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Explore Mars: Spirit's Journey
Robert S
post Aug 30 2011, 10:53 PM
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This is a wonderful tribute to Spirit!

http://exploremars.jpl.nasa.gov/Spirit

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ElkGroveDan
post Aug 30 2011, 11:16 PM
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I suppose the thought is nice, and no offense to the people at JPL who have been so friendly and welcoming to me, but compared to other space-related interactive simulations out there, this is kind of lame. I showed it to my ten-year-old son who has been following the rovers with me over the years. After 10 minutes he said, "Thanks Dad, but this is really boring."


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tanjent
post Aug 31 2011, 02:24 AM
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The rover looks somewhat like it is flying over a sea of pinkish-orange clouds. I think if some more detail from the navcam photography could be incorporated into the background environment, it would make for a much more convincing simulation. That would increase the required bandwidth, probably quite a lot, but would make the product much more challenging for both children and adults. If some areas lack coverage, or if the user is allowed to instigate small deviations from the actually-traveled course, the present level of detail could fill in where the navcam data is unavailable. In the limit it could become a really major project - a user-accessible archive rather than a toy.
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James Sorenson
post Aug 31 2011, 02:54 AM
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I actually found that pretty interesting. It look's like doug left his mark in there with his rover model laugh.gif . The data at the top with the battery percentage, the tau, and temperature was cool to. I'm wondering though what the last known physical state of IDD is and other hardware such as the PMA position and HGA position. I know that is all located in the PDS, but just checking if anyone knows before digging? Was the IDD stowed or extended? A suggestion, and not necessarily a sugestion for that tool, would be to show with a picture or video the rovers physical state with the JPL high quality rover photorelistic model overlayed on the terrain to show what the rover would look like as a future explorer walking up to it would see.
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djellison
post Aug 31 2011, 03:36 AM
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QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Aug 30 2011, 07:54 PM) *
I actually found that pretty interesting. It look's like doug left his mark in there with his rover model laugh.gif .


That's the only contribution I made. It's quite misleading in places ( always driving forwards, citing a 'battery percentage' graph rather than actual Whrs, some location labels being dozens if not hundreds of yards away from where they should be etc etc )

It's a nice toy, but I don't think it goes beyond that. The best words I can say are that it's clearly not aimed at an audience like this...I'm not sure what audience it IS aimed at though.
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stevesliva
post Aug 31 2011, 06:13 AM
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If they inset the view from the various cameras, it would be pretty neat. Has potential. But yeah, a bit on the tedious side now.
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Astro0
post Aug 31 2011, 10:31 AM
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If they are going to do stuff like this then I just wish that they went to the effort of making it accurate and immersive.

It does nothing to tell you of her struggle, gives little detail of the discoveries made and uses images that to the uninformed are at best misleading. Importantly, it tells you nothing of the team who made her journey possible. You get a link to the regular website and that's it. I'm not really sure what this is supposed to be.

For a start the video that shows while the program loads contains some footage from JPL taken during Opportunity's landing. During the drives, especially the going back and forth around Homeplate and the turn-in-place 'spins', to the uninformed viewer these make it looks as if either the Rover is lost and confused or the drivers are drunk (it needs an explanation). The final set of spins near Troy make it look as if Spirit corkscrewed itself into the sandtrap at Scamander. Having levers for speed and direction can mislead viewers into thinking that the Rover was driven by a joystick like a remote control toy. There should be a series of options to allow for varying surface detail level depending on bandwidth. The 'battery charge' thing is just wrong. There's a lot wrong and not much right here.

Frankly, this is done a lot better in Google Mars (minus the Rover model but MMB fills that gap).

I hope that they redo this to a museum quality. It should show all parts of the journey accurately (backwards driving would be nice for one), more milestones on the driving path (5 or 6 spots on a 7+km drive is insulting), what about a record of all the brush and rathole targets (a unique first of this mission), key panoramas and mosaics (what about the spots where the classic 'blue sunset' or 'Earth - you are here' shots were taken), relevant dates (press conferences, discovery releases), major moments (Sol18 flash glitch, Tyrone sulfates, the great 2007 dust storm), linked videos (rover updates in sol sequence, actual drive and idd videos), the list goes on.

