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Deep Space 2
Chmee
post May 27 2005, 03:17 PM
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Are there any working theories why the 2 impactor probes (Deep Space 2) that piggybacked on the Mars Polar Lander did not work? Their failure should have nothing to do with the problem with the MPL lander since they were released far above the surface.

I beleive they were designed to withstand 100 gravities of deceleration and still function. Anyone?
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djellison
post May 27 2005, 03:49 PM
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Main theory I heard was that the terrain they ended up hitting was very soft and sometimes quite rolling - so they probably destroyed or burried too deep on impact

Doug
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dvandorn
post May 27 2005, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ May 27 2005, 10:49 AM)
Main theory I heard was that the terrain they ended up hitting was very soft and sometimes quite rolling - so they probably destroyed or burried too deep on impact

Doug
*

Yeah -- the theory I heard was that either they buried themselves too deeply to be able to send radio signals back out, or that they hit a hillside or inner crater rim at nearly right angles. While the impact at the semi-grazing angle that was anticipated would not have exceeded its designed G-load survivability, if it hit at more of a right angle, the sudden deceleration could exceed the design limits.

However, the most interesting reason for their failure I ever heard was in the TV series "The West Wing," which dealt with a fictionalized loss of both MPL (called "Galileo V" in the episode) and its two accompanying hard-landing probes. When told of the plan to crash-land two probes with the expectation of gaining telemetered data from them afterwards, the Josh Lyman character responded (quoting from memory), "Hasn't the Wile E. Coyote theory of physics been pretty well disproven?"

-the other Doug


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Decepticon
post May 27 2005, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE
When told of the plan to crash-land two probes with the expectation of gaining telemetered data from them afterwards, the Josh Lyman character responded (quoting from memory), "Hasn't the Wile E. Coyote theory of physics been pretty well disproven?"


That went right over my head. huh.gif

What did that mean? unsure.gif
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Chmee
post May 27 2005, 07:15 PM
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Do you guys think there is any merit in this type of impact probe? It does not seam there have been any successfull demostrations of it. I am pretty skeptical that a machine that can survive such a sudden deceleration can also do much science as well.

Thoughts?
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Bob Shaw
post May 27 2005, 07:30 PM
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If the ACME Spacecraft Co made spaceprobes at least we'd be certain that they'd go 'Beep-Beep!' after landing...

...whatever happened to the business of Bugs Bunny and Marvin on Mars, anyway?


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Chmee
post May 27 2005, 07:51 PM
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QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 27 2005, 03:30 PM)
...whatever happened to the business of Bugs Bunny and Marvin on Mars, anyway?
*



I beleive they both blew up Planet X when they each tried to claim it. Right? laugh.gif
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Bob Shaw
post May 27 2005, 07:58 PM
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On a serious note, the Japanese LUNAR-B (I think) probe has *still* not made it into space - and it has several penetrators aboard...


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dvandorn
post May 27 2005, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Decepticon @ May 27 2005, 02:01 PM)
QUOTE
When told of the plan to crash-land two probes with the expectation of gaining telemetered data from them afterwards, the Josh Lyman character responded (quoting from memory), "Hasn't the Wile E. Coyote theory of physics been pretty well disproven?"


That went right over my head. huh.gif

What did that mean? unsure.gif
*


Wile E. Coyote is the cartoon character who is always in pursuit of -- and never catches -- the Roadrunner in the many, many Roadrunner cartoons produced by Warner Bros. from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Wile E. uses every hare-brained scheme in the book to try and catch the Roadrunner (often with the help of outlandish products and weapons from the ACME Company), which always backfire on him. Most of the time, he ends up flying off the end of a cliff, hangs in mid-air long enough for a reaction shot, and then falls several thousand feet to make a "splat" on the desert floor below. He then always walks away and lives to pursue another day. It is this ability to survive what would appear to be non-survivable falls and impacts that would lead one to assume that the Deep Space Two mission was relying, to one degree or another, on the Wile E. Coyote theory of physics...

-the other Doug


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dvandorn
post May 27 2005, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (Chmee @ May 27 2005, 02:51 PM)
QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 27 2005, 03:30 PM)
...whatever happened to the business of Bugs Bunny and Marvin on Mars, anyway?
*



I beleive they both blew up Planet X when they each tried to claim it. Right? laugh.gif
*


Actually, while no one has ever actually said it on the record, I think the MER teams were going to "informally" name MER-A Marvin and MER-B Duck Dodgers (or perhaps just Daffy), but that NASA's PR flacks got the idea it would be *so* much better to have some fifth-grader name them.

In any event, there are indeed mission patches for each rover, with the MER-B patch featuring Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers (in the twenty-fourth-and-a-halfth-century!) and the MER-A patch featuring Marvin the Martian. Here's a link with a decent view of both patches:

MER mission patches

I sort of wish they had used the cartoon names -- Spirit is an OK name, but Opportunity is just not a proper noun, and never will be. It's a terribly awkward name for a rover...

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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djellison
post May 27 2005, 08:43 PM
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I thought they wanted to called them Divorce and Exhaustion smile.gif

Doug
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edstrick
post May 29 2005, 05:19 AM
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I never read or saw that a report on the DS-2 penetrators was available. But they held a failure review investigation that was mostly ignored by the media. The conclusions was similar to Beagle: No "Smoking gun", unlike polar lander, but the vehicles had major deficiencies in design and testing and project management and were way not ready to fly.

Penetrators are useful and valuable, even if not "sexy". They're by far the best way to get seismometers where they're well coupled to the ground. The Viking 2 seismometer turned out to be an excellent wind guage, for example.

Note that the Mars 96 Soviet/international mission carried 2 hard landers and 2 penetrators on the main spacecraft. All <sigh> lost.
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Phil Stooke
post May 30 2005, 09:35 PM
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"I sort of wish they had used the cartoon names -- Spirit is an OK name, but Opportunity is just not a proper noun, and never will be. It's a terribly awkward name for a rover..." -the other Doug


It took me a long time to get used to the names Spirit and Opportunity. I guess I don't mind them now. But under the circumstances at the time I think we were lucky they weren't stuck with names like Freedom and Democracy.


I actually proposed names for the DS2 penetrators... it was a competition like the MER one. Of course mine were not selected.
Phil


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djellison
post May 30 2005, 09:44 PM
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I entered that DS2 comp as well - with Romulus and Remus. Scott and Ammundson were good names though - I liked those.

Doug
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dvandorn
post May 31 2005, 06:38 AM
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I wasn't aware of the competition at the time, but in the spirit of Phobos and Deimos, I would have entered the names Fear and Loathing.

Not that I would expect NASA PAO to *ever* select those names... laugh.gif

-the other Doug


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