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Roving Mars (imax!) Trailer
DrZZ
post Jan 26 2006, 02:52 PM
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Just ran acress this:
Squyres and filmaker George Butler Live online at washingtonpost.com at 2pm EST Jan 26. There is an address to send questions.
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djellison
post Jan 26 2006, 03:05 PM
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Anyone noticed how innacurate the tracks are in Endurance crater smile.gif

Doug
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Tman
post Jan 26 2006, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 25 2006, 09:29 PM)
...but nobody will know if you use them as desktop wallpaper!

--Emily


I buy the wonderful sunset Rover blink.gif ...and wallpaper what's that? smile.gif

Thanks for the pics!


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Tman
post Jan 26 2006, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 26 2006, 04:05 PM)
Anyone noticed how innacurate the tracks are in Endurance crater smile.gif

Doug
*

I can hardly remember. Anyway the (great) view looks stunning real-like smile.gif

But I guess the Rover on Burns Cliff is a bit too slope for surviving.
Thats better: http://www.marsgeo.com/Opportunity/BurnsCliff.htm biggrin.gif


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lyford
post Jan 26 2006, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 25 2006, 12:23 PM)
I got to go see a screening of Roving Mars last night and just posted a review in my blog.
*

Lucky!

Where in the LA area is it showing? I didn't see it listed as a opening city at the USA Today article or at the horrible Disney site.

Can't wait to see the opening sol numbers in Variety tongue.gif


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ljk4-1
post Jan 26 2006, 06:39 PM
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Cornell goes to the movies: Mars and Steve Squyres' rovers star in IMAX spectacular

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Jan06/MER.imax.lg.html

Jan. 26, 2006

By Lauren Gold
lg34@cornell.edu

Thanks to a combination of coincidence, luck and a few handy connections, the red planet is a star in the story of the durable twin Mars rovers, which hits the extra-big screens in IMAX theaters in New York, Washington, D.C., and two dozen other cities across North America on Friday, Jan. 27.

The 40-minute film, "Roving Mars," is the story of the journey of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity -- as well as the journey of their creators. Directed by George Butler and produced by Frank Marshall, the movie chronicles the rovers' early development to their treks across two very different regions of Mars. The rovers are still going strong, having far exceeded their projected life span of 90 days.

Equipping the rovers with IMAX-quality cameras was a priority for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission from the beginning. "We set for ourselves the goal of making two robot field geologists," says Steve Squyres, Cornell's Goldwin Smith professor of astronomy and the mission's principal investigator. Cornell astronomy Associate Professor Jim Bell, leader of the panoramic camera (Pancam) team for the mission, says that meant giving the rover cameras 20/20 stereo vision -- "the first time we've had human resolution on Mars."

Documenting the mission for a film, though, was not originally in NASA's plans. That idea came together in part thanks to Squyres' younger brother, Tim, an Academy Award-nominated film editor (and like his older brother, a Cornell alumnus). Tim pitched the idea to Butler and Marshall, who then did their own share of pitching to NASA before they were granted access for filming.

The pivotal point occurred just before Spirit's launch in June 2003, when tension was at its peak and the team didn't want to be slowed down by a camera crew. So Butler rented the IMAX theater at Cape Canaveral to show the MER team his last movie: a documentary about the journey of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

"You could feel this chill go through the room," says Steve Squyres. From that moment, Butler's film crews had full access.

But neither Butler's crews nor the rovers' cameras on Mars could capture images of the rovers themselves once they were in orbit. That's where Cornell alumnus Dan Maas, creator of Emmy-nominated Maas Digital in Ithaca came in. Maas had created animation for the MER mission in the past -- as well as for other NASA missions, including Deep Impact.

Maas delivered brilliantly, says Steve Squyres -- creating a seamless transition between actual footage and 12 minutes of lifelike animation that stays true to the mission data. It's all meticulously "real," the mission's lead scientist says, from the placement of rocks on the surface of Mars to the way the rovers bounced down on opposite sides of the planet in January 2004 enclosed in pillows of hand-stitched airbags.

