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 Mission to Mars - Life on Mars

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PostSubject: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 2:12 pm

BBC - Historic pictures sent from Mars
Historic I think because they managed not to screw up the landing.

The Americans got there and promptly released this picture:

It's the sort of silly picture you accidentally take of your feet, but I guess they were very excited. Anyway they hope to find ice just under the surface and put us closer to discovering evidence of life on the planet.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 2:19 pm

Someone said on the radio that 50,000 years of water means a fair chance of life. Nice rule of thumb.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 3:38 pm

http://www.nasa.gov/

Phoenix New Neighbourhood


They've landed on the region called Vastitas Borealis - here

Google Mars map of the entire surface of Mars

http://www.google.com/mars/
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 4:16 pm

Vastitas Borealis sounds like a description of one of those interminable dev and ed threads on P.ie.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 4:28 pm

Just been watching cool videos on Nasa.gov. The EDL simulations are brill.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 9:18 pm

I could listen to Mars stuff all day long, Space is fantastic and I'm a total nerd for it. The numbers alone are poetic.

Nobody in work wanted to talk about it though. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 9:43 pm

watched it last night, cool
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 9:53 pm

For those interested over here there was great coverage on The Science Channel. Was it explained back there how the craft was slowed from 12000 mph to landing speed.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 10:28 pm

Good luck to NASA in this endeavour, I hope they find an abundance of water on the Red Planet, otherwise my €5 million deposit on RedHorizon is worthless!

I can't wait for manned missions to Mars, we need to get off this Pale Blue Dot and get planet-hopping through-out this system. It'll be great for science, society, technology and the economy.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 10:39 pm

still lots of media confusion over water vs liquid
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Mon May 26, 2008 10:41 pm

lostexpectation wrote:
still lots of media confusion over water vs liquid

Yeah, the water most likely would be in ice form on Mars. That'd be brilliant, our Sibín Reoite could expand by opening a place there by 2030!
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 12:06 am

Congratulations to NASA for a brilliant job!

Though me personally I think robotics will be the way to go before Man lands there.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 1:04 am

image of the landing from the other satellite in oribt



im still confused as to whether they've found H2O on mars, rather then co2 ice
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 2:50 am

lostexpectation wrote:

im still confused as to whether they've found H2O on mars, rather then co2 ice

The mission is to find water-ice, H2O. Not CO2 ice. Has there been a statement about stuff found already ?
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 4:46 am



Slightly cleaner version of lost's picture. Lander, tethers, parachute. On another planet.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 7:41 am

Can anyone tell me why they needed the parachute. Something is amiss about that picture.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 9:36 am

youngdan wrote:
Can anyone tell me why they needed the parachute. Something is amiss about that picture.

To further decelerate the phoenix lander.. The atmospheric entry slowed it from 12000 MPH to about 800 MPH I think. The parachute was used to further slow it to about 200 MPH. Check out the EDL simulation on nasa.gov. It explains loads of stuff.

Or are you going to tell me it never happened ??
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 10:49 am

Not exactly EvotingMachine. Your description of what happened is fairly accurate but I will add a bit. It approached at 12000 mph and it skimed the upper atmosphere and went into an eliptical orbit. On it's next orbit it skimed the atmosphere again at its near point[perigee] and the friction slowed it slightly more. As you would know the orbits would get closer each time. This continued to 900 mph where rockets and parachute did the rest.
The mass of the craft is 350 kg so the momentum the craft had at full speed was great. It was a nerve racking moment to get this craft down as half the attemted landings of smaller craft up to this point have failed.
The question I have to you who has an engineering degree is. Do you think a landing could be done if the mass was increased to 15000 kgs instead of 350. Do you think it could be done if you did not have the atmospheric friction to slow you to 900 mph. Then do you think it could have worked without a parachute.
If you think it could, would you risk being inside it having never tried it before and hoping that you wouldn't say break a leg on the lander which would doom your takeoff. That is part of the scenario some believed happened 40 years ago.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 11:25 am

The moon's gravity is 83% less than ours here on earth so it would be as if a spacecraft trying to land on the moon already had a massive parachute on it because of the absence of force. It wouldn't be hard to control it floating down - it would almost be like letting something sink in water.

The escape velocity of the moon is 2.3 km/s though - can you really imagine the lift-off pod getting up to that speed?
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 11:35 am

Earwax.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 1:56 pm

youngdan wrote:
..
The question I have to you who has an engineering degree is. Do you think a landing could be done if the mass was increased to 15000 kgs instead of 350. Do you think it could be done if you did not have the atmospheric friction to slow you to 900 mph. Then do you think it could have worked without a parachute....

In short yes.

The moon mission velocity was approx 2000mph, not 12,000mph as in the Mars case. Thats 1/6th the velocity. In kinetic energy terms that's a factor of 36. The increased mass, if I assume 15000Kg is correct means the KE of both moon and mars landers is about similar.

However, most of that 15000Kg was fuel, both for a long burn entry, and for return to orbit. Also a lower deceleration was required on the moon due to the significant reduction in gravitational acceleration.

They also orbited for a good while IIRC, so as to dissipate the KE more slowly.

So no, I don't see any big holes in the numbers.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 2:18 pm

The lunar module take-off needed what quantity of fuel can you calculate that? It looked like an awful small yoke...
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 4:14 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
The lunar module take-off needed what quantity of fuel can you calculate that? It looked like an awful small yoke...

Not really, because one would have to know an awful lot about the rocket engines and the mass of the module. (including 2 men and a pile of rocks)

But even on a launch from Earth, an awful lot of the fuel is used lifting the fuel.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 4:44 pm

When I looked at an exact replica down in DC I didn't see any huge fuel tanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Mission to Mars - Life on Mars   Tue May 27, 2008 5:10 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
The lunar module take-off needed what quantity of fuel can you calculate that? It looked like an awful small yoke...

Not really, because one would have to know an awful lot about the rocket engines and the mass of the module. (including 2 men and a pile of rocks)

But even on a launch from Earth, an awful lot of the fuel is used lifting the fuel.

Rather a lot of information is available on Wikipedia.
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