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Old 05-24-08, 06:33 PM   #1
red house
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who is tuning in tomorrow for the mars polar landing?

The mars Phoenix lander is due to touch down on the mars polar ice cap around ~ 19:30 EDT tomorrow. Its first signals are supposed to reach earth at 19:53 EDT - if it doesn't crash and splinter into thousands of million dollar chunks of tax payer bought state of the art debris strewn about the planet's surface (which unfortunately is what happened to its sister craft during the last landing attempt 9 years ago) ... There is a great deal of anticipation to see what awaits it on the surface of the polar ice cap (if it actually makes it in one piece). I'm guessing there will be an abundant assortment of red rocks of various sizes and maybe a thin coat of permafrost covering the soil. but... we won't know with any certainty until 'exactly' 23 hours and 20 minutes from 'now' ..



srsly tho, it should be really kewl.



--> http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ph...ain/index.html

--> http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/
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Old 05-24-08, 10:46 PM   #2
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I hope the craft passes the "7 minutes of terror" phase as well as the two rovers did.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:05 PM   #3
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Great, yet another thing I'll miss due to my lack of T.V. and internet at home..
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Old 05-24-08, 11:47 PM   #4
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I hope the craft passes the "7 minutes of terror" phase as well as the two rovers did.


Yeah... those used a much more simple and reliable method of landing - that enclosed the rovers with a capsule containing inflatable bags and allowed it to bounce along the surface until it came to rest. This Phoenix lander was too massive to use the bag method, so it will be landing the old fashioned way - using rockets to land it upright after it jettisons the parachute. It's a much more tricky and complicated endeavour, especially since the lander has to control its landing autonomously.
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Old 05-25-08, 01:23 AM   #5
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Computer animation is a useful tool.
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Old 05-25-08, 03:04 PM   #6
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I think SciHD is broadcasting this live tonight at 7:00p. Should be interesting either way it ends up.
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Old 05-25-08, 03:11 PM   #7
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I can't believe the kinds of people who want to totally remove NASA, typically the same people who think the NASA budget is 24% of the total US budget.
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Old 05-25-08, 03:12 PM   #8
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At almost the same time is an equally interesting sky dive over northern Saskatchewan. Some French retired military dude will drop to the Earth from 25 miles up. The highest drop ever. With so little atmoshphere up there, he needs a heated pressure suit in order to not explode. Within 5 minutes of the Fall;with the little atmosphere up there, he will be breaking the sound barrier with his free fall. Scientists wonder if the human body is capable of traveling at near 1000 mph outside of a space vessel . / Besides the question of whether humans can solo break the sound barrier. / A reason scientists are interested. Can space travelers return to Earth in solo free fall, in the event their space craft breaks up on entry / launch./ He will first go up to the 25 mile altitude in a heated gondola. Then bombs away./ Seems the highest free fall drop was previously set in 1960 from 12 miles up.
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Old 05-25-08, 03:18 PM   #9
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I remembered hearing about an incredibly high free-fall before. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...939169,00.html
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Old 05-26-08, 11:42 AM   #10
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I hope the craft passes the "7 minutes of terror" phase as well as the two rovers did.
Not just as well...it did better! JPL really knocked themselves out getting this landing exactly right.

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Old 05-26-08, 01:01 PM   #11
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Wow! NASA kicked butt and took pictures:

Lander foot on solid ground:


Solar panel successfully unfurled:


"Polygons" formed by freezing and thawing cycles:


And best of all, an unprecedented picture of the lander while on it's parachute from above, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. I don't think we've even done anything quite like this with space shuttle landings:


More:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ph...ges/index.html
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Old 05-26-08, 01:30 PM   #12
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"Polygons" formed by freezing and thawing cycles:
Looks like my backyard before the sod was rolled.
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Old 05-26-08, 01:42 PM   #13
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So...when is the manned flight?
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Old 05-26-08, 05:53 PM   #14
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So...when is the manned flight?
Disappointed when the Phoenix lander showed up, with steam heater but without passengers, was the empty local Mars polar Starbucks.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:31 PM   #15
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So...when is the manned flight?
"So I ran into Gary..."

Classic.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:42 PM   #16
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Lander foot on solid ground:
Pictures like this really amaze me. Out of context, it's nothing. A crappy, low-resolution black & white image of some sort of machinery sitting in dirt.

And that's what the picture is, really. But at the same time, it's so much more than that. It's dirt, but it's dirt on another planet, one never touched by mankind, some unimaginable distance away. The machine has traveled that distance, safely escaping one planet, and landing on another. The sunlight is the same sunlight we see on Earth several minutes before it makes it to Mars.

So it's a crappy picture, but everything it represents is completely fascinating, to me.
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Old 05-26-08, 10:24 PM   #17
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I couldn't agree with you more!
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Old 05-27-08, 06:37 PM   #18
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Pictures like this really amaze me. Out of context, it's nothing. A crappy, low-resolution black & white image of some sort of machinery sitting in dirt.
To be fair, it's technically sharp and well exposed, just oddly framed. But you're right, it says so much more to those who know what it is than to a casual observer. But if you think that's cool, prepare to be blown out of your chair by 117% pure robotic awesomeness. That picture of the lander in flight I thought was so cool yesterday? It was a tease:

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