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MSL Curiosity Lands Safely in Gale Crater, Landing and Commissioning Activity Period 1A, sols 0-8
Decepticon
post Aug 7 2012, 02:51 AM
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Thanks for those quick replies!

Better Safe than Sorry! laugh.gif
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James Sorenson
post Aug 7 2012, 02:52 AM
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I think they said 140 kg of fuel were left over. Assuming the decent stage tanks are intact, now there is a gas station on mars for future explorers! smile.gif
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MahFL
post Aug 7 2012, 02:53 AM
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QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Aug 7 2012, 03:52 AM) *
I think they said 140 kg of fuel were left over. Assuming the decent stage tanks are intact, now there is a gas station on mars for future explorers! smile.gif


Surely they would have burst open on impact ?
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nprev
post Aug 7 2012, 03:06 AM
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Dunno. We probably won't know. Given the very volatile & rather nasty nature of hydrazine, though, I suspect that MSL & all future spacecraft that may land in this area someday will give the crash site a wide berth.


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ZLD
post Aug 7 2012, 03:07 AM
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Was it ever decided what the "plume" was in the first image? If that was the decent stage, I think the wreckage would be pretty bad and not of much use.


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nprev
post Aug 7 2012, 03:11 AM
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Question was asked at the press conference, and really the answer is that there's not enough data to tell what it was one way or another. If it was a transient phenomenon. it'll obviously be long gone before the full cam suite is deployed. If it wasn't, then it surely also wasn't the crash.

Any possible correlation will have to come from MRO...and even then I suspect it would be circumstantial indeed.


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dvandorn
post Aug 7 2012, 03:12 AM
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The "good" MRO passes in six and 12 days should give us a much better idea as to the current condition and location of the descent stage. I imagine if it exploded upon impact, we'll see plenty of evidence for that, too. I somehow doubt it would explode, though... the hydrazine, while not exactly stable, is only explosive when in contact with the catalyst beds, no?

However -- can you imagine what would have happened if they had left the fly-away programming to burn until fuel depletion? I get the image of the descent stage running headlong into the far wall of Gale, at speed. ohmy.gif

-the other Doug


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Paul Fjeld
post Aug 7 2012, 03:18 AM
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I read in one of the EDL reports that, once the bridle is cut, the descent stage turns and burns until prop depletion, then it's ballistic 'til it makes a hole. Maybe no explosion or hydrazine?

EDIT: Oops - I didn't read about the burn to depletion being taken out as the other Doug mentions...
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PDP8E
post Aug 7 2012, 03:22 AM
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Here is a 10x (lightly processed) image of MRO capturing MSL on the chute.

HiRise site says:
The MSL suspension lines are made of material called Technora which has a tan color, while the Phoenix suspension lines were Kevlar which is yellow and this may help explain why they aren't visible in this image.

Attached Image


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nprev
post Aug 7 2012, 03:23 AM
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Maybe. But also a considerable distance away from the main sites of interest for the science objectives in this scenario. I doubt in the extreme that MSL will ever get anywhere close to it, and this is yet one more reason why.


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eoincampbell
post Aug 7 2012, 03:43 AM
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QUOTE (PDP8E @ Aug 6 2012, 07:22 PM) *
...
HiRise site says:
The MSL suspension lines ... aren't visible in this image.


But their shadows are cast on the backshell, as your wonderful 10x reveals, ...good enough for me smile.gif


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SFJCody
post Aug 7 2012, 03:44 AM
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I'm waiting patiently for one or more UMSF members to distinguish themselves by accurately predicting the location where the descent stage will be spotted in future HiRiSE imagery.
tongue.gif
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centsworth_II
post Aug 7 2012, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (SFJCody @ Aug 6 2012, 10:44 PM) *
....location where the descent stage will be spotted...

Hot pink marks the spot! laugh.gif
Attached Image

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/mult...a/pia15981.html
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djellison
post Aug 7 2012, 04:05 AM
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QUOTE (SFJCody @ Aug 6 2012, 08:44 PM) *
I'm waiting patiently for one or more UMSF members to distinguish themselves by accurately predicting the location where the descent stage will be spotted in future HiRiSE imagery.
tongue.gif


Doug's guess. 400 meteres from the rover on a bearing of 292 degs.
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SFJCody
post Aug 7 2012, 04:08 AM
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Is this going to be pin the tail on the donkey or is it possible to use data on fuel remaining, orientation of the vehicle during descent etc to make a sort of guesstimate? tongue.gif
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