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ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 07:35 AM
Love the title. (Borrowed it from NASA TV.) Waiting right now for data back from a low-elevation Odyssey pass.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 07:53 AM
Getting down better versions of the same views.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 08:06 AM
And a nice little panorama someone made from the rear hazcam image.

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-06, 08:09 AM
Crater rim. Cool. And sunset.

Lots of dynamic range in that image.

Glom
2012-Aug-06, 08:23 AM
Crater rim. Cool. And sunset.

Lots of dynamic range in that image.

Landing just before night? Does that mean Curiosity gets a nap to get over the rocket lag?

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-06, 09:23 AM
https://twitter.com/HiCommander

We got info that they successfully photographed Curiosity from Orbit during landing. The image will be released at 9 : 00 AM, during the next conference

MaDeR
2012-Aug-06, 10:37 AM
I wonder how it will look. AFAIK MRO snapped photo from different angle than iconic Phoenix EDL. Is this too much to expect MSL in colored band?

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-06, 10:51 AM
I personally can't wait to see the photo, as well as a post-landing photo showing Curiosity on the surface (to pinpoint the location). I wonder where's the parachute and the descent stage (how far away it flew)

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-06, 11:37 AM
Did they say anything on the health of the Rover?

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 11:42 AM
Best image from Curiosity so far:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-231&cid=release_2012-231&msource=2012231

SRH
2012-Aug-06, 11:44 AM
I can't wait for them to analyze the blueberries!

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 03:58 PM
Waiting for Sol 1 Press Conference to begin.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:04 PM
Panelists:
Michael Watkins, Mission Manager
Miguel San Martin, EDL Chief Engineer
Sarah Milkovich, HiRise scientist
John Grotzinger, geologist

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:08 PM
Watkins:

c. 4 am pass: Curiosity in surface nominal mode, everything looks good, go for Sol 1 activities. Mostly very boring - deploying antennas, etc. First priority is communications.

Showing off the first photos.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:10 PM
Hoping for front hazcam image in a couple of hours, expecting it to show the mountain at the center of Gale Crater.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:12 PM
San Martin:

EDL looked beautiful but have yet to review actual data. Best knowledge of where we landed: just a couple kilometers east of the very center of the landing ellipse.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:15 PM
Location based on where Curiosity thinks it is. Inertial measurements fit radar almost perfectly - better than the simulations, within a few meters in altitude and less than 1 m/s in velocity. Don't expect to be off by more than a kilometer.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:17 PM
Milkovich:

Odyssey not only orbiter listening, also Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter listening, and not just listening but watching. Now showing photo I shared in the other thread, preceded by wider-angle image.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:18 PM
Image taken 6 minutes after atmospheric entry. MRO about 340 km away from Curiosity. Can see parachute and lines.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:23 PM
Grotzinger:

Rear hazcam showing rim of Gale Crater. Scientists impressed by uniform size of grain particles. Hoping in-situ sample would be highly representative of Mars, will do thorough analysis.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 04:24 PM
Image taken 6 minutes after atmospheric entry. MRO about 340 km away from Curiosity. Can see parachute and lines.

Absolutely amazing...glad I included a "disclaimer' in my previous post. (martian smillee)

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:24 PM
Black line - line of dunes - will be point of orientation. Now looking at front hazcam, think dark line across is those dark dunes. Above it is Mount Sharp. Hazcams already picking up topography.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:28 PM
Questions:

S&T: Landing time?

Will get it.

LA Times: What's just south of landing site? How far to foothills of Mount Sharp?

Rather narrow strip of dunes, just a few kilometers away. Interesting part could be as much as 10 km away.

Don't want to go straight to mountain, want to find a route that's interesting scientifically.

Register: What happened to "upper stage" that flew off?

We want to crash it at least 400 meters to the north. Don't get telemetry so don't know. Hope to get image from HiRISE to tell us.

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-06, 04:28 PM
The HiRISE image is absolutely incredible.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:31 PM
Nature: Have you looked for heat shield in image?

No, haven't looked for it in the image. Don't know that we'd be able to see it. Will be taking images of landing site in days to come, especially good ones six and twelve days from now to look for other components.

Resolution at Curiosity of EDL photo is 33 cm/pixel.

??: Blotch in image possibly landing stage impact?

Could be. Could be dust devil. Too early to tell, would like to take another look. Just starting to trickle down thumbnails from descent camera.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:35 PM
BBC: How far to rim in image?

On the order of 20 km.

Leonard David: How much residual fuel? What was touchdown speed?

140 kg - lot more than planned for. Reported touchdown speed - 0.75 meters/second, right on the money. 4 cm/sec horizontally. "That's called straight down."

Easier or harder to image Phoenix vs. Curiosity?

Curiosity tougher due to positioning of spacecraft, figured 80% on Phoenix, 60% Curiosity.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:36 PM
USA Today: When first BW, color, panoramas, MARDI images?

Front hazcam - couple of hours.
MARDI thumbnails - couple of hours.
Rest - next few days.
Single color image/MALI (sp?) imager - about two days from now.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 04:39 PM
I said it last night, and I'll say it again...

Darn clever these Earth people. (proud smilee)

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:41 PM
Space.com: How high a priority to check impact craters from descent stage?

Would really prefer to avoid hydrazine-filled descent stage. Would have liked to see ballast sites, but they're probably way too far away.

Done everything possible to fly skycrane away from rover.

Reuters/Discovery: How many photos so far? When high-gain deployed?

4 thumbnails, 2 down-sampled, 1 512x512. Deploy high-gain in about 12 hours.

What soil variations have been seen so far, what are you looking for?

Bedrock will be local info, soil will be a mix of global influences. Soil has high sulfur content, Curiosity's instruments will provide better insight.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:46 PM
CBS/Bill Harwood: Does dustiness seen seem significant?

A little surprised at how much dust, but then w. MERs dust gets blown off, expecting it to wax and wane. Still some dust on cameras even with dust cover off. Wheels on very firm ground, no sinkage. Soil pretty firm. Might choose to drive somewhere else to find something softer.

Any issues with vehicle? Did you imagine that vehicle would be in this good a shape this soon?

Nothing to keep from moving forward, nothing out-of-bounds. Think we all believed it would land successfully, a little concerned we might land in some sort of safemode, might miss a comm pass, might have to sit and worry. Great telecom performance, orbiters performed beautifully.

Spend eight years thinking about all the things that might go wrong, in the shower, etc. Can't turn that off. Get to point where it hasn't happened but you can't do anything, either, very stressful.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 04:48 PM
Another news conference at 1PM pacific time.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-06, 04:49 PM
ToSeek : Did you hear about when the next conf is scheduled to see the thumbnails (if any)?

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 04:54 PM
NBC: Any MARDI imagery? How far rover from MRO in image?
(Apparently arrived late.)

None down yet. 340 km.

Another press conference at 7 pm EDT if get MARDI imagery.

TPS/Ms. Emily: Status on health of science instruments?

Yes, they're all fine.

What are scientists thinking about images?

Early days, limited information. We're on a gravel plain on Mars, familiar scene. Rim in background.

John Johnson: Confident SAM instrument is in good shape?

First test was electrical, and it went fine. 5-hour rad observation going on today.

Brazil: Will MRO be able to spot the rover? Will it help rover navigate?

Already planning to get images of rover, more than single pixel. Already done lots of data collection clear across Gale Crater: stereo, color. Used to look at potential traverses. Expecting MSL to come to us for new imagery.

MRO data has been critical to landing site selection. 1-meter coverage, stereo coverage. Rover drivers already using those to plan traverses. Drivers have algorithms to estimate risk of dunes, etc.

??: Scheduling constraints on relays, DSN?

No, Odyssey has big buffers. Rovers in very different places, so doing relays for both don't interfere.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 05:00 PM
??: Good paper to read about Gale Crater?

Send me an email.

BBC: What's going to be in MARDI imagery? Color imagery?

Don't know that offhand. Will be off to the side. MALI might get edge of Mount Sharp.

Nature: Going to go to center of target or straight toward Mount Sharp?

Boundary between alluvial fan and base of Mount Sharp is diffuse. Goal of crowd-sourcing was to identify different geological units. Looking for meter-size rocks. Will go whichever way to find them. Some kind of scarp in each roughly km-square quadrangle, want to string a bunch together.

??: When first motion? How is it currently configured?

Sitting quite flat right now. Couple of weeks till first motion, even then just a meter or two.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-06, 05:00 PM
I have to sign off for now. Think most of the good questions have been asked.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 05:02 PM
Thanks, ToSeek...great coverage.

Swift
2012-Aug-06, 05:11 PM
Image taken 6 minutes after atmospheric entry. MRO about 340 km away from Curiosity. Can see parachute and lines.
LINK to the image (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/673736main_PIA15978-full_full.jpg)

NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover. Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box; the inset image is a cutout of the rover.

Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box; the inset image is a cutout of the rover stretched to avoid saturation. The rover is descending toward the etched plains just north of the sand dunes that fringe "Mt. Sharp." From the perspective of the orbiter, the parachute and Curiosity are flying at an angle relative to the surface, so the landing site does not appear directly below the rover.

The parachute appears fully inflated and performing perfectly. Details in the parachute, such as the band gap at the edges and the central hole, are clearly seen. The cords connecting the parachute to the back shell cannot be seen, although they were seen in the image of NASA's Phoenix lander descending, perhaps due to the difference in lighting angles. The bright spot on the back shell containing Curiosity might be a specular reflection off of a shiny area. Curiosity was released from the back shell sometime after this image was acquired.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 05:26 PM
Daily updates will be at 10AM Pacific time.

sts60
2012-Aug-06, 06:28 PM
By the way, from snippets I heard last night, the MMRTG is cranking out about 107 WDC. Expect it to come up a little bit from that, but of course there will be diurnal variations in addition to the gradual decay. I suspect the batteries are brimful of electrons, so to speak, at this point.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 06:49 PM
Just realized....yesterday was Neil Armstrong's 82nd birthday...

What a nice "present" for a space pioneer.

Swift
2012-Aug-06, 07:06 PM
Just realized....yesterday was Neil Armstrong's 82nd birthday...

What a nice "present" for a space pioneer.
That's one small descent for a rover, one giant leap for mankind.

BetaDust
2012-Aug-06, 07:14 PM
From Space.com (http://www.space.com/16946-mars-rover-landing-seen-from-space.html)

Wow! Mars Rover Landing Spotted by Orbiting Spacecraft.


A spectacular photo by a spacecraft orbiting Mars has captured NASA's new rover Curiosity as it plunged toward the Martian surface under a giant parachute.

17379From Space.com (http://www.space.com/16946-mars-rover-landing-seen-from-space.html)
Image Credit: JPL/NASA.

--Dennis

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 07:20 PM
Still can't get over that descent image...you can even see the design on the parachute.

