
post Nov 9 2006, 08:37 PM
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QUOTE (paxdan @ Nov 7 2006, 11:44 AM) *
I haven't listened yet but sign me up
Great stuff Doug. I'm up for a transcription chunk.

(edit, having actually read the thread) -- I'll take chunk 5.

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post Nov 10 2006, 12:05 AM
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QUOTE (mhoward @ Nov 10 2006, 01:40 AM) *
The only thing that ticks me off about that is that James hasn't open-sourced his program code yet - or even released it! Come on James, I want to see how you generate those amazing natural color renderings. And steal the code. wink.gif


Well I would, if my code wasn't so embarrassingly poorly written and inefficient! Most of it has been written very experimentally to try and fix problems while rushing to get pans made for you guys wink.gif and is therefore not the best code you've ever seen. Way down my list of jobs are lots of things to tidy up, I'm not sure they'll ever get done.

I do keep meaning to write a web page detailing the procedures used to make the images.

Too much to do too little time though...


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post Nov 10 2006, 05:13 AM
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QUOTE (climber @ Nov 9 2006, 01:45 PM) *
... Also, I'd like to help for transcription, but my english is not good enough sad.gif (you know, I understand "James" when "Michael" is said biggrin.gif )
Haha! That's pretty funny, climber. laugh.gif I thought my English was decent enough, but I had a devil of a time translating Doug word for word.

Doug: Here is Part 10. You will probably want to edit at least some of my interpretation of what you actually said. I did not include all of the umms and uhs and repeated words, only enough to capture Steve's unique style. His main monologue in this section was so long that I broke it into a few paragraphs that seemed logical to me.

[Part 10]
…Note to Doug: You may want to check my interpretation of what you said.

DE: Have you been able to see in any kind of the outcrops that have been so amazingly visible, anything you can go, ah yes, I can see how that ties in to what we saw in, in Endurance?

SS: Yes.

DE: (a few difficult to decipher words.) So, are we seeing higher, lower, both?

SS: Probably both. I think we’re seeing both higher and lower. Umm, that’s a guess. But uh, we’ll be able to back that guess up, umm, as we get more information. The reason I think we’re seeing higher is because I think there is a plausible scenario which we have actually gone uphill, up section a little bit, as we have moved to the south. Uh, there’s a good chance that’s why the blueberries went away for a while. We always had blueberries strewn about the surface. Of course, those can be moved by the wind. Uh, but there were stretches of time where the rocks had either these just little micro-berries, or no berries whatsoever, and one plausible idea there is that the berries, being concretions, they form as a consequence of there being groundwater. Groundwater will rise to a certain level, and then, you know, not above that, and it may be that we got high enough stratigraphically that we had got into regions that had not received that influx of water. The water just had not risen that high, uh, so we effectively got above that ancient water table and you lose the berries.

One of the interesting things was, this was fascinating to me and not unexpected…But if you noticed, soon as we got into the annulus, which is the ejecta from deep in Victoria Crater, all of a sudden we started seeing great big blueberries again, which we hadn’t seen in a long time. And so, what that says to me is that there are blueberry rich strata down in the crater that are full of big, ripe, juicy blueberries like we used to see back in Endurance. So, I think we have moved up section a little bit, but I think once we get down in the crater, the big blueberries that you see in the annulus suggest that down in the crater somewhere you are going to get back into that blueberry-rich stuff. And the crater is so deep, that I expect it also goes deeper, goes lower in the stratigraphy than we saw at Endurance.

To me though, the thing that’s most intriguing about Victoria is that for the first time, it really allows us to do good lateral stratigraphy. OK? Umm, we’ve never really been in a place where we can look at stratigraphic changes laterally over distances of hundreds of meters. Endurance was not big enough to allow that. There were only a few good exposures at Endurance anyway. Whereas this place, we can study, going from one promontory to the next, to the next, we can see changes in the stratigraphy, if they’re there. And in fact, we are already getting strong hints in some of the images that there are lateral changes in the stratigraphy.

