IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

4 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Recent Comments From Steve Squyres, notes from his Houston, Tx presentation
CosmicRocker
post Aug 14 2005, 06:45 AM
Post #1


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 2222
Joined: 1-December 04
From: Marble Falls, Texas, USA
Member No.: 116



I attended Steve Squyres’ book signing in Houston Thursday. He gave an excellent presentation on the rovers and he did it in his usually energetic and stimulating style. While much of it covered things that fans like us already know, he also showed images from the most recent sols and said a little about recent interpretations. I didn’t take notes, but I did write up some of the more interesting tidbits I remembered after I came home. Here they are in a bullet list format.


Steve said that their recent interpretations of the origins of Methuselah and Voltaire leaned more toward creation from impact events, rather than volcanic processes.

He said they hoped to make the summit of Husband Hill in the next couple of weeks.

He also said that Spirit's panels were cranking out 900 watt-hours. I know that sounds high, but I’m sure that’s what I heard.

He showed an amazing animation that I had not seen previously, demonstrating the rover's rocker-bogie suspension driving over a simulated corrugated surface similar to the dunes of Meridiani. It was very cool, and I wish I could find it online.

He also showed that humorous video of a rover putting the RAT up to the face of a rock and grinding. All of a sudden, the teeth bite into the rock and the rover spins wildly around the arm, and throws a wheel into the air. I have been told that animation was created by Dan Maas. It was very well done.

Most of the science instruments are in good shape. He mentioned the miniTES that was acting up and then repaired itself, but the only serious problem with an instrument at the moment is the RAT on Spirit. Its diamond blades are shot...no more grinding for it, but it can still brush. They did something like 15 grinds on the mostly very hard rocks in Gusev crater, but it was only designed to do a few grinds.

I was able to ask him a couple of questions. I was about to ask what they learned from the rovers that would change the design of the MSL, but someone asked a very similar question first. Someone asked "If you had to do it over again, what would be different about the rovers?"
He mentioned two things that I remember.
1. He wanted nuclear power. smile.gif
2. He wanted the ability to analyze for more things, like organic molecules.
I'm sure he would have gone into more details if the audience was more technically oriented.

I asked him two questions. My first question was, “If you are able to make it to the summit of Husband Hill and take a monster panorama, where do you go next?” He said they didn't know exactly, but they would definitely head south. He mentioned there were some layered rocks on the south side that they might want to take a look at. I assume those are the ones near the base of the south side of the hill. He said they might move down from the summit, toward the south a bit, and then take a south-facing panorama. I assume they want to go down to the south a bit to get a better view of the area close to the base of the hill, where those layered outcrops are.

My second question was, “What do you expect to find with Opportunity, now that you are entering the etched terrain? I wanted to know what he thought it would look like and what kind of science he expected to do in an environment where the rocks were exposed on the surface, rather than in the walls of a crater. By this time I felt as if I was pushing my luck, asking too much, while others still had questions. I wasn’t able to ask all that I wanted to know, but he said they were happy to learn that the etched terrain had a lot of rock, and not a lot of light-colored, rover-trapping dunes. But of course, we already knew that from his updates and the imagery. He said the amount of time they would spend in the etched terrain would depend on how much new science they could do.

He did say Victoria will be next, and if the etched terrain offers little new science, they will head directly toward Victoria Crater. I think Steve said Victoria had 40 meter tall outcrops.

Oh, one more interesting thing. CSPAN was there, recording the event. So, Steve Squyres’ presentation may be broadcast on that channel, and might possibly be turned into a realmedia stream at their web site.

Sorry for the length of this post, but it seemed there was a lot that others would find interesting. I hope I presented it accurately.


--------------------
...Tom
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
general
post Aug 14 2005, 07:03 AM
Post #2


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 236
Joined: 21-June 05
Member No.: 417



Spinning Rover:
http://images.spaceref.com/news/2004/rover.armspin.mov
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Nirgal
post Aug 14 2005, 10:05 AM
Post #3


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 713
Joined: 30-March 05
Member No.: 223



Thanks a lot for the detailed report, CosmicRocker !

I especially like the following part:

QUOTE
He said the amount of time they would spend in the etched terrain would depend on how much new science they could do.

He did say Victoria will be next, and if the etched terrain offers little new science, they will head directly toward Victoria Crater. I think Steve said Victoria had 40 meter tall outcrops.


IMHO this would be the best strategy to maximise the scientific use of the remaing Rover lifetime smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cugel
post Aug 14 2005, 11:35 AM
Post #4


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 153
Joined: 11-December 04
Member No.: 120



As the mythbusters would say: "Does the fun ever stop?"
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
centsworth_II
post Aug 14 2005, 02:16 PM
Post #5


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 2052
Joined: 28-December 04
Member No.: 132



Great report, thanks. I can't wait for that south-facing pan!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
djellison
post Aug 14 2005, 03:45 PM
Post #6


Administrator
****

Group: Chairman
Posts: 13770
Joined: 8-February 04
Member No.: 1



"When will the fun EVER stop


.. am I missing an eye brow"

smile.gif

Doug
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
helvick
post Aug 14 2005, 08:45 PM
Post #7


Dublin Correspondent
****

Group: Admin
Posts: 1797
Joined: 28-March 05
From: Celbridge, Ireland
Member No.: 220



QUOTE (CosmicRocker @ Aug 14 2005, 07:45 AM)
He also said that Spirit's panels were cranking out 900 watt-hours.  I know that sounds high, but I’m sure that’s what I heard.
*


Excellent news - that's about 200 watts more than my extrapolation from the last confirmed spirit value. Some of that's due to the favourable orientation but clearly the dust cleaning martians have been keeping up the good work. smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bob Shaw
post Aug 14 2005, 08:51 PM
Post #8


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 2488
Joined: 17-April 05
From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Member No.: 239



QUOTE (helvick @ Aug 14 2005, 09:45 PM)
Excellent news - that's about 200 watts more than my extrapolation from the last confirmed spirit value. Some of that's due to the favourable orientation but clearly the dust cleaning martians have been keeping up the good work.  smile.gif
*


What does the 200W extra do for the projected Rover death graph?


