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tedstryk
On my website sometime back, I added a page on the image fragment sent back by the Mars-3 Lander. I released serveral versions, including the best quality processing using othodox techniques I would use on other images plus colorization here:
http://pages.preferred.com/%7Etedstryk/fragmentc.jpg
However, I released another image, which I called a "What if" image. This image can be seen here http://pages.preferred.com/%7Etedstryk/m3s5b.jpg It was produced via extreme processing of the original data to make a Mars-like scene, but I made it clear on my website it was only a speculative image. I strongly doubt if the raw data even shows Mars at all - it could be all noise. But since this mode of processing looked strangely Viking-like, I figured I would put it on the web. I was warned by several, who said that while fun, some kooks might take it seriously. My response was that I really don't care what kooks think. Then I noticed this web page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_2
They used the overprocessed image. I feel like it is being presented as a true photograph. This is of concern.
lyford
Since it's Wikipedia, can't you just delete or edit it yourself?
But I guess the genie is out of the bottle, so to speak.... unsure.gif

BTW, I really appreciate your work on your website. Thanks!
tedstryk
Thanks. I will be updating the Phobos-2 section soon. I have some reprocessed Thermoscan stuff about ready to go up.
As for the Wikipedia problem, I have been able to edit the caption one sees when one clicks on the image. However, it won't let me edit the caption under the image on the original page. But at least I did get a disclamer in. It is neat to speculate that this might be a glimpse of Mars, but it most likely is just noise. I don't want people to come to a different conclusion based on this image, which, as I said, is very much overprocessed. It is, as I said, an experiment in the area of "what if"
PhilHorzempa
[size=2]


With regard to the Soviet Mars landers, I now think that they may have
been "done-in" by the lowdensity Martian atmosphere. Perhaps, the three
Soviet probes that did land on Mars came closer to success than may have
been earlier believed. The recent realization that low density during the
EDL of Spirit may have brought that mission to a sad end has caused me to
reconsider other missions, such as Beagle 2, the MPL and the Soviet Mars 2,
Mars 3 and Mars 6 landers.

It appears that the Mars 2 qnd 3 landers were notdesigned to communicate
back to the Earth until after landing, much like the Mars Polar Lander. If this
is true, then perhaps Mars 2 didn't simply "plow into" Mars as is popularly believed.
Perhaps, its EDL sequence was executed, but low density Martian atmospheric
conditions caused it to be damaged upon landing. The same may be true for
Mars 3 and Mars 6.

In addition, it appears that the Soiets modified Mars 6 so that it did transmit
during EDL as it radioed back data on Martian atmospheric composition (which
threw a scare into the Viking mission sceince team).

I would be interested in the thoughts of others in the UMSF community and
in any additional info that they may have on the Soviet missions.


Another Phil
BruceMoomaw
The Soviets actually do firmly know why Mars 2 failed, as V.G. Perminov said in his interesting historical document "The Difficult Road to Mars". They didn't trust the accuracy of their radio tracking network, so they incorporated an optical guidance system into the Mars 2 and 3 orbiters to allow them to calculate the optimal course for their final pre-arrival midcourse correction. Unfortunately, the Soviets had slightly inaccurate data on Mars' ephermeris, and so -- while Mars 2's onboard system worked as planned -- it ended up putting its lander onto a course directed at too steep an entry angle, which would have led to the lander crashing in any case before its parachute could properly brake it.

The Bad Luck Fairy that has always haunted the Russian Mars program struck in a particularly brutal way that time. First, the next year the US (as part of a planetary science data exchange program) provided the Soviets with a corrected Martian ephemeris -- and, second, it turned out afterwards that if the onboard optical system HADN'T made that correction, Mars 2's preexisting approach trajectory would, by pure luck, have put the lander on a properly shallow entry!

The failures of the Mars 3 and 6 landers remain more mysterious. Perminov expresses his suspicion that Mars 3 might perhaps have been knocked out by an electrostatic discharge from the giant dust storm it landed in. As for Mars 6, it failed at about the time its final solid-fueled braking rocket was supposed to fire -- meaning that the rocket could have fired at an inappropriate time due to Martian conditions, failed to fire at all, or exploded.
tedstryk
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 18 2006, 10:18 PM) *
As for Mars 6, it failed at about the time its final solid-fueled braking rocket was supposed to fire -- meaning that the rocket could have fired at an inappropriate time due to Martian conditions, failed to fire at all, or exploded.