If you think about it, any depositional process, any geological process that you name, has some kind of characteristic size scale, over which it manifests itself. Uh, think of a sand dune, Ok? We think that many of, we think that much of the stratigraphy we are seeing, both in Endurance and here at Victoria, is eolian…is dunes and sand sheets. Dunes have a finite size. You know, they’re not infinite in scale. A dune will be fifty meters, a hundred meters, two hundred meters across. Something like that. They have a finite size scale, and what that means is, if you had a geologic record someplace that consists of preserved sand dunes, you’re going to see these preserved duneforms fattening and thinning, you know, pinching out, over lateral scales on order of a hundred meters, for example, and so what we’re very interested in doing, to help us confirm this idea we’ve had for a long time, that we are in fact seeing lots of eolian crossbedding in these craters, is to look for what geologists call lateral facies variations over length scales that are the characteristic size scales that you would see associated with certain sorts of processes. So, we think we can learn a lot, and this is what really makes Victoria unique, besides just it’s depth…We think we can learn an awful lot by sort of driving from promontory to promontory to promontory, and imaging each one, and seeing how things change.

DE: Each one gives you a slice of the pie …

SS: Vertically!

DE: …and you just kind of tear the pie apart…

SS: Ah, yeah, something like that. At Endurance we were able to go vertically…very nice, very good, systematic stratigraphy over a depth of about seven meters or so. But here we can do both vertically and laterally, and that’s much more powerful than either one individually.


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post Nov 10 2006, 03:38 PM
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I will take

Section 06 :: 00:26:39 to 00:31:43 :: Oppy- Scoop regrets, rapid drive to Vicky

Just because I want to spend my weekend trying to spell Jammer bucht... Yammerbook... Hammer Pants?
Plus I get to type DIATOMACEOUS EARTH!

Doug - thanks so much for this. This board is an embarrassment of riches. smile.gif

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post Nov 10 2006, 08:41 PM
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Here's Chunk 5. I wasn't too sure about the "umm"s and "err"s - I've left most of them out, but included a few "you know"s. I found I'd carried on quite a way past the end of the slot, so I've left a bit of that in. Also - I remember Overgaard, but "Cornville"?

Many thanks for the interview, Doug (and Steve!) I'm just about to settle down and listen to the whole thing properly.

[ 00:22:26 ]

DE: Let's segue, mildly seamlessly, to the other side of the planet -

SS: OK -

DE: - and do the same thing, run over the last twelve months or so.

DE: Most of the time was post-Purgatory, pre-Erebus. Now you took a
right, you went west around Erebus --

SS: Right, yeah

DE: -- towards Olympia and Payson and so forth. Was that choice of "those
look like interesting targets", or was it "the other way doesn't look

SS: It was both, it was both. The character of Meridiani is such that
what's traversable, and what's good science when you're out on the
plains, tends to line up really nicely, because the science that's
most intriguing of course is in the rocks, I mean there's interesting
stuff in the soil, but the soil's all very similar, and so once you've
done certain things, you've done them. Whereas, you know, the rocks
show lots of interesting variability, certainly the stuff that we saw
at Olympia really paid off very nicely for us. And as it turns out
also, the rock is the easy stuff to drive on. So that was a situation
where both of those things lined up together.

DE: Now you had a pretty lengthy stay around Olympia -

SS: Yeah, that was forced on us, because of the problem with the
arm. The problem with the arm - it took us a long time to figure out
what was going on. That was a surprise, it was a real anomaly;
clearly, something had broken, I mean, something just went wrong on
the rover. And you know, having had the right front steering actuator
go, having had the right front drive actuator on Spirit go, we were
very concerned about losing that IDD joint, because for a while it
looked like maybe we'd just lost the ability to move it altogether,
and that would mean we'd never be able to stow the arm again, that was
going to impair our driving, certainly it would impair usage of
the IDD and all the instruments on it. That was a really, potentially
very bad, situation. And so we really wanted to take our time and
figure that out. It took a while to get it straight, and figure out
how to deal with it. As it is now, we've got it figured, but it forced
a long stay on us at Olympia. Now, the good thing - this is, you know,
just one of those things - we took lots of pictures of the rocks
around us Olympia, and it looked sort of interesting; and then
after we'd been there a while, we'd kind of imaged everything, and
well, OK, the engineers are still futzing around with the arm, what
are we going to do? And so, you know -- well, OK, let's try taking images at
different times of day. And we took images at different times of day,
including some very low light. And then - bam! All that texture at
Cornville and Overgaard popped out, and that was just sensational. But
we really wouldn't have seen that if we hadn't been stuck there for a

DE: Now what was that actually telling you, how did it relate back to
what we'd seen previously..?

