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Mars is hard

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Re: Mars is hard

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CNBC
The UAE has successfully launched its Mars probe, named Hope, making history as the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
...
Hope launched from the Japanese space center on Sunday, having been delayed from the previous week due to poor weather conditions. Within a few hours of liftoff, the ground segment at Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre established two-way communication with the probe.
...
The Hope probe, a $200 million project called “Al Amal” in Arabic, is scheduled to reach Mars’ orbit in February 2021 and will spend one Mars year — equivalent to 687 days on Earth — studying and gathering data on the red planet’s atmosphere. The year 2021 is also significant: it will mark 50 years of the UAE’s existence.

“It is a weather satellite, and that’s one objective of the mission,” Sarah al-Amiri, the Mars mission’s lead scientist and UAE minister of state for advanced sciences told Spaceflight Now. “We also look at what role Mars’ weather plays in atmospheric loss. That’s the other part of the mission.”
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Re: Mars is hard

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Re: Mars is hard

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The launch window tomorrow (Thursday) opens at 7:50am Eastern and lasts about two hours. The plan is to reach Mars on February 18 2021.
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Re: Mars is hard

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I read elsewhere that Perseverance will record its "seven minutes of terror" in HD video.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Good launch!

On the way.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Beautiful morning and launch!
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Re: Mars is hard

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Excellent simulation of Perseverance's seven minutes of terror, assuming it survives them (as Curiosity did).

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Re: Mars is hard

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Hope theres no strong wind when she decides to land.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Daehawk wrote: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:32 am Hope theres no strong wind when she decides to land.
The air on Mars is so thin that high winds pack little power. It's one of the main things "The Martian" got wrong. That said, the seven minutes of terror would certainly be more terrifying in a dust storm. But it's not like NASA can abort the landing.
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Re: Mars is hard

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We had one of the lead engineers give a talk to our club about Perserverance via Zoom this month. It was quite fascinating. I never realized just how big those rovers are. I asked him if they were using VR to help them plan their route, and he said they weren't quite there yet in being able to do that with their tools even though it might seem like the natural thing to do, but it was something they were experimenting with.
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Re: Mars is hard

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The mole is dead.
Here's to all the plucky machines that have tangled with Mars and ultimately lost. Goodbye, Opportunity. Godspeed, Beagle 2. We hardly knew you, Schiaparelli. And now we must bid farewell to the "mole" part of NASA's InSight lander mission.

The lander itself is fine and healthy and still studying marsquakes, but the mole's efforts to dig into the red planet have been stymied every step of the way. On Thursday, NASA announced the end of the mole's journey.
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by Kraken »

Mars is about to get crowded with ambitious missions from China, the US, and the UAE. China's first Mars mission includes an orbiter, a lander, and a rover -- the same mission configuration as the Chang'E program, but much much farther away. The UAE's orbiter is significant because the UAE isn't notorious for its space program, and it will provide useful data regarding Mars' loss of atmosphere -- if they can just establish orbit with a healthy spacecraft, that's a win. And while the US Perseverance mission is superficially a replay of Curiosity, the obstacles and potential science payoff are dialed up to 11.

We're still 10 days away from Perseverance's seven minutes of terror, but the Arabs and Chinese are biting their nails now.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Kraken wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:43 am Mars is about to get crowded with ambitious missions from China, the US, and the UAE. China's first Mars mission includes an orbiter, a lander, and a rover -- the same mission configuration as the Chang'E program, but much much farther away. The UAE's orbiter is significant because the UAE isn't notorious for its space program, and it will provide useful data regarding Mars' loss of atmosphere -- if they can just establish orbit with a healthy spacecraft, that's a win. And while the US Perseverance mission is superficially a replay of Curiosity, the obstacles and potential science payoff are dialed up to 11.

We're still 10 days away from Perseverance's seven minutes of terror, but the Arabs and Chinese are biting their nails now.
Hoping the best for all these missions but especially for Perseverance and Ingenuity. I'm super excited to see Ingenuity flying around on Mars. That would be really cool.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Even with max precautions I gotta think Mars must be contaminated by now with microbes from Earth.
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by Carpet_pissr »

I really hope this will be available to watch somehow? I mean obviously, it's going to be massively delayed, but I want to see both the entry, and if that succeeds, the helicopter flights. I can't remember if we were able to view the previous entries?
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by AWS260 »

It depends on what you mean by "watch." There will be a livestream, but I don't think they sent a camera crew ahead to set up in the landing zone.

I'm planning to watch this live webinar the night before: The Thrill and Terror of Landing a Spacecraft on Mars
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Re: Mars is hard

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Kraken wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:43 am Mars is about to get crowded with ambitious missions from China, the US, and the UAE. China's first Mars mission includes an orbiter, a lander, and a rover -- the same mission configuration as the Chang'E program, but much much farther away. The UAE's orbiter is significant because the UAE isn't notorious for its space program, and it will provide useful data regarding Mars' loss of atmosphere -- if they can just establish orbit with a healthy spacecraft, that's a win. And while the US Perseverance mission is superficially a replay of Curiosity, the obstacles and potential science payoff are dialed up to 11.

We're still 10 days away from Perseverance's seven minutes of terror, but the Arabs and Chinese are biting their nails now.
MHS and I play poker with a guy on the operations side of the UAE mission. We call him Abu Dhabi Dave. He was talking last week, that these three put about a dozen active orbiters around Mars. (We told him not to screw up the All-in and Mission Abort buttons on his computer, as his Operations Center has been based out of his home for the last year.)

[edit:]And the Hope Mission has had a successful orbital injection.
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by Carpet_pissr »

AWS260 wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:12 pm I don't think they sent a camera crew ahead to set up in the landing zone.
The hell?! I want my money back...in advance, if true.
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Re: Mars is hard

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One week away.

