Mars Curiosity Rover... to land 10:31 pm 8/5/2012

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by JanewayRulz!, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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  2. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    "If any one thing doesn't work" indeed.

    Why not use the tried & true airbag landing from the other two? Couldn't that be done with a larger rover?

    This way, the sky-crane could land on it, the lines could break or release before it lands, the lines might not release and it gets dragged along, it could land too hard and get damaged.

    And those are just possible mechanical failures.
     
  3. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    It still seems stupid to me that their answer to dust from the rocket plume was this Rube Goldbergian pulley system and jet away maneuver instead of, um, a dust cover.


    I don't have much confidence in this working.
     
  4. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Of course it will work. It was designed by top men.

    If it doesn't, on impact an airbag will deploy to protect the little midget who's supposed to drive it.

    The rover is the size of a Mini Cooper, and NASA says we don't have a good method for landing anything heavier except by direct thrust. Parachutes are already at their size limits because Mars' atmosphere is so thin.
     
  5. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    You mean like this?

    [YT]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mRbdo26Gno[/YT]

    I don't know, I doubt NASA's system would work as well.
     
  6. MANT!

    MANT! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm reminded of the issues launching the Space Shuttle, when it seemed that a component costing maybe $2000.00 could cause a catastrophic failure.

    Or the famous metric vs. SAE mistake that ended up costing the US a Mars lander...


    the more things you put into something, the more things you have that can go wrong...

    Don't get me wrong, I sincerely hope they pull this off, but my feelings on the chances,
    mighty slim odds..
     
  7. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    This is what happens when you hire scientists who participated in Rube Goldberg design contests and let them have free reign.

    So is that 10:31PM the time it actually lands or the time the signal of it landing is relayed back to Earth?
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well probes to Mars don't exactly have a high succes rate.

    Whilst the OP is correct in the time, it should be noted that is for PDT. Which would be 06-08-12 @ 05:31 UTC.
     
  9. Q2UnME

    Q2UnME Commodore Commodore

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    Why do I get the feeling that NASA has contracted with ACME and this was designed by Wile E. Coyote?

    At least the large smoldering hole in the Marsian surface will be visible to the Mars Odyssey Observer...

    Q2
     
  10. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

    But I'm sure everyone at JPL will cross their fingers for this one.
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well for the Metric vs Imperial debacle it should never have happened. Most credible Scientist and Engineers would use the Metric scale. And wasn't it Lockhead Martin that made the error more so than NASA?
     
  12. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    It's long been known that the most common failure point in a rocket project is the interface between teams. It badly afflicted the early European efforts at a multi-stage rocket because each stage had a different team with a different nationality, and they didn't bother to nail down all the technical details of seperation. Differing units would be a prime example of that, but they could've just as easily goofed by using different coordinate systems (like X,Y,Z=0 being the center of Mars versus the surface landing target).
     
  13. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sure they will... but keeping with the design of this probe's landing they will do so by having a finger grown on the back of a mouse in a lab... That mouse will then be trained to stand on its hind legs lifting the finger up into the air so that the JPL employee can hold their own finger up against it to cross them.
     
  14. Jimmy_C

    Jimmy_C Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have more faith that it can work. The skycrane is kind of an evolution of the airbag system used on Mars Pathfinder. In both cases, jets reduce the velocity of the craft to zero. The differences:

    Pathfinder was cut from a higher altitude, so it had to bounce, hence the reason for the airbags.

    Curiosity jettisons it's exterior shell (to save weight) before firing its engines to slow its decent. It goes to 0 velocity much lower to the ground, so the rover is lowered gently.

    There are big differences, but much of it is just an evolution of earlier systems.
     
  15. NebulaClassGuy

    NebulaClassGuy Lieutenant Commander

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    I hope it survives the seven minutes of terror.
     
  16. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Highly qualified engineers collaborated on this with thousands of hours applied to reason and come up with a plausible solution. However, I'm sure they didn't think of everything. Who knows, maybe some layman ideas could provide a novel solution that they couldn't see, being too close to the problem?

    The airbag approach won't work because the payload is too heavy. Due to the thin atmosphere, the parachutes will slow the payload down to 200 mph but no slower. Thus, retro rockets are necessary. Those have to be on the reentry capsule (lander). The dust problem was probably too pervasive to consider a "dust cap". Once you've got such a thing in place, it needs to be ejected. Maybe they could have invested more money on special servo motor controlled doors for each entry point that might be affected by dust? But that would add to weight and yet another slew of devices that could go wrong.

    The tether is kind of a nice idea, in that there is an inherent buffer between the landing craft and the rover. You don't have to worry about internal cushioning of the rover against the inside of the crane, to guard against the inertial shock.

    However, if dust is such a problem, why not have the lander touch down with the rover attached underneath? The lander would act as a canopy to keep dust from settling down on the top. But... the dust problem may be lateral as well. The only thing that bothers me is that Mars DOES have an atmosphere, albeit a thin one, and there is wind. Wouldn't a wind storm present the same dust problem?
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The ultimate nightmare scenario would be for everything to almost work--the reel to deploy cables fine without snags--the rover deploys its wheels--then all the lines...save one...detach. When the crane jets away--it yanks the rover enough to trash it.

    Murphy being what it is and all.
     
  18. Wanderlust

    Wanderlust Captain Captain

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    i keep thinking of that everytime i think about this mission

    anyway, 13 days!
     
  19. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    ^ Or what if everything works perfectly and it sets down in a tiny crater with unclimbable walls.
     
  20. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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