SS: It wasn't telling us anything fundamentally different, it was just
much better examples. We had seen the festoon geometry or trough
geometry, cross-bedding, all the way back at Eagle crater. But that
was a situation where - we have some very, very, experienced sedimentologists
on our team, there's a guy named John Grotzinger who is an extraordinarily
experienced sedimentologist who has a very, very good eye for
recognising these sorts of things, and he was able to pick out, from a
distance, in very fuzzy pancam images, some festoon geometry,
crossbedding, at Eagle crater that was really very hard for the
untrained eye to pick out. And - you know, it was there, and we made
our case, and it was good stuff, but what I - what John and I both
wanted all along was some examples of that where you didn't have to
draw lines on top of the pictures to convince people that it was
there, it was just there - Bam! in your face - obvious stuff that was

[0:26:38 - end of chunk]

One thing that I've had people ask me in the past, and you might have
asked me this once, was - are there any things we really regret passing
by, this whole mission long?...

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post Nov 11 2006, 12:01 AM
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I got a bit carried away... here's chunk #8. Sorry if anyone else had their eye on that bit! Doug, I'm sorry to report that I can't make out what you're saying in a couple of places; I've indicated those with (?) bracketed question marks.

SS: ...they're going to be fabulous mosaics when they come down, but, ah,..

[ 00:37:40 ]

y'know, the thing that's hurting us right now is that we still don't
/quite/ - almost, but not quite - have enough power to start grabbing
a.m. Odyssey passes. I mean, those a.m. Odyssey passes can be
tremendously valuable in principle; A.W.A., right? We're /real/
close to being able to use a.m. Odyssey passes, but not quite yet, and
so right now our data volume is pretty restricted, and that's going to
be the limiting factor on our pace along the rim of this crater for a

DE: How do the A.M. Odyssey passes work - do you, actually [?] the
rover stay comparatively awake and then deep sleep after the pass, or..?

SS: The way you do an a.m. Odyssey pass is, simply, that you wake the
rover up - you turn the CPU on - at the time when the, uh, vehicle is
going overhead; but the problem is, you can't deep sleep on a night
like that, because the battery - what deep sleep is, is you take the
battery off-line, essentially, and then it automatically goes back
on-line when the rover wakes up in the morning; but you can't wake the
computer up if the battery's off-line; and so, especially on
Opportunity, a.m. Odyssey passes are pretty costly, powerwise, and we
just can't quite afford 'em yet. It'll change soon, but I think about
500 watt-hours is probably the magic number, I think once we get above
500 we'll be able to start doing a.m. passes again, and that'll speed
things up, because the science that we have for Opportunity planned
for the next several months is very, very, very pancam based; you're
going to be seeing a lot of pancamming, and not too much of anything
else, because that's where the real science lies for the next few

DE: Now, you've said that you want to go... clockwise.

SS: Yeah... initially.

DE: ..because clockwise looks perhaps a little more exciting...

SS: Yeah.

DE: ...is that based on the pancam imagery, or is it based on HiRISE?

SS: No. HiRISE, HiRISE. I mean,..

DE: ...cause you can't really see what's up, because we're up against
?? that way.

SS: OK. You notice that the MRO project acquired that image in their
first six days of normal orbital operations. OK. They did that at the
request of the MER project. We went to - I mean, I'm on the HiRISE

DE: (??)

SS: ...but, yeah, we had a team meeting in Berne, is Switzerland -
gosh, what was it - probably five, six, seven weeks ago? I don't know,
a number of weeks ago; and my whole pitch at that meeting was, `Let's
make sure that we get a HiRISE image of Victoria crater before
conjunction, so that we can use that to support this upcoming
strategic decision of, do we go clockwise or counterclockwise around
the crater.' The entire timing of that image, the reason that the
HiRISE took it when it did, was so we could use that image to help
make the decision on which way to go. um... It's a fantastic
image. I'll tell you a funny thing about that image. It was - as I
said, it was planned during the first six days of HiRISE
operations. We had no idea how good the pointing was going to
be. There was considerable concern that we would just miss the target

DE: It was *spot on*.