"Amazing" is an over-used word, yet it applies.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-06, 07:32 PM
The image is awesome, what would be even better would be matching it up with an image taken by the descent camera that was taken at exactly the same time as the MRO one.

slang
2012-Aug-06, 07:45 PM
Leonard David: How much residual fuel? What was touchdown speed?

140 kg - lot more than planned for. Reported touchdown speed - 0.75 meters/second, right on the money. 4 cm/sec horizontally. "That's called straight down."

A lot of mass that could have been instruments then.. if we could know everything in advance.

Sounds like an excellent landing! Thanks for the writeup, ToSeek.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 07:59 PM
JPL update should start any minute now.


edit to add....oops....looks like it won't be until 4PM pacific time. 3 hours from "now".

Rhaedas
2012-Aug-06, 08:02 PM
True that the fuel mass could have been swapped out for other things, but it's the 'what-ifs' that make that fuel valuable. Having an extra instrument would have been worthless if they had needed a few extra kgs of fuel for a good landing.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 08:06 PM
JPL update should start any minute now.


edit to add....oops....looks like it won't be until 4PM pacific time. 3 hours from "now".




Ok...I am officially confused...according to NASA select's schedule, the update will be at 2PM pacific...in an hour.


best bet....watch NASA TV all day long....

headrush
2012-Aug-06, 08:17 PM
I don't believe the fuel overload was sloppy. If the descent had happened in a sandstorm or the radar had detected a large rock that would probably have been a lot less. They have allowed for this, and maybe they can trim it down next time.

Why only the other day djellison wanted his electric vehicle topped up at all times, "just in case".

Paul Beardsley
2012-Aug-06, 08:25 PM
The image in post #42 has left me speechless.

I'm so glad I'm here.

slang
2012-Aug-06, 08:42 PM
True that the fuel mass could have been swapped out for other things, but it's the 'what-ifs' that make that fuel valuable.


I don't believe the fuel overload was sloppy.

I guess a smiley was necessary, even with the 2nd half of the sentence.

djellison
2012-Aug-06, 08:50 PM
You want to be watching the press conference in 2hrs 10 minutes.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-06, 08:53 PM
Will you be there :) (waving)

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 09:05 PM
You want to be watching the press conference in 2hrs 10 minutes.


I "want" to be watching it right now. (TV schedule smillee)

ugordan
2012-Aug-06, 09:06 PM
You want to be watching the press conference in 2hrs 10 minutes.
That good, eh? *cough*MARDI*cough*

As if I could fall asleep anyway...

MaDeR
2012-Aug-06, 09:10 PM
Good? I thought we will now get some lowres thumbnails from MARDI, like with hazcams before...

ugordan
2012-Aug-06, 09:11 PM
Yes. 192x144. But when was the last time you saw a Mars landing from that kind of vantage point, in color?

Oh, and also, one full resolution image *might* have also been downlinked.

I wonder if we'll get to see the discarded backshell and parachute enter the FOV, that would be awesome.

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-06, 11:05 PM
Is the next press conference starting a bit late or is that just me??

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 11:24 PM
The landing animation is...well, amazing. :)

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-06, 11:34 PM
Gotta love the answer to the question...."are there any problems at all?"

No. :D

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-07, 12:00 AM
Boy, Curiosity sure kicked up lots of dust. Can't wait till they "clean up" the descent video.

As far as what will be done, and when..."Curiosity's middle name should be patience."

In other words, they're not going to "rush" doing anything.



Next update, tomorrow morning, 10 AM pacific time.

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-07, 12:02 AM
Yeah, that lady is quite forceful, huh? :D-default

Anyway, yes, even that tiny "stop-motion" low-res bad framerate high compression descent movie was pretty cool. The full movie will be awesome and unique.

A first full-res image will likely come down in the next 24 hours. They have a total of 660 images, though a lot of those are post-landing. Malin hopes that they can use MARDI to create a "drive movie", looking down while the rover drives, though it will be complicated to synch the camera and the drive.

Several HazCam full-res images are in, and one clearly shows Mt. Sharp in the distance as well as the dark dune field in front, very impressive, the rover is pointed almost straight at its final goal.

I'm still rather incredulous that they want to climb that, it's close to 30 klicks away!!

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-07, 12:30 AM
I'm still rather incredulous that they want to climb that, it's close to 30 klicks away!!

After "pulling off" that landing, I have every confidence in JPL to do whatever needs to be done.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 12:35 AM
Posted a link to the descent video in the EDL thread.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-07, 10:40 AM
It looks very much like Gusev Crater

djellison
2012-Aug-07, 01:47 PM
I'm still rather incredulous that they want to climb that, it's close to 30 klicks away!!

It's only 6 - and the foot of Mt Sharp has been the science target from the day we launched.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 05:07 PM
Press Conference, 1 pm EDT Tuesday.

Mike Watkins - Mission Manager
Ken Edgett - MAHLI PI
Sarah Milkovich - HiRISE Scientist

Watkins: Busy day today for Curiosity, asleep right now. Still healthy, in Surface Nominal Mode, good shape. Recent activity: High-gain antenna deployed. Pointing a little off, need to correct bias, will do tomorrow. Deployed RAD, took first measurements. Instrument checkout. First MAHLI image. Took dark images (images with no external light to calibrate CCD sensors). REMS checkout did not work correctly, think it's just table parameters because sensor diagnostic was fine.

Tomorrow: Establish direct communications to Earth. Deploy remote sensing mast. Up high - "couldn't look this in the eye unless you're an NBA player." Look back at own deck, panorama, calibration target with Navcam.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 05:11 PM
Edgett: MAHLI on end of two-meter boom, can position it wherever we want. Currently pointed directly north. Focusable color camera. Getting emotional: "Waited a long time for this to come back." Does it still focus after all it's been through? Yes. Dithered over whether or not to open dust cover, decided against for now. Hazcam covers will stay off, MAHLI's will go on and off as needed. Sun angle makes first image look even dustier than it really is. Can see rocks in the foreground.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 05:17 PM
Milkovich: "Another fabulous image of Curiosity on the surface." For this image we had to rotate 41 degrees from nadir - don't normally go more than 30. Rover, Sky crane, backshell, parachute, heat shield all marked. 39 meters cm/pixel. [Sky crane indeed due northwest of rover, so could be plume photographed right after landing.]

MRO confirms orientation of Curiosity.

Closeup of parachute and backshell to southwest. Closeup of heat shield, to southeast. Skycrane closeup, made quite a splat - long line of dust extending to northwest.

Image taken 1:30 am EDT.

Rover to heat shield 1200 meters. Rover to backshell 615 meters. To sky crane 650 meters.

Next image five days from now, will target actual landing site, this one targeted center of landing ellipse.

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-07, 05:24 PM
@djellison: Well, I meant to the actual peak.

@ToSeek: It's 39 cm/pixel, not 39 m/pixel.

Guy fromNature: Where do all the walnuts come from?

Ken Edgett: SQUIRRELS!

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 05:33 PM
Irish TV - Times on major events?

Will provide.

Ask Edgett to comment on geology?

Curiosity on smoother surface, heat shield on surface with small craters. Different-colored bit to northeast. "If I were in charge, I'd go to where these three come together."

?? - Visit any of these?

No.

Nature - What could be responsible for walnut-sized pieces of rock?

Edgett: "Squirrels! Walnuts, got to be squirrels." Doesn't want to come to any conclusions without a better, wider-ranging look.

Reuters - When do dust covers come off MAHLI? Do they come on and off?

MAHLI dust cover is totally transparent, dust only obscuration. Dust cover on a hinge, will open and close whenever we want. Closed most of time. On turret with brush and drill, so want to keep cover on.

How deep into soil did discarded elements go?

Didn't try to model because depends on what you hit.

SPACE.com - Talk about emotions among team members as transitioning from euphoria of landing to day-to-day operations.

Surface team pretty excited still. Start of their mission, waiting for years to do this. First few images are the best because so new. "The adrenalin will last for a while." "These are the days that people worked five and ten years for."

Washington Post/National Geographic - How far from Mount Sharp? Where in crater?

North wall of Gale in the MAHLI image. Rover facing ESE, MAHLI facing off to the side. 20-25 kilometers to wall. 12 kilometers from Curiosity to base of Mount Sharp (where expected to start climbing).

?? - What going to first get from MASTCam? When first panorama? What's current work shift?

First is calibration target, here on Sol 2. Navcam panorama: looking down all the way around, then not so down all the way around. Also Sol 2. Actually staffed nearly around the clock. Prime start for us is when rover day ends, currently 3-4 pm. Rover tells us what it did today, sends it to Earth, team looks at it. Right now that part starting around midnight, moving 40 minutes later per day to keep up with Mars time.

Mexico - Something to do to clean dust from instruments?

MAHLI okay, will open and be clean. Hazcams dust covers are off. Cameras on mast will point down when not in use so dust doesn't accumulate.

Houston TV - Significance of color pictures?

Work for small company that built 4 of these cameras, now know two of them are working. Getting emotional again.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 05:43 PM
Astrobiology Magazine - Relative data rates of high-gain antenna, Odyssey, MRO?

Direct-to-Earth not primary way because data rates so low. Right now 8k Odyssey, 32k MRO. But can up to 2 meg for MRO, will activate later on. Keeping signal-to-noise ratio high right now. About to get 4-5 times more per day than getting now.

Got more dust than expected? Sky crane was supposed to prevent?

Remains to be seen how much we've gotten. Rover designed to be largely tolerant of dust, solar panels not an issue. Self-inspection images coming soon will tell us a lot.

LA Times - Could see sky crane crashing in background of image? More about REMS test that didn't quite work?

Rear hazcams indeed pointing in right direction for sky crane. "We have to mull that over a bit more." Can't rule it out.

REMS: first checkout worked fine. First file used as basis of observations didn't look right. Seen similar problems before, usually just parameters.

Sky & Telescope - RGB filters on MAHLI same as MASTCam?

MAHLI, MASTCam, MARDI all have same CCD, yes. "And it will all work great!"

Brazil - Will cameras in mast be high enough to spot sky crane, etc.?

Think so, depends on topography. Should be able to see them if it's mostly flat.

Emily - How windy do you expect site to be?

Dunes are known to move based on HiRISE images. "That's a windy place." Remains to be seen what we'll see with dust removal.

Aviation Week - When clear picture from something?

Tomorrow. [Do these people not listen to the rest of the conference?]

mutleyeng
2012-Aug-07, 05:47 PM
Be useful if someone could take the current curiosity position and relate that to where the route into and up Mnt sharp will take it

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 05:54 PM
Did things land where they expected to land?

EDL team says yes.

AmericaSpace - Would winds be enough to billow parachute?

Don't know, imagining taking video with MASTCam. Rob Manning: Parachutes on other landers didn't move under pretty high winds, Mars atmosphere only 1% of Earth's.

