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Unmanned Spaceflight.com _ MAVEN _ MAVEN commissioning & Siding Spring encounter

Posted by: elakdawalla Sep 22 2014, 02:27 PM

Congratulations to the whole MAVEN team for a successful orbit insertion yesterday. Here's a look at what we can expect for the next 7 weeks of the mission:

First week after MAVEN Mars Orbit Insertion (Sep 21-28)


Second week after MAVEN arrival (Sep 29-Oct 4)

Third week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 5-11)

Fourth week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 12-18)

Fifth week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 19-25)

Sixth week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 26-Nov 1)

Seventh week after MAVEN arrival (Nov 2-8)

Posted by: walfy Sep 23 2014, 03:26 AM

Any chance that MAVEN, or any of the other current orbiters, will capture an image of MOM's orbit insertion burn? If only a little streak of light comes through, at best with Mars in the background, that would be cool.

Posted by: James Sorenson Sep 23 2014, 03:54 AM

MAVEN carries no camera's. HiRISE on MRO would be the best shot and I doubt this is planned.

Posted by: Y Bar Ranch Sep 23 2014, 11:38 AM

QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Sep 22 2014, 11:54 PM) *
MAVEN carries no camera's.

Hmmm, I guess this story isn't true then.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/mars-maven-begins-mission-to-take-thousands-of-hig,36987/

Posted by: Mr Valiant Sep 23 2014, 12:10 PM

QUOTE (Y Bar Ranch @ Sep 23 2014, 11:38 AM) *
Hmmm, I guess this story isn't true then.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/mars-maven-begins-mission-to-take-thousands-of-hig,36987/



Yeah, it's not true.
Check out...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAVEN#Scientific_instruments

Gives a good description of science instruments, and none of them are visible light .

MAVEN's mission is purely to determine the Mar's atmospheric and exosphere content and it's interaction
with the Solar Wind and Ultra Violet radiation.

Certainly no desktop pics here.

Posted by: Gerald Sep 23 2014, 12:42 PM

Maybe they've been thinking at http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/files/2012/12/8-IUVS-Schneider.pdf, which may result in 3D-maps of the Martian atmosphere, or apoapsis multispectral uv images of 155 km per pixel.

Posted by: djellison Sep 23 2014, 01:33 PM

The Onion is a parody website......they don't actually care if it's taking pictures or not.

Posted by: MahFL Sep 23 2014, 02:20 PM

QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 23 2014, 02:33 PM) *
The Onion is a parody website......they don't actually care if it's taking pictures or not.


Some people need to get out more, if they think The Onion is an actual news site.

Posted by: MarsInMyLifetime Sep 23 2014, 03:16 PM

QUOTE (MahFL @ Sep 23 2014, 08:20 AM) *
Some people need to get out more, if they think The Onion is an actual news site.

Y Bar Ranch's response was ironic parody itself (and brilliant at that).

Whether intentional or not, the Onion parody actually makes a point that the public tends to value planetary research for its more banal byproducts (heck, I use these desktop shots all the time). But Maven's sense of smell and electromagnetic fields is the real story here. Maven brings to the Mars research team some of the out-of-band situational insights that Geordi La Forge and Deanna Troi brought to the STNG team. Maven's as-it-were ESP (new sensors in the regime) will afford some unique insights into the physics of this near encounter with Comet Siding-Spring. What an incredible circumstance for Maven to be in place just in time, and I fervently hope MOM can contribute as well.

I understand that MOM will be using a number of small thrusters along with its main engine meaning that it may have low intrinsic brightness anyway.

Posted by: Mr Valiant Sep 23 2014, 03:58 PM

QUOTE (MarsInMyLifetime @ Sep 23 2014, 04:16 PM) *
Y Bar Ranch's response was ironic parody itself (and brilliant at that).

