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  1. #351
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    Saw the Nova special on the Mars rover last night. Mind blowing the tech they packed into this thing.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  2. #352
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    I could see in their faces how proud they are. Damn!

  3. #353
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    nice

  4. #354
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    MSL MCAM 360...can pan in youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX6LEAqUx-E

  5. #355
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    Quote Originally Posted by 406 View Post
    MSL MCAM 360...can pan in youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX6LEAqUx-E
    Oh cool. Going to look this up in my oculus.

  6. #356
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    from last month, I was on vacation, so forgot to post:

  7. #357
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    It's worth checking out the link to see how they plan on ripping off part of the old rover's wheels to keep it running. Seems like a cool project to work on.
    But while the new kids on the block are getting all the attention, spare a thought for the reliable old warhorse which has been plying Gale Crater for the better part of a decade now — Curiosity. NASA has been driving the compact-car-sized rover around Mars for a long time now, long enough to rack up some pretty severe damage to its six highly engineered wheels, thanks to the brutal Martian rocks. But if you think Curiosity will get sidelined as its wheels degrade, think again — the rover’s operators have a plan to continue surface operations that includes ripping off its own wheels if necessary. It’s a complex operation that would require positioning the wheel over a suitable rock and twisting with the steering motor to peel off the outer section of the wheel, leaving a rim to drive around on. JPL has already practiced it, but they predict it won’t be necessary until 2034 or so. Now that’s thinking ahead.
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/...to-stay-mobile

  8. #358
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    I don't have much to do with the heli and they used cots cameras, but cool to see the images from flight. They are all on the public page now, so if you are interested:
    https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multi...RTE#raw-images

    Ones I liked:







  9. #359
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    Kind of crazy the helicopter is still going and how routine it has become.

    In other news, few weeks ago our camera on JUNO captured some awesome photos of Ganymede. I'm a huge fan of the Galilean moons and started this science payload operations "career" involved in the imaging during the final Galileo spacecraft flyby of Ganymede...~20 years ago, the last time imaged at a good resolution.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Björn Jónsson

    Cool video of the flyby made with images from JUNO Cam:

  10. #360
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    ^awesome and worth the watch! What a wild timelapse with Juno's crazy orbit!

    That we are regularly operating a rotorcraft on another planet is mindblowing.

    I really wish they had done the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter it would have been a breakthrough in so many regards.

    Still ESA JUICE will launch next year and NASA Europa Clipper will launch in 2024

    Also three cheers for getting Hubble Fixed
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  11. #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Still ESA JUICE will launch next year and NASA Europa Clipper will launch in 2024
    Is there anything in the solar system more compelling than Europa and Enceladus? Not in my mind. Even Titan is a far behind either. Or maybe deep groundwater on Mars, but drilling thousands of feet below the Martian surface is a long, long ways off.

  12. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Is there anything in the solar system more compelling than Europa and Enceladus? Not in my mind. Even Titan is a far behind either. Or maybe deep groundwater on Mars, but drilling thousands of feet below the Martian surface is a long, long ways off.
    I'd actually argue Calisto and Ganymede might be more interesting than much smaller Europa and tiny little Enceladus for seeking life-as-we-know-it...

    Titan must be explored further because it is the best candidate for life-as-we-don't-know-it. UAV and robosub missions will be next-level-cool, and far less of an engineering feat than nuclear icemelt drilling missions to drop a tethered ROV sub into the subsurface oceans of the icy moons.

    Ganymede, Titan, and Calisto are the 3 most massive bodies in the solar system after the 8 major planets.

    I am curious about shallow water deposits on Mars as evidenced by recent MRO images, but the perchlorate problem in Martian soil is discouraging for life-as-we-know-it.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  13. #363
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    My understanding with Ganymede and Callisto is that, unlike Europa and Enceladus, their subsurface oceans are separated from the rocky core by another layer of ice (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callis...to_diagram.svg ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganyme...de_diagram.svg). Without rock in contact with water life seems a lot less likely. There's also strong evidence for active hydrothermal vents on Europa and Enceladus.

    UAV and robosub missions on Titan must happen and will be rad as hell. But, I do wonder whether the chemistry of even ultra-exotic life can proceed in liquid methane at -290* F. Titan has a subsurface liquid water ocean, but like Ganymede and Callisto it's sandwiched between ice layers and not in contact with the mineral core (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_...tan_poster.svg).

    I'm not talking about shallow groundwater on Mars that creates the RSLs we can see in MRO images. I'm talking about deep groundwater, thousands of feet down. Hot wet rock 10,000 feet down in old South African gold mines is teeming with life (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/looking...es-2020-02-09/). If life evolved on Mars it may have colonized similar deep geological zones and wouldn't have given a single shit that the surface oceans evaporated billions of years ago.

  14. #364
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    ^all great points
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  15. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by 406 View Post
    Kind of crazy the helicopter is still going and how routine it has become.
    Looks like it's getting harder to fly due to seasonal changes in the air density on Mars. It's so cool that is still flying.

    Martian helicopter update:
    In the months since we flew for the first time, we have learned a great deal about operating a helicopter on Mars. We have explored Ingenuity’s strengths and limitations in detail, leveraging the former and working around the latter to operationalize it as a highly capable reconnaissance platform.

    With the benefit of the knowledge acquired, conducting flights on Mars has in most ways become easier than it was at the outset. But in one important way it is actually getting more difficult every day: I’m talking about the atmospheric density, which was already extremely low and is now dropping further due to seasonal variations on Mars.

    When we designed and tested Ingenuity on Earth, we expected Ingenuity’s five-flight mission to be completed within the first few months after Perseverance’s landing in February 2021. We therefore prepared for flights at atmospheric densities between 0.0145 and 0.0185 kg/m3, which is equivalent to 1.2-1.5% of Earth’s atmospheric density at sea level. With Ingenuity in its sixth month of operation, however, we have entered a season where the densities in Jezero Crater are dropping to even lower levels. In the coming months we may see densities as low as 0.012 kg/m3 (1.0% of Earth’s density) during the afternoon hours that are preferable for flight.

    The difference may seem small, but it has a significant impact on Ingenuity’s ability to fly. At our lower design limit for atmospheric density (0.0145 kg/m3), we know that Ingenuity has a thrust margin of at least 30%. Thrust margin refers to the excess thrust that Ingenuity can produce above and beyond what is required to hover. That additional thrust is needed on takeoffs and climbs, during maneuvers, and also when tracking terrain with varying height. But if the atmospheric density were to drop to 0.012 kg/m3 in the coming months, our helicopter’s thrust margin could drop to as low as 8%, which means that Ingenuity would be operating close to aerodynamic stall (a condition where further increases in the blade’s angle of attack does not produce more lift, only more drag).

    Thankfully, there is a way to tackle this issue – but it involves spinning the rotors even faster than we have been doing up to now. In fact, they will have to spin faster than we have ever attempted with Ingenuity or any of our test helicopters on Earth. This is not something we take lightly, which is why our next operations on Mars will be focused on carefully testing out higher rotor speeds in preparation for future flights.
    https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/hel...er-and-harder/

  16. #366
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    I could see in their faces how proud they are. Damn!

  17. #367
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    I bet the helicopter could have been used to clean off rover solar panels on the previous generations of solar battery rovers. Not needed on a RTG rover.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

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