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Spirit retrospective, - a few details from my current project
Phil Stooke
post Jan 20 2012, 09:13 PM
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I'm working on Spirit at the moment. I will post a few examples of things as I go.

Right now the important job is updating the contemporary route map by locating the stops on HiRISE images. The existing maps at JPL, for the early part of the mission, were plotted on MOC images with inferior resolution and lighting, so I find many locations were about 15 or 20 m out. So at every site I am making circular panoramas (examples later) for comparison with HiRISE. Here's a first example, a map of the route during the Primary Mission. I have added a few extra placenames from the MER Analyst's Notebook at PDS.

Phil

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john_s
post Jan 20 2012, 09:35 PM
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Gorgeous! Are these for a book?

John
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jasedm
post Jan 20 2012, 10:22 PM
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I like that a lot Phil - very nice.

There seems to be a trend in many space/astronomy magazine articles and books for over-doing the colour. If it is for a book, please leave it grayscale - it looks more crisp and authoritative imho.

I look forward to future posts on your progress.




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nprev
post Jan 20 2012, 11:00 PM
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VERY nice work, Phil!!!!


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Phil Stooke
post Jan 20 2012, 11:26 PM
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Hi John - it's for this book:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...mp;#entry181457


Phil


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MizarKey
post Jan 21 2012, 06:47 AM
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I wonder if they regret not going around Bonneville to the heat shield. Spirit could have easily made the trip and may have avoided the problem with the wheel that started around sol 125 when making the trek to the hills. Seeing this map reminded me of those heady early days when you had no idea how far they would take Spirit.


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djellison
post Jan 21 2012, 07:27 AM
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How would driving to the heatshield have avoided the wheel problem?

Giving the information available at the time, sprinting to the hills was clearly the right decision to make.
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ElkGroveDan
post Jan 21 2012, 02:53 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 20 2012, 11:27 PM) *
Giving the information available at the time, sprinting to the hills was clearly the right decision to make.

Given the information we have today it was still the right decision to make.

I would also venture that the experience with Spirit's wheel allowed the team to understand the malfunction and take steps to avoid the same with Opportunity on her epic trek.


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centsworth_II
post Jan 21 2012, 04:27 PM
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And don't forget that Spirit made some fantastic discoveries because of that stuck wheel. Particularly the subsurface silica layer.
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PDP8E
post Jan 21 2012, 04:52 PM
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(1) Having Spirit driving to its crumbled heat-shield on Bonneville and the eventual wheel failure, are not related
(2) The heat-shield, while visually interesting to us (a man made object on mars!), was smashed up on the rocks and of no real value to the engineers. They could get the same results by dropping a copy over the desert in CA
(3) As we learned with OPPY, the heat-shield is a lingering source of volatiles that are not good for scientific instruments
(3) Scooting to the hills was the right exploration decision.

Here is Spririt's crumbled heat-shield (super res):
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...st&id=10115


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djellison
post Jan 21 2012, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE (PDP8E @ Jan 21 2012, 08:52 AM) *
(2) The heat-shield, while visually interesting to us (a man made object on mars!), was smashed up on the rocks and of no real value to the engineers. They could get the same results by dropping a copy over the desert in CA


Actually- that's not true. The engineers who looked at the Opportunity heatshield did get some value out of it. If it was of no real value to the engineers - then the geologists in charge would not have stopped to look at it at Meridiani.


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atomoid
post Feb 4 2012, 12:14 AM
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imho, the wreck of Oppy's heatshield was one of the most interesting stops between Endurance and Victoria. Engineers could analyse for the first time the performance of the ablative material, etc in situ, though i dont know what ever came out of that.. maybe just confirmation they didnt need to change a thing 'hmm yep, it did its job as expected!' not to mention lots of fascinating images of crumpled metal, freshly disturbed soil, remnants of destroyed spacecraft, broken springs and all so curiously tossed asunder manmade derelict debris in such an alien humanless landscape, unforgettable..
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climber
post Feb 4 2012, 08:44 AM
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Rob Manning recentely wrote about this here (i think) but I'm not able to find what he said. Anybody read this?


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centsworth_II
post Feb 4 2012, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE (climber @ Feb 4 2012, 03:44 AM) *
Rob Manning recentely wrote about this here...
From these two posts in the same thread: Here and here.

"Indeed there was a lot of concern when we drove Opportunity to its heatshield after landing (at my and my team's behest). We wanted to learn more about the heatshield performance (we learned a lot!)."

"Unfortunately, while the rover was near the heatshield, apparently wind picked up some particulates that got onto the rear Hazcam lenses. It may have been a coincidence and it was only Mars dust but more probably it was char from the heatshield that the wind blew onto the lenses."

"In summary we concluded that the char depth of the heat shield material matched our predictions (yea!). We also learned that a piece of a mylar blanket that skirted the heat shield became a "flap" that induced some minor but very noticeable wiggles of the entry vehicle (capsule) during Opportunity's entry just before parachute deployment. The blanket was supposed to fully melt away during entry but we found that part of it did not (it was on Mars still attached to the crumpled heat shield). Its position and size matched our entry dynamic simulations for a flapping flap. Needless to say MSL does not have a blanket covering its heat shield (neither did Phoenix)."
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Phil Stooke
post Feb 6 2012, 05:43 PM
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Here's another example of recent work. Hank's Hollow. I may be revising the route a bit but this is tied to the images as much as possible.

Phil


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