Nature - Where base of Mount Sharp, said 6.5 km yesterday?

Depends on where you're defining the base. 6.5 km straight, but hard to define base. Very first start of Mount Sharp.

Space.com - Minimal focus distance? How will camera work with sampling?

2.1 cm to infinity. Max resolution 14 microns/pixel. Will document where drill, where scoop, will dump stuff into observation tray for MAHLI and APXS. Peek into hole for sample to see if clogged. Has LEDs so can take pictures at night.

Washington Post - Any surprises so far?

No surprises from engineering perspective. "Fantastic. From an engineering perspective that's how we like it."

Florida Today/USA Today - What is MASTCam calibration target? When shoot ChemCam laser?

Flight spare from MERs. Decorations slightly different, magnets added.

According to script, on Sol 11 or 12 after flight software transitions to new version for surface operations.

?? - Get some help interpreting HiRISE image after press conference.

Sure.

?? - Started thinking about where to send rover?

First check out rover, make sure ready and safe to operate. Then we hand over the keys. Science team meeting every day to decide what high-priority targets are. That's a couple of weeks away.

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-07, 06:14 PM
@ToSeek: The guy asking for help on the HiRISE images was the Irish TV guy, I think (beefy & bald).

ToSeek
2012-Aug-07, 06:17 PM
@ToSeek: The guy asking for help on the HiRISE images was the Irish TV guy, I think (beefy & bald).

Sounds right. On the fly I couldn't remember.

Cougar
2012-Aug-07, 06:21 PM
I don't know if it's due to the fisheye lens, but the photo showing the faraway rim of Gale Crater makes it look like Curiosity is sitting (standing) in the bottom a small crater. It looks like there is a smooth incline for several meters, which then stops well short of Gale Crater's rim. Ideas?

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-07, 06:52 PM
It looks like there is an exposed layer of bedrock with all sorts of interesting features in it just 100m or so from the rover.

Swift
2012-Aug-07, 07:07 PM
Nature - What could be responsible for walnut-sized pieces of rock?

Edgett: "Squirrels! Walnuts, got to be squirrels." Doesn't want to come to any conclusions without a better, wider-ranging look.

Based upon this information, NASA has already started to design the next "Rover" (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HU42WwV2krM/TWSOjUFOEsI/AAAAAAAAACY/PgS_E2LUclg/s1600/dug-2.jpg). ;)

Hal37214
2012-Aug-07, 07:18 PM
I don't know if it's due to the fisheye lens, but the photo showing the faraway rim of Gale Crater makes it look like Curiosity is sitting (standing) in the bottom a small crater. It looks like there is a smooth incline for several meters, which then stops well short of Gale Crater's rim. Ideas?

That question was raised in yesterday's press conference, and it was suggested that we could be seeing the horizon, with the elevated crater rim rising behind.

Cougar
2012-Aug-07, 07:24 PM
That question was raised in yesterday's press conference, and it was suggested that we could be seeing the horizon, with the elevated crater rim rising behind.

Thanks, Hal. Now open the pod bay doors, would you? :)

djellison
2012-Aug-07, 08:52 PM
@ToSeek: The guy asking for help on the HiRISE images was the Irish TV guy, I think (beefy & bald).

Leo Enright.

schlaugh
2012-Aug-07, 09:01 PM
Closeup of parachute and backshell to southwest. Closeup of heat shield, to southeast. Skycrane closeup, made quite a splat - long line of dust extending to northwest.

Does the big splat imply an explosion with the sky crane? Apparently it had a lot of fuel left over, about 140kg if I read that correctly.

ETA: A link to the MRO image: http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/img_gallery/184A504A-AECF-4E18-B6A7C2C8EB587869.jpg

Rhaedas
2012-Aug-07, 09:14 PM
The dark is the underlying surface under the dust, uncovered by the impact, just like the heat shield did in the far lower right. I don't think there's enough oxygen to allow an explosion, although there's probably a lot of fuel contaminating the place, which is why they likely won't venture over there.

RudiBee
2012-Aug-07, 09:18 PM
Kind of a bummer that us humans are littering and poluting up another planet so soon into our visits there ! Just saying

schlaugh
2012-Aug-07, 09:23 PM
Yes, after I posted I did a bit of digging and saw the comments in Nancy's UT blog about the disturbed dust. The lack of oxygen is why I was wondering if the hydrazine could have exploded or just burned.

The long "tail" markings makes me wonder if they were caused by the cables dragging on the ground.

cjameshuff
2012-Aug-07, 09:47 PM
The dark is the underlying surface under the dust, uncovered by the impact, just like the heat shield did in the far lower right. I don't think there's enough oxygen to allow an explosion, although there's probably a lot of fuel contaminating the place, which is why they likely won't venture over there.

It's hydrazine monopropellant...it can decompose spontaneously if exposed to shock or high temperatures. Presumably it's stabilized (a few percent of MMH, a hydrazine derivative used in some hypergolic bipropellant engines, is apparently enough to make it much less explosive), but Mars is covered in stuff that could catalyze decomposition (the list includes things calcium oxide, iron oxide, etc). I wouldn't bet on the stabilizers keeping a tank leaking onto catalytically-active soil from bursting due to rising temperature and pressure, or leaking into the ground and forming a mixture that's stable due to cold but can be set off by friction or shock.

It probably won't explode (the cold should make it pretty safe pretty quickly), but it's a good reason not to drive over there.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-07, 10:25 PM
So when will the next pictures come down?

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-07, 11:01 PM
So when will the next pictures come down?

As far as I know Curiosity is still sleeping for the night. Next sol is mast camera erection :) perhaps some panoramic images incoming?

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-07, 11:15 PM
So what do any geologists here make of this pic of the landing site? The light area looks like an old lake to me.
http://www.uahirise.org/images/2012/details/cut/landing_site_annotated.jpg

djellison
2012-Aug-08, 12:08 AM
A this moment, it's 8.43am LST for Curiosity, today includes more HGA work, and unstowing the camera mast to take a crude panorama in B&W

imagery should be down, on the ground, and on the web in about 10-12 hours.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 01:32 AM
So when will the next pictures come down?

First two batches of images have come down midnightish my (EDT) time. Don't know if that's typical or not.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-08, 07:30 AM
So, hopefully the next batch of images should show that the mast had deplyed

PICTURES!! http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?rawid=NLA_397673010EDR_F0010008AUT_04096M_&s=2

Looks like it deployed

BetaDust
2012-Aug-08, 08:05 AM
Mast Deployed!!

Link to Image. (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397673010EDR_F0010008AUT_04096M_.JPG)

--Dennis

Cylinder
2012-Aug-08, 12:00 PM
I guess they're saving the bulk of the full-size deck imaging for the press conference.

Wah!

ETA: At least we have a decent image of the robotic arm.

Woot! Woot!

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 01:36 PM
I guess they're saving the bulk of the full-size deck imaging for the press conference.

Wah!

ETA: At least we have a decent image of the robotic arm.

Woot! Woot!

Raw images are available now:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=2

And of course some UMSF denizen has already stitched them together:

http://www.nivnac.co.uk/mer/index.php/msl0002

Squink
2012-Aug-08, 02:01 PM
And of course some UMSF denizen has already stitched them together:

http://www.nivnac.co.uk/mer/index.php/msl0002Boy those hills look erosional, almost Earthly!

Cylinder
2012-Aug-08, 02:34 PM
Raw images are available now:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=2

Yea, I was wanting the full size deck images like the first part of the NRA images. I'm guessing they'll premiere at the noon (CDT) press conference.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 02:48 PM
A better job than mine of putting the landing site in context:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=27384

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=7397&st=585&p=187705&#entry187705

(Scroll up just a little to get to the post with the image.)

Rhaedas
2012-Aug-08, 03:03 PM
A better job than mine of putting the landing site in context:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=27384

That's a great job. You can easily see how each piece, from the heat shield to the rest, made it to their landing spot, and it *was* pretty much straight down, relatively speaking.

djellison
2012-Aug-08, 03:26 PM
A better job than mine of putting the landing site in context:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=27384

It really is bad form to link straight to the image itself. It would be more fair ( to whomever spent the time to make it ) to link to the post that includes it. This way, you also get to see the info regarding source imagery etc etc. http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=7397&view=findpost&p=187705

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 03:35 PM
It really is bad form to link straight to the image itself. It would be more fair ( to whomever spent the time to make it ) to link to the post that includes it. This way, you also get to see the info regarding source imagery etc etc. http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=7397&view=findpost&p=187705

Good point. My bad.

djellison
2012-Aug-08, 03:50 PM
Thanks. Not trying to get UMSF a plug - just want Astro0 to get the credit :)

mutleyeng
2012-Aug-08, 04:04 PM
is there anything which has the Mnt sharp destination marked?
It be really cool to try and guess a route it might take to get there.

ETA. I was sure I had seen a graphic of targets of interest to the science team. Scott has been good enough to answer my whining question and he thinks there is no particular consensus a target area just yet, but he thinks generally be north/northeast vicinity of Mnt Sharp

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:07 PM
8/8 press conference:

Jennifer Trosper - MSL Mission Manager
Justin Maki - HazCam, NavCam lead
John Grotzinger - Principal Scientist
Michael Malin - Camera Lead
Don Hassler

Trosper: Sol 2 executed flawlessly. Hi-gain session worked. All antennas and links work perfectly. Lots of data capacity now. Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) now deployed. Cleared the REMS anomaly. As expected, was related to REMS parameters. REMS is weather instrument, is healthy. Will be operating on Sol 4. Power from RTG better than expected (115 watts vs. 105). It's a little warmer than expected, not sure why.

Planning Sol 3 right now. MastCam 360 color panorama. Getting ready for flight software transition from R.9 FSW to R.10 FSW. Uplink morning of Sol 3, do transition from Sol 5 to Sol 9. Going to characterize high-gain antenna occlusions.

Showing photo with shadow of RSM indicating that it's deployed. Updated azimuth by about a degree based on sun angle.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:12 PM
Maki: Shadow image is first NavCam image. Shadow is right in center, just as expected. Blocky logo is tag for smartphones, will take you to relevant website.

Dust isn't too bad. NavCams 45x45 degree field of view. Used for navigation, science instrument planning. Same design as for MERs.

Showing 360-degree panorama built from thumbnails. Full-resolution versions coming down next day or two.

Deck pan, Curiosity self-portrait.

First two full-frame images. 2x1 mosaic. Can see scour marks from descent engines in foreground. View to the north.

Declare NavCams commissioned and ready for use.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:16 PM
Grotzinger - Lowest part of rim visible to north. Might think NASA's fooling you, actually in Mojave Desert. First impression is how Earthlike it seems. Looking in same direction as alluvial fan. All materials you see derived from erosion off the mountains in background.