It is thought that it probably fired too late...in other words, it was too close to the surface when it fired, so it was still going too fast when it hit. It is because the timing was a bit off. Still, the fact that the timing was as close as it was is remarkable, given that, due to computer problems, Mars-6 had been unable to receive ground commands for five or six months at this point! It was purely operating on pre-programed sequences. In fact, the Russians were expecting this, although they were hoping for a stroke of luck, because they realized, as it approached and the trajectory was refined, that this was a problem, but, since Mars-6 couldn't be commanded, they were helpless to do anything about it.

However, the failure of Mars 4/5/6/7 was really not bad luck. It was bad microchips (which is what made Mars 6 uncontrollable, Mars 7 miss the planet, Mars 5 depressurize, and Mars 4 unable to fire its breaking motors). The scientists and engineers knew it and wanted to delay the mission until the next window to replace them, but since there was a chance that, as Mars-6 came very close to doing, they still might last just long enough to arrive and touch down for a brief surface mission to get the "first," the political powers ordered them to proceed with launch. They were going to try again in 1975 with a similar lander with good microchips, which may well have suceeded, but since Viking was much more capable (although it would have had some experiments that Viking didn't), and the Soviets had already made it to Venus, once it was clear that Viking would launch in the 1975 window, they mission was cancelled. Had Viking been delayed, it would have launched.
BruceMoomaw
Oh, yes, Perminov goes into great detail about the lousy microchips (due to a decision made by one lower-level manager to cut costs by manufacturing them using aluminum instead of gold). However, it's doubtful that a "timing error" was the problem, because the ignition moment for the braking rocket on the Soviet landers (as for our own three rough Mars landers) was supposed to be triggered by a radar altimeter -- one could hardly depend on a preset timer for it. Of course, the microchips could very easily have fouled that up. (Or, of course, given what we now know about the atmosphere-related dangers of Mars landings, it could have been a simple wind gust or lower-than-normal upper air density than ruined Mars 6.)

As for their instrumentation (on which Perminov also provides useful data), the only instruments they carried that were not on the Vikings were the penetrometer and gamma-ray densitometer on that tiny tethered matchbox-sized "rover" they carried. The other instruments were two facsimile cameras, weather sensors, an atmospheric mass spectrometer, and an X-ray spectrometer for soil analysis on a boom fastened to one petal tip. No life-related experiments at all, but of course the additional surface geological data they could have provided would have been useful.
The Messenger
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 18 2006, 04:18 PM) *
The Soviets actually do firmly know why Mars 2 failed, as V.G. Perminov said in his interesting historical document "The Difficult Road to Mars". They didn't trust the accuracy of their radio tracking network, so they incorporated an optical guidance system into the Mars 2 and 3 orbiters to allow them to calculate the optimal course for their final pre-arrival midcourse correction. Unfortunately, the Soviets had slightly inaccurate data on Mars' ephermeris, and so -- while Mars 2's onboard system worked as planned -- it ended up putting its lander onto a course directed at too steep an entry angle, which would have led to the lander crashing in any case before its parachute could properly brake it.

The Bad Luck Fairy that has always haunted the Russian Mars program struck in a particularly brutal way that time. First, the next year the US (as part of a planetary science data exchange program) provided the Soviets with a corrected Martian ephemeris -- and, second, it turned out afterwards that if the onboard optical system HADN'T made that correction, Mars 2's preexisting approach trajectory would, by pure luck, have put the lander on a properly shallow entry!

The failures of the Mars 3 and 6 landers remain more mysterious. Perminov expresses his suspicion that Mars 3 might perhaps have been knocked out by an electrostatic discharge from the giant dust storm it landed in...

This is a discussion we should have been having two years ago, right after the MER's descended more rapidly than expected...and it would be helpful if complete engineering Doppler and accelerometer data would be made public so that we can work the problem. Sheeesh.

Perminov's speculation that Mars 3 suffered a static incident is just that: He pointed out probes entering the Venician atmosphere snap crackled and popped, but he has no data from Mars to support this guess. We have had two probes scurrying around Mars for two years now without a single mention of a static event, making Perminov’s theory even more suspect. (Spirit and Opportunity didn’t even experience plasma blackouts.)

