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MSL landing site: Gale Crater
belleraphon1
post Jul 22 2011, 03:19 PM
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Doug...

I was just going post the MSL Conference link but you beat me to it.

Thanks for the Mars Journal link... good weekend reading ahead for me!

Craig
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BrianL
post Jul 22 2011, 05:56 PM
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From the perspective of someone whose primary interest is looking at the purty pictures, I am ecstatic with this choice. Between this, Oppy's pending arrival at Endeavour, the return of the Jets, and hardly any mosquitoes, I give this summer in the Peg an A++.
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peter59
post Jul 22 2011, 06:18 PM
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QUOTE (belleraphon1 @ Jul 22 2011, 04:19 PM) *
... good weekend reading ahead for me!

http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/landingsites/..._etal_Jun08.pdf
More watching, less reading. It may be useful as a supplement.


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elakdawalla
post Jul 22 2011, 06:47 PM
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Tanya Harrison gave me really nice CTX mosaics covering the part of Gale in which Curiosity's mission will likely unfold, at 10 meters per pixel. Here they are with and without scale bars.


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Ant103
post Jul 22 2011, 07:20 PM
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That's just a very good news. This site is very beautiful. Sure we will have very nice landscapes there smile.gif.

What amazing times we are living smile.gif.


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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 22 2011, 07:33 PM
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Fantastic picture, Emily (and Tanya!). It looks like there are some gully-like features on the crater rim (and secondary crater rim) on the left side of the image. Is that just mass wasting (i.e., dust) off the rim? Or have water gullies been claimed in the Gale Crater rim?
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elakdawalla
post Jul 22 2011, 08:10 PM
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FYI, I just split the MSL landing site discussion topic at the point where the downselection to Gale was made (or, I guess, leaked). Here's the earlier topic with more general discussion of landing site selection process.


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algorimancer
post Jul 22 2011, 08:53 PM
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From the Anderson & Bell 2010 paper linked earlier:

" The similarity between the observed pattern in the upper Gale Crater mound and the cross-beds exposed at White Sands leads us to speculate that the upper mound unit may have been formed by the lithification of a large aeolian dune field. "

To me, establishing that this is the case would lead to a redirection of the mission away from the mound and to the crater floor and rim -- plenty of neat things to explore there. Actually, the more I read the more I'd like to see the mound as pretty scenery in the distance while exploring things like elevated and sinuous channels and of course phyllosliicates.

"Scott et al. (1978), Greeley and Guest (1987), Scott and Chapman (1995), Malin and Edgett (2000) and Thomson et al. (2008) have suggested or discussed an aeolian origin
for the material of the Gale mound. We observe textures on the upper mound unit that could be large-scale (hundreds of meters) crossbeds (Figure 30), similar to
bedforms observed at White Sands National Monument on Earth (Figure 32). We interpret the observed textures as evidence that the upper mound has an aeolian origin. On Earth, crossbeds are often significantly smaller than those observed on the upper mound, so that the lack of crossbeds in HiRISE observations of the lower mound does not exclude an aeolian origin for these units. Although no crossbeds are observed in the lower mound units, the ridged morphology of portions of the mound-skirting unit and the dark-toned layered yardang unit may represent lithified aeolian bedforms. "

They go on to discuss the possibility of there having been a crater lake and many features resulting from lacustrine processes, which does not conflict with an aeolian origin of the mound, and mention that there were likely many process involved in creating the features present today.

Overall a neat paper.
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elakdawalla
post Jul 22 2011, 09:08 PM
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Can any of you visualization geniuses simulate or describe what the view of the mound will look like from the middle of the landing ellipse? Will we see it at all? Will it look like what Opportunity is seeing now? Or will it loom higher?


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Paul Fjeld
post Jul 22 2011, 09:32 PM
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On page 16 of this paper by K.S. Edgett of Malin Space Systems there is a very nice view of the crater mound from the MSL landing target. Don't know the field of view in the image, but it should stick up about 5 to 10 degrees from the horizon.
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SteveM
post Jul 22 2011, 10:02 PM
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QUOTE (Paul Fjeld @ Jul 22 2011, 04:32 PM) *
On page 16 of this paper by K.S. Edgett of Malin Space Systems there is a very nice view of the crater mound from the MSL landing target. Don't know the field of view in the image, but it should stick up about 5 to 10 degrees from the horizon.
The figure says the observer is 15 km from the mound. At that distance, 5 corresponds to an elevation difference of 1300 meters, 10 corresponds to 2600 meters. How does that agree with the local DEM?

SteveM
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belleraphon1
post Jul 22 2011, 10:42 PM
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QUOTE (peter59 @ Jul 22 2011, 02:18 PM) *
http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/landingsites/..._etal_Jun08.pdf
More watching, less reading. It may be useful as a supplement.


Thanks peter59

A visual feast!

Remember all the rover design studies after Viking. We all wanted to stroll over hills and past far horizons. I feel so fortunate to see that desire come to fruition.
Little Sojourner, then MER with all the wonders that Spirit and Opportunity have and continue to show us.

And the future with Curiosity looks high and bright.

Craig
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Ant103
post Jul 22 2011, 10:43 PM
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I used on of the CTX picture you've posted as an overlay in Google Mars to have more accurate details. So, I "landed" on the center of landing ellipse and aquire a panorama.

The result is this (in B&W) :
Attached Image


We can see very clearly the crater mound, and its rim. It will be certainly more "foggy" in real conditions. I will try to do a more photorealistic pan.


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elakdawalla
post Jul 22 2011, 10:48 PM
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Thanks, Paul and Damien, that's exactly what I was looking for.


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Paul Fjeld
post Jul 22 2011, 11:27 PM
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QUOTE (Ant103 @ Jul 22 2011, 05:43 PM) *
I used on of the CTX picture you've posted as an overlay in Google Mars to have more accurate details. So, I "landed" on the center of landing ellipse and aquire a panorama.


Very cool. I eyeball the peak about 10 degrees high from your pan, so that should look pretty impressive.
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