Middle ground: dark-looking features are scarps, 2-3 meters in height. Looking toward high-thermal-inertia area. Low-sloped depression closer and to right, not sure what it is.

Thruster impingement areas - got some free trenching. "Get a freebie right off the bat." Exposed bedrock just beneath the soil. Harder, rockier material beneath veneer of gravel. Already got an exploration hole dug for us.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:26 PM
Malin - About to show before-and-after images of landing area from MRO context imager. Image about 40 km x 300 km or so.

Six spots on the image - craters for 25 kg ballast chunks. 12 km downrange from Curiosity. Another test of all the EDL modeling.

Showing first part of MARDI thumbnail movie again.

Showing full resolution of first image.

Showing full resolution of final image. 70 cm from ground. 5 cm pebble visible, one of the largest pebbles. Some color differences visible but he thinks they're not real. Got 100's of this image, so combining them for super-resolution image.

Showing image about 200x150 meters, close to landing alternating from MARDI and HiRISE.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:31 PM
Hassler - First report on radiation environment on another planet.

Radiation Assessment Detector. Points toward the zenith (looks a bit like a bicycle reflector).

Showing slide of "pretty much raw data" of 3.5 hours of observation with 1 minute resolution. Mast not deployed yet so obscuring instrument, no corrections for RTG, detectors, so just arbitrary units until calibrated.

Record spectra from 26 different charged particles.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:43 PM
Nature - Some sort of lineament in the trench dug out by thrusters?

Entirely reasonable suggestion. Want to wait for MastCam data to confirm that there are fractures with some cementing material.

France - Temperature higher? Is that a concern? Radiation?

No concerns about temperature being a little higher, normally need to update models. Woke up several times overnight to get temperature points. Might potentially have to shorten operation times, but on the whole higher temperatures are better.

All temperatures are within operating range.

Radiation not a concern.

New York Times - Is that floor of crater or later bedrock?

Would be pretty high up to be floor of crater, "rock" formed some time after formation of crater. (Rock in quote because we don't know how hard it is yet.)

Emily Lakdawalla/TPS - Rock is excavated pretty deep, soil pretty disturbed. Drive to undisturbed soil before sampling?

Great question - at core of team discussion right now. Don't have to drive anywhere. Have done a lot of studies that hydrazine, etc., no longer an issue after a sol or two, even for the sensitive SAM instrument.

NASA Watch - What are you going to do if you see someone clearly anomalous? Are images screened before being put online?

Policy right now is to release images. Not really worried too much about what folks beyond the team might interpret the images to be. Team would take time with it no matter how much excitement.

Leo Enright/Irish TV - What will data set look like? What would it be like for human being on surface?

There are models, but are complex - air and surface affect. RAD more than a dosimeter, will provide radiation spectra. Feed back into design of shielding for astronauts.

USA Today/Florida Today - What is scientific potential for site?

Incredibly high. Suggests a remarkable range of diversity. Have DAN instrument that can reach down 50 cm and detect hydrogen. Exposed bits look like bedrock, not ice. Get an immediate calibration point for depth of soil. Lots of ways to use diverse payload to address issues.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:52 PM
Reuters - What sort of Earth conditions produce this landscape?

That would take a long time. Comparison: Spirit lot like Vikings, Opportunity very different. Is NASA fooling us? Blueberries - nobody could make that up! Deeply dissected pyramidal mountain ranges. Looking at a place that feels really comfortable. Going to be interesting to find out what's different.

Sky & Telescope - Can we get landing timing? And other events?

Trosper's looking it up. 2012:219:05:17:57 UTC.

?? - Ballast too far away to check out impact craters?

Hoped that they'd come down close to landing: inert material. Not that far away as crow flies but on other side of dune field, but on part of mountain that has mass flows but that obscures stratigraphy. Would have to do enormous U-turn to get around dune field, don't think it's practical.

Mexico - Phoenix had software to watch meteorological conditions. Will Curiosity?

REMS will do weather. RAD space weather. Data only comes down once a day.

Marc Kaufman/Washington Post/National Geographic - What are actual colors?

Difficult to do photometry in shadowed area. Any color information suspect. More interested in morphology. Makes color same way as cellphone camera does. Put into RGB, then made into JPEG, which uses different color analysis than RGB. Will get better data from MastCam with appropriate science filters.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 05:55 PM
Japan TV - Average level of radiation during cruise? Impact on manned flight?

Still separating out background from RTG, etc. A few tenths of a Sievert dosage-equivalent.

Elisha Cheng - Can arm touch scour marks? Plan to stay in place in short-term or stay in place?

Probably have to move.

It's wide open right now. Commissioning activity in what we call intermission allowed to drive or not. Stay in place, a few meters, tens of meters. Rover is healthy, so no constraints.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-08, 05:58 PM
Showing image about 200x150 meters, close to landing alternating from MARDI and HiRISE.

That was an incredible comparison...

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-08, 06:01 PM
NASA Watch - What are you going to do if you see someone clearly anomalous? Are images screened before being put online?

Policy right now is to release images. Not really worried too much about what folks beyond the team might interpret the images to be. Team would take time with it no matter how much excitement.


Ah, I see...NASA watch....that explains everything.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 06:06 PM
is there anything which has the Mnt sharp destination marked?
It be really cool to try and guess a route it might take to get there.

ETA. I was sure I had seen a graphic of targets of interest to the science team. Scott has been good enough to answer my whining question and he thinks there is no particular consensus a target area just yet, but he thinks generally be north/northeast vicinity of Mnt Sharp

They've said a few times that they want to go around the dark dune field, which would pretty much require them to go 8 km or so to the northeast.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 06:08 PM
Early MARDI image in high resolution:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16021.html

Before-and-after wide view:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16014.html

Before-and-after, ballast close-up:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16015.html

Extreme closeup of landing site:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16019.html

Pebbles under the rover:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16018.html

First NavCam image:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16010.html

NavCam view to the north:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16013.html

Self-portrait:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16012.html

Thumbnail panorama:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16011.html

Don Alexander
2012-Aug-08, 06:43 PM
Thanks a lot, ToSeek. I managed to sleep through the press conference. :<

And then I found out that for some reason, the DVR function of NASA TV only jumped back exactly 30 minutes. By the time I gave up trying to get farther back, I had missed another 10 minutes, so I only got the end of the Q&A...

Glom
2012-Aug-08, 06:47 PM
Before-and-after, ballast close-up:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16015.html


Someone has made a bloody mess.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-08, 07:09 PM
Thanks a lot, ToSeek. I managed to sleep through the press conference. :<

And then I found out that for some reason, the DVR function of NASA TV only jumped back exactly 30 minutes. By the time I gave up trying to get farther back, I had missed another 10 minutes, so I only got the end of the Q&A...

The do have replays....that's how I watched yesterdays update, today.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-08, 07:12 PM
Someone has made a bloody mess.

Yeah, it's not enough that we're trashing this planet, we've got to go off and spread our junk all over another one.

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-08, 08:17 PM
Re: the RTG temps

Has there been solar flare activity today? I seem to recall that some people observed variations in radioactivity that may be connected to flares perhaps via neutrinos. Not sure if the flares would have to be directed at Mars or not.

ugordan
2012-Aug-08, 09:39 PM
Re: the RTG temps
RTG temps weren't reported, only slightly better than expected electrical power production. The higher-than-modeled temps were for the rover body.

djellison
2012-Aug-09, 12:48 AM
Tomorrows 10am conf should involve....ME :) (I think they might be struggling to fill the panel, it'll be more Eyes on the Solar System stuff)

D

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-09, 02:08 AM
Yeah, it's not enough that we're trashing this planet, we've got to go off and spread our junk all over another one.

Several! Moon, Mars, Venus, and Titan all have our junk on them. And I'm probably forgetting some.

Cylinder
2012-Aug-09, 07:26 AM
More of the Sol 2 images (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=2) have been posted. Great image of the drill head, debris on the deck and the high gain antenna.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-09, 07:45 AM
Apparently skycrane was not that effective as there were still debris on the deck.

ugordan
2012-Aug-09, 08:40 AM
Apparently skycrane was not that effective as there were still debris on the deck.
Not that effective at what? It landed the frickin' thing in one piece, without placing it inside four blast holes.

LookingSkyward
2012-Aug-09, 08:56 AM
Any landing you can roll away from...

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-09, 08:57 AM
There should be some new pictures in a few minutes i think

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-09, 08:59 AM
Not that effective at what? It landed the frickin' thing in one piece, without placing it inside four blast holes.

Oh, I'm not talking about the landing platform.

But the main purpose of the cables was to lower the rover while the engines were working still high above the ground so there won't be dust accumulating on the rover.

Don't let success overshadow your critical thinking skills.

ugordan
2012-Aug-09, 09:39 AM
But the main purpose of the cables was to lower the rover while the engines were working still high above the ground so there won't be dust accumulating on the rover.

No, the primary purpose of the skycrane approach was to most efficiently (from an engineering standpoint: lowest technical risk) land a one ton payload on the ground. Potentially limiting the amount of dust kicked up by the descent engines the selected approach had was always a secondary, "nice-to-have" consideration. Did you actually listen to Steltzner speak at conferences or did you just like (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/37162-Mars-Science-Laboratory-(MSL)-quot-Curiosity-quot?p=2051179#post2051179) his people skills?



Don't let success overshadow your critical thinking skills.
My critical thinking skills are still fine, thank you. Actually knowing what the rationale for the skycrane approach was and seeing what it actually did, I say it passed with flying colors, i.e. it very much was effective.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-09, 09:47 AM
No, the primary purpose of the skycrane approach was to most efficiently (from an engineering standpoint: lowest technical risk) land a one ton payload on the ground. Potentially limiting the amount of dust kicked up by the descent engines the selected approach had was always a secondary, "nice-to-have" consideration. Did you actually listen to Steltzner speak at conferences or did you just like (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/37162-Mars-Science-Laboratory-(MSL)-quot-Curiosity-quot?p=2051179#post2051179) his people skills?


Okay, then. I admit that I'm not ignorant in either cases, I know about advantages and disadvantages of landing systems and I know that three-legged landing systems DO HAVE disadvantages like... there's a risk when you land on a slope, because after a single sensor gives touchdown signal the other legs always go to a freefall, or... secondary egress systems like airbags may get the rover stuck and putting it below a three-legged lander may get it stuck, while putting it above makes the system too big and heavy...

Considering this, I do admit that there's an advantage that you get a rover on its six wheels and don't worry about secondary egress.... Yes...

But yes, if you like it...


Potentially limiting the amount of dust kicked up by the descent engines the selected approach had was always a secondary, "nice-to-have" consideration

this secondary objective was not entirely met.

Happy now?

ugordan
2012-Aug-09, 10:45 AM
this secondary objective was not entirely met.

Happy now?
No, I'm not happy. What logic leads you to conclude that any other type of propulsive landing would result in less dust deposited on the rover than what was observed here, i.e. that it's practically possible to have less dust kicked up.

