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MSL landing site: Gale Crater
Stu
post Jun 23 2011, 01:50 PM
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The more of those stunning "flyover" animations I see, the more I wish we had a plane, or an airship, or a balloon, flying low over Mars taking images like that, Red Mars style...

Sigh... Maybe one day...



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centsworth_II
post Jun 23 2011, 01:58 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 23 2011, 08:44 AM) *
Clearly not an advantage...
Of course its an advantage. Each site has its unique advantage as well as disadvantage. The disadvantage of the Eberswalde site is that it may have formed over a short period of time and not represent much of an historical record.
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djellison
post Jun 23 2011, 02:02 PM
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Quite clearly I meant an advantage over the other sites.

No site had that.
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Paul Fjeld
post Jun 23 2011, 02:32 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 23 2011, 01:10 AM) *
A longer animation involving more data from HRSC/CTX/HiRISE

Really great stuff, Doug. Thanks!

I had a chance to talk with one of the MSL Co-Is about the landing site selection a few months ago and expressed a strong hope that Gale would be selected. She was a bit taken aback and asked why? I said it was dramatic and pretty. She didn't care much about that. From your animation, Doug, it also looks "cool."
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eoincampbell
post Jun 23 2011, 02:45 PM
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"Nature has learned that it rose to the top last month following a secret ranking"
Oops, did someone let the cat out of the bag?... smile.gif


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PDP8E
post Jun 23 2011, 04:00 PM
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Yea!! I was soooo rooting for Gale!
GO MSL!



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Julius
post Jun 23 2011, 07:39 PM
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I see that those who have been lobbying for GALE seem to be having it their way at last! I was more keen on Mawrth which didnt seem to have been favoured for most of the time ..thats my impression ! Oh well, despite this, Gale seems to be an exciting destination and now just hope that Curiosity gets to MARS!
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Jun 23 2011, 07:45 PM
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Hopefully the good stuff isnt bured like at Gusev.
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Julius
post Jun 23 2011, 07:48 PM
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well said sunspot..I feel that NASA wants to make up for the disappointment of landing Spirit in Gusev and now we get Gale.
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Julius
post Jun 23 2011, 07:51 PM
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To be fair, there seems to be a lot of traversibility for the rover to do and thus years of work on Mars which is exciting in itself.
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elakdawalla
post Jun 23 2011, 08:27 PM
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Guys, it's not the same as Gusev. CRISM sees plenty of evidence for interesting mineralogy at Gale. We KNOW the clay and sulfate minerals are there.


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Julius
post Jun 23 2011, 08:34 PM
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Having sulphates and clays at the same site could be interesting in identifying climatic changes that occurred 3-4 billion years ago not to mention dinosaur bones! laugh.gif
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eoincampbell
post Jun 23 2011, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jun 23 2011, 01:27 PM) *
Guys, it's not the same as Gusev.


Was there not enough orbital data to avoid the "crushing disappointment"(S.Squyres) after landing at Gusev ?


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elakdawalla
post Jun 23 2011, 09:05 PM
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Not even close. CRISM wasn't in orbit, remember. CRISM can do two things that THEMIS couldn't: it has much much higher resolution (so it can spot deposits with smaller spatial extent) and it's near-infrared, which makes it much easier to pick up the presence of water and hydroxyl, which is how you identify the presence of clays.


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monitorlizard
post Jun 23 2011, 09:58 PM
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I do believe the fact that Gale is by far the closest to the Martian equator of the four candidate landing sites was a factor (and not a minor one) in its presumed choice. The recent OIG audit of MSL, mentioned on another thread, said that "expected performance of the rover's power generation system, the...MMRTG, has been reduced." That brings back the question of how much of the energy budget is needed to electrically heat actuators all over the rover each morning, and that makes a near-equator landing site very attractive again.

That said, I have absolutely nothing against Gale as a science site. It has lots of interesting features, and the phyllosilicates that are probably the best hope for finding organics.

The above quote was from page 6 of: http://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY11/IG-11-019.pdf
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