"Those are the actual bounces. That's not a Hollywood recreation," he says of Maas' computer-created feeling of authenticity. "Dan did spectacular work."

The film, which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin and released by Walt Disney Co., is not heavy on science but is an exhilarating ride that captures the spirit of exploration to a faraway place -- in thrilling full color.

"That doesn't happen when you put a picture on your monitor; it doesn't happen when you make a printout," says Bell. "It will be that immersion experience -- of being completely surrounded and overwhelmed with Mars. I want people to have the experience of being there. I think it's going to be spectacular."

And if viewers -- especially the youngest ones -- get inspired to do some exploration of their own, says Steve Squyres, the movie will have served its purpose. Because when Mars hosts its first human explorers, they most likely will be, Squyres believes, today's elementary school students.

"What I would most like is if some kid watches this movie and says, 'I want to go there,'" says Steve Squyres. "And then actually does it."

-30-

Media Contact: Press Relations Office
(607) 255-6074
pressoffice@cornell.edu
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Cornell University News Service/Chronicle Online
312 College Ave.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-255-4206
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no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

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jrdahlman
post Jan 27 2006, 05:43 PM
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Hmmm. Haven't seen it yet, but I keep reading capsule reviews like this:

"Roving Mars

Thanks to the combined efforts of, oddly, NASA, Walt Disney, and defense monolith Lockheed Martin, you can see the red planet up close and personal for the first time in IMAX super size. Except that is, that for the most part, you can't. Despite our best scientific efforts and millions of dollars, it seems that the only way we can get a close-up look at our nearest planetary neighbor, sadly, is still through CGI. Roving Mars starts off promising, tracking the buildup to the breakthrough mission that sent two robots to the Martian surface. But at the touchdown, just when it should be getting good, the film becomes a special effects minefield. The real Mars images are given short shrift with still photos shown only briefly in favor of sexier, slick, glossy, hypercolorized CG recreations (think Nova on steroids). It's too bad, because though often gritty and black and white, the pictures of the rocky, barren landscape are spectacular in their true otherworldliness and don't need the cosmetic surgery makeover."

(review by Sabrina Crawford, San Francisco Bay Guardian, a local weekly paper.)

I'd still like to see it, but I think people on this forum who've lovingly worked on assembling the REAL Mars pictures are going to be a little disappointed.

Maybe we should edit our own "Imax"-like movie? As in, "this is what you should have used"?
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mcaplinger
post Jan 28 2006, 12:00 AM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 25 2006, 12:23 PM)
I got to go see a screening of Roving Mars last night and just posted a review in my blog
*


From your blog:

"They spent several minutes building up the tension that surrounded Spirit's landing, and the horrible 10 minutes of silence that followed it."

I don't suppose they left in any of the voice traffic from MSSS (call sign "MGS MOC") reporting during that period (in admittedly cryptic terms) that we had enough data from the UHF pass that the rover had to have survived the landing? I feel a bit cheated out of my place in history by JPL's failure to understand what I was saying, and I've never seen a transcript or heard a recording that included that traffic. Oh well sad.gif


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elakdawalla
post Jan 28 2006, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Jan 27 2006, 04:00 PM)
I don't suppose they left in any of the voice traffic from MSSS (call sign "MGS MOC") reporting during that period (in admittedly cryptic terms) that we had enough data from the UHF pass that the rover had to have survived the landing?  I feel a bit cheated out of my place in history by JPL's failure to understand what I was saying, and I've never seen a transcript or heard a recording that included that traffic.  Oh well  sad.gif
*

Not that I remember; I believe that most of the voice traffic during that period was Wayne Lee but I could be wrong about that. You're not the only one who is feeling cheated right now. I feel like none of the science team except Steve got any love from this movie. There wasn't a single shot from inside either the Science Assessment or SOWG areas of building 264.