You have no basis for concluding that the "secondary objective" was not met, unless by "limiting the amount of dust kicked up" you mean "absolutely no dust should have been kicked up" - in which case you're again back to your expectations and your objective list, not mine or, in fact, the MSL project's.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-09, 11:17 AM
No, I'm not happy. What logic leads you to conclude that any other type of propulsive landing would result in less dust deposited on the rover than what was observed here, i.e. that it's practically possible to have less dust kicked up.

You have no basis for concluding that the "secondary objective" was not met, unless by "limiting the amount of dust kicked up" you mean "absolutely no dust should have been kicked up" - in which case you're again back to your expectations and your objective list, not mine or, in fact, the MSL project's.

Oh, come on. You know that airbag landing = rover inside a lander is equal to no dust, right? :)

Perhaps rocket powered landing always leads to dust deposit, but hey. Haven't seen much dust on Phoenix after all :) It was less than now :)

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-09, 11:24 AM
hmmm they must be waiting for the press briefing before uploading the latest images.

ugordan
2012-Aug-09, 11:37 AM
Oh, come on. You know that airbag landing = rover inside a lander is equal to no dust, right? :)

And you know that there is no known fabric right now which could handle airbags large enough for MSL, right?



Haven't seen much dust on Phoenix after all :) It was less than now :)
Oh, don't tell me you're going back to the let's put the engines below and the rover on top argument.
MSL is a rover, not a stationary lander that doesn't have to care about what to do with landing legs and other useless mass. It's also 3x heavier than Phoenix. Not many things scale linearly in The Real World.

I take it the sudden smileys are an indication that you realize I'm right and you were overreacting?

Swift
2012-Aug-09, 12:28 PM
Don't let success overshadow your critical thinking skills.

My critical thinking skills are still fine, thank you. Actually knowing what the rationale for the skycrane approach was and seeing what it actually did, I say it passed with flying colors, i.e. it very much was effective.
Both of you knock off the personal comments now.

Cylinder
2012-Aug-09, 12:41 PM
There's a large assembly that stretches across MSL's deck. It's just aft of the RAD sensor and forward of the sundial. Is that part of the robotic arm's drive train?

djellison
2012-Aug-09, 01:04 PM
That's the differential that links the two halves of the suspension.

Cylinder
2012-Aug-09, 01:21 PM
That's the differential that links the two halves of the suspension.

That makes sense. As soon as I posted the question, I realized the symmetry suggested suspension rather than the arm.

Thanks.

Cougar
2012-Aug-09, 01:28 PM
Tomorrows 10am conf should involve....ME :)

Congratulations, djellison! I can get to the web at work, but not TV. Will it be on the web anywhere?

Cylinder
2012-Aug-09, 01:39 PM
Congratulations, djellison! I can get to the web at work, but not TV. Will it be on the web anywhere?

NASA TV (www.nasa.gov/ntv)

Rhaedas
2012-Aug-09, 01:44 PM
It's always dusty on Mars, and the team commented on that fact, saying that the rover was designed for those conditions.

NEOWatcher
2012-Aug-09, 02:42 PM
this secondary objective was not entirely met.
They said potentially "limit" the amount of debris, not potentially "eliminate" it.
So; unless you can show me the difference between amount of debris that did occur vs what would have occured with other landing methods (other than encapsuled landings like the airbags) then we can't say wether or not it was met.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-09, 02:48 PM
It's always dusty on Mars, and the team commented on that fact, saying that the rover was designed for those conditions.

Curiosity is RTG-powered. It doesn't have solar cells that can be incapacitated by dust accumulation.

ugordan
2012-Aug-09, 02:53 PM
Curiosity is RTG-powered. It doesn't have solar cells that can be incapacitated by dust accumulation.
However... dust is a very good insulator. A significant layer of dust (and I'm talking about more than a thin film here) could reduce the effectiveness of RTG radiators, raising the temperature and consequently leading to lower power produced by thermocouples.

It's not likely to be of any issue to the mission, but at least theoretically, dust could impact power production even with an RTG-powered vehicle.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-09, 03:09 PM
However... dust is a very good insulator. A significant layer of dust (and I'm talking about more than a thin film here) could reduce the effectiveness of RTG radiators, raising the temperature and consequently leading to lower power produced by thermocouples.

It's not likely to be of any issue to the mission, but at least theoretically, dust could impact power production even with an RTG-powered vehicle.

Ahm... I surely won't like a real-life repeat of the situation in Arthur Clarke's book "A Fall of Moondust" :rolleyes: (LOL)

ToSeek
2012-Aug-09, 05:12 PM
Thursday press conference:

Rover completed Sol 3, another picture-perfect day

Michael Watkins, Mission Manager
Michael Malin, MastCam PI
Dawn Sumner, Scientist
[didn't catch]
Our own Doug Ellison!

Watkins: Rover and the team operating it are performing flawlessly. Want to switch to software designed for surface operations, will start day after tomorrow. Did more health checks on instruments, all passed. Took a whole lot of imagery around us: 360 panorama and self-portrait from NavCam.

Pointing out bits of dark gravel on top of rover, a little unexpected that stuff this large ended up there. EDL guys have nothing to do now, so they need something to work on.

Malin: Representing MastCam today, was MARDI yesterday. Have MastCam thumbnails back. One more sol to get stuff down before FSW update, will queue some of it up. 360-degree panorama. Color as transmitted except brightened up a bit. Pointing out haze, areas dug out by rocket plumes. Light-colored, could be contaminant.

Sumner: Can see main reason we chose Gale. NavCam mosaic: main target area in upper right. Layered rocks - what's supporting history in Gale Crater. Exciting to think about getting there but is quite a ways away.

Divided area into 1x1-mile quads. Mapping textures and boundaries between textures - mapping boundaries between different types of rock. Individual maps, integrating to get broader picture. Will use this map to find a path to target, which is south of landing site. Will balance science during drive with getting to target.

Quad 51, where Curiosity landed: several different textures just here. "Doing the best science we can along the way."

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-09, 05:20 PM
Quad 51, where Curiosity landed: several different textures just here. "Doing the best science we can along the way."

Area 51! Cue the conspiracy theorists!

ToSeek
2012-Aug-09, 05:24 PM
Andy Mishkin - team that does command sequencing: "We can't joystick the rover." Highly resource constrained vehicle: power, data volume, time, communications timing. Fit in all activities that science and engineering team want to do. Hundred of rules to manage. Writing a software program every day that has to run first time when we send it up. Team works over 16 hours to get it done, pretty much when rover is asleep. Showing timeline of activities. Up to a thousand commands to govern rover over next sol. Strict deadline.

Doug Ellison/Eyes on the Solar System - 10:17:57.3 actual, 10:17:57.9 predicted based on input from navigation team. 973,000 visits, 700k visits landing night. Doesn't count other people who were streaming it, at least 8000 extra visitors. One quad away from the actual landing site, quad 64 instead of quad 51.

Showing visualization to show how close. Fortunate to get sky crane direction right. Can see communications passes.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-09, 05:31 PM
Our own Doug Ellison!

He sure packed a lot of information in just a few minutes...

...and I thought "I" talked fast. :)



Nicely done, Doug.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-09, 05:41 PM
?? - What are colors?

What camera sent, brightened up a bit. Not balanced. Deliberately underexposed for now.

At what angle did sky crane strike surface?

Could make an eyeball guess, better to ask EDL team tomorrow.

BBC - How big final images?

64 times larger, 8 times better resolution. Gaps in image not in current plan, but this is just the first. Planned last November, before we knew vehicle's position.

Some of these activities were uploaded during the cruise phase. Put less on team that they have to do overnight.

During CAP intermission have some mosaics that can be moved a little bit. Hoping to take some 100mm images.

Space.com - Are there features that stand out in the color shots?

Color and brightness on Mars tend to be closely correlated, so haven't spotted anything that didn't see in B&W images. But I'm trained. Color makes it clear to everybody.

Engineering team: easier to see the dust in color than B&W.

Leo/Irish Television - When will full-resolution panorama be available? How tall is rim?

Just going to get a couple dozen images overnight, rest after FSW update. Giving lecture on how long it takes to get photos back.

Rim only 2 km higher than rover's position.

NASA Watch - Is there JPL app to recognize AR tags on Curiosity? Will it be closed or open?

Several things online, some open source, working on more.

Reuters - When panorama images taken?

Sol 3, 11 pm last night PDT.

What's been checked out?

APXS, NavCam, MastCam, other abbreviations I didn't catch. They've all been checked out but to different levels. More advanced modes still to be looked at.

Discovery News - Why debris on top of rover not anticipated? Any instruments vulnerable? Will it stay there?

EDL team tried to figure out effects of exhaust, didn't expect chunks this big. Either exhaust stronger or chunks lighter. Don't expect any impact, nothing sitting on top of RAD instrument or anywhere else vulnerable. Expect some of them to fall off.

Washington Post - Sending 1000 commands, any anomalies?

1000 represents both preloaded and new stuff, not so many right now but will be later. Not having trouble getting things on board. Small shakedown issues getting in the habit.

Using MRO and Odyssey. What about Mars Express?

ESA's MEX not been used yet but can.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-09, 05:49 PM
Emily - What current downlink rates? What getting up to?

Originally 8-32k, now up to 200k. Will continue to increase data rates. Max data rate 2 megabits/second. Will try that in a week or two. Important to check out telecom system very thoroughly so we can empty out buffered data.

Much more colorful than previous sites?

My impression as well, but haven't looked at NavCam. Some coloration has to do with dune field, dark dune field looks a little blueish. Texture can be a factor, too. Geomorphically definitely a very diverse place.

Lot of variations in texture. Hope colors can guide us to variations.

USA Today - What doing next 24 hours? How long does upgrade take? Can you do anything else?

Upgrade starts on Sol 5, 5-8 devoted to that. Back to science on Sol 9. Sol 5 is Saturday.

BBC again - Which quad is target in?

120, 121, 134, 135.

Use ChemCam on scour marks?

Lot of discussion, lot of eagerness to learn composition and to use death ray laser.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-09, 05:54 PM
....and, as usual.....nice recap, To Seek.

BetaDust
2012-Aug-09, 06:01 PM
MSL's First Color Panorama!

17387
Source. (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA16029.jpg)


-- Dennis

slang
2012-Aug-09, 06:08 PM
Can someone please post a link if/when the press conference is posted? TIA.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-09, 06:12 PM
Can someone please post a link if/when the press conference is posted? TIA.


This (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/24540690) is where I've "found" all the recorded news conferences.


edit....just noticed they have todays there, already. :) That's quick.

BetaDust
2012-Aug-09, 06:35 PM
Can someone please post a link if/when the press conference is posted? TIA.

