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Jim from NSF.com
Saw the MSL video, which was similar to the MER video. It was awesome. Will try to get a copy
hal_9000
QUOTE (Jim from NSF.com @ Jun 5 2006, 05:54 PM) *
Saw the MSL video, which was similar to the MER video. It was awesome. Will try to get a copy


http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/multimedia/...x_animation.php
Stephen
QUOTE (hal_9000 @ Jun 6 2006, 12:12 AM) *

Very nice, but that video's for the 2007 Phoenix lander, not the 2009 MSL rover.

======
Stephen
Toma B
QUOTE (Jim from NSF.com @ Jun 5 2006, 10:54 PM) *
Saw the MSL video...

Where did you saw it Jim?
Jim from NSF.com
B)-->
QUOTE(Toma B @ Jun 6 2006, 08:31 AM) *

Where did you saw it Jim?
[/quote]


MSL PDR
RonJones
QUOTE (Jim from NSF.com @ Jun 6 2006, 10:12 AM) *
cool.gif--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Toma B @ Jun 6 2006, 08:31 AM) *</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
Where did you saw it Jim?
MSL PDR


It looks like they have a place on the MSL web site where the video will be added (hopefully soon): http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/gallery/


Ron Jones
Toma B
There is GIGANTIC image of MSL here.
Link to 25 MB jpeg image...
Is that maybe still from that animation you were talking about Jim?
Looks to me like there is some work to be done on that rendering like adding RTG's...
Chmee
B)-->
QUOTE(Toma B @ Jun 6 2006, 01:55 PM) *

Looks to me like there is some work to be done on that rendering like adding RTG's...
[/quote]

It is strange that nearly every image of MSL has it without its RTG. Very strange, is it expected to be powered by dark energy? smile.gif

Probably they keep it out of the publicity images to keep a lower profile since there are some groups that adamantly oppose *anything* nuclear. Even peaceful scientific missions...

Also, the camera on the mast surprises me. Would they not have two camera's for binocular vision? How can they tell distances without it?
BruceMoomaw
It is a stereo camera -- it just doesn't look like one in the drawing. (By the way, the "ChemCam" experiment that will fire a laser at mineral targets as much as a dozen meters away, to obtain instantaneous and sensitive spectra of their element makeup, also includes a black-and-white telescopic targeting camera that will also be used for very high-resolution long-distance images of terrain features.)
paxdan
One thing that the MERs have shown us is that the surface of rocks on mars can have a substantial rind of altered rock or deposited material and dust coatings. How is the chem cam + laser going to detect the rock underneath this rind and not just the ubiquitous dust covering? Are they going to brush the rocks first then standoff and zap them, my understanding was that the chem cam was going to be a remote sensing instrument (as described by bruce in the above post). Will that be tempered by the need to 'clean' the rock surface first.
climber
Any possible use to detect Purgatory's sort of trap ?
climber
For quite a while, I've been frustrated that the rovers can't look under their deck. It would have been helpfull for Purgatory's kind of events. This could have been solved by adding a simple mirror on the IDD so the cameras would have been able to take pictures. A bit tricky but may be an idea for MSL.
Tesheiner
QUOTE (climber @ Jun 7 2006, 11:31 AM) *
This could have been solved by adding a simple mirror on the IDD so the cameras would have been able to take pictures.


Voila!



And Horton did a nice work on the raw 12-bit images here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hortonheardawho/161036378/
centsworth_II
QUOTE (paxdan @ Jun 7 2006, 03:51 AM) *
How is the chem cam + laser going to detect the rock underneath this rind and not just the ubiquitous dust covering?


The laser itself clears the dust and then vaporizes the rock surface layer by layer for spectroscopic analysis (of the vaporized material, I assume). The area sampled by the laser is 0.5 to 1mm in diameter but I wonder what the maximum depth is that can be reached.

There's an interesting pdf power point presentation here:
http://libs.lanl.gov/ChemCam_Fact_Sheet.pdf
climber
[quote name='Tesheiner' date='Jun 7 2006, 12:19 PM' post='57377']
Voila!