SS: Well, you see, that's the frustrating thing. If I knew -- what we
did was, the most important thing was getting Victoria
crater. Everything else - Eagle, Endurance, all that stuff - was
secondary. We had this big image, and we wanted to make sure that we
got Victoria. So what I said to the HiRISE team was, look: don't screw
around, you know, while it's tempting to bias the centre of the frame
northwards so that we can get Eagle, and Endurance, and the
heatshield, and the backshell, and the parachute, and the lander, and
all the tracks, and all that stuff, let's just put it dead centre on
Victoria and maximise our chances of getting Victoria, because
/that's/ the image that we have a tactical need for now, is - is to
plan which way we're going to go around the crater. Had I known that
the pointing was going to be that good -

DE: Yesss!

SS: -as it came out, it was just dead nuts right in the middle of the
frame, you know? And if I'd've know that it was going to be that good,
we would indeed have biased it north, so one of the things that's now
on our to-do list is to, at some point, to go back to the Opportunity
site and do a shot that *is* biased to the north, and that will catch
all of our other hardware, and tracks, and everything we've done in
the past. But, yeah, it was funny the way that image worked out,
because I was, uh, prepared - we were all prepared for the pointing to
be bad, and it was perfect - just perfect.

DE: (??) just bang-on.

SS: ...and what a picture.

DE: It's, um... it's nice to see something -- MOC did a fantastic job,
seeing the rovers,

SS: Oh yes, yes.

DE: ...it's extraordinary to see them at all. But what HiRISE does is,
you go - "Ah, that's a rover" - you recognise it -

SS: Yeah. That image had a lot of impact on us. I said at the time
that it was good to see the rover again, and you could sort of say
it's a silly thing to say, because every day that we take pancams and
navcams and hazcams, we see the rover - bits of it - and, you can take
a panorama of the whole deck and that sort of thing, and that's... But
somehow it doesn't have the same visceral impact as seeing it.

DE: Sort of,...

SS: Sort of, this lonely, valiant little rover --

DE: ??

SS: Yeah, in the middle of nowhere like that, and especially right up
on - you know, just poised on the lip of that enormous crater that we
fought so hard to get to.

DE: Being so brave... (?)

SS: ..that was a wonderful picture, that was a wonderful picture, you
really got to tip your hat to the HiRISE team, Alfred McEuan and that
whole team that did that instrument, because that was just a
magnificent accomplishment.


DE: Now, HiRISE will image Victoria again..

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post Nov 11 2006, 06:45 AM
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Chunk #8 was a good one. I almost chose it initially for the electricity between Doug and Steve, as they both giddily recalled the success of the MRO pass. It was obvious that both parties were revelling in the synergy between the missions after the MRO folks nailed it. I thought the best quote from the entire interview was Steve saying, "it was just dead nuts in the middle of the frame..."

It was nice to hear first-hand of the far-reaching affects of yet another succesful NASA mission. It seems that these missions clearly knew what they were trying to do, and managed to do it.


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post Nov 11 2006, 10:14 AM
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QUOTE (CosmicRocker @ Nov 11 2006, 06:45 AM) *
Chunk #8 was a good one. I almost chose it initially for the electricity between Doug and Steve, as they both giddily recalled the success of the MRO pass.

My favourite bit is definitely Steve talking aout rolling up to Duck Bay for the first pan. There's a Steve Squyre pause that is very eloquent; I didn't quite cheer out loud (I'm English, doncha know, damn it all!) but it did induce quite a grin biggrin.gif

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post Nov 11 2006, 07:52 PM
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I'll take chunk 9, if it's still open.

QUOTE (odave @ Nov 8 2006, 01:56 PM) *
OK, make that lunch today - my headphones were AFU thanks to my 2.5 year old, so I had to obtain a new pair. tongue.gif

Here are the sections I chose, trying to keep them in the 5 minute range.