Someone over at UMSF* noted there is also an option to view or download them at: http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/

*Source (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=7397&view=findpost&p=187993)

--Dennis

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-09, 09:10 PM
Are there any sol3 raw images anywhere?

slang
2012-Aug-09, 09:15 PM
Thank you R.A.F. and BetaDust (gotta love those hockey dudes eh? :) )

Rhaedas
2012-Aug-09, 09:38 PM
Curiosity is RTG-powered. It doesn't have solar cells that can be incapacitated by dust accumulation.

True, but dust can play havoc with other things as well. I was thinking more camera/instrument operations, and there's no avoiding the inevitable dust storm, so it has to be designed with that in mind. I doubt what got kicked up by thrusters is comparable. On a related/sidenote, how much damage (like pitting) CAN a duststorm do to things like lens and such, given the thinness of the atmosphere?

cjameshuff
2012-Aug-09, 10:11 PM
Lot of discussion, lot of eagerness to learn composition and to use death ray laser.

If the ChemCam is a death ray, does that make the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons instrument (which, as far as I've been able to tell, uses D-T fusion in a sealed-tube neutron generator) a fusion cannon?

It certainly has much more impressive penetration, going through as much as a meter of solid rock...

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-09, 10:20 PM
Thank you R.A.F. and BetaDust...

You are welcome...I live to swerve...um, I mean serve.


I think the heat is starting to get to me...90 degrees in the shade...

ToSeek
2012-Aug-09, 11:29 PM
Press release about first MastCam images:

NASA's Curiosity Beams Back a Color 360 of Gale Crater (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-237&cid=release_2012-237&msource=12237)

ugordan
2012-Aug-10, 07:25 AM
Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons instrument (which, as far as I've been able to tell, uses D-T fusion in a sealed-tube neutron generator) a fusion cannon?
That I did not know. 14 MeV neutrons, yep it's D-T fusion.

Wow, a laser and a nuclear bomb initiator?

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-10, 10:21 AM
I think that only the BW navcam images are going to be made available to the public and that the color mastcam wont be made released to the public unfortunately. :(

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-10, 10:23 AM
Same. I also think so.

Cylinder
2012-Aug-10, 10:53 AM
Another quick rover question:

Image from Nav Left A on Sol 2 (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397682428EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

What is the rectangular assembly near the top of this image. There is an identical structure mouted on the opposite side of the rover. Is this a navigation sensor? (I'm just guessing based on the placement and symmetry.)

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-10, 01:06 PM
I think that only the BW navcam images are going to be made available to the public and that the color mastcam wont be made released to the public unfortunately. :(


Same. I also think so.



So JPL will not be releasing images that they already have released?


What am I missing?

djellison
2012-Aug-10, 01:08 PM
Same. I also think so.


I think that only the BW navcam images are going to be made available to the public and that the color mastcam wont be made released to the public unfortunately. :(

Wrong.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=3

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-10, 01:26 PM
So JPL will not be releasing images that they already have released?


Nobody stated that. In fact, the sol3 MastCam frames weren't available on the RAW images website (only the panorama and selected frames were available on the website of NASA) - until earlier today.

Apparently, they've just updated this website : http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/

djellison
2012-Aug-10, 01:31 PM
Nobody stated that.

So what lead you to say, just 3 hours ago, that you thought the MastCam images wouldn't get released?

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-10, 01:43 PM
So what lead you to say, just 3 hours ago, that you thought the MastCam images wouldn't get released?

The delay that the photos weren't in the section about 12 hours after the press conference.

Other questions?

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-10, 02:00 PM
The delay that the photos weren't in the section about 12 hours after the press conference.

What's your "hurry"???

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-10, 02:07 PM
Nobody stated that.

Eadfrith posted the following...



I think that only the BW navcam images are going to be made available to the public and that the color mastcam wont be made released to the public unfortunately. :(

...and you agreed.




bolding mine....

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-10, 02:16 PM
Then I guess I'm not reading all posts in full :)

I never thought that they're going to keep them forever, but at the moment I thought they may accept the MRO policy about the 1-month embargo period.

djellison
2012-Aug-10, 02:17 PM
The delay that the photos weren't in the section about 12 hours after the press conference.

Other questions?

So in your book, something not release within 12 hours is never going to be released ever?

On what basis do you make that claim?

NEOWatcher
2012-Aug-10, 02:23 PM
It seems like we get the same lengthy (IMO Useless) discussion for every new space mission.

djellison
2012-Aug-10, 02:27 PM
I'm just trying to figure out the grounds for Zvezdichko's assertion. If there is some statement out there that those images are not going to be released, then it needs to be corrected.

Alternatively - if its just something he made up - then no action is needed.

Swift
2012-Aug-10, 02:49 PM
May I suggest we not side track this thread further about the non-delay of image releases. Since we have an active member of CQ on the mission team, we only have to ask such questions. Let's try to keep this thread on actual surface operations and data from such, and post all the side issues in other existing or new threads.

Thanks,

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-10, 02:49 PM
Then I guess I'm not reading all posts in full :)

I never thought that they're going to keep them forever, but at the moment I thought they may accept the MRO policy about the 1-month embargo period.

So you made an assumption, that turned out not to be true....nothing "wrong" with that.

Although it would have clarified things, if you had said this earlier.



edit....my apologies as I posted this at the same time as Swift's post.

Zvezdichko
2012-Aug-10, 03:02 PM
It seems like we get the same lengthy (IMO Useless) discussion for every new space mission.

EDIT at 18:03 - also posted after I saw Swift's post.

And actually, not every time it's my fault.

Whenever I (or somebody else) suggests something about data being delayed, there are always 3 of 4 of you jumping on me (respectively us) about how wrong we are, as the facts are - there was a delay in Raw picture's release and people wonder why. And I was not even the first one who suggested something, yet everyone quoted my post.

According to you having doubts and fears is so sinful that I'm really starting to question your motives about why you behave so, I mean if you're driven by science or by some quazi-religious beliefs aka Richard Dawkins-like.

I have no interest in debating a thread like the ones we debated before.

What the other person said before me was entirely normal after having a delay and the fact that I agreed with him somehow is entirely normal.

If you really wish to debate with people who're doing harm to the project or to science on general, I would suggest you go to Youtube - there are a lot of videos and comments who create a bad image of the project as people constantly find UFOs, artifacts, Little green men on Curiosity's photos. Those people really need debunking and correcting. Not those of us who express entirely innocent doubts.

Swift
2012-Aug-10, 04:04 PM
Let me be blunt.

I'll let R.A.F.'s and Zvezdichko's posts go, as being "in-process" when I posted my warning; though even without my warning it should have been obvious to experienced members that such posts, particular Zvezdichko's last one, were severely off-topic.

The next person who posts on this data-delay topic, or anything else off-topic for this thread, gets infracted.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-10, 04:48 PM
LOL I think we have killed the JPL website

BetaDust
2012-Aug-10, 04:58 PM
I have a question,

Is there any way I can download all (new) MSL images at once?
Downloading them one at a time takes a LOT of time...
Thanks in advance.

-- Dennis

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 05:36 PM
Just got back from taking our interns out to lunch on their last day, so missed everything so far. Will try to post items of note the rest of the way.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 05:40 PM
Currently explaining why they want to upgrade the flight software from R9.3 to R10: includes software to drive efficiently, control instruments, operate drill, etc. Autonomous driving or blind driving.

R9 optimized for EDL. R10 optimized for surface operations. Four day process:
Sol 5 - toe-dip into R10
Sol 6 - commit to R10
Sol 7 - toe-dip into R10 on backup computer
Sol 8 - commit to R10 on backup computer

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 05:48 PM
NPR - Radar capturing wide swath of Mars, differentiating between rough and smooth place? If re-run, could you make ellipse smaller?

Radar fixed to descent stage, swings with it. Picked landing ellipse because altitude didn't vary much, knew we'd separate from backshell at right point.

Have a few ideas that can probably shave a couple miles off the landing ellipse.

Aerospace America - Was altitude accordion capability going to come into play?

Allowed for estimate to be wrong by 100 meters, actually more like 3 meters.

Who's going to be looking for another job?

Haven't started thinking about that yet. Thinking about future projects.

CBC - How did you decide to call Curiosity landing site Yellowknife? (Actually calling from Yellowknife, Canada)

Have to ask surface team.

Deputy project scientist: picked geologically significant names. Both ancient rocks (2.7 billion years old on Earth).

djellison
2012-Aug-10, 05:58 PM
LOL I think we have killed the JPL website

Nope - it's just no designed and maintained properly. IT's hosted on an enormous cloud hosting service that could handle a lot of traffic. The back end is the problem at the moment.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 06:00 PM
BBC - Did Mars Express see all the way down to the ground?

Lost coverage prior to landing, as expected.

Looked at debris field from descent stage?

Waiting for Day 6 image from HiRISE, which will be nadir image and therefore better detail.

Washington Post - Capabilities relative to cellphone? How so much capabilities will less power than cellphone?

Processor runs at 133 MHz (cellphone 1GHz, PC 2-3 GHz). But two computers. Rover 4G storage. Custom software, can optimize for particular application. World-class software team, they'll find a way to do it. [If you don't have to support a GUI, it makes it a whole lot easier.] Ditto for optimizing surface software.

Processors much faster than MER processors.

Is precision for Curiosity going to make the cut in the future? Can improve by a few miles?

Demonstrated guided entry, incredible tool for future missions. Depends on future missions. Are we going to aim for a target?

Rob Manning guessed landing site right? What sort of reward?

Not a real answer.

?? - Any more information about image of rover taken from HiRISE?

Provided first timing back in April. Focused on if things didn't go well. Try to see if any issues with parachute. Harder for Curiosity than for Phoenix. Had to be withing middle 5.5-6 kilometers of picture, guided entry helped a lot. Precision of landing helped a lot.

Altitude 3000 meters, descending 80 meters/second. Pre-landing day, thought 50/50 chance of getting image.

When does software upgrade begin and end Earth time?

Repeated about Sol 5-8.

1.5 deviation from ideal landing?

Didn't quite catch it, but some late issue they didn't have a chance to correct for. Tailwind may have been a factor.

Aerospace America - Something to be done to prevent so much junk being blown on top of rover?

Longer tether a possibility. Analyzed this very heavily, tried to keep bridles short enough to be manageable vs. amount of debris blown up. Consulted with instrument teams about debris issue. All as expected.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 06:11 PM
Space.com - New FSW beamed during cruise phase? Doing any science during transition?

Yes, stored in file system. Can upload FSW while on surface. Didn't have to do during cruise but had the opportunity and took it.

Primarily an engineering activity, mostly standing down on science.

Planetary Society (not Emily!?) - Any surprises during EDL?

A few surprises, landing with more fuel than expected. A couple of tone indications sent direct-to-Earth that seemed unlikely. Currently working with 1 megabyte of the 100+ megabytes we hope to get, need to wait until we have full picture.

