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Phobos-Grunt
monty python
post Nov 4 2011, 06:31 AM
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Wow that's a complex mission. I really hope this works.

I'm particularly excited about the long wave radar that can see rock layers down to 100 meters below the surface. It might shed some light on those grooves and how they formed!
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konangrit
post Nov 5 2011, 07:42 PM
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http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18209

Moving to launch complex 08:00 MSK Nov 06.

Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1 Encapsulated for Voyage to Mars and Phobos

QUOTE
“Phobos-Grunt will launch on November 9, 2011 at 00:26 a.m. Moscow time,” said Alexey Kuznetsov, Head of the Roscosmos Press Office in an exclusive interview with Universe Today. Roscosmos is the Russian Federal Space Agency, equivalent to NASA and ESA.

“The launch window extends until November 25.”

“At this moment we are preparing the “Zenit-2SB” launch vehicle, the cruise propulsion system and the “Phobos Grunt” automatic interplanetary station at the Baikonur Cosmodrome,”


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eoincampbell
post Nov 5 2011, 09:27 PM
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"...interplanetary station..." Love the sound of that!
The momentum is really building! Best of luck to the Phobos-Grunt team.


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MERovingian
post Nov 5 2011, 10:08 PM
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Is it me or, if I compare the Curiosity thread with this Fobos one, the Fobos-Grunt mission does not seem to be generating as much enthousiasm as the American rover? Is that because not many people believe that it will actually work or is it just because the Russians are a little more secretive than the Americans (even though they have done fantastic progress when it comes to public relations now: a lot of pics and videos can now be found on the Russian sites) and people are not aware of the complexity of the upcoming mission to Phobos?

Personally, I'm thrilled to bits with both missions (whatever is headed to Mars is good in my books!), even though it is indeed scary to read about Fobos-Grunt 90% untested and going up apparently with an unfinished software. It does get even scarier when you watch the way the Russian team is integrating the different parts of the mission together! It's a far cry from the JPL ways, to say the least.

Anyhow, I wish the very best of luck to the Russians starting on Tuesday on their first mission to Mars since 1996!It took a lot of perseverance and patience for these guys, working with ridiculous budgets; I believe the cost of Fobos- Grunt is... 64 million dollars? huh.gif

I will be taking time off from work just to watch the Zenith taking off (by the way, does anybody know of a site where it will be shown live from Baikonur??), just as I will for the MSL on the 25th. What a wonderful month!!!
In a year from now, I want to sit in front of this computer and find new pictures from Phobos (with Mars huge in the Phobos skies), new pictures from Gale crater, and new pictures from the immortal Opportunity at Endeavour!

So, I keep my fingers crossed for this marvelous mission -and the Chinese one that goes with it- which is about to start on Tuesday! GO FOBOS-GRUNT! smile.gif
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ugordan
post Nov 5 2011, 10:42 PM
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QUOTE (MERovingian @ Nov 5 2011, 11:08 PM) *
Is it me or, if I compare the Curiosity thread with this Fobos one, the Fobos-Grunt mission does not seem to be generating as much enthousiasm as the American rover?

I think it's mainly due to less information being provided for F-G (there's also the language barrier) as well as the fact that MSL is a huge rover meant to land on another planet. People I think identify with that more easily than to a lander on a huge space rock in vacuum.

QUOTE
Personally, I'm thrilled to bits with both missions (whatever is headed to Mars is good in my books!), even though it is indeed scary to read about Fobos-Grunt 90% untested and going up apparently with an unfinished software.

That is not at all uncommon when it comes to planetary missions.


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elakdawalla
post Nov 6 2011, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE (MERovingian @ Nov 5 2011, 02:08 PM) *
Is it me or, if I compare the Curiosity thread with this Fobos one, the Fobos-Grunt mission does not seem to be generating as much enthousiasm as the American rover?
I agree with what Gordan said, but on top of that, you have to remember what a massive publicity machine NASA has -- they put everyone else to shame. And for a mission with this big a price tag there's a correspondingly large budget for media relations and public outreach. I just got their calendar for the week of launch and there are five press briefings scheduled already, plus there's the Tweetup, and that's just their final push; they've been working to generate buzz for months. They are really, really good at providing the media with exactly what they need, in a way that encourages lots of reporting, at times that make sense for the media to file stories. All the other space agencies should take notes.

