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36 years on Mars, Mars 3 anniversary
Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Dec 2 2007, 11:58 AM
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36 years ago, on this very same day, 2 December 1971, the Soviet probe Mars 3 successfully landed on Mars. Though it functioned for only 20 seconds and no science was returned it was indeed an engineering success.

The first and only picture from Mars 3 lander. Image Credit : Ted Stryk / strykfoto.org
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Adam
post Dec 2 2007, 12:12 PM
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I might be wrong, but wasn't it pretty much decided that there was little data returned and that the "picture" is only noise?
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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Dec 2 2007, 12:16 PM
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Yes. There have been speculations based on this image,however, that the lander was turned upside down and that line shows the horizon.
I hope that future probes or possibly astronauts will find out that's the reason for the failure smile.gif

There are some more errr... raw images:




Image of the PropM rover:

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nprev
post Dec 2 2007, 01:17 PM
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A date & an achievement worth noting to be sure, ZV...and only 14 years after Sputnik I! smile.gif


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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Dec 2 2007, 10:33 PM
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Yes, only 14 years after Sputnik mankind achieved a soft landing on Mars!

But... it's December already, it's an important month for Martian Exploration.
For example, tomorrow is 3th December. It's the day when Mars Polar Lander had to land, but the contact was lost. Eight years after that, we still don't know what happened to it.
Then... we have 25th December. It was the day when Beagle 2 was supposed to land... It was also lost...
So, we have several probes (Mars 3, MPL, Beagle 2) which were sheduled to land in December, and all failed. Bad statistics...
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dilo
post Dec 2 2007, 11:14 PM
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Perhaps a little bit OT, but not completely...
Today, when looking to last MER images, I was talking to myself once more: "Is incredible, these beautiful pictures are almost realtime shots from the surface of another planet, and they comes daily in the last 4 years!". Same feeling with Cassini gallery...
I really hope this will continue to be the normality in the future, with a continuous coverage through MSL, EXO-mars and other long-duration missions. Besides scientific return, I think is important to easily access such "alien" visions, it helps us (poor humans) to have a wider breath, avoiding humanity to collapse on herself... smile.gif
Maybe I'm a dreamer, any though on that?


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nprev
post Dec 3 2007, 02:48 AM
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You're absolutely right, Dilo...we need to keep looking outward, always. We always have before. That's why we didn't become extinct in some forgotten African valley three or four million years ago...there were always a few rabble-rousers that wanted to see what was beyond the next hill.

If we play it right, it's our immortality... wink.gif ...God, how I hope that we do.


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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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Shaka
post Dec 3 2007, 05:20 AM
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smile.gif
Good, that makes three dreamers at UMSF.
How many more?

The denizens of Earth need Mars...more than they know.


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peter59
post Dec 3 2007, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (dilo @ Dec 3 2007, 12:14 AM) *
Is incredible, these beautiful pictures are almost realtime shots from the surface of another planet, and they comes daily in the last 4 years. I really hope this will continue to be the normality in the future, with a continuous coverage through MSL, EXO-mars and other long-duration missions.


EXO-mars' data released daily by ESA ? Are you kidding?


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dilo
post Dec 4 2007, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE (peter59 @ Dec 3 2007, 07:13 PM) *
EXO-mars' data released daily by ESA ? Are you kidding?

Hehe, Peter, I understand your sarcasm but I deliberately included EXO-mars in the hope to see a change in the PR ESA policy in the future... at the end, perhaps, it depends also from public opinion pressure! rolleyes.gif


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marsbug
post Dec 4 2007, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (Shaka @ Dec 3 2007, 05:20 AM) *
smile.gif
Good, that makes three dreamers at UMSF.
How many more?

The denizens of Earth need Mars...more than they know.


I'd count myself as one more. Although I don't think we should stop at mars smile.gif


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Dec 4 2007, 06:55 PM
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Wait one minute, a topic on spacecraft lost around the red planet or on its surface without mentioning the " Great Ghalactic Ghoul ", an imaginary monster living somewhere out around the orbit of the red planet that just likes to destroy spacecraft wink.gif
This 'absurd' explanation for lost spacecraft was created by Donald Neff, a journalist of TIME magazine mars.gif
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PDP8E
post Dec 12 2007, 06:57 PM
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MY SPECULATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE SOVIET MARS 3 LANDER IMAGE


I cropped the ‘probable data’ portion from the original image.
Attached Image




I wrote three C/C++ programs to reduce only image noise:
• Eliminate salt and pepper noise with a modified rank order filter
• Reduce Gaussian noise with a modified sigma filter
• Reduce other noise (speckle and non-Gaussian) via normalization

Attached Image


The modifications I made to several well known filter algorithms (Lee’s sigma filter, the Frost MSE filter, and the rank order filters, -etc.) were done in such a way as to only adjust noisy pixels and to leave the rest of the image untouched. The programs characterized each pixel as either: ‘image’ or ‘highly probable noise’; the programs then assigned the noisy pixels new values depending on their noise type: rank order median for salt and pepper, sigma values or Gaussian, -etc. In the end, over 64% of the final pixels have retained their exact original values. I then wrote another C program to zoom out the image (3x) using the bi-cubic spline interpolation algorithm from the Harley & Weeks image processing handbook.