Worked on MER, how does this compare in terms of life experience?

It's certainly well up there.

Irish TV - Anything you'd do differently now? Overengineered?

Minor things we'd change if we did it again. Way to save costs is to stick with what works. Not overengineered, designed to let scientists land wherever they want. Just fortunate they decided to pick a parking lot.

Spaceflight Magazine - Would you be able to apply guided entry techniques to airbag system?

Yes, but you'd have to use RCS jets just like Curiosity. Would be a design change.

BBC - missed question

There is instrumentation in heat shield that will tell us what's going on. Triggered several tones during EDL that told us things were going as expected. No data yet on peak heating.

Washington Post/National Geographic - If we did it again, how much saved?

"Not falling into that trap!" Would have to look at.

Naming of landing site?

Grotzinger: Not name of landing site, name of quadrangle. Yellowknife is where you leave to go investigate oldest rocks in North America.

KBCC - Does public embrace surprise you? What interesting things have you seen from the public sphere?

Overwhelmed by social media interaction: Twitter, email, Facebook. Great to be completely in touch with public on this. After all, they paid for it. Hard to follow all outside activities when in control room. It's going to take me weeks to get caught up.

Shows that America and the world are interested in math and science. Hope social media keeps it going along.

"Got recognized in the pizza parlor."

Enormous feeling of accomplishment associated with a successful landing, awesome bunch of coworkers. Makes it all the sweeter to share triumph with such a fantastic group of people.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 06:12 PM
Aerospace America - How important was two-year delay to success of mission?

It was important. We weren't ready. Gave us opportunity to make sure everything was going to work right.



Final news conference for the week. More news next week.

BetaDust
2012-Aug-10, 06:15 PM
Great Coverage. Thank you ToSeek, Thank you very much.

-- Dennis

Swift
2012-Aug-10, 06:52 PM
Yes, thanks ToSeek.

Is it just me, or are most of these questions just kind of stupid and in some cases nitpicky?


Washington Post - Capabilities relative to cellphone? How so much capabilities will less power than cellphone?

Processor runs at 133 MHz (cellphone 1GHz, PC 2-3 GHz). But two computers. Rover 4G storage. Custom software, can optimize for particular application. World-class software team, they'll find a way to do it. [If you don't have to support a GUI, it makes it a whole lot easier.] Ditto for optimizing surface software.

Processors much faster than MER processors.


I hate these kinds of questions and they've been repeated for 30 years. Your cellphone also doesn't need to be radiation hardened and if it stops working you just go to the store and get another. Reliability is much more important than processing power.

cjameshuff
2012-Aug-10, 07:32 PM
I hate these kinds of questions and they've been repeated for 30 years. Your cellphone also doesn't need to be radiation hardened and if it stops working you just go to the store and get another. Reliability is much more important than processing power.

It really is a dumb comparison. MSL doesn't have to run Flash or deal with the bloated morass of conflicting and poorly implemented standards that is the web, decode HD video in real time without stuttering, constantly load up new apps and games, present a responsive GUI interface to a human user, etc...it runs a very trim and specialized set of software. The two rover computers also aren't the total computational power on the rover...the various instruments and other systems have their own specialized electronics. The MastCam, MAHLI, and MARDI cameras each have 8 GB of flash and enough processing power to capture and compress video at 10 fps, for example.

schlaugh
2012-Aug-10, 08:24 PM
Yes, I can predict the paragraph now;

Curiosity has less processing power and memory than your cellphone but can do all these great things.

Or some such...blecchh.

I love purpose-built engineering.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-10, 09:37 PM
Watching the recording of today's press conference:

Panelists:
Allen Chen - Flight Dynamics & Operations Lead/JPL
Gavin Mendeck - EDL Guidance/JSC
Devin Kipp - EDL-Parachute Descent/JPL
Steve Sell - EDL-Powered Flight/JPL
Jody Davis - EDL Trajectory/LaRC
Ben Cichy - Chief Software Engineer/JPL

"Tip of the iceberg of a set of very very talented folks". It's a big iceberg.

Chen:

Incredibly clean ride from cruise team. Missed target by only a mile. Estimated entry point when 1.25 million miles out, off by only 800 feet.

Atmosphere very much as expected (all-planet image). Got there ahead of the dust.

EDL performance as expected. EDL communications very good, current knowledge based on data received that night. Data from all three orbiters and direct-to-Earth. Got all the data we expected. 100 megabytes more of data still on Curiosity, only have 1 megabyte right now. DTE received 67 heartbeat tones and 28 informational tones. That many heartbeat tones tells us everything was going well. Last tone received was heatshield separation, completely as expected. Lost signal about five minutes after entry, within seconds of predictions.

From MRO, more than expected, about 19 minutes worth. Locked up about 8 minutes before entry, 5 minutes earlier than predicted. Had coverage through landing+6 minutes. Plasma blackout for 43 seconds, were prepared for up to 75 seconds. Have data sent after blackout to shed light on status during blackout.

From Odyssey, about 12 minutes. Started 2:19 after entry, 20 seconds later than expected.

Mendeck:

Enter atmosphere at Mach 24, flew parallel to ground, entry to just under Mach 2, just about 3.5 minutes. Pulled max of a little over 11 g's. Comparative landing ellipses: Viking 2x width of Gale Crater, Pathfinder slightly larger, MER about same, Phoenix a little smaller, Curiosity minuscule by comparison.

Tungsten ballast trims vehicle, give it a little bit of lift.

The 1.5 miles off-target comes from the way we flew. Use bank reversals to adjust trajectory. Third bank reversal right at the end of range control, climbed a little bit in the atmosphere, but then were done with range control. Close to a mile of error at that point. Tailwinds may have contributed, will be looking at that. Guided entry based on Gemini and Apollo concepts.

At end of entry guidance phase, do rotation, get rid of ballast.

Kipp:

Brief sampling of what we currently know about parachute descent and how well it did. Only cursory right now. Very important, not a lot of experience with parachutes in Martian atmosphere.

MRO parachute image: At 3 am Monday morning this was the most beautiful picture I'd seen in my life. Can tell a lot about how parachute performed just from this photo. Inflated perfectly, vent is open, shape is exactly what we expected to see. No damage, no tearing. Well into parachute deployment: 40-50 seconds in.

Parachute deployed about 259 seconds after entry, prediction 241-263. Right in range, a little later than center, suggesting we had less drag than expected. Parachute opened in conditions where we thought it would open and under which we tested it.

Heat shield deploys based on a sensed velocity. Under parachute, go from Mach 1.7 to Mach 0.7 very quickly. Took 20 seconds, prediction 16-26. Performed beautifully, just what we expected.

Back shield separation 95 seconds after heat shield separation, right in line with expectations of 60-150. Uncertain about altitude parachute was going to deploy at and how much subsonic drag. Suggests parachute deploy altitude was as expected. All of these are implications, can't be sure.

Behavior of capsule under parachute - wrist mode. Want capsule not to wobble a whole lot. Want separation events to have fairly benign motions. Want radar beams to measure distance to ground.

MARDI movie: some evidence of wrist mode motion but very benign. Concerned because MER wrist mode behavior was higher than expected. Needed to figure out how to model better, looks as if we succeeded. Ground spinning, capsule rotating 1-2 degrees/second. Consistent with predicts, okay with up to 3 deg/sec.

Verification of an EDL requirement: 3 seconds after heat shield separation, heat shield 15 meters away from capsule. Concerned about radar picking up heat shield, requirement was that heat shield be 15 meters away within 5 seconds, so met that.

Sell:

1 mile altitude, free fall out of backshell for one second, fire engines, divert to one side, then vertical flight to the ground. Showing movie, can see diversion to the side as tilted 20 degrees. Plumes impacting ground, start sky crane, see wheel deploy, gets dark.

Flew it right down the middle. Amazing to work on plan for years and then see everything happen according to plan. All these contingency plans we'd put together were being shedded on the way down.

Next thing after landing was flyaway maneuver. Lucky enough to catch descent stage impact on Martian surface. Rear hazcam image taken 40 seconds after touchdown. Artifact shows up in initial image, not 45 minutes later. Showed up in multiple images, pretty confident is impact plume. Hits ground about 100 mph so kicks up quite a plume. Amazing coincidence we were able to catch impact.

Can see two divots in the ground, we blasted those with our rockets. Makes me extremely happy. Off-roading for the next two years, expecting debris. Wanted to start off day one with a bit of dirt - never want brand-new sneakers - can see debris on top of rover.

Davis:

Go through latest predicted trajectory via Google Mars. Real simulation data. Actually use Google Mars to see 3D trajectory. Nominal trajectory based on latest data right prior to landing. Parachute deploy 10:15:05, 20 seconds later heat shield sep, 18 seconds later radar lock up about a kilometer higher than expected. Backshell sep 77 seconds after that. Touchdown 55 seconds after backshell sep. All as expected. American flag at landing site down to Google Mars.

Where is the rover? Touchdown information from Curiosity, account for navigation errors, come up with best estimate. Missed center of target by about 1.5 miles.
Estimate expected to be within a kilometer, actual within 200 meters.

Showing predictions for where ballast would land, dark blue ellipse on diagram, dark blue circles. Actual well within error ellipse. A huge effort, going to be exciting to be able to tell full story when we get all the data back.

Cichy:

They're talking about jettisoning EDL hardware, I'm going to be talking about jettisoning EDL software. Move on to surface version of software. Phone has 10x power, 16x storage of Curiosity computer. But my phone wouldn't survive journey to Mars.

Flight software R9.3: Launch/Cruise, EDL, Surface, SW Update.

Updated EDL software enroute: EDL 2.0, Surface v1.1. Couldn't fit all of surface software in along with EDL stuff.

Uploaded in cruise FSW R10, Surface 2.0: not actually installed. Gives us ability to do sampling, drive rover. Advanced software for controlling sample acquisition, controlling robot arm, control drill, all the exciting stuff you're going to see us do over the upcoming months and years.

"Born to drive."

Rest I've covered in earlier, real-time posts.

Cylinder
2012-Aug-11, 10:49 AM
Actually, after some searching, I believe that to be one of the bridle attachments.

mutleyeng
2012-Aug-11, 05:35 PM
They've said a few times that they want to go around the dark dune field, which would pretty much require them to go 8 km or so to the northeast.

I got myself all confused again now.. isnt the top of landing site picture more EAST?. To head northeast is where the skycrane landed so far as i thought

djellison
2012-Aug-11, 06:48 PM
Another quick rover question:

Image from Nav Left A on Sol 2 (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397682428EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

What is the rectangular assembly near the top of this image. There is an identical structure mouted on the opposite side of the rover. Is this a navigation sensor? (I'm just guessing based on the placement and symmetry.)