--------------------
Remember: Time Flies like the wind - but Fruit Flies like bananas!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
helvick
post Aug 14 2005, 09:30 PM
Post #9


Dublin Correspondent
****

Group: Admin
Posts: 1797
Joined: 28-March 05
From: Celbridge, Ireland
Member No.: 220



QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Aug 14 2005, 09:51 PM)
What does the 200W extra do for the projected Rover death graph?
*


Well if all other things remain equal the Solar Panel output drops to 280 on sol 988 with the minimum of 275 watts reached on Sol 1030. Prior to this my estimate was that Spirit would drop to 280 watts on Sol 829, with a minimum of 216 reached on Sol 1020.

The "all other things being equal" is a big if but it's excellent news none the less.
Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
aldo12xu
post Aug 15 2005, 01:20 AM
Post #10


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 320
Joined: 19-June 04
Member No.: 85



Wow, that's amazing, helvick, we're looking at the rovers carrying on at least into June 2006, if the current trend is maintained smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
babakm
post Aug 15 2005, 02:46 AM
Post #11


Junior Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 91
Joined: 27-January 05
From: Arlington, Virginia
Member No.: 159



One factor that has to be considered is the increasing altitude of Spirit over the plains. With such a thin atmosphere, there has to be a sharp drop-off in dust content even at the top of martian hills. If this is a factor, it makes the thought of decending down the South side of the hill going into winter a more daunting one.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jeff7
post Aug 15 2005, 04:37 AM
Post #12


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 477
Joined: 2-March 05
Member No.: 180



QUOTE (general @ Aug 14 2005, 02:03 AM)


Thanks for the link. smile.gif


The power output, 900W - what is the rated output of those solar cells? Like, what were they at when the rovers first deployed them? That's just crazy that it's this high again.



And thank you of course to Cosmic Rocker for the update. Did you see anyone there with a videocamera? biggrin.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
CosmicRocker
post Aug 15 2005, 05:18 AM
Post #13


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 2222
Joined: 1-December 04
From: Marble Falls, Texas, USA
Member No.: 116



QUOTE (Jeff7 @ Aug 14 2005, 10:37 PM)
...Did you see anyone there with a videocamera?  biggrin.gif
*

Only CSPAN.


--------------------
...Tom
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bob Shaw
post Aug 15 2005, 08:09 AM
Post #14


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 2488
Joined: 17-April 05
From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Member No.: 239



QUOTE (babakm @ Aug 15 2005, 03:46 AM)
One factor that has to be considered is the increasing altitude of Spirit over the plains.  With such a thin atmosphere, there has to be a sharp drop-off in dust content even at the top of martian hills.  If this is a factor, it makes the thought of decending down the South side of the hill going into winter a more daunting one.
*


Somehow, I don't think so. The pressure difference on Mars between 'sea level' and any given altitude is proportionally LESS than on Earth, and the Columbia Hills are actually very low. And Martian dust - the thin, light stuff - gets *very* high (remember the proposed sample return mission which was going to pick up dust during an aerobraking pass and return directly to earth?).

For all that MER is a brilliant success, it's in many ways not so much a Rover as a fixed lander that can, er, move. A human being would be at the top of the hills before the first morning was half over... ...we're not exactly in the Himalayas, so need not be particularly worried about the terrors of the mountains!


--------------------
Remember: Time Flies like the wind - but Fruit Flies like bananas!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
centsworth_II
post Aug 15 2005, 12:49 PM
Post #15


Senior Member
****

Group: Members
Posts: 2052
Joined: 28-December 04
Member No.: 132



QUOTE (aldo12xu @ Aug 14 2005, 08:20 PM)
Wow, that's amazing, helvick, we're looking at the rovers carrying on at least into June 2006, if the current trend is maintained smile.gif
*


From page 187 of Squyres' book, Roving Mars:
"If we launched in 2005, we'd arrive at Mars when the planet was far from the sun and when it was almost as far away from Earth as it ever gets. Solar power would be bad, and communication to Earth would be awful. The mission was so bad in 2005 that it wasn't clear that it made sense to fly it at all."

It would be amazing if the rovers lasted into spring of 2006 when the mission prognosis for that time was so bad, even for a freshly delivered rover. To think that at least one of the rovers may end up doing just that boggles the mind!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

4 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 23rd September 2014 - 08:25 PM
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Please read the Forum Rules and Guidelines before posting.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT
Images posted on UnmannedSpaceflight.com may be copyrighted. Do not reproduce without permission. Read here for further information on space images and copyright.

OPINIONS AND MODERATION
Opinions expressed on UnmannedSpaceflight.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UnmannedSpaceflight.com or The Planetary Society. The all-volunteer UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderation team is wholly independent of The Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has no influence over decisions made by the UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderators.
SUPPORT THE FORUM
Unmannedspaceflight.com is a project of the Planetary Society and is funded by donations from visitors and members. Help keep this forum up and running by contributing here.