Thanks for mentioning that "MGS MOC" voice traffic though -- I had completely forgotten about it, but you jogged my memory. I remember thinking, "What the heck does that mean? Is it time to celebrate now?"

--Emily


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ljk4-1
post Jan 28 2006, 12:27 AM
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'Roving Mars' is part drama, part suspense and all a tribute to NASA team

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Jan06/...remiere.lg.html

Jan. 27, 2006

By Lauren Gold
lg34@cornell.edu


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The IMAX movie, "Roving Mars," which had its world premiere in Washington, D.C., yesterday (Jan. 26), is part detective story, part drama, part suspense.

It begins with the central mystery -- was Mars ever capable of supporting life? -- and continues through the mission's meticulous planning and testing phases. It shows launch day for the Mars rover Spirit on a sunny day at Cape Canaveral in June 2003, and the day, seven months and 300 million miles later, when the rover entered the Martian atmosphere, dutifully deploying parachutes and airbags and bouncing and rolling to a stop.

Then the suspense, as for a few agonizing minutes the rover communicates nothing to the mission's operators at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. All that can be heard are the tense words: "We currently do not have a signal from the spacecraft. Please stand by."

Until the signal finally comes, and the room erupts. And the thrill spills beyond the IMAX screen and into the audience.

The premiere of Disney's "Roving Mars" at the Lockheed Martin IMAX theater at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum was an evening of celebrating two teams: the 4,000 scientists, engineers and support staff who made NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission a success -- and the smaller group that coalesced on the side to document the mission for the IMAX film.

The celebrities at the event included Steve Squyres, Cornell astronomer and the mission's principal science investigator; Hollywood director George Butler; producer Frank Marshall; and a host of NASA and Lockheed Martin officials. All ambled down the red carpet to the museum's atrium, accessorized with movie posters, tables of appetizers and two talking (and more than a little impertinent) robots, both named Sprocket.

Inevitably there was also a model of the Mars rover, presiding on a platform at the entrance -- the model built by Cornell students four years ago and now permanently on display at the Smithsonian.

If there was another star of the evening, it was the quiet-mannered Dan Maas, animator and Cornell alumnus behind 12 of the film's 40 minutes. Maas' work -- seamless, indistinguishable from the film's actual footage of the mission and filled with true-to-Mars details -- earned him raves from Butler and Squyres. Marshall -- meeting Maas in person for the first time on the red carpet before the film, blurted, "Oh my gosh, let me hug you," He called Maas, "One of the most talented men I've ever met."

Milling around Maas outside the theater after the film, admirers couldn't say enough. "Beautiful," "Amazing," "Stunning," they said. "You really brought it to life."

By the time the audience of media and guests from Cornell, NASA and Lockheed Martin settled into their seats in the steeply raked theater, the mood was set.

The ultimate success and longevity of both rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, still plugging along on opposite sides of Mars two years after their landing, makes the story even more compelling. But producer Marshall admitted it put him in a bit of a quandary.

The story he pitched to Walt Disney Co. was much more straightforward: "They're born, they go up there and rove around, and they die," he said. When they didn't die, no one was quite sure how to proceed. "We said, we've got to figure out another ending. [Spirit and Opportunity] have gone the distance -- way beyond our wildest dreams," he recalled.

As the evening wound down, the thrill of the whole endeavor -- "an interplanetary hole-in-one," as Squyres had characterized Opportunity's landing in Eagle crater on Jan. 24, 2004 -- stuck.

NASA administrator Michael Griffin expanded on the theme "People talk about teamwork -- about people pulling together to get a touchdown," Griffin said. "This was like 10 touchdowns.

"To the success of Spirit and Opportunity, and the people who operate the rovers, both of whom refuse to quit."