Section 01 :: 00:00:00 to 00:05:11 :: Spirit- El Dorado to Low Ridge Haven :: odave
Section 02 :: 00:05:12 to 00:10:12 :: Spirit- Return to Home Plate and after
Section 03 :: 00:10:13 to 00:16:53 :: "all the things that are funky on both rovers"
Section 04 :: 00:16:54 to 00:22:25 :: Spirit- no more wind gusts expected, moving again, mid term plans
Section 05 :: 00:22:26 to 00:26:38 :: Oppy- Erebus & Olympia :: imipak
Section 06 :: 00:26:39 to 00:31:43 :: Oppy- Scoop regrets, rapid drive to Vicky :: lyford
Section 07 :: 00:31:44 to 00:37:39 :: Oppy- Victoria arrival, conjunction operations :: paxdan
Section 08 :: 00:37:40 to 00:43:33 :: Oppy- AM Odyssey passes, HiRISE image of Victoria :: imipak
Section 09 :: 00:43:34 to 00:49:23 :: Oppy- Victoria plans
Section 10 :: 00:49:24 to 00:54:19 :: Oppy- Victoria early analysis :: CosmicRocker
Section 11 :: 00:54:20 to 01:00:48 :: Oppy- After Victoria? S1K bug effects, "the adventure that just won't stop" :: MarkL

Orange = has a volunteer
Green = transcription done.

As before, just pick whatever section you want to transcribe, but post your choice here so we can avoid duplication.

To start things off, I'll take Section 1

Fabulous interview, Doug! cool.gif
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post Nov 11 2006, 09:53 PM
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QUOTE (Marz @ Nov 11 2006, 01:52 PM) *
I'll take chunk 9, if it's still open.

Zoiks! Who woulda thought it's harder to understand an englishman than a Yank? tongue.gif Here's my take on chunk #9 - it may not be 100% accurate, but I think it captures the gist of the conversation.


DE: Now HiRISE will image Victoria again, that's where MRO wants to get it with the stereo pancam?

SS: Yes. Yes.

DE: ...to get a stereo pancam of the crater.

SS: Yep, stereo is very important for us because we want to use that, of course, along with the stereo we take from ground level, to start assessing entry and exit alcoves.

DE: Now, there is a MOC down, (??) there is a little movie some of you may have seen, I don't know how accurate that is, but...

SS: It's pretty good, actually.

DE: And to my untrained eye, the kinda south-east sorta half the crater looks perhaps a little easier, a little more slope-friendly.

SS: Well... i mean, there are some... we could... Duck Bay would've been easy to drive into.

DE: Duck Bay is pretty Karatepe style.

SS: Duck Bay would've been really easy to drive into. I'm not sure it would've been easy to drive out because there's a fair amount of loose soil there. But I think there's prospective entry and exit alcoves at a number of places on this crater. So yeah, um, i mean, the fundamental point of this traverse that we're gonna be doing along the rim for a little while here is to look at the layering at the rock that's exposed in the promontories, and basically use those promontories as sorta like virtual bore-holes, if you can imagine such a thing the way geologists would collect data.... um... to look for lateral variation in the stratigraphy. But while we'll be doing that, we will also be doing some long baseline stereo with pancam looking across the crater and trying to assess slopes. And that, combined with the HiRISE stereo I think we should, eventually, get a very good elevation model for the whole crater.
Um, I don't want to go into the crater until we think we have found an exit route, or until we've just convinced ourselves that there isn't one. In other words, when we go in, I want to go in with knowledge of what the implications are. And so we need to do a much better job than we've been able to do so far in surveying these craters. I think we'll find an exit route.

DE: And if you do, and let's speculate horrendously here. The partial circumnavigation...

SS: Yep, months.

DE: Yeah, a couple of months around perhaps...

SS: uh....3, 4, 5 months.

DE: Now how far around? 120 degrees or so, thereabouts?

SS: We're... the juiciest stuff, the very best science along the way looks like it's 90 to 120 degrees. That arc is where a lot of the very best stuff is, at least as you look at the HiRISE images. Beyond that, the layering is not as well exposed and you also start to get into more big ripples that we prefer to avoid if we can. So it's this next 90 to 120 degrees where it looks like the best stuff is.

DE: From where we are now it's slightly off to the left?

SS: From where we are now, yeah.

DE: Let's say we get in...

SS: Yep. We could spend a LOT of time in that crater.

DE: As long as Endurance and then some.

SS: Oh, Jeeze, it's six times bigger!

DE: Yeah.

