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2012 - Mars or Bust

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2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:00 pm

This is pretty darn cool.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory 'Curiosity' took off for the Red Planet late in 2011, and expectations are that it will reach its destination in August.

Something to look forward to mater in 2012.

Check out this great CG animation of the trip, landing, and what will be happening when the Lab is settled in.

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust - Curiosity lands safely!

Postby Charles » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:15 pm

Very excited to share the good news that the latest Mars rover Curiosity, which is the size of a large vehicle, has just landed on Mars!

The descent to the planet's surface was a very precarious one that went off perfectly!

Here's the first picture from the surface...

MarsCuriosityRoverPhoto.jpg
MarsCuriosityRoverPhoto.jpg (9.42 KiB) Viewed 1725 times


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NASA's Curiosity rover scores touchdown on Mars

Spacecraft survives '7 minutes of terror,' lands safely, sends first picture

PASADENA, Calif. August 5, 2012 — After eight years of planning and eight months of interplanetary travel, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory pulled off a touchdown of Super Bowl proportions, all by itself. It even sent pictures from the goal line.

The spacecraft plunged through Mars' atmosphere, fired up a rocket-powered platform and lowered the car-sized, 1-ton Curiosity rover to its landing spot in 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) Gale Crater. Then the platform flew off to its own crash landing, while Curiosity sent out a text message basically saying, "I made it!"

That message was relayed by the orbiting Mars Odyssey satellite back to Earth. A radio telescope in Australia picked up the message and sent it here to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. When the blips of data appeared on the screens at JPL's mission control, the room erupted in cheers and hugs.

A thumbnail, fisheye view from one of the hazard avoidance cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover shows Martian soil and parts of the spacecraft itself.

Because of the light-travel time between Mars and Earth, throngs of scientists and engineers — along with millions who were monitoring the action via television and the Internet — celebrated Curiosity's landing 14 minutes after it actually occurred.

Even the engineers who drew up the unprecedented plan for the landing admitted that it looked crazy. But the plan actually worked.

Minutes after the news of the landing broke, commentator Allen Chen brought more good news: "We have thumbnails!" Odyssey delivered two pictures showing the view from hazard avoidance cameras mounted on the rover.

The touchdown marked a $2.5 billion triumph for what Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters, called "the Super Bowl of planetary exploration." Curiosity's primary mission is scheduled to last one full Martian year, or almost two Earth years — but scientists hope the nuclear-powered rover will keep going for years longer than that.

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:00 am

It all started with the two Viking landers that made it to the surface way back in 1976...

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:05 pm

In this video NASA JPL scientists explain the complexities involved in landing a one ton vehicle on the surface of Mars. This was a truly amazing accomplishment. One that will stand out in history.

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:41 pm

Check out how animation was used in real time at JPL in Pasadena as Curiosity made its historic and monumental descent to the surface of Mars two days ago...

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:20 pm

This is actual footage from Curiosity's point of view as it made its descent towards Mars. The video is compiled from photos taken at the rate of 4 frames per second. You can see the heat shield falling to the surface at the beginning of the video.

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Dolphin78 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:06 pm

What a perfect shot from JPL and NASA!

Not sure I care a whole lot about whether there are, or were, microbes on Mars.
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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:38 pm

We're going to colonize the planet Mars in the not too distant future. That's the significance of this particular feat. We've figured out how to safely land a one ton vehicular laboratory on our nearest planetary neighbor. We're eventually going to figure out how to make Martian soil grow things. We're going to terraform the planet. Someday they'll be playing baseball on Mars in enclosed structures. The day will come when humans will be watching cartoons on Mars.
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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:18 pm

Here's enhanced video of Curiosity's decent to the surface of Mars.

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Dolphin78 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:25 pm

Great stuff! Curiosity, beyond being a big lab on wheels, has a nuclear battery which will solve a lot of the problems that happened with the last two rovers (limited hours of operation, sleeping through the winter, slow speed and fear of not "waking up" due to cold). They did go for over 5 years!

Jed Schwartz and I (with a few others) did 30 scenes for Nat Geo's "Five Years on Mars" which was all of the shots for the story of the rover "Spirit." Dan Mass did all of the Opportunity footage for about 50 scenes.

Lots of projection map textures built from actual Mars photographs from the massive JPL collection.

Funny thing was the number of people who asked "How did they get another camera up there?"

http://www.davidgreggassociates.com/pages/Mars.html
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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:11 pm

Wow, amazing work! Very impressive! Thanks for posting the link to the animation your group created. Here's the embedded video for all to see...

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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:25 am

The previous video of the descent of Curiosity was sped up. Here it is in real time taking less than 2 minutes once the heat shield is dropped. The video quality is excellent.



I've also featured the David Gregg Associates video that Dolphin78 posted on AN's homepage for this date.

http://www.animationnation.com

Featured article here.
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Re: 2012 - Mars or Bust

Postby Charles » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:04 pm

A poetic ode to the Mars rover Curiosity in video...

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