Feeds

back to article NASA found filming August's Mars landing in California desert

NASA boffins have been found at a site deep in California's Mojave desert with a Mars rover of the exact type they say will land on Mars this August, filming the machine as it drove about among the Earthly sand dunes. The Scarecrow stand-in (for the Curiosity Mars rover) in tests in the Mojave desert. credit: NASA/JPL 'Hey, we …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

So we are sending a robot armed with a laser to another planet that is dropped from space at high speed and slowed with jump jets?

Does this sound like sci fi to anyone else?

13
0
Thumb Up

Don't forget that it's an *atomic* robot armed with etc...

6
0

Sounds like Doc Smith to me

Dropping planets from space at high speed? Klono's horns! -- who else would it be?

5
0
Anonymous Coward

>"Who else would it be?"

Fred Saberhagen?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

So did they really land on the moon?

2
2
Paris Hilton

HELL NO

IT ALL FAKE THE MOON LANDINGS THE MARS ROVERS AND THE OZONE LAYER

6
13
Silver badge
FAIL

Dear Big Dumb Guy 555

You're not big, it's not clever to write in caps all the time and your trolling is really particularly pathetic.

8
2

Re: HELL NO

Yawn. 1992 called, they want their troll back.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Lighten up, meanies.

Old jokes are often good ones, that's why they get to be old; nobody bothers to remember the shit ones.

0
1

Re: Dear Big Dumb Guy 555

IF YOU MUST SPEAK TO MY HUSBAND PLEASE LET ME KNOW FIRST SO THAT I CAN ADMINISTER HIS PROZAC. HE CAN GET VERY ANGSTY WHEN TRYING TO GET YOU GUYS TO REALISE THAT ITS ALL FAKE. A BIT LIKE MY HUSBAND WHO IN FACT IS FOUR FOOT NINE AND HAS A PHD. BUT HE'S ALL GAY THO

SORRY THAT WAS MEANT TO SAY GUY - DARN IT THE DELETE KEY ISNT WORKING NOW

1
7
Facepalm

Re: 'So did they really land on the moon?' - - Of course not, Stupid!

By now, almost everyone knows it was all an elaborate hoax and onspiracy by Hollywood to make millions--twas just an updated ripoff of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre 'The War of the Worlds' radio broadcast in 1938 but a generation removed (by then, they'd reckoned everyone would've forgotten version one).

At the time in '69, I actually heard radio signals that were *supposedly* transmitted from Apollo-11 on route to the moon on a VHF communications receiver that was attached to an elaborate array of crossed Yagi antennae pointed in the direction of the moon.

Very strange really. Despite considerable investigation, I've never actually figured out how Hollywood actually faked that bit. Anyone know?

>:-)

0
0
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Yeah Yeah....

did you see O.J. Simpson hiding behind those dunes?

11
1
jai
Silver badge

Re: Yeah Yeah....

why the downvote? that was a perfectly good Capricorn One reference, I was going to make it myself if no one else had.

2
0

Re: Yeah Yeah....

No it was Elvis.

0
0
Silver badge

@Jai

Because some people round here have the down vote connected to their jerking knee and not to any neurons.

This time is was probably because OJ was on trial quite a while ago, and they thought mentioning his name was an insult to the dead.

Who knows!

Daily Mail readers get everywhere these days.

6
2
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: @Jai

There's also the fact that I've hit the "downvote" instead of "reply" by accident at times, and you can't undo it AFAICT. Hey, if I was coordinated, I probably wouldn't be in computers!

2
0
Silver badge

Re: @Jai

Doesn't upvoting cancel out a downvote?

I've often suspected that there are some very sad people on these forums with multiple accounts. That way through the power of downvotes they can really show you how wrong your opinion is.

5
0
Silver badge
Boffin

@Gene Cash

I've just downvoted you: 0 Upvotes, 1 Downvote.

Oh, no, I've just switched that: 1 Upvote, 0 Downvotes.

On second thoughts, I'll put it back the way it was: 0 Upvotes, 1 Downvote

0
3
Anonymous Coward

Hah, yeah!

You can change your mind to the opposite choice, but you can't unvote altogether. So I upvoted, downvoted, then upvoted again.

Now me and Graham M. cancel out and everything from here on in is genuine!

0
2
Silver badge
Happy

Ok, ok...

... I've changed my Downvote back to an Upvote.

Now will the rest of you do the same for the 3 Downvotes I've received?

0
0

Re: Ok, ok...

can we have a 'no vote' vote?

....Oh

DOH!

0
1
Joke

Re: Ok, ok...

ok - you've been given a no vote as you asked for

...damn didn't see that last vote, so you wanted a no vote vote :)

0
0
Silver badge

Just like WotW

Even NASA's three-legged "fighting machines" are as described in the book - though they're smaller than I imagined

2
0
Anonymous Coward

"smaller three-legged fighting machines"?

There you are.

Deploying.

0
0
Boffin

Soil mechanics...

Mine's a bit rusty, but I recall the angle of repose of dry sand is dependent on g, so presumably the dunes on Mars will be a lot steeper.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Soil mechanics...

Surely though the amount of traction required to get up a steeper hill is lessened in lower gravity though?

0
0

Just practicing uh? Well they would say that ................

Mines the coat with the tinfoil hat in the pocket

0
1
jai
Silver badge

a little late for testing?

isn't it a bit late for testing? what if they find a complete show-stopper in their testing, like the sand gets in the motors and locks them up, or sticks to the comms gear and prevents them being able to control it? surely all this testing should have been done before the punted the other robot off towards Marx.

0
6
Alien

Re: a little late for testing?

I think the idea is to give the operators some experience in how instructions sent to Curiosity will be carried out when it arrives.

