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MSL landing site: Gale Crater
djellison
post Jul 25 2011, 06:17 AM
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The water/beer/vodka theme is a repeating joke by Ken.
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ElkGroveDan
post Jul 25 2011, 01:58 PM
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And worth noting is that he was careful not to include whiskey which comes from the Gaelic term uisce beath meaning "water of life" and of course all the connotations that would imply.


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peter59
post Jul 25 2011, 06:38 PM
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HiRISE team has gathered together all images of MSL's landing site (84 images).
http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/releases/msl-gale-crater.php


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Nirgal
post Jul 30 2011, 11:27 AM
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Here is a simulated late-evening view from the dune field near the MSL landing area looking south-west along the western edge of the crater mound:

Attached Image


here for context the whole (yet unfinished) DTM mosaic, although at a preliminary resolution.

Attached Image


This is still a work in progress but I thought, I'd share some preliminary results with you smile.gif

More images and flyover-movies are in the making ...
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AndyG
post Jul 30 2011, 12:01 PM
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I'm glad I was sitting down when I saw those, Nirgal - absolutely beautiful. Many thanks.

Andy
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 30 2011, 02:35 PM
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Beautiful... We hardly even need to go there now!

Phil


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Guest_Oersted_*
post Jul 30 2011, 03:20 PM
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Mindboggling! - And no vertical exaggeration?
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vjkane
post Jul 30 2011, 07:18 PM
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The journal Science has just published an article that gives the back story on the ultimate MSL landing site selection process. Unfortunately, a subscription is required, so anyone without a university library account is unlikely to be able to read the piece. So, I'll give a quick summary of the key points.


Gale Crater stands out for its geomorphic and compositional diversity. Unfortunately, no one knows how that big mountain in Gale Crater with all its layers formed. Wind blown dust? Volcanic ash? Impact debris? Science titled its story, "How an alluring geological enigma won the Mars rover sweepstakes." That term, enigma, Science reports, comes up a lot in discussions about Gale.

So, why did an enigma win? Here's what Science reports:

Mawrth has the most ancient materials (big plus), but as with Gale, no one knows how they formed. Also, the geology of Mawrth has been changed by a nearby impact, and the fear was that scientists wouldn't be able to tease out its history. As an additional problem, this site lacks geological diversity, and driving there might be like driving across the surface of Meridiani Planum, the Opportunity rover's site. (Fortunately, Opportunity has had craters to explore, but there's not a whole of diversity in between.)

Holden Crater lacks a delta to indicate that it ever had a lake, and the MSL mission is all about exploring sites modified by water.

Eberswalde Crater has a delta and eventually became the runner up site. While the layers in the delta would make an enticing target for exploration, this site lacked the diversity of Gale Crater.

In the end, the diversity of Gale Crater plus its abundance of water-altered strata won the day. As a bonus, the smooth plain where the rover will land may be a delta.


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ustrax
post Aug 1 2011, 11:12 AM
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Nirgal, just awesome work man, awesome. Counting the days to confirm how accurate your images are... smile.gif


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eoincampbell
post Aug 4 2011, 11:50 AM
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QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Jul 25 2011, 06:58 AM) *
...careful not to include whiskey...

laugh.gif they've been careful not to call it a wild rover too smile.gif


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PDP8E
post Aug 4 2011, 06:57 PM
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nirgal,

Your 23rd century image skills are very impressive to the people of the 21st!

!!







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mhoward
post Aug 5 2011, 12:14 AM
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Really great stuff, Nirgal. Currently on my desktop.
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machi
post Aug 5 2011, 12:36 AM
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Nirgal, your images are really majestic! ohmy.gif


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Guest_Oersted_*
post Aug 12 2011, 10:25 AM
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Anything similar to this near Gale?
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/mult...a/pia14472.html
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Paolo
post Aug 12 2011, 11:24 AM
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I don't think so. In any case it would be very difficult to drive a rover up such a slope.
I think that the most sensitive idea to explore these sites (and WE MUST explore them) is this: http://web.mit.edu/iang/www/pubs/artillery_05.pdf
or a tethered rover unreeled from the top of the cliff (I think JPL was working on something like that a decade or so ago)


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