SS: Ok, we spent 6 months in Endurance. Ok? This crater is six times larger. [laughter] Ok? And the mossbaurer spectrometer is a lot older, and once we get in the crater a lot of the really important stuff is going to be the mineralogy and geochemistry. So a thorough exploration of Victoria crater is years. [laughter]

DE: Might it fit in, perhaps with one slope on the way in because that's power positive at one part of the year in... in the Martian year, you know... 6 Martian months later, on a slight different slope...

SS: Yes.

DE: And we almost talking about trying to get out almost a year later...

SS: Yes, there are many possible scenarios for how we go in and out of this thing, and we have not ruled any of them out yet. One possibility is you go in, you explore, and you come out the same way you came in, like we did at Karatepe. Another possibility is you go in one place and you come out another. Another possibility is multiple toe-dips, you go partway in and out, then you go to another alcove and partway in and out, and you do that multiple times. All of those are on the table. We don't know enough about the topography and we don't know enough about the stratigraphy to have chosen such an approach yet.

One of the things we've always tried to do on this mission when we face a situation like this, is not try to make too many decisions too far ahead of time. I always encourage the team to, you know, let's make the decisions we have to make, but let's not get too wedded to long term decisions because what happens is you sorta decide, "oh, we wanna do this or we wanna do that", and maybe it's not the right decision, and it's a lot easier to postpone a decision and then make it when you have all the knowledge than it is to make a preliminary decision people kinda get attached to that idea and then you have to realize later you should change it. And so we decided a long time ago, 2 years ago, that we wanted to get to Victoria crater and we have moved towards it with single-minded determination since then. But now that we're here, we're trying to not jump to too many premature conclusions about what's the best thing to do because as we discover and learn new things, we're potentially gonna change our views.

But right now, a partial circumnavigation counterclockwise, errr, or clockwise rather and surveying from the rim to try to find good places to get in and out is what the focus is gonna be, and then we'll pick our routes once we know more than we do now.
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post Nov 13 2006, 11:53 AM
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I've got it on my iPod to listen to on my morning commute today.

Are there other audio recordings hidden away around the forums? Would it be worth setting up a RSS feed for them so they'd be easier to find, not to mention possibly allowing a subscription to be set up?
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post Nov 13 2006, 04:12 PM
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If I knew how....I tried for several evenings to make an iTunes RSS feed for the Pancam Audio Updates and other things....but got nowhere - it was just too damn convoluted and awkward.
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post Nov 13 2006, 08:12 PM
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Thank you for your effort, it was one interesting read and yes it was helpful getting this in text instead.

As a sidenote it confirmed my suspicion that Victoria will get a long study, and that will keep my interest for this mission going as long as it last.
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post Nov 13 2006, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 13 2006, 04:12 PM) *
If I knew how....I tried for several evenings to make an iTunes RSS feed for the Pancam Audio Updates and other things....but got nowhere - it was just too damn convoluted and awkward.

I've never done it but it doesn't look that hard and having them visible in iTunes would be a good thing I think.

The XML specification isn't that tricky to get your head around but it would be a bit painful to constantly reedit by hand. There are quite a few RSS feed generators - here's an online RSS 2.0 "podcast" XML file generator. All you have to do is plug in the data and it will give you the iTunes compliant XML complete with all the iTunes mandatory fields.

Once you have your XML file hosted somewhere then you can publish it in iTunes by submitting it, however you have to have iTunes installed and have a valid iTunes account to do this.[ Submit a Podcast to iTunes ]
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post Nov 14 2006, 04:45 AM
Post #45

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Did my best, but I am afraid I couldn't make out some of Doug's lines, under Steve'e enthusiasm. smile.gif You may want to double check, Doug.

And one rock I didn't recognize he mentions with Overgaard and the festoons - Cornbelt? Cornville?

If they were naming rocks after Arizona towns, there is both an Overgaard and Cornville in AZ.... biggrin.gif


Section 06 :: 00:26:39 to 00:31:43 :: Oppy- Scoop regrets, rapid drive to Vicky

SS: One thing that I've had people ask me in the past, and you might have asked me this once, was - are there any things we regret passing by, this whole mission long. And for me the one that I regretted bypassing most was a rock called Scoop. And Scoop was a rock that was in the wall of Eagle Crater, kind of on the opposite side of the r from where we were, we imaged it from a distance with Pancam, in fact we did some Pancam super resolution on it. And it looked from a distance to have the best examples of the festoon geometry cross lamination that we had seen, but at this point it's like sol 50 or sol 60 of what we thought was at that point was going to be a 90 sol mission -

DE: And you said you had to be out...