Likewise, blaming the Mars 2 failure on both a bad ephemeris and a bad self-correction is a little like insisting the failures of both Beagle and the Polar Lander were absolutely caused by bad engineering, now that another likely suspect has emerged.

There have been a lot of hints something isn’t right in earlier missions: Both Viking craft experienced accelerations that indicate an ‘over performance’ of the parachutes, while the Pathfinder EDL indicated an ‘under performance’ of the same design. I think both characterizations are in error: The Pathfinder did not contain accelerometers, relying on Doppler, while Viking did not have Doppler, but did have accelerometers. If you run the numbers, it is easy to see how in both cases greater acceleration than expected would end up as puzzling drag coefficients. Too many degrees of freedom! More sensors needed!

It is no secret my own bias towards an exceptional solution skews my interpretations of these events, but until we have all the facts on the table, it is difficult to judge which of the many possible scenerios have led to so many failures. PhilHorzempa’s correct; a reevaluation is in order, and for heaven’s sake let’s figure out how to properly characterize the atmosphere!
mcaplinger
QUOTE (The Messenger @ Apr 19 2006, 08:59 AM) *
and it would be helpful if complete engineering Doppler and accelerometer data would be made public so that we can work the problem. Sheeesh.

Have you actually looked at the data that have been released to assess their adequacy? The pre-entry state of the MERs, which is what people have complained about, are on the NAIF FTP site, I believe. All of the raw data appears to be out there to do whatever EDL reconstruction you want; I don't think that the MR doppler tracking is actually useful for the reconstruction, but I believe it was archived with the MOC PDS releases quite a while back.
PhilHorzempa
[size=2]

This discussion is very relevant to future Mars landers such as Phoenix and MSL.
I have heard that significant funding ( about $20 million?) was added to the Phoenix
project in response to results from the MERs' EDL. Other than that cryptic info,
there has been silence about this from the Phoenix team. In fact, in an exchange of
emails with one of the Phoenix team, I learned that they are convinced that the MPL was
desroyed by the famous software bug that the Mishap Board uncovered.

The software reset error on the Polar Lander is a good suspect. However, I worry
that, with a suspect in hand, the other risks are being ignored. To me, the biggest
risks are this uncertainty in Martian atmospheric density and the unexplained
oscillations experienced by the ME Rovers.

I agree with TheMessenger that we need to adequately instrument ALL future
landing missions. Also, NASA should be more open about this issue and open
to assistance from the UMSF community.

Does anyone have insight into what, if anything, the Phoenix and MSL teams
are doing to deal with this landing risk?
tasp
Sorry I can't cite a reference for this, but it seemed I read somewhere the electrical effects noted during Venusian atmospheric descent were thought due to various compounds and elements in the atmosphere condensing onto the relatively colder external surfaces of all the Venus probes. Local precipitation if you will.

If this be the case, would there be a similar mechanism for Mars?

(other than aerostatic charging as a result of friction with the Martian air)
The Messenger
QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Apr 19 2006, 10:20 AM) *
Have you actually looked at the data that have been released to assess their adequacy?

Yes and no. I have made inquires, and been told the engineering data is not going to be made publicly available.
QUOTE
The pre-entry state of the MERs, which is what people have complained about, are on the NAIF FTP site, I believe.

All of the raw data appears to be out there to do whatever EDL reconstruction you want; I don't think that the MR doppler tracking is actually useful for the reconstruction, but I believe it was archived with the MOC PDS releases quite a while back.

Paul Withers wrote in an MER EDL paper he has submitted to Icarus, that he had to make a lot of approximations concerning initial conditions - perhaps the needed information is available now at the NAIF FTP site...whatever and where ever that is. If it is where I have been looking before, there are a lot of 'expected' tables, but the "reconstructed" or actual descent data is just not there. Paul emailed to me that he thought some of the data is ITAR restricted, but I don't see why. He also said that a well-funded study of the MER EDLs - comparable to earlier missions, is not 'in the budget' - I assumed he meant NASA isn't really taking these things apart, but I have been wrong before.