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Re: Mars is hard

Post by Daehawk »

Poor little guy. Just drop him off and leave. So many steps to go wrong.
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by Kraken »

When Curiosity used the same method I thought the odds were against it. Now that it's succeeded once, I still think the odds are against it working twice. As you said, so many things have to go just right. I know I'll be holding my breath on the 18th.
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by raydude »

Skycrane is the least crazy way to solve an engineering problem. Which is: how do you land something as big as Curiosity or Perseverance on Mars?
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Re: Mars is hard

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raydude wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:35 am Skycrane is the least crazy way to solve an engineering problem. Which is: how do you land something as big as Curiosity or Perseverance on Mars?
While maybe not quite as pessimistic as Kraken, I was a bit concerned by both the novelty and the technical complexity involved in the Curiosity lander. Watching the Seven Minutes of Terror videos back then, followed by learning that Curiosity was wheels-down, and it had happened just like the video, was one of the coolest space things ever (right up there with watching the two Falcon Heavy boosters land side-by-side).

The fact that we don't learn the result until several minutes after it's happened has always weirdly added to the tension. The InSight landing was another example of that. I can't help getting a little emotional when I watch things like this.



Mars really is a nasty place to try to land something heavy. The atmosphere is enough to burn you up but not really enough to help you slow down from an interplanetary trip. I'm sure that the Rob Manning lecture that AWS260 linked will discuss that in detail. It drives you to find "crazy" solutions.

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Re: Mars is hard

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I still like the air bag landing. But Im still not sure how it rights itself if its not sitting right.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Hrdina wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:52 pm
raydude wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:35 am Skycrane is the least crazy way to solve an engineering problem. Which is: how do you land something as big as Curiosity or Perseverance on Mars?
While maybe not quite as pessimistic as Kraken, I was a bit concerned by both the novelty and the technical complexity involved in the Curiosity lander. Watching the Seven Minutes of Terror videos back then, followed by learning that Curiosity was wheels-down, and it had happened just like the video, was one of the coolest space things ever (right up there with watching the two Falcon Heavy boosters land side-by-side).

The fact that we don't learn the result until several minutes after it's happened has always weirdly added to the tension. The InSight landing was another example of that. I can't help getting a little emotional when I watch things like this.
Oh yeah, I definitely did a chair dance when Curiosity landed. Or rather, 11 minutes after it did. I'll be following Perseverance in real time -11, too.

Gizmodo has a nice write-up of the main pain points.
Failure could take on many forms next week when NASA’s next-gen rover, Perseverance, reaches the surface of the Red Planet. Here’s what needs to go right—and how things could quickly go sideways—when Perseverance tries to make its much-anticipated landing.

For NASA, the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) of Perseverance on Thursday, February 18 presents numerous potential points of failure. NASA has said that “hundreds of things have to go just right” for the rover to survive the seven minutes of terror. We can’t take a safe landing for granted: As NASA points out, only “about 40 percent of the missions ever sent to Mars—by any space agency—have been successful.” Which, yikes.

In a nutshell, Perseverance will have to transition from speeds reaching 12,500 miles per hour (20,000 km/hr) to a walking pace over the course of several minutes. What’s more, it’ll have to perform this autonomously, as it takes nearly 11 minutes for radio signals to reach Earth. To complicate matters, NASA is debuting two new technologies for the mission, both relating to the EDL phase and both unproven.

All three phases—entry, descent, and landing—present their own unique challenges.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Daehawk wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:14 pm I still like the air bag landing. But Im still not sure how it rights itself if its not sitting right.
https://www.space.com/16889-mars-rover-curiosity-sky-crane-landing.html wrote: Again, however, Curiosity's heft nixed this idea. It weighs about five times as much as either Spirit or Opportunity.

"Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."
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Re: Mars is hard

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Also, one thing to keep in mind is that they don't want to disrupt the surface. The sky crane method is gentler on the environment and also saves weight. Hard to believe, but these rovers are actually quite huge. We're talking car size. Both Perserverance and Curiosity are roughly the size of a Tesla Model X, both higher and wider. It's also much heavier than Curiosity was, due to the equipment on board.

Some interesting information here https://everydayastronaut.com/persevera ... curiosity/
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by Kraken »

<squeal> Who's watching seven minutes of terror tomorrow afternoon, and where are you watching it?
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Re: Mars is hard

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Probably a clean feed on Youtube.

Which is available here. You can set a reminder:


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Re: Mars is hard

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Thanks, that's what I was looking for. I'll let it play in the background on my desktop machine while I work on my laptop. Here's hoping for a victorious chair-dance.
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Re: Mars is hard

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We will be watching this afternoon. My 14 yr old son is really looking forward to it.
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Re: Mars is hard

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The engineer who gave a talk to my local club was in charge of choosing the landing spot, and he says he'll be there today and be on the first shift, and from then on, the work schedule will be in Mars time.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Cruise stage separation in less than 4 minutes.
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Re: Mars is hard

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Cruise stage separation complete. About 1 minute to landing software firing up. 9 minutes to entry interface commencement.
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Re: Mars is hard

Post by malchior »

It's really interesting how they are running this coverage. It is a bit more transparent than SpaceX but tracks since it is a public project.
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Re: Mars is hard

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6 minutes to atmo entry.
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Re: Mars is hard

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I think the feed is hung.
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Re: Mars is hard

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MRO receiving telemetry which will be shot to earth a few hours after the event.
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Re: Mars is hard

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I'm getting both the youtube channel linked above, as well as NASA TV feeds just fine. (NASA TV about :50 seconds behind the youtube feed.)
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Re: Mars is hard

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Perseverance has hit Mars atmosphere at 5300 m/s.
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