I sincerely hope that if they do this for Opportunity that they don't give it the same lip service, and oh please don't ruin Curiosity's journey.

Sorry, for me, I can't see this as a tribute to Spirit.

That's my personal two cents worth. wink.gif
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djellison
post Aug 31 2011, 05:29 PM
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The same email that members of the Be a Martian website got that linked them to the preview of this experience also included a link for feedback.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QD7CYTH

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MoreInput
post Aug 31 2011, 07:34 PM
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I think this is a really good way to show this mission to people who didn't follow it since landing, like we.And the 3d view is really nice.
Of course all the driving is boring, but it didn't much happen on the way to the hills. But with the additional information at soem points it gets really interesing.



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HughFromAlice
post Apr 24 2012, 09:21 AM
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Life is full and I've been busy with so many things that I haven't posted for ages. So hope that all is good with everyone.

I thought that I would start with a revisit. A revisit to Spirit and a revisit to a sunset on Mars from August 2009. It's a good challenge working with such small sized pancam jpegs. I posted the movie to YouTube yesterday. It's called Mars Sunset: The Sun Sinks Low In A Dusty Martian Sky Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf3p61l4gnE

If you possibly can, then view the movie full screen HD and use headphones (You can see the hills much more clearly and in better colour and you can enjoy the sound track)

The movie co-stars the one and only Paolo at the start for a cameo part with the main player - Spirit. Then follow maps of Mars to give the general viewer an idea of where Gusev Crater is. Then comes the sunset.... with the sky starting as a butterscotch/ochre and fading to a blue colour around the sun as it sets. I've enjoyed using a bit of artistic licence with the pics and the sound effects........ since it was dusty, I imagined what it would REALLY be like, standing there with the sound of the wind blowing and all that dust in the sky. The fun of making such movies is that it is the next best thing to REALLY REALLY being there!!!

On the left below is the first pic in the sequence and on the right the last pic - after the sun has gone down. Hope you enjoy the movie!

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Attached Image
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Guest_Oersted_*
post Apr 26 2012, 11:49 PM
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Thanks, very atmospheric!
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HughFromAlice
post Apr 27 2012, 03:52 AM
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Nice of you to say so!

Wind track in my YouTube Vid: For those interested - you can check out the atmospherics of what wind would sound like on Mars at
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/...nd-on-mars?lite
Southampton Uni, UK work. V interesting..... especially Mary Had A Little Lamb on Venus, Mars and Titan!!

Plus - you, yourself, are v good at artistic licence! If others want to check this out click on O's Astronomy Pic Of The Day link. It's ★★★★★Hᴜɢʜ..ツ
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CosmicRocker
post Apr 27 2012, 05:11 AM
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Getting back to the topic at hand, I agree with Robert S in post #1. It's a nice tribute to Spirit's mission. This was really a quite nice first attempt at using science and engineering data from an actual planetary exploration mission to provide a virtual exploration experience for web users. I commend NASA/JPL for doing this, and I look forward to improved versions for Opportunity's mission and others in the future.

Of course, nothing they could have done on a realistic budget would satisfy those of us who have followed these rovers every single day since January 2004. We need to be realistic; this is a start; a first attempt at creating a re-playable mission using actual mission data.

I think the space exploration enthusiast community should enthusiastically embrace and support an effort like this with the hope that eventually it will evolve into a truly immersive, virtual planetary exploration experience. As a next step I would like to see some of MMB incorporated. As a retired scientist, I followed these rovers because they were designed to be extraplanetary robotic explorers, controlled by scientists and engineers from earth. These rovers have been one of the most amazing space exploration missions I have ever imagined.

If I must find fault with something, it would be the lack of significant science content in the program. This was a science mission after all. I don't think the science should be left out on the assumption that most people might not understand it. This shouldn't become a video game.

Finally, I have to recommend that all enthusiasts who have opinions go to the survey link that Doug provided a few posts earlier and take a few minutes to share your thoughts with the developers.


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