I am amazed, though, by the frequency of updates and the number of images that are coming out of Russia on Phobos-Grunt. And they're getting a lot more news coverage in American media than most European launches do.


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nprev
post Nov 6 2011, 01:10 AM
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It's a hopeful sign. NASA took literally decades to learn PR; after all, there were complaints about interruption of "I Love Lucy" reruns on at least one of the last Apollo flights for live moon-walk coverage...it was a very, very painful lesson to learn for them.

Other space agencies will have to follow the same path.

After all, to those of us who are on UMSF, the need for coverage of these missions is intuitively obvious. For scientists on these missions, too often less so; they are far more focused on actually getting the job done (and it's usually a goal they've been working toward for many years)...there's no need to justify it in their minds, and understandably so.

I applaud FG's openness...it is unprecedented so far as I know for a Russian planetary mission. But if there are PR deficiencies, they are most likely attributable to growing pains...plus the fact that the overall media output of the US is undoubtedly much higher than that of most other regions of the world.

Still...speaking as a US citizen, the coverage of MSL is something you actually have to look for. It sure isn't on the nightly news, nor in the papers. And that's a crying shame, really.

But it is what it is.

Nothing worth doing is ever easy, in any way.

Go FG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Greg Hullender
post Nov 6 2011, 02:48 AM
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For a long time, I didn't think they were really going to do it. Now I'm wondering if it'll actually work. I hope it does, but Russia hasn't had great success with Mars in the past. And, of course, Phobos isn't as exciting as Mars.

Of course, if it looks like they managed a successful sample return, then I think interest will go up fast.

Finally, someone needs to tell them that, to be a serious space probe, they have to have a "Where is Grunt" web page. :-)

--Greg
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MERovingian
post Nov 6 2011, 03:58 PM
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Just for fun, compare:

The American way of doing things:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/index.cfm?id=973

with:
The Russian way of doing things:
http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=376

(my favorite part is when the Russian techs are integrating Fobos-Grunt to the truss that will contain the Chinese spacecraft. And it seeems that nobody ever picks up the phone anymore in Russia! laugh.gif )


And about the PR, the Russians are much better at it now that ESA itself. ESA has a lot of efforts to do about that. Apart from us at UMSF, who has ever heard of Mars Express? And when you compare the speed we had pics coming from Spirit and have from Oppy, with the pics coming from Mars Express...!!! mad.gif
It's like the Europeans are most secretive now than the Russians used to be!
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ElkGroveDan
post Nov 6 2011, 05:15 PM
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They certainly have "different" clean room standards.


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djellison
post Nov 6 2011, 07:11 PM
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Different planetary protection requirements anyway - MSL is going to a potential habitat. PHSRM isn't.
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ElkGroveDan
post Nov 6 2011, 07:16 PM
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Agreed, but I'm guessing the assembly facilities for NASA's Mars orbiters didn't have women with their hair covered in the front and hanging out in the back.


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eoincampbell
post Nov 6 2011, 08:03 PM
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QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Nov 6 2011, 10:15 AM) *
They certainly have "different" clean room standards.

But not 'breaking' any standards, right?
Then it's unfair to compare...


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elakdawalla
post Nov 6 2011, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Nov 6 2011, 10:15 AM) *
They certainly have "different" clean room standards.

I'm not sure if this video is still on the web, but I remember Lou making a similar comment about the video of them rolling up Cosmos-1's sails to pack them for launch. In the US it'd have been in a vast clean room, everyone covered from head to toe. In Russia, it looked like it was on a warehouse floor, and everyone was unmasked and leaning over the sails and breathing god knows what on them and rolling them up with bare hands. Different standards, for sure!


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konangrit
post Nov 6 2011, 10:48 PM
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Fobos-Grunt Vs Phobos-Grunt; is there past precedence on transliterating spacecraft into the Latin alphabet/English? Most posters in this thread and the English Wikipedia page use the former, whilst the thread title and Roscosmos use the latter.
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