QUOTE (Myran @ Jul 30 2006, 10:00 AM)
I hope I dont sound unkind too, but when opening the linked image I immediately noted the wheels isnt right at all. Rounded rubber wheels with a spiral pattern painted on the side. I understand that the kind of wheels actually used might be expensive for a model, but less durable mockups in one easily machined metal like aluminium should not be too expensive.
There might be more to see if one had other views so I do think those complaining might have had a point.
Well as I stated above, this particular display model was built by Cornell students so I think the complaining is a bit unfortuneate. It was not meant as an exact replica and was completed by early 2002, more than a year before launch. Personally I think the students should be commended. Yes, its not perfect and one could nitpick it to death but it does give the general public a fairly decent look in three dimensions at the full scale rover (see my photo below). And its much better then a simple picture. There is a plaque dedicated to the hard working students inside the case.
This model is also more accurate than the one at the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, which is not full scale. Even the rover I saw on display at the JPL Open House was not exact, but that was the best one.
Here is some background info direct from the Athena website:http://athena.cornell.edu/the_mission/rov_mermodel.htmlhttp://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb02....model.deb.htmlhttp://www.news.cornell.edu/Chronicle/03/7...over_model.html
Please read this direct quote from the article:
"But this is not the real rover. It is a finely detailed, full-scale model made out of wood, plastic and aluminum that will be put on display in science museums throughout central New York state. It has been built by eight university and two high school students working with Steven Squyres, Cornell University professor of astronomy, who is the principal investigator on the Athena science payload to be carried by the long-range rovers.
Since last summer the students have been designing, machining and constructing the rover replica. Its folding solar-panel "deck" has a span of nearly 8 feet by more than 5 feet, and the height from the wheels to the top of the tallest instrument is nearly 5 feet.
"As part of the NASA mission we regularly do educational outreach, but this time we wanted to do a multi-faceted effort that included not only work with schools but also would get the general public involved," says Diane Sherman, Athena project coordinator at Cornell's Department of Astronomy. "When we build models of space vehicles, they are generally not full size. But for this rover, Steve [Squyres] wanted to do full-size model and get the students involved in design and construction."
Eventually I hope that NASM will obtain an exact copy and hopefully other museums too since I agree thats critically important and the duty of museums to be as accurate as possible.
Below is my photo of the rover inside the display case taken on Mars Day. Note the RAT hole model at the bottom, donated by Honeybee Robotics. The explanation plaque, including the students names, is to the left.
Mars Day was just super and we all enjoyed interacting and explaining various aspects of Mars exploration to the multitiudes of visitors and working to Save Our Science.
kenClick to view attachment