SS: And I said we are gonna get out of here by sol 60, because I want to at least try to get to that Endurance Crater way over there before the rover dies on us. Ha ha! And so all we did is do super resolution on Scoop from a distance and off we went. And had I known that the vehicle was going to last that long, Scoop looked so good - Scoop might have been as good as Overgaard turned out to be - I would have gone over there and done a good M.I. mosaic and really nailed it. But, you know, Overgaard and Cornville? Cornbelt? XXXXXXX turned up and there you are... so those are just text book examples that you don't have to draw any funky little lines on the pictures to convince anybody that the festoons are there. So it was a good stop.

DE: Now you've promised us a pretty rapid drive from there to Beagle and on to Victoria, and that's what it turned out to be...

SS: As rapid as we could make it under the circumstances, yeah.

DE: With a brief, a brief stop...yes.

SS: Jammerbugt - yeah, Jammerbugt.

DE: Now you spent a lot of time back in Purgatory - did those lessons carry straight forward? "Now we know how to do this..."

SS: Oh yes, when we hit Jammerbugt we knew just what to do, there was no... you know, we didn't have to take the rover back into the testbed and bury it up to the hubcaps again and start screwing around, we knew exactly what to do and we were out in pretty short order at Jammerbugt. There wasn't a - you remember at Purgatory it was two and a half weeks before we even dared try to move! So, yeah, Jammerbugt was much less of a problem than Purgatory was. I mean the only reason Jammerbugt happened was that you can be timid in your driving and you can be aggressive in your driving; if you're too timid you go too slowly, and if you're too aggressive you get deeply stuck. And we always felt that we wanted to have a driving technique that would be aggressive enough that we would run some low risk of getting a little bit stuck. We certainly didn't want another purgatory type incident where we were going to be stuck for six weeks or something like that. But we felt all along that if we were too timid about our driving that it would just take too long to get there. So we were fairly aggressive and on that instance it did get stuck briefly but it wasn't a big deal...

DE: Swimming pool owners across much of Western California are celebrating that they didn't have to go and relocate...

SS: We didn't have to go and buy more DIATOMACEOUS EARTH! Oh, that was bad....

DE: You had a brief stop not far from Beagle, a brief IDD workout. Was it the same stuff, the same sort of material you had seen previously, or...

SS: Which spot are you talking about?

DE: About twenty... it was a brief brushing, not far from Beagle.

SS: That might have been when I was on vacation. I took about a three week vacation right around that time.

DE: While you were on vacation, they did a brushing.....

SS: If it was around Beagle, that was about the time that I was off in the wilds of Western China, and was pretty well cut off from the world, so I don't know too much about that one - other than to tell you that any IDD work that we had done on outcrop didn't reveal anything startlingly new...

DE: If it was festooned or something interesting...

SS: I mean I can't tell you the exact details of what the sulphur concentration was or something like that but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

DE: Now the annulus of Victoria has been an absolute breeze!

SS: Yes! Which was nice...

DE: Nothing like that since the run from Eagle to Endurance.

SS: Yes - and it was really, really nice. Everybody was a little nervous about the annulus, it sort of looked too good to be true? After struggling our way through all of that stuff, for so many kilometers, to kind of break out and just have the last five hundred meters be a clear shot to the rim, it's just like we're getting suckered, something's up - we gotta watch it!

DE: There's something missing...

SS: But no, actually it was just easy driving, all the way to the rim, it was nice!

DE: Everyone took the MOC images and tried to compare it and think - well, it might be the same as this, and then you take the Pancam images and stretch them - and think well actually it kind of looks like was it the way it was back then...

SS: Yeah, it was really very similar to the run from Eagle to Endurance, it was very easy.

DE: And once you got there....

SS: OH BOY! Yeah, Duck Bay...

Lyford Rome
"Zis is not nuts, zis is super-nuts!" Mathematician Richard Courant on viewing an Orion test
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