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MSL Cruise Phase
MarsEngineer
post Nov 28 2011, 12:54 AM
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Hi all,

Please take a look at the observations made by Duncan Waldron (of the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia).

Images and a movie of the Centaur upper stage venting and (remarkably MSL just after separation) from yesterday's launch:

http://www.facebook.com/BrisbanePlanetarium

Amazing. I shared it with our team here too.

-Rob
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nprev
post Nov 28 2011, 12:59 AM
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ohmy.gif ...words utterly fail me. Just remarkable.

Many thanks for posting this, Rob!


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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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eoincampbell
post Nov 28 2011, 03:05 AM
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WOW! Thanks for sharing another "Heimdall" moment ohmy.gif


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tanjent
post Nov 28 2011, 08:36 AM
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Quote: http://www.facebook.com/BrisbanePlanetarium

"Other than observations by Brisbane Planetarium staff on Sunday, no other reports have been received of observations of the Mars Science Laboratory, Centaur rocket stage and plume thousands of kilometres out from Earth. Looks like only three of us saw this unique sight. Timings - Curator Mark Rigby (whose camera plays up!) first sees the plume at 2:15am and it is like a one-degree elongated cloud of VERY easy naked eye brightness. Duncan Waldron sees it about 2:30pm and begins photography as it fades. Nonetheless, he captures a unique timelapse covering 21 minutes until 3am"

Sounds familiar. I believe I saw New Horizons off from a similar vantage point. See post 460 in the NH launch thread. (That will remain forever unconfirmed, but it's still interesting to know that these things can be naked-eye visible at such distances.)

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...2050&st=450
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Guest_Oersted_*
post Nov 28 2011, 01:12 PM
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That is an amazing timelapse!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA9U9TZZ4nc...player_embedded
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Guest_Oersted_*
post Nov 28 2011, 03:10 PM
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On my youtube page of MSL launch movies I am getting some questions. I have managed to answer two of them, but I need an answer for the third, which I interpret as "cruise speed of MSL"... Could someone in here maybe help me with the answer?

http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=k9xpePuiqA8

"pl inside earth gravity how maney km/h speed?" - I replied 11,2 km/s, which I believe is more or less the correct the escape velocity.

"after psssing gravity how maney km/h?" - Hmmm...

"when msl will reach mars?" - I replied August 2012.
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Greg Hullender
post Nov 28 2011, 03:57 PM
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QUOTE (Oersted @ Nov 28 2011, 07:10 AM) *
"after psssing gravity how maney km/h?" - Hmmm...

I think he wants to know the hyperbolic excess velocity.

--Greg
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kwan3217
post Nov 28 2011, 08:58 PM
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(Full inline quote removed- Mod)

The guys at JPL SSD (that do the Horizons ephemeris program) got the spice kernel for a projected launch at what happened to be the actual launch time, 26 Nov at start of window. Since the launch was accurate (<0.1 sigma) this is probably pretty good. You can't get the kernel from them, but you can run Horizons and get any form of vectors or elements you want, which may be even better than a kernel.

Earth departure according to the kernel:
Kernel starts at 2011-NOV-26 15:52:12.3830 CT (not UTC, about a minute difference. UTC is 2011-11-26T15:51:06.200 at kernel start)
Periapse was 798.736 seconds before this, 13m18.736 seconds, so periapse was at 2011-Nov-26 15:38:53.647 CT (15:37:47.464 UTC)
Periapse distance: 6572.438km from the center of the Earth, or about 194km altitude
Eccentricity: 1.17677
From this, velocity at periapse was 11.490km/s. This was 476m/s above escape speed at this altitude. Hyperbolic excess speed (v_inf, eventual speed of departure from Earth) is 3.274km/s, for a C3 of 10.721

Spaceflightnow reported centaur main engine start 2 at 32:40 MET (15:34:40 UTC) and cutoff at 40:30 MET(15:42:30 UTC) so theoretical periapse is during the centaur burn, which is kind of as expected.

The second burn also was used to increase the inclination, so it was not purely in plane. The parking orbit was something like 28deg inclination, while departure was at 34.5deg. This is weird, since you should be able to launch at an azimuth such that no plane change is needed in the second burn.
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Roby72
post Nov 28 2011, 09:51 PM
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Here you could see Curiosity 10 hours 30 minutes after launch - taken by Austrian amateur Gerhard Dangl:

http://www.dangl.at/2011/msl/msl.htm

Video here:
http://www.dangl.at/2011/msl/msl.avi

very good result in my opinion !

Robert
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Guest_Bobby_*
post Nov 29 2011, 12:40 AM
Post #40





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Question? Is there a site either through JPL or another place that shows where MSL is now. A tracking site showing location. I can't seem to find one.

Thanks.
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punkboi
post Nov 29 2011, 12:49 AM
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http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/

MSL's position should eventually be posted on this page

EDIT: And this page as well:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/whereistherovernow/


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Astro0
post Nov 30 2011, 04:12 AM
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As usual, Eyes on the Solar System can take us all on a ride throughout MSL's cruise phase.

From the Twitter site:
Preliminary @MarsCuriosity trajectory is in. http://1.usa.gov/tU6T8m to ride onboard looking back at Earth http://twitpic.com/7lqw60

TIP: If you haven't used Eyes on the Solar System - DO SO!
Note: You will need to download the Unity player plug-in for your browser (it'll tell you if you haven't already got it).
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Explorer1
post Nov 30 2011, 05:57 AM
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Is the cruise stage's spin in real-time?
Great attention to detail if so!
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MahFL
post Nov 30 2011, 12:08 PM
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Don't forget, the whole Rover is spinning....lol. Thankfully she does not have a human "brain".
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MahFL
post Nov 30 2011, 12:13 PM
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I am not sure how accurate the model is but it looks like there is only one thruster jet on the cruise stage for course corrections, I would have thought 2 would be more reliable.
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