Whether intentional or not, the Onion parody actually makes a point that the public tends to value planetary research for its more banal byproducts (heck, I use these desktop shots all the time). But Maven's sense of smell and electromagnetic fields is the real story here. Maven brings to the Mars research team some of the out-of-band situational insights that Geordi La Forge and Deanna Troi brought to the STNG team. Maven's as-it-were ESP (new sensors in the regime) will afford some unique insights into the physics of this near encounter with Comet Siding-Spring. What an incredible circumstance for Maven to be in place just in time, and I fervently hope MOM can contribute as well.

I understand that MOM will be using a number of small thrusters along with its main engine meaning that it may have low intrinsic brightness anyway.


I thought the Onions coverage of the launch of the Straw Shuttle was the best piece of journalism ever written...
http://www.theonion.com/articles/nasa-baffled-by-failure-of-straw-shuttle,1997/

Mods, I promise this is my 1 and only excursion, but gees its good for a laugh.

Cheers.

Posted by: charborob Sep 23 2014, 05:43 PM

QUOTE (MarsInMyLifetime @ Sep 23 2014, 11:16 AM) *
I understand that MOM will be using a number of small thrusters along with its main engine meaning that it may have low intrinsic brightness anyway.


Do these burns actually produce a visible "flame". We are used to seeing huge rocket plumes during launches, but already the exhaust from a second stage engine is all but invisible (for example the Falcon 9 second stage, as we can see from the in-board cameras). The engine for MOI is certainly much less powerful than that, so I guess you wouldn't see anything from hundreds of km away.

Posted by: djellison Sep 23 2014, 06:51 PM

Not much - but probably something. Here's thruster firings from an ATV on approach to ISS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqG7zt5kK0#t=143

Almost certainly not visible from any other asset at Mars. The spacecraft itself might be, however, much as MODY and MEX were images by MOC-2 on MGS.

Posted by: kwan3217 Sep 24 2014, 06:12 PM

Just released:

QUOTE
The MAVEN spacecraft has obtained its first observations of the extended upper atmosphere surrounding Mars. LASP's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument obtained these false-color images eight hours after the successful completion of Mars orbit insertion. The image shows the planet from an altitude of 36,500 km in three ultraviolet wavelength bands. Blue shows the ultraviolet light at 121.6nm from the sun scattered from atomic hydrogen gas in an extended cloud that goes to thousands of kilometers above the planetís surface. Green shows a 130.4nm ultraviolet light that is primarily sunlight scattered by atomic oxygen, showing the smaller oxygen cloud. Red shows ultraviolet sunlight at 180-340nm reflected from the planetís surface; the bright spot in the lower right is light reflected either from polar ice or clouds. This is the first UV image to simultaneously record emissions from multiple gases in Marsí atmosphere.

The oxygen gas is held close to the planet by Marsí gravity, while lighter hydrogen gas is present to higher altitudes and extends past the edges of the image. These gases derive from the breakdown of water and carbon dioxide in Marsí atmosphere. Over the course of its one-Earth-year primary science mission, MAVEN observations like these will be used to determine the loss rate of hydrogen and oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. These observations will allow us to determine the amount of water that has escaped from the planet over time.

The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph was built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, with Bill McClintock as Instrument Scientist, Mark Lankton and Rory Barrett as project managers. Justin Deighan, Mike Chaffin, Chris Jeppesen, and Dale Theiling designed the unique observations and performed the all-nighter imaging processing in the hours after Mars Orbit Insertion. The LASP Ops staff (Michelle Kelley, Jerel Moffet and Colin Stewart) made immediate access to the data possible. MANY THANKS to all involved!

Nick Schneider and the MAVEN/IUVS Team

(Image credit: LASP/University of Colorado and NASA)


Since this is an imaging spectrograph, there is a full spectrum from about 100nm to 340nm for every pixel in this image. It is reduced to three colors for the benefit of those of us who don't have spectrometers for eyes. I'd say it is pretty good for a spacecraft that doesn't have a camera...

 

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