Do you mean, it's for REAL or is that another trick? If real, don't you think it could have been of some use while stucked in the sand ?
Tesheiner
No trick (follow the link clicking on the image); remember that a polished metal plate acts as a mirror. smile.gif
But don't ask me which IDD instrument is that black box (Mossbauer maybe?)
jamescanvin
I think it's the electorincs box for the micro imager. There are similar shiny boxes next to all the cameras.
BruceMoomaw
There's no Mossbauer this time. Indeed, one surprise in the MSL payload is the total absence of any devoted mineralogical instruments on MSL other than the X-ray diffractometer that requires the actual ingestion and grinding of samples -- no Mossbauer, no Raman, no near-IR or thermal-IR spectrometer (although the flash spectrometers for ChemCam can do some reflection-spectrum work as well). The only two instruments on the arm are the color microscopic camera and a near-duplicate of the APX element spectrometer from the MER rovers (which, I've been told, is there largely as a backup in case ChemCam doesn't work as well as predicted).
hendric
Still no EDL video?? I'd like to add it to my collection.
gndonald
QUOTE (Chmee @ Jun 7 2006, 04:21 AM) *
cool.gif--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Toma B @ Jun 6 2006, 01:55 PM) *</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
Looks to me like there is some work to be done on that rendering like adding RTG's...
It is strange that nearly every image of MSL has it without its RTG. Very strange, is it expected to be powered by dark energy? smile.gif

Probably they keep it out of the publicity images to keep a lower profile since there are some groups that adamantly oppose *anything* nuclear. Even peaceful scientific missions...

Also, the camera on the mast surprises me. Would they not have two camera's for binocular vision? How can they tell distances without it?


I could have sworn that there were some pictures that did show the probe with RTGs fitted, which made it look somewhat like a bombardeer beetle, but they seem to have disappeared from the net unless someone has copies.
PhilHorzempa


Any updates on the MSL entry and landing video?

Also, has anyone heard if JPL/NASA has chosen a snappy name,
for the MSL yet? Perhaps, something like Phoenix or Ares or
Lance Armstrong?


Another Phil
Jim from NSF.com
QUOTE (PhilHorzempa @ Jul 31 2006, 11:43 PM) *


Any updates on the MSL entry and landing video?

Also, has anyone heard if JPL/NASA has chosen a snappy name,
for the MSL yet? Perhaps, something like Phoenix or Ares or
Lance Armstrong?
Another Phil


Will be getting another opportunity this week to see the video again. Will try to get it.

Phoenix was the name of the project from since its proposal. ARES is an acronym. It is too early for MSL
PhilHorzempa


For those interested in MSL's RTG system, here is the link
to a great paper summarizing the design. It looks like
they have it figured it out, at least in the engineering world.
Perhaps, it is the world of politics, or the availability
of Plutonium, or both, that is holding back
a definite decision.

http://marstech.jpl.nasa.gov/publications/...-2005-01-28.pdf



Another Phil
angel1801
Russia has said to the US that the US can buy Plutonium-238 for $2000 per gram from Russia if and only if it is NOT used for any military purpose. Russia has lots of Plutonium-238 to give the US!

The US has said it will resume domestic production of Plutonium-238 as soon as possible.

It is most likely that there is a lot of political sensitivity to anything nuclear. Just look at the fuss over the Galileo, Cassini and New Horizons missions!

If we told the people that RTG's were used in the Viking landers, then I'm sure most of the fuss will go away.

Protestors are strange people. No one protested against the launch of the Voyager 1 & 2 probes. Why? Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, just 4 days after Elvis Presley died! And Voyager 1 launch date (on September 5, 1977) was during the immense grieving over his death!
ljk4-1
QUOTE (angel1801 @ Aug 2 2006, 05:47 AM) *
Protestors are strange people. No one protested against the launch of the Voyager 1 & 2 probes. Why? Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, just 4 days after Elvis Presley died! And Voyager 1 launch date (on September 5, 1977) was during the immense grieving over his death!


I recall one quite vocal anti-nuke protestor who was not only deeply
concerned that Cassini would somehow fly back to Earth and crash
on it after exploring Saturn but that during the probe's 1999 flyby of
Venus that NASA should have let the craft smash into the second
world from Sol because the planet had no atmosphere!

