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?
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, …
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?
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
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.
Daily Mail readers get everywhere these days.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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!!
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...
>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 :-(
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".
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 :)
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
Why is it when I watch the video clip I keep imagining a chap from Lancashire and his clever dog landing beside NASA's rover, then trying to feed it cheese (Wensleydale of course)?
Apart from that the Curiosity landing system does look overly complicated with lots that could (and most probably will go) wrong. I hope it doesn't
So "just a test" then rather than an elaborate hoax designed to pull the space-blanket over the eyes of the taxpayers.
But how do they explain the purchase order for "3 tons of red aquarium sand and assorted small rocks and other clutter"?
I swear I saw a grinning skull around 3 inches in diameter, wearing a pirate hat peering out from behind a rock on some of the older footage, and on one photo I can clearly make out a sunken galleon wreck that can be no more than 6 inches long.
comes standard with my Detroit 8000 Cadillac of the Senses, and the rock-vaporizing laser; in this vehicle the laser has been reconfigured to be able to convert into a 360-degree wormhole creator in case of sudden Rapturing or Unavoidable Law Enforcement. Unconverted, it will still dissolve nuts, their trucks, & truck nuts when commanded. The only flaw is that the PNPP is not configured to charge an iphone. It will, however, get a party line started.
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