I'm sure NASA will have considered something as simple as dust getting into motors, man. If they hadn't bothered to think it through to such a basic degree I doubt they would have got Curiosity off the ground.

I think ensuring the operators have a very concrete idea of how an instruction sent to a vehicle on a sand dune would be carried out (regardless of if it's here or Mars) is a very useful thing, and will reduce the chances of them sending an instruction which causes Curiosity to lose control and roll down a sand dune and probably explode 'cause of the nuclear reactor.

Last thing we need is making the aliens on Mars mad at us for causing some nuclear pollution in their back garden!

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: a little late for testing?

The chances of anything coming from Marx... are a million to one,said Engels.

6
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: a little late for testing?

NASA and dust don't have a good relationship you know. Remember how they failed to install simpl"window wipers" on the solar panels on the last batch.

I grant you can't think of everything, but I also grant overthinking things for years can make you overlook the obvious.

0
1

Re: a little late for testing?

I guess they figured the window wipers would be pointless, given that the projected lifetime of the rovers was something like 20x less than the real one. I would hardly call that "overlooking the obvious".

1
0
Bronze badge

The "practice version"

"...The lightened practice runabout also doesn't have Curiosity's rock-melting high powered laser ..."

Well, hell, where's the fun in that, then? Crap.

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: The "practice version"

has two lasers of it's own.And a talking bomb...

0
1
Pint

Skycrane?

Why? i know the atmosphere is very thin but wouldn't good ol fricton + parachutes (even huge ones)or even a rocket firing near ground (like one of the xprize lot did) be a lot less complex then a hovering platform that lowers the thing by cables?

does sound cool though!

0
0
Gold badge

Re: Skycrane?

Unless it has changed since I last heard anything about it, the platform does not hover. The rockets are used to slow it's descent, and the rover is lowered on the cable. Then just before impact, the cable is hoisted in at almost the same speed that the whole thing is approaching the ground. In this way, the rover slows much more (although I suppose that the sky-crane speeds up!) The rover then gets a soft landing, and the skycrane smashed into the ground, it's job done (the skycranes job that is, hopefully the rover's job is jsut starting at that point).

1
1

Re: Skycrane?

Parachutes weren't enough. This rover has wheels (not pads) and it didn't want to burn them with retro rocket fire (see Pioneer's Mars landing simulation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH5pNFROlYU ). Spirit and Opportunity ultimately used airbags just like Sojourner, but their airbags were lowered-by-cable and slowed by retro-rockets just like Curiousity ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgUGBVzWnIk ). Curiosity is just too big for the airbags/bouncing method.

... they worked OK! Here's hoping for another one.

1
0

Overly complicated

No doubt that smarter people than me have worked it all out, but it does look like there's a lot to go wrong with that landing procedure....

If thrusters are really needed, why not mount then under the main rover? At least that would do away with the need for cables and winches etc.

I'll be impressed if it all works though!!

2
0

Re: Overly complicated

I thought this too, looks really, really complicated.

But then I don't do rocket science for a day job.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Overly complicated

If the rockets are underneath you have to get the rover down from the top of the rocket after landing, and there's various things that could go wrong. Apparently the sky-crane worked out as more reliable.

0
0

Re: Overly complicated

Well, you hardly want to be trying to drive around having to tote your descent stage with you. (Though sitting on your descent engine is fine for stationary landers like Viking.) So you either have to drive off of it (a la Spirit/Opportunity), which is a problem for a lander as large as Curiosity, or you need to arrive on the ground without it.

Actually, it's quite an elegant proposal; I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. It's just too bad we'll never get to see the video the Martians take of it landing...

5
0

Re: Overly complicated

Spirit and opportunity hit the ground in airbags. See the NASA stuff above. The point is good about having to discard the retro rockets with a rover, though...

0
0

Re: Overly complicated

>Too bad we'll never get to see the video

I'm sure that with some color correction, this video would look nice, uploaded onto YouTube.

As an alternative, we can always ask amanfromMars to ask his friends for a copy?

Not sure how copyright on Mars works, though. Don't want to get them in trouble over this :-(

0
0
FAIL

Re: Overly complicated

And they will be lowering it on cables at an ANGLE of course? so as not to have the platform crash ONTO the rover?

0
0

Special Edition

"Look sir, droids"

9
0

Delays

I bet the really tricky bit is that Mars is a long way away (I mean, you think it's a long way to the Chemist, etc), and any image that the driver sees on Earth is already several minutes old, and any command sent will take several more minutes to get there. It's not a case of "oops, there's a sand dune coming up, I'll turn left"; it'll be more like "oops, there's a sand dune coming up, damm, I hit it three minutes ago".

0
0
Gold badge

Re: Delays

It might be to get hints more like "Always drive down the dunes directly, not cutting across at an angle"(remembering an old episode of the Fall Guy). If you drive the thing into a situation where it's lost control, even zero delay is bad.

As far as actual driving goes though, I thought that they were pretty autonomous these days. Certainly the Euro one being put together recieves commands like "Go over there" and I think it just about does it by itself, without driving into giant rocks, sign-posts or rivers like human TomTom owners :)

2
0
FAIL

Re: Delays

I thing Airbus is a bit like that: "Pull Up, pull up" - "Nope, I am landing in the trees" - Paris

1
1
Anonymous Coward

space , its really boring

I would like to think otherwise but i imagine they are also getting lots of footage in the can from different angles to supplement the hrs of tedious non event we will get from the actual mission.

No doubt armies of experts will fill the air with waffle while nothing continues to happen millions of miles away.

The usual si fi/comic fans and bozo's will be impressed though .lol

0
6
Silver badge

"Scarecrow"

They missed the chance to call it "Worzel Gummidge"?

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.