-30-

Media Contact: Press Relations Office
(607) 255-6074
pressoffice@cornell.edu
--

Cornell University News Service/Chronicle Online
312 College Ave.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-255-4206
cunews@cornell.edu
http://www.news.cornell.edu


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Shaka
post Jan 28 2006, 12:37 AM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 27 2006, 02:06 PM)
Not that I remember; I believe that most of the voice traffic during that period was Wayne Lee but I could be wrong about that.  You're not the only one who is feeling cheated right now.  I feel like none of the science team except Steve got any love from this movie.  There wasn't a single shot from inside either the Science Assessment or SOWG areas of building 264.

Thanks for mentioning that "MGS MOC" voice traffic though -- I had completely forgotten about it, but you jogged my memory.  I remember thinking, "What the heck does that mean?  Is it time to celebrate now?"

--Emily
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Friends, I'm afraid this is how the media work. Don't think of it as malevolence. It's just shallow focus on the bottom line, combined with cheerful indifference to the meaningful details. So it shall always be. cool.gif


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mcaplinger
post Jan 28 2006, 04:12 AM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 27 2006, 04:06 PM)
Thanks for mentioning that "MGS MOC" voice traffic though -- I had completely forgotten about it, but you jogged my memory.  I remember thinking, "What the heck does that mean?  Is it time to celebrate now?"

*


Yeah, sorry about that. For the MER-B landing we tried to pre-script our report for more clarity, but they got the tones quickly so it didn't matter. I don't think many of the MER people understood how the MGS link was going to tell them and on what timescale.

Aviation Week got it mostly right, but identified me as Mike Malin. Grrr.

"At 8:44 p.m. Michael Malin of MGS reported that the satellite had received more than 240 kilobytes of UHF data--so much data that most of it must have come from the surface. But from the anxious looks on controllers' faces it appeared no one heard him. Malin made more increasingly positive reports over the next several minutes that also seemed to fall on deaf ears."


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djellison
post Jan 28 2006, 08:43 AM
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That was YOUR voice for Mer A? Wow - you knew before anyone else that Spirit was alive basically.

I'd have been tempted to do this....

FD "MGS MOC - Flight"
You "Go ahead flight"
FD "Do you see anything yet"
You "Nope - not a thing. Nothing, bugger all"
FD "OK, Keep us posted"

Just to keep the suspense up a bit longer, then 5 minutes later

You "Flight MGS MOC"
FD "Go Ahead MGS MOC
You "I've got like, a quarter of a meg of stuff here from that thingie of yours, do you want me to put it on a data stick, or email you or something?"

smile.gif

Doug
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Shaka
post Jan 28 2006, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 27 2006, 10:43 PM)
You "I've got like, a quarter of a meg of stuff here from that thingie of yours, do you want me to put it on a data stick, or email you or something?"

smile.gif

Doug
*

ohmy.gif HAR! huh.gif HAR! smile.gif HAR! biggrin.gif HAR! laugh.gif HAR! tongue.gif HAR! rolleyes.gif HAR! wink.gif har!
Dougie, me darlin', y' may be "Member No. 1". Y' may be "The Administrator". But, God luv ya, y'can let yer hair down too. We all treasure that!


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Bob Shaw
post Jan 28 2006, 12:51 PM
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QUOTE (Shaka @ Jan 28 2006, 10:06 AM)
ohmy.gif HAR!  huh.gif HAR!  smile.gif HAR!  biggrin.gif HAR!  laugh.gif HAR!  tongue.gif HAR! rolleyes.gif HAR! wink.gif har!
Dougie, me darlin', y' may be "Member No. 1".  Y' may be "The Administrator". But, God luv ya, y'can let yer hair down too.  We all treasure  that!
*


Doug:

Luxury. We'd have had to use semaphore...

(etc)

Being first to confirm the MER landing is a helluva thing for a CV, though! Pity it turned into a Buzz Aldrin moment (he was actually the first person to speak from the surface of the Moon, not Neil Armstrong, when he gave a brief status check upon landing - before 'Tranquility Base here...').

Bob Shaw


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