I've been raising my hand and holler'n that I think I can see a stunning trend for a year-and-a-half now. It is hard to get attention when so few people seem to know that the MERs almost splatted - Pathfinder too. As far as I know this is the first really public admission the missions were in jeopardy:

QUOTE (ToSeek)


At least now I can go to my congressman and tell him why we need to fund more Mars science before we can even dream of going there, because something is not well understood.
ljk4-1
Two very relevant documents to this thread online:


The Difficult Road to Mars: A Brief History of Mars Exploration in the Soviet Union

http://klabs.org/richcontent/Reports/mars/...oad_to_mars.pdf


Soviet Veneras and Mars: first entry probes trajectory reconstruction and science

http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstre...8/1/03-2619.pdf
tasp
QUOTE (tedstryk @ Dec 29 2004, 05:36 PM) *



I realize it will be many years before the Mars 3 site is investigated first hand, but I do hope the team has your enhanced photo with them.

I realize you are qualified to judge the degree of image processing you administered to get the 'Viking' looking result, but, can any amount of processing put consistent shadows on the correct sides of all the boulders in your enhancement? Me thinks there is more than a slight chance you've come up with something significant.

Fun if you 'nailed' it.

blink.gif
mcaplinger
QUOTE (The Messenger @ Apr 19 2006, 10:56 AM) *
Paul Withers wrote in an MER EDL paper he has submitted to Icarus, that he had to make a lot of approximations concerning initial conditions - perhaps the needed information is available now at the NAIF FTP site...whatever and where ever that is. If it is where I have been looking before, there are a lot of 'expected' tables, but the "reconstructed" or actual descent data is just not there.

If you're going to make sweeping assertions, it might help to exhibit more cognizance of the process involved. The NAIF FTP site (naif.jpl.nasa.gov) is the standard place where JPL trajectory information is released. The file /pub/naif/MER/kernels/spk/spk_a_c_030610-040104_recon.bsp on that site is, according to its label, "a reconstructed cruise trajectory for MER-A, beginning at TECO and ending at atmospheric entry." There is a similar file for MER-B. If Withers is unaware of those files, you might want to make him aware. If there's something inadequate about the information, I'd be curious as to what.

As previously noted, that state information and the EDL engineering telemetry archive, which has been released and is available on the PDS atmospheric node, are all the information I can think of that would be useful for reconstructing the entries of the MERs.

I'm no apologist for JPL, but carping on this topic would appear to be unjustified.

Now, it may be that what Withers is lacking is a detailed description of the MER aeroshell composition, shape, etc. The design details of reentry vehicles are covered under ITAR for what would seem to be legitimate reasons. I haven't tried to find those details, nor do I know what data precision might be required. There's a fair bit of info in http://library-dspace.larc.nasa.gov/dspace...ndle/2002/11213
Phil Stooke
tasp said "can any amount of processing put consistent shadows on the correct sides of all the boulders in your enhancement? Me thinks there is more than a slight chance you've come up with something significant."

I know Ted's perfectly capable of answering this himself - and nobody appreciates his work more than I do - but I want to follow up on this issue.

tasp - don't be misled by the appearance of the image. The bright and dark spots are not boulders and shadows. Ted knows this, I know it, but it's important that everybody knows it. The raw image is a sea of noise. It is just faintly possible that behind the noise is a view of the horizon of Mars, though I don't really think this is true. But the smaller details are just random areas of more or less noise, made to look like landscape features by Ted's careful manipulation. This is a nice image, but it's art. And that's OK.

Phil
djellison
My take on it is - it might be a real picture, and if it is - then this might be what it saw - but we don't really know if it was a proper picture or if it actually saw anything.

Doug
tedstryk
QUOTE (djellison @ Apr 19 2006, 08:41 PM) *
My take on it is - it might be a real picture, and if it is - then this might be what it saw - but we don't really know if it was a proper picture or if it actually saw anything.

Doug


This is true. That is why I call it a "what if" image. It is the most optimistic processing possible, and then is aesthetically cleaned up. The lower verions on my site are more modest interpretations. Short of finding the original transmission tapes and discovering that modern enhancements can carry the signal out longer, getting more of the image, there will always be mystery around it.

Even if it did see rocks, without a stereo image, some known object for context, or some knowledge of their distance from the lander, it would be impossible to measure their sizes.

QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 19 2006, 02:49 PM) *
Oh, yes, Perminov goes into great detail about the lousy microchips (due to a decision made by one lower-level manager to cut costs by manufacturing them using aluminum instead of gold). However, it's doubtful that a "timing error" was the problem, because the ignition moment for the braking rocket on the Soviet landers ings, it could have been a simple wind gust or lower-than-normal upper air density than ruined Mars 6.)


I don't mean that the clock wasn't working. It was a problem that resulted in a timing error. Basically, when the engine needed to fire was based on the exact speekd of the spacecraft as well as altitude, and these things were to be determined based on data from the orbiters on approach. Defaults were programmed in case of a situation like this, based on best guesses. Exact trajectory, entry angle, and atmospheric conditions effect the altitude such firings need to be made at. For example, if the atmospheric density was lower than normal, the engine would have to begin firing longer because the lander would need to slow down more, and thus it would have to fire at a higher altitude. There is no way to be sure, but the lack of ability to adapt to conditions certainly could have caused timiing problems.
ljk4-1
As I recall, the famous Mars 3 image was first shown in the West on
the BBC series The Planets in 1999. Perhaps someone who worked
on the series and obtained the image from the Soviet scientists can
help here?

http://www.bbcshop.com/invt/bbcdvd1003

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/solarsystem/index.shtml
BruceMoomaw
QUOTE (tedstryk @ Apr 19 2006, 10:16 PM) *
I don't mean that the clock wasn't working. It was a problem that resulted in a timing error. Basically, when the engine needed to fire was based on the exact speed of the spacecraft as well as altitude, and these things were to be determined based on data from the orbiters on approach. Defaults were programmed in case of a situation like this, based on best guesses. Exact trajectory, entry angle, and atmospheric conditions effect the altitude such firings need to be made at. For example, if the atmospheric density was lower than normal, the engine would have to begin firing longer because the lander would need to slow down more, and thus it would have to fire at a higher altitude. There is no way to be sure, but the lack of ability to adapt to conditions certainly could have caused timiing problems.


No, the braking engine on all four Soviet Mars landers was (as with our three rough landers) a solid retrorocket fastened to the parachute, triggered by a radar altimeter, and intended to fire for just a few seconds only about 60 meters above the surface -- it had to be riggered entirely by a radar altimeter because (just as with our landers) there was no conceivable way to know in advance exactly what altitude the craft would be at at any given moment.
tedstryk
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Apr 20 2006, 01:52 AM) *
No, the braking engine on all four Soviet Mars landers was (as with our three rough landers) a solid retrorocket fastened to the parachute, triggered by a radar altimeter, and intended to fire for just a few seconds only about 60 meters above the surface -- it had to be riggered entirely by a radar altimeter because (just as with our landers) there was no conceivable way to know in advance exactly what altitude the craft would be at at any given moment.


Atmospheric conditions would have a lot to do with that. But I can see where this is going, so I digress...
BruceMoomaw
Yeah, atmospheric conditions would have a lot to do with how FAST the lander was dropping at the time the altimeter triggered its retrorocket, and could have killed it that way -- and there are of course plenty of ways the faulty microchips could have killed it. But fouling up the precise firing of its retrorocket with a timer malfunction was not one of them. Still, this is something we'll never know the precise cause of, even if some traveller in that antique land someday stumbles across the remains of the lander.
The Messenger
QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Apr 19 2006, 12:20 PM) *
If you're going to make sweeping assertions, it might help to exhibit more cognizance of the process involved. The NAIF FTP site (naif.jpl.nasa.gov) is the standard place where JPL trajectory information is released. The file /pub/naif/MER/kernels/spk/spk_a_c_030610-040104_recon.bsp on that site is, according to its label, "a reconstructed cruise trajectory for MER-A, beginning at TECO and ending at atmospheric entry." There is a similar file for MER-B. If Withers is unaware of those files, you might want to make him aware. If there's something inadequate about the information, I'd be curious as to what.

As previously noted, that state information and the EDL engineering telemetry archive, which has been released and is available on the PDS atmospheric node, are all the information I can think of that would be useful for reconstructing the entries of the MERs.

I'm no apologist for JPL, but carping on this topic would appear to be unjustified.

I appreciate the help, but I am not the only one who is finding it difficult to chase down relevant data:

http://nesc.larc.nasa.gov/admin/documents/...ition_Paper.pdf
QUOTE
3. Finding: The overall EDL reconstruction process is not well documented, making it very difficult for an oversight group such as the Red Team to penetrate and assess.
Recommendation: The EDL technical processes, as well as the processes and schedules for required output products and key decisions, should be well documented in a form that is usable by independent experts.