I was also told by a friend who attended an anti-Cassini (read anti-nuke)
group meeting in Cambridge, MA in 1997 (home to Harvard) that when
he tried to explain how safe Cassini's RTGs were even from an explosion
of the rocket, he was told they didn't want the facts because they had
already made up their minds that Cassini was dangerous and had to
be stopped.

After all that, any amount of sympathy I had with the anti-nuke groups
went right out the window.

BTW, Groucho Marx died around the same time as the Voyagers left
Earth and Elvis went into hiding, but sadly people didn't seem as upset
about his passing.
Chmee
QUOTE (PhilHorzempa @ Aug 2 2006, 12:59 AM) *
For those interested in MSL's RTG system, here is the link
to a great paper summarizing the design.
http://marstech.jpl.nasa.gov/publications/...-2005-01-28.pdf
Another Phil



The very interesting thing in this paper is that they state that thermal control will be maintained by pumping fluid heated from the RTG throughout the MSL.

Basically, MSL will be like a large car radiator! smile.gif This has to be a much simpler design than electrical heaters, but I worry about leaks that could happen (like my car's radiator ).
climber
QUOTE (Chmee @ Aug 2 2006, 07:24 PM) *
The very interesting thing in this paper is that they state that thermal control will be maintained by pumping fluid ....throughout the MSL.


OK, in this case we can name MSL : Lance Armstrong** tongue.gif


** see post #21
dilo
hmm.. "The working fluid is CFC-11".
I guess we do not have an ozone depletion issue on Mars (...probably we need a little more atmospheric oxygen rolleyes.gif )
hendric
QUOTE (Chmee @ Aug 2 2006, 12:24 PM) *
Basically, MSL will be like a large car radiator! smile.gif This has to be a much simpler design than electrical heaters, but I worry about leaks that could happen (like my car's radiator ).


Oddly enough, I would imagine it to be much more reliable than a car radiator:
  1. Smaller temperature change - The internal electronics are in a box, so I would expect the temperature change from day/night to be small compared to a car radiator's on/of.
  2. No jarring impact - Well, other than launch and landing, and falling off the odd rock. wink.gif But no speedbumps, hitting road debris at 70mph, etc.
  3. No bugs/rocks whacking into the radiator fins - smile.gif
Jim from NSF.com
QUOTE (PhilHorzempa @ Jul 31 2006, 11:43 PM) *


Any updates on the MSL entry and landing video?


Can't get it. It was on a DVD and not a .MOV file
mars_armer
A search on youtube for "JPL MSL" came up with this:
MSL EDL Animation
lyford
hmmm - i didn't realize that the plan was to lower the MSL from so high above the surface before touchdown..... I imagined the hover in place would have been more similar in height to right before the airbags are cut on MER.

edited for grammar
Stephen
QUOTE (mars_armer @ Nov 22 2006, 06:14 AM) *
A search on youtube for "JPL MSL" came up with this:
MSL EDL Animation

Quite a find! (I liked the blurb at the end: "Coming to a planet near you October 2010".)

I notice the video was only posted a few days ago. Have NASA & JPL posted this on their websites yet? The MSL website here keeps saying "coming soon".

======
Stephen
nprev
Very cool indeed, but I sure hope they don't put her in the bottom of a canyon unless there's definitely a way out... unsure.gif
MarkL
Nice video. Agreed, Lyford. I think they are nuts to depart from the proven payload delivery system that worked perfectly for Pathfinder and the MERs. The long descent with retro rockets will be treacherous and unpredictable. I don't trust a computer to do it as well as a parachute! (But major kudos if it works of course and I will be happy to come back here and eat my words).
remcook
"I think they are nuts to depart from the proven payload delivery system that worked perfectly for Pathfinder and the MERs."

I though MER was about the limit of what you can put onto Mars with that technology... huh.gif
centsworth_II
QUOTE (MarkL @ Nov 22 2006, 01:55 PM) *
The long descent with retro rockets will be treacherous and unpredictable. I don't trust a computer to do it as well as a parachute!


Lots to be scared about! What if ALL the cords connecting the rover to the decent engine don't detatch before it flys off after landing the rover? ohmy.gif
lyford
Scaling up MER to MSL won't work with airbags from what I have read.... and I have even come around to accepting skycrane as a workable concept. What makes me nuts is that they don't seem to be planning full scale live testing in the desert, but rather are relying on modeling. Test as you fly, eh?