My Top 4 Interpretations of the Resulting Image


Attached Image

(1) Most Probable - (bright horizontal line at the bottom) - Looking down at the ground at something less then 45 degrees, but not under the ship. The dark area is disturbed soil; may be caused by a skidding/rolling type landing. We are looking out less then 2 meters (?). The bright line is a power up artifact of the camera and/or a reflection off one of the unfolded shiny metal shrouds on the lander. This composition is reminiscent of Surveyor, Viking, Venera, and other landers looking at or near their feet as one of their first images.



( no image - just flip the one above)
2) Possible - (flip the image to any of the two vertical orientations) Looking down again at the ground, possibly an out of focus scrape mark from the ship skidding/rolling or just the soil beneath the camera. We are looking down at less than 1 meter (?)


Attached Image

(3) Most Wishful - (bright horizontal line at top) Looking out at the horizon with a dark ridge in the foreground – notice the ‘rocks’ in and on the dark foreground ridge... Notice the large rock near the top right near the bright horizon. Notice the rock near the bottom right at the trailing edge of the dark ridge. Notice the rock(s) on the dark ridge near the left edge of the image. Notice the dusty atmosphere near the horizon (at top). We are looking outward from meters to the local horizon (a hundred meters?)


(4) Consensus since the 1970’s - This whole ‘image’ is just noise and my programs and your programs and you and I are just hallucinating, i.e. a Soviet Rorschach test.


Some other points to consider:
- Soviet experts (early 1970s) agreed that this image was just noise.
- The camera’s longer axis should be the vertical axis of the image – making interpretation 1, 2, and 3, scenes from a craft lying on its side.
- The landing was during a regional/global dust storm
- The available lighting was supposedly 50lux (low lighting)

I interpret the uniformly bright area in the image as the point where the vidicon camera was turned on. It then AGC’ed within a few lines to a normal gain-level. I suggest this because the noise pixels in the original (un-cropped) image just above this bright area (for ~10 lines before the bright area and parallel to the bright line across the image) are uniformly brighter by a few percent - compared to the noise pixels in all the lines before it; This statistically significant observation suggests the this may be the actual turn-on time of the vidicon; then we see the vidicon ‘blooming’ (i.e. all signal, no contrast, the white area); and then the gain control takes over….and we have a noisy image for ~60 more lines before the transmission stops. Alternatively, since this ‘brighter’ noise is spatially correlated to the bright line, it just may be a photographic artifact of the stupid screen-shot that we have been forced to deal with for the last 30+ years. I would really love to get a hold of the original Soviet data!

Final Conjecture:
Mars 3 landed but may have skidded or tipped over during the final approach. The usual suspects are rocks, rockets, chutes, winds, -etc. The damaged lander started its science sequence. The first image was in the process of beaming down to Earth. The orientation of the camera to the noisy image fragment suggests that the lander is not in the upright position. After 70 scan lines reach Earth, the signal is suddenly lost. What failed? Was it the transmitter, the electrical system, the final remnants of the propellant leaking from broken rocket nozzles onto panels and into the system electronics or maybe the battered lander just slouched and started rolling over again as a result of a precarious perch or the slumping soil and rock mechanics from the hard landing…

To the MRO Crew:
Please take some lucky MRO images of the Mars 3 landing site for Christmas!
Its easy…look in and near northern Ptolemy Crater , 45° S, 158° W; you should see a dusty old parachute and a nearby shiny Soviet lander lying on its side!
Thanks!! wink.gif


Parting Shot -- A False Color Image of the Wishful Horizon Interp:


Attached Image

Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 


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Phil Stooke
post Dec 12 2007, 07:50 PM
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"Its easy…look in and near northern Ptolemy Crater , 45° S, 158° W; "


45° S, 158° W (+ or - 200 km or thereabouts).

Phil


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djellison
post Dec 12 2007, 08:02 PM
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So a 400km x 400km search box. 160,000 sqkm

That's only 2500+ HiRISE images - what's the problem.

smile.gif

Doug
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