I'm still trying to figure out how close the actual landing times of both MERs were to the expected atmospheric descent - relative to the time of entry: How fast did these puppies fall?
mcaplinger
QUOTE (The Messenger @ Apr 21 2006, 08:53 AM) *
I appreciate the help, but I am not the only one who is finding it difficult to chase down relevant data:

http://nesc.larc.nasa.gov/admin/documents/...ition_Paper.pdf


This is primarily a human factors study, and while it has some interesting tidbits, the notion you seem to be dancing around, that there's some big conspiracy of silence surrounding the MER EDLs, is simply not supported by the evidence.

QUOTE
I'm still trying to figure out how close the actual landing times of both MERs were to the expected atmospheric descent - relative to the time of entry: How fast did these puppies fall?

http://techreports.larc.nasa.gov/ltrs/PDF/...a-2004-5092.pdf -- the "reconstruction" column in tables 3 and 4 seems pretty clear to me. The MER-A RAD firing was 339.4 seconds from entry; the expected 3DOF Monte Carlo range was 317.3-376.2 sec. The MER-B RAD firing was 336.3 seconds from entry; expected 3DOF was 317.1-372.2 seconds.

I'll leave it to Doug to move this discussion to the MER area; it's clearly pretty far off topic here.
ljk4-1
This company (which I have no involvement with) is selling an actual
small model of Mars 3 in orbit around its namesake.

See here:

http://apollomaniacs.web.infoseek.co.jp/ap...rtales2b_05.jpg
Bob Shaw
QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ May 1 2006, 05:01 PM) *
This company (which I have no involvement with) is selling an actual
small model of Mars 3 in orbit around its namesake.


Try searching eBay for StarTales and you'll find *lots* of lovely little Japanese 'Candy' models like this - Viking Lander, Lunokhod, Voyager, Sputnik, Ranger to name but a few!

Bob Shaw
tedstryk
I have one, and am quite fond of it smile.gif
vikingmars
QUOTE (tedstryk @ Dec 30 2004, 12:36 AM) *
.../... but I made it clear on my website it was only a speculative image. I strongly doubt if the raw data even shows Mars at all - it could be all noise.


When I was working on Russian planetary data at Brown University in 1984, Russian scientists told me that (i) the Mars 3 "image" is a strip that should be seen vertically and NOT horizontally, (ii) in the 20 seconds of data, NO contrast was transmitted : it was just a kind of "carrier"...
Sorry, but as Ted said, NO real imaging data there. The Viking landers were the 1st spacecrafts which succeeded in taking images from the surface of Mars...
tedstryk
QUOTE (vikingmars @ May 2 2006, 08:37 AM) *
When I was working on Russian planetary data at Brown University in 1984, Russian scientists told me that (i) the Mars 3 "image" is a strip that should be seen vertically and NOT horizontally, (ii) in the 20 seconds of data, NO contrast was transmitted : it was just a kind of "carrier"...
Sorry, but as Ted said, NO real imaging data there. The Viking landers were the 1st spacecrafts which succeeded in taking images from the surface of Mars...

In my talks with a few Russians, they have contradicted each other on that...some they it is the very beginning of a scan, others do not. The other issue is orientation...Our understanding of the orientation of the "horizon" line, or even where the horizon should be, could be way off, because we don't know the orientation of the craft, given the possibility that the lander didn't fully open up or tipped over, etc.
djellison
Might it be a vertically oriented image, but with a cover or piece of structure blocking the first part thus giving the illusion of a horizon?

Doug
tedstryk
QUOTE (djellison @ May 2 2006, 09:59 AM) *
Might it be a vertically oriented image, but with a cover or piece of structure blocking the first part thus giving the illusion of a horizon?

Doug



All these things are possible. Part of the problem, coupled with the small size, is the amount of noise. And, if one explaination I have heard, that being that it is some sort of prescan, it may be significantly horizontally compressed. The only possible ways to resolve what happened to Mars-3 are a) send and astronaut or rover to examine it (this will not happen any time soon, but perhaps, if it is something obvious enough, an eagle-eyed orbiter will spot it) or cool.gif if the original transmission tapes still exist, and they probably don't, use modern techniques to see if anything can be pulled from the noise beyond the 20 seconds.
4th rock from the sun
QUOTE (djellison @ May 2 2006, 10:59 AM) *
Might it be a vertically oriented image, but with a cover or piece of structure blocking the first part thus giving the illusion of a horizon?