Or perhaps someone can clue me in on why I should be happy about this....
djellison
If you describe to yourself the process of the MPF and MER landings, and then do the same for the MSL landing...neither is particularly confidence inspiriing.

The thing to remember is that there is only one team of working age in the world that has landed on Mars, and it's done it three times. If they think that the MSL system is the way forward, to be brutally honest there isn't really anyone out there to challenge that imho.

" The long descent with retro rockets will be treacherous and unpredictable."

Well - that's no different to Viking (worked twice) - and indeed given that it's from only 900m altitiude, the MSL decent stage will be working for a shorter period of time than that for Viking probably. We did that 25 years ago.... to call it treacherous and unpredictable today is not true.

There was no full scale testing for Pathfinder, Viking, MER...you just can not test that sort of stuff on Earth - there's no way to replicate the conditions. You can test systems, you can simulate based on those systems - but you just have to build enough smarts and flexibility into the system to mitigate the risk.

And as someone else has mentioned - the bags just don't 'do' bigger....and as it is they take up a HUGE ammount of the payload. For a delivered rover of 180kg, you have 827kg hitting the top of the atmosphere. Scale it all up - a 500kg rover - we're talkig 2300 kg at the top of the atmosphere. The bags are good up to a certain point - but beyond that, they just don't make any more sense.

Doug
helvick
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Nov 22 2006, 07:41 PM) *
What if ALL the cords connecting the rover to the decent engine don't detatch before it flys off after landing the rover? ohmy.gif

The cord cutting event does look awfully risky when you see it on video but it's not significantly different to the risk associated with blowing the backshell\heatshield and the hundreds of other exquisitely choreographed events that are needed for any lander to get to the surface safely.

Now I would be terrified if I was the engineer actually responsible for making sure it was 100% OK but I think it's safe to say that these guys have proven (repeatedly) that they are pretty damn good at that sort of thing.

The SkyCrane is ambitious but it's not insanely ambitious and I remember prior to the Pathfinder just how insane that seemed before it was proven (again, repeatedly).

I'm a fan - and I'm really happy that we've finally gotten to see this animation. Sweet and many thanks to tubeyhowser for posting it, whoever he/she/it/they are smile.gif
lyford
QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 22 2006, 12:11 PM) *
There was no full scale testing for Pathfinder, Viking, MER...you just can not test that sort of stuff on Earth - there's no way to replicate the conditions.

I agree, but for some reason I thought they had planned live testing of the "hover and drop" bit but it had been cancelled due to budget. I may be misremembering but I would feel better if they had said that they had cancelled it due to confidence in the simulations.
centsworth_II
QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 22 2006, 03:11 PM) *
The thing to remember is that there is only one team of working age in the world that has landed on Mars, and it's done it three times.

No disrespect meant, I'm a big fan of those guys, but this is the point at which one must be on the lookout for hubris. I hope they keep their edge and do not get over confident.
ustrax
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Nov 23 2006, 11:58 AM) *
No disrespect meant, I'm a big fan of those guys, but this is the point at which one must be on the lookout for hubris. I hope they keep their edge and do not get over confident.


I'm sure that when the airbag idea appeared there were also comments regarding the lunacy of the idea... wink.gif
The time is to innovate and...roll! wheel.gif
MarkL
Check out this article if interested in more detail on MSL EDL. Doug, no matter how you slice it EDL is treacherous and requires perfect execution. It seems like a miracle that the little guys/gals get down in one piece.

Edit: Sadly, wouldn't be complete without this.
djellison
QUOTE (MarkL @ Nov 23 2006, 04:13 PM) *
Doug, no matter how you slice it EDL is treacherous and requires perfect execution. .


I totally and utterly agree 110% and would never suggest otherwise. However - there is much criticism of the skycrane manouver simply because it looks a bit scarey. So did Viking, so did MPF, so did MPL and so did MER. In some respects it is a hybrid of Viking and MER/MPF techniques...the throttled decent of Viking followed by lander seperation on a bridle and bridle cut at the surface.

