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MSL "scarecrow" mobility model
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post Jun 21 2007, 11:09 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jun 20 2007, 08:18 PM) *
Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! We're gonna turn the entire valley floor of Melas Chasma into a 10-foot deep MUUUD PIT!

--Emily


Man, I GOT to see that, but i hear that admission is $60 billion at the door, or $300 billion for groups of six. Gotta bust open the swear jar, and find five other foul-mouthed friends willing to do likewise... ph34r.gif


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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Jim from NSF.com
post Jun 22 2007, 02:29 AM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jun 20 2007, 09:10 PM) *
Well, think of it this way -- a MER is about the size of a golf cart. MSL will be about the size of a Jeep. No wonder they want to find a way to just gently drop the thing onto its wheels and not have to worry about a platform big enough for it to roll off of...

-the other Doug


Actually it is the size of a Mini Cooper and JPL has the premission to use it for comparisons
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MarsEngineer
post Jun 22 2007, 05:44 AM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jun 20 2007, 09:17 AM) *
I went to JPL yesterday to see them put the mobility model for MSL through its paces. It is HUGE!

--Emily


Hi Emily,

I am sorry I missed you yesterday.

Your reaction is the same reaction we all have when we first see scarecrow. It is big. But it is not just big ... it has a presence .. it is there .. you can almost see it alone on Mars scratching its metalic way over boulders and vanquishing ventifacts. Little Sojourner and even MER did not project itself into our space like MSL does.

Ironically when engineers "see" objects via textual requirements (e.g. mass & volume of science instruments, rover mass estimates) or even schematics and drawings we miss the reality of what we are attempting. I suspect that those who have seen it for the first time without hearing much about it in advance will wonder about the audacity of it all. Is this a sign of our arrogence? One could easily conclude that it is. But to the engineers, ironically it is not. To our eyes it is all numeric. Margined mass estimates, volumes, structural loads, power profiles ... if the units are mm or m, mg or kg, the problems are the same. It is only when we see it with our own eyes and through the fresh eyes of others does the reality set in.

But only for a moment. There are dynamics simulations, functional design documents, modal analyses, design reviews, schematics, procurements, test plans, test equipment & tests to complete. There is but a moment for awe.

-Rob Manning

PS I first got wacked by the reality of Mars exploration way back on Mars Pathfinder in th fall of 1994 when a gaggle of engineers, scientists and teachers drove up to the "scablands" of eastern Washington State (my home state) to visit the terrestial "analog" to Pathfinder's eventual landing site called Ares Vallis (massive catastrophic water outflow - Mars floods about 3x10^9 years ago and Earth's about 13,000 years ago). We swung by Spokane and visited a Jr HS on a Thur night in the pouring rain to talk to the general public figuring there might be some who would be interested in Mars. We expected maybe a few dozen folks - maybe some high school science teachers. It looked as if a thousand people showed up. Suddenly I no longer felt I was just another engineer working on a little project that nobody cared about. My job became far more intense after that, but also far more exciting.
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punkboi
post Aug 31 2007, 04:02 PM
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I'm more than 3 months late, but here's a pic I took of the MSL model at the JPL Open House... I took more, but I'll just post this one. tongue.gif
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post Aug 31 2007, 05:38 PM
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As Rob said, it definitely has presence! blink.gif

Not that I'm big into Futurama references or anything, but "The Crushinator" just seems perfect as a nickname, here...

BTW, does anybody know what sort of launch vehicle has been selected for MSL? This beast seems to require more than a Delta II... huh.gif


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