Doug


If I'm not mistaken, the image was scanned using vertical lines, and from left to right, the same as with the other russian probes (Luna, Venera, etc), right? So the Mars 3 image we see coming out of the printer is in fact rotated 90º.
Now the issue is to know the direction of the scanning: was it up->down? or down->up in each line?

Not knowing this, my judgement is that we are seeing a vertical image, horizontally compressed and perhaps with a flipped scaning direction. This can explain why the "sky" looks darker than the "horizon". The image might be is reversed ;-).

Here's my guess at the original image correct orientation:

Click to view attachment

White area at left is the start of the scan, with some sort of autogain feature going down until the image is correctely exposed.


And a processed version (just geometrical correction, rotation to the right and some noise reduction):

Click to view attachment
vikingmars
QUOTE (4th rock from the sun @ May 2 2006, 03:44 PM) *
Not knowing this, my judgement is that we are seeing a vertical image, horizontally compressed and perhaps with a flipped scaning direction. This can explain why the "sky" looks darker than the "horizon". The image might be is reversed ;-).


smile.gif Assuming that this is indeed a compressed vertical scan of a panoramic section : here is the 20:1 stretch with a quick contrast balance. If the atmosphere was still filled-up with dust (high opacity) the darkening of the atmosphere near the "horizon" is consistent with what was observed from VL1 (link herebelow to VL1 images before and during a dust storm)

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...indpost&p=23875
4th rock from the sun
Just some data, to make things clearer:

The Mars 3 camera scanned vertically, and each scan line has 500 pixels at maximum.
A full 360º image had 6000 of this vertical lines at full sampling rate (1 line per second, 100 minutes for a full pan).

It's reported that the Mars 3 image was being scaned at 4 lines per second. At this rate, a full 360º pan image would be a 500x1500 pixel image.

Using the reported figure of 79 scanlines receaved from Mars 3 in +-20 seconds, the image corresponds to a field of view of 29º tall by 19º wide !!!

This is the contrary to my previous post, and as such there's not really that much horizontal compression on the original data! So the correct proportions might be something like this:

Click to view attachment
PhilHorzempa



I thought that we could try to get the record straight on Mars-96's official
designation on this thread. As I recall (but the memory is hazy), this probe
received the official title Mars 8 since, even though it didn't make it to Mars,
it was launched and did make it into space.

Can anyone confirm this?

If it is true, then perhaps we, on UMSF, should start calling this probe by
its proper name of Mars 8.


Another Phil
Phil Stooke
I have never heard 'Mars 8' used for that mission. I would be more inclined to think somebody might have said that informally, and that's what you are remembering.

Phil
ljk4-1
QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ May 10 2006, 12:59 PM) *
I have never heard 'Mars 8' used for that mission. I would be more inclined to think somebody might have said that informally, and that's what you are remembering.

Phil


I have seen Mars 8 used a few times for Mars 96 (and before delays it was
known as Mars 94), but seeing as the probe never got very far, does it really
matter at this point? It doesn't seem to fit in with the Mars 2-7 series other
than its destination, either.

Mariner 8 would have been called Mariner H had reporters not kept calling it
with an 8 even though it ended up in the Atlantic Ocean. Pioneer E, the last of
the long-lived Pioneer solar probes in the 1960s, would have been Pioneer 10
had it not failed, but reporters weren't as focused on it so it retained the E.

Regarding the Mars 3 image, could the lander take images if it was knocked
on its side? Perhaps the lander came down and tipped over due to the dust
storm winds or some other technical factor or a combination of both.
tedstryk
Mars '96 would have been Mars 8 if it hadn't been a launch failure. Other Mars spacecraft, such as third orbiter in 1971 which would have beaten Mariner 9, that failed at launch were also never given a number. That is true about the Pioneer series - "Pioneer 10" should have gone to the fifth spacecraft in the Pioneer 6-9 series (they all had letter names pre-launch). Pioneer F and G, the missions we know as Pioneer 10 and 11, would have been 11 and 12, and so on. Since Pioneer E never had a post-launch life, it never became Pioneer 10. And it was the only failure in the Pioneer series since the lettering began with 6. (They didn't count total launch failures in the Pioneer 1-5 series as numbers either, but the two programs of Pioneer 1-2 and 3-5 have nothing to do with the series of 6-13).
Zvezdichko
36 years ago, on this very same day, 2 December 1971, the Soviet probe Mars 3 successfully landed on Mars. Though it functioned for only 20 seconds and no science was returned it was indeed an engineering success.