I thnk I've been through every PDF I can find and I've even swopped emails with some JPL engineers about the MSL system. When you REALLY think about it - if it can be made to work (and I have no reason to see otherwise) it's arguably a more reliable means of getting things on the ground than the MER system, and certainly the most weight efficient way of getting a rover of that size on the ground.

Put it this way - I have a higher expectation of the MSL system than I would of a repeat of the MER/MPF system and arguably higher than the MPL/Phoenix pulse throttle system.

You are very wrong to label them as 'nuts' for leaving the MER system behind. It simply can not scale to MSL weight. They have to come up with a means of getting a rover on the ground outside that platform. The 'long decent with retro rockets' is actually going to be a shorter decent on retro rockets than was the case for Viking - only about 900 metres. Look at the efforts of Armadillo Aerospace with very little money and time to produce something which could be seen as similar to the MSL decent stage.

I'm not trying to ignore the difficulties...being here in Leicester, I really don't need to be reminded how hard landing on mars actually is... but I'm yet to see a sound argument against the MSL design based on anything other than 'it looks scarey'. With an atmosphere not thick enough to be usefull but thick enough to be a problem - landing on Mars will ALWAYS be scarey.

Doug

(PS - other cool docs - http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/handle/2014/39907 - http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/handle/2014/39871 and http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/handle/2014/38898 )
tty
QUOTE (helvick @ Nov 22 2006, 09:53 PM) *
The cord cutting event does look awfully risky when you see it on video but it's not significantly different to the risk associated with blowing the backshell\heatshield and the hundreds of other exquisitely choreographed events that are needed for any lander to get to the surface safely.


I agree. In Aerospace applications whenever You have a one-time event that absolutely has to work (typically escape or emergency systems) pyrotechnics are normally the system of choice. They are extremely reliable, degrade very slowly and act instantly.

tty
edstrick
they often have duplicate circuits for really critical pyrotechnics. Duplicate pyros, wiring, everything.

It's extraordinarily rare for pyros to fail to fire. Last time I remember that happening, they put one large sat on a ?Titan? built for two, and wired the spacecraft separation to the wrong pyro-lines. When the booster control sent the separation command, it went down the wires to the non-existent pyros to separate the nonexistant second sat.

That was the last one the Shuttle rescued before they stopped doing that sort of thing.
JTN
It's going to be funny to look back and see rover tracks just starting from nowhere. Hadn't occurred to me before.
(I guess we might get a bit of a mark from the rockets?)
Jeff7
QUOTE
The cord cutting event does look awfully risky when you see it on video but it's not significantly different to the risk associated with blowing the backshell\heatshield and the hundreds of other exquisitely choreographed events that are needed for any lander to get to the surface safely.

Exactly. The MERs could have been killed by any number of other things too. Maybe the bolts wouldn't have blown to set the rovers free of the landers. Maybe the solar panel wings wouldn't have deployed, so the rovers would have been as good as dead anyway. All kinds of things can go wrong, many of which could end the mission before it begins. You just have to hope that everything goes as planned.

QUOTE (ustrax @ Nov 23 2006, 07:25 AM) *
I'm sure that when the airbag idea appeared there were also comments regarding the lunacy of the idea... wink.gif
The time is to innovate and...roll! wheel.gif

I seem to recall something from a documentary about the MERs that was to this effect, that a lot of people thought that airbags would never stand a chance of working. So I think you're right.
Navin
QUOTE (mars_armer @ Nov 21 2006, 02:14 PM) *
A search on youtube for "JPL MSL" came up with this:
MSL EDL Animation



This MSL EDL video was played tonight on stage at this Kobie Boykins presentation. It was fantastic. The video was longer and extended beyond the YouTube version to include more surface operations. It included a nice segment where the laser ablated a rock and an instrument recorded readings from the "smoke" wafting away and the hole in the rock. Spiffy demonstration.

The longer video also depicted a core sampling drill that could be used on rocks or on the "soil". The core sample (depicted from penetrating a rock) was slipped out of the bit and placed INTO the MSL for some unspecified analysis. Very cool. I hope the whole video makes it onto the web soon.

Kobie Boykins is a MER solar panel designer. Someone in the audience remarked that the MSL video showed no solar panels. He responded (paraphrased): "No. No solar panels. I'll let you speculate on what its power source is, since I'm not allowed to publicly discuss it yet." wink.gif
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