The first and only picture from Mars 3 lander. Image Credit : Ted Stryk / strykfoto.org
Adam
I might be wrong, but wasn't it pretty much decided that there was little data returned and that the "picture" is only noise?
Zvezdichko
Yes. There have been speculations based on this image,however, that the lander was turned upside down and that line shows the horizon.
I hope that future probes or possibly astronauts will find out that's the reason for the failure smile.gif

There are some more errr... raw images:




Image of the PropM rover:

nprev
A date & an achievement worth noting to be sure, ZV...and only 14 years after Sputnik I! smile.gif
Zvezdichko
Yes, only 14 years after Sputnik mankind achieved a soft landing on Mars!

But... it's December already, it's an important month for Martian Exploration.
For example, tomorrow is 3th December. It's the day when Mars Polar Lander had to land, but the contact was lost. Eight years after that, we still don't know what happened to it.
Then... we have 25th December. It was the day when Beagle 2 was supposed to land... It was also lost...
So, we have several probes (Mars 3, MPL, Beagle 2) which were sheduled to land in December, and all failed. Bad statistics...
dilo
Perhaps a little bit OT, but not completely...
Today, when looking to last MER images, I was talking to myself once more: "Is incredible, these beautiful pictures are almost realtime shots from the surface of another planet, and they comes daily in the last 4 years!". Same feeling with Cassini gallery...
I really hope this will continue to be the normality in the future, with a continuous coverage through MSL, EXO-mars and other long-duration missions. Besides scientific return, I think is important to easily access such "alien" visions, it helps us (poor humans) to have a wider breath, avoiding humanity to collapse on herself... smile.gif
Maybe I'm a dreamer, any though on that?
nprev
You're absolutely right, Dilo...we need to keep looking outward, always. We always have before. That's why we didn't become extinct in some forgotten African valley three or four million years ago...there were always a few rabble-rousers that wanted to see what was beyond the next hill.

If we play it right, it's our immortality... wink.gif ...God, how I hope that we do.
Shaka
smile.gif
Good, that makes three dreamers at UMSF.
How many more?

The denizens of Earth need Mars...more than they know.
PDP8E
another more recent thread (36 years on mars) has some reference to the famous Mars 3 image and to Ted's work on that image -etc. (thanks Ted)

My question is there a known 'original' or something that the surrogate original (!?) ...something that isn't a lossy compressed image?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree here.... thanks in advance!
tedstryk
QUOTE (PDP8E @ Dec 3 2007, 02:56 PM) *
another more recent thread (36 years on mars) has some reference to the famous Mars 3 image and to Ted's work on that image -etc. (thanks Ted)

My question is there a known 'original' or something that the surrogate original (!?) ...something that isn't a lossy compressed image?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree here.... thanks in advance!


Well, it isn't lossy in the sense that we think of lossy today (jpegs, etc) - what we have are screenshots. Perhaps the original transmission tapes are somewhere in the Russian archives. It has been so long that even if they are still there somewhere, they may have disintigrated unless there were copies made at some point.
peter59
QUOTE (dilo @ Dec 3 2007, 12:14 AM) *
Is incredible, these beautiful pictures are almost realtime shots from the surface of another planet, and they comes daily in the last 4 years. I really hope this will continue to be the normality in the future, with a continuous coverage through MSL, EXO-mars and other long-duration missions.


EXO-mars' data released daily by ESA ? Are you kidding?
dilo
QUOTE (peter59 @ Dec 3 2007, 07:13 PM) *
EXO-mars' data released daily by ESA ? Are you kidding?

Hehe, Peter, I understand your sarcasm but I deliberately included EXO-mars in the hope to see a change in the PR ESA policy in the future... at the end, perhaps, it depends also from public opinion pressure! rolleyes.gif
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