THat is one of the three bridle attach points.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-12, 01:41 PM
So how can we find out what date and time it in for the rover

schlaugh
2012-Aug-12, 02:43 PM
So how can we find out what date and time it in for the rover

Are you asking what is the date and time for Curiosity in Martian sols? If so you can download an applet to your PC or Apple: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/mars24/

Note: Requires Java.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-12, 03:25 PM
I got myself all confused again now.. isnt the top of landing site picture more EAST?. To head northeast is where the skycrane landed so far as i thought

The skycrane landed to the northwest. The standard photo with the assorted debris is aligned so north is at the top: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/PIA16001.html

djellison
2012-Aug-12, 06:47 PM
They've said a few times that they want to go around the dark dune field, which would pretty much require them to go 8 km or so to the northeast.

No - there are ways thru that are due-south of the rover. I doubt they would take that much of an excursion.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-12, 11:03 PM
Nearly a week since landing, it's gone by so fast.

Any info anywhere on the computer upgrade?

Noclevername
2012-Aug-13, 12:36 AM
Any info anywhere on the computer upgrade?

From Universe Today:

With all the initial post landing objectives accomplished, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., are spending 4 Sols, or Martian days, bracketing this weekend to upload a new software package named “R10” that is optimized for surface operations and will replace the current “R9” package.

Ben Cichy, chief software engineer: “The flight software version Curiosity currently is using [R9] was really focused on landing the vehicle. It includes many capabilities we just don’t need any more."

“Right now, we have the capability in our basic surface software to check out the health of the instruments, but we don’t really have the capability to go and make the full use of all this great hardware we shipped to Mars.”

schlaugh
2012-Aug-13, 02:52 PM
Is any data from the REMS package available yet? I found information on REMS itself, but no data. I'm curious as to the relative air pressure difference inside Gale Crater vs. dataum elevation as well as other weather forces.

Cylinder
2012-Aug-13, 03:16 PM
Is any data from the REMS package available yet? I found information on REMS itself, but no data. I'm curious as to the relative air pressure difference inside Gale Crater vs. dataum elevation as well as other weather forces.

The last public reference to REMS was that the anomalous data issue has been cleared up, which at least makes me think that they may have new data from those sensors. I'm guessing they are waiting till after the software upgrade and later in the commissioning process to release anything. They did release some preliminary RAD data, but I'm guessing they felt more comfortable with it.

Was RAD active in the cruise phase?

ToSeek
2012-Aug-13, 03:32 PM
Was RAD active in the cruise phase?

Based on what was said during one of the press conferences, my impression is that it was. But it was also well-shielded, so the data isn't completely accurate.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-13, 03:32 PM
Curiosity traverse proposed during landing site discussions (large PDF file):

http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/landingsites/msl/workshops/5th_workshop/talks/Tuesday_AM/Anderson_Gale_Traverse_compressed_final_opt.pdf

Trantor
2012-Aug-13, 05:21 PM
Curiosity traverse proposed during landing site discussions (large PDF file):

http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/landingsites/msl/workshops/5th_workshop/talks/Tuesday_AM/Anderson_Gale_Traverse_compressed_final_opt.pdf

Very nice. Thank you.

For the extended mission, are there any plans to travel to the other side of Gale; Either by going over or around the base of Mount Sharp? I ask because in pictures of Gale, there appears to be a very large channel, that looks like it was carved by flowing water, at the edge of the crater wall.

mutleyeng
2012-Aug-13, 05:29 PM
from what i can make out, the actual first ports of call on Mount Sharp are still being discussed and evaluated by the science team.
They have plenty of time to mull it over i guess

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-13, 09:34 PM
The computer update should be done by now.

djellison
2012-Aug-13, 10:25 PM
Actually - it was a 4 day upgrade starting on sol 5. It's only sol 8 (3am at time of posting) right now.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 01:40 AM
Another press conference media teleconference scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at the usual time: 10 am PDT, 1 pm EDT, 1700 UTC:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-241&cid=release_2012-241&msource=12241

Only streaming link given is audio!?

Cougar
2012-Aug-14, 02:35 AM
from what i can make out, the actual first ports of call on Mount Sharp are still being discussed and evaluated by the science team.

From what I just gathered from Gareth Collins' (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/g.collins) PhD thesis, the central mountain of Gale Crater is largely composed of lower-crustal material being thrust upward as part of the impact. But doesn't that imply that the entire mountain was essentially "liquified" in the intense heat and pressure of the impact? Wouldn't that, in a sense, "sterilize" any sample drawn from the mountain?

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-14, 11:05 AM
Images seem to be disappearing from the RAW page, im sure there was a high res one of the wheels, now its just a thumbnail???:D They arent making there way online like the MER images did. :( :(

djellison
2012-Aug-14, 01:44 PM
That raw image page is a total mess.

It's always worth double-checking. Take the image URL

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00003/mcam/0003ML0000124000I1_DXXX.jpg and just try swapping the I for an E

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00003/mcam/0003ML0000124000E1_DXXX.jpg

And boom - full image.

There's a couple of images that are just not updated on the page, but are updated as images. I don't know what's going on.

D

mutleyeng
2012-Aug-14, 02:05 PM
From what I just gathered from Gareth Collins' PhD thesis, the central mountain of Gale Crater is largely composed of lower-crustal material being thrust upward as part of the impact. But doesn't that imply that the entire mountain was essentially "liquified" in the intense heat and pressure of the impact? Wouldn't that, in a sense, "sterilize" any sample drawn from the mountain?


well the impact was thought to be 3.5 billion years ago. Sinse then it filled with water and consequently they expect to find a geological column of rock deposits which has been laid down, and the mount allows access to the different layers

cjameshuff
2012-Aug-14, 03:12 PM
well the impact was thought to be 3.5 billion years ago. Sinse then it filled with water and consequently they expect to find a geological column of rock deposits which has been laid down, and the mount allows access to the different layers

Those layers would be deposited around the mount, not somehow replacing its material.

The upward thrust doesn't mean it was liquefied, rock under high pressure will flow while retaining its solid structure. Mount Sharp is a large mass of sedimentary material that was pushed inward and upward as the crater walls settled inward and downward following the impact event. This and subsequent erosion exposed old sedimentary layers that they want to look at.

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-14, 04:53 PM
That raw image page is a total mess.


hmm according to this youtube video they have been transmitting images through the computer update.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyodK2g6aok&feature=g-all-u so i dont know whats happening lol :D

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:09 PM
Participants

Michael Watkins
MSL mission manager, JPL

Alfred McEwen
Principal investigator, High Resolution Image Science Experiment (HiRISE) , Univ. of Arizona, Tucson

Ashwin Vasavada
MSL deputy project scientist, JPL

Jim Donaldson
MSL avionics chief engineer, JPL

Watkins:

FSW transition completed without a hitch. Go to continue checkout activities for Sol 9. On prime computer on new software.

Today: next level of instrument checkouts, APXS. Short integrations, not real science. Use DAN instrument for first time. Not going to generate neutrons, just listen. Downlink rest of MARDI data. [Audio sometimes drops out for me, so may miss something.]

First day that uplink team has to build day's command set from scratch - all previous days were mostly uploaded ahead of time.

Continued to get down science images. [Just haven't bothered to share them on the raw images page.]

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:10 PM
McEwen:

New image of landing site from HiRISE, less oblique than first post-landing attempt.

[Images available at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/telecon/ ]

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:13 PM
McEwen continued:

Curiosity visible at center of dust pattern. Area to northeast shows more bedrock, less covered with Mars dust. Rougher areas tend to be redder because reflect more sky.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:19 PM
Vasavada:

Couldn't be happier with success of mission so far. In a week we've done a lot. First panorama using focusing cameras. First movie. First radiation measurements. First ground images of ancient river channel. Fully healthy rover and payload.

First image: oblique view with landing point in foreground.

Second image: low-gain, high-gain antennas, spot dug out by thrusters, rim of crater in distance. Slight haze, expected dust in atmosphere. Going to get dustier not less in near future.

Third image: Color-corrected for Earth illumination. Looking southeast. Dark dune fields, first on left 1.5 miles away, second 2.5 miles away. Mesas in distance about 5 miles away.

First weather readings this week, first ChemCAM. After that about halfway down our checklist for commissioning. Everybody "itching to move" at this point. Evaluating routes to take us to Mount Sharp, maybe with some detours to examine closer interesting stuff. Expect it to take most of a year to get to primary targets.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:26 PM
Donaldson:

What is avionics? MSL: Power, pyro, motor control, C&DH (command and data handling), FSW. Rather dry discussion of how the pieces are broken down by subsystem that I'm not going to try to keep up with.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:34 PM
Questions:

Boyle/MSNBC: What additional imagery in the next few days? Color panorama doesn't include Mt. Sharp.

Not Sol 9, but in next day or two. High priority for team to get MastCam images of Mt. Sharp. Didn't get it initially because panorama was pre-programmed, and we didn't know orientation of rover.

USA Today: Weather instrument report imminent or later? What sort of discussions go into path to Mt. Sharp?

24-hour measurements from REMS for today. Meteorologists really excited about Gale crater, lots of winds swirling around. Going to take a while to figure it all out.

Team has been mapping landing ellipse in detail. Notice interesting features in landing ellipse. Even more diversity in "spectacular" HiRISE images. Can't do it all, going to have to choose.

Rover drivers working closely with science team to establish ground truth: what's dunes, what's rock, what are good waypoints. Test steering actuators on Sol 13, short drive (couple meters) Sol 15. About a week from now.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 05:41 PM
Harwood/CBS News: When characterization phase over? What will you do in the upcoming year to get to Mount Sharp?

1A (done) - 1B - 2. Use everything except arm and sampling in a week. Check out all arm joints. A month away to characterize sampling system.

Goal will be to do minimum necessary to characterize area where we've landed. Part of understanding Mount Sharp is understanding context, including plains around it. Anytime we do that means a few weeks. Month or two to do samples, then driving. Estimate we can drive a football field a day. At least 100 days of driving alone to get to Mount Sharp.

Florida Today: How far in miles from sedimentary strata?

8 km as the crow flies, have to add for rover drives.

How many kilometers might be added to go around things?

Hopefully not much. Rover very capable, terrain not that bad. But gets tougher closer to Mount Sharp.

What would images look like if I were looking with my own eyes?

Much blander, all covered with dust.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-14, 06:01 PM
Spaceflight Magazine: How driveable is the rover through the dunes? Is middle area in image driveable? Will you be able to find a route around the mesas?

Rover drivers have always found a pretty good path without looking that hard. Just need a small pathway through. Can handle up to 20-degree slope, rocks a meter high. Try not to do that, though.

Did a lot of work looking for traverse paths. Will be the "most spectacular terrain" you've seen from the surface of Mars.

Flatter region between dunes traversable?

Not sure about that area because we don't be going there, but we do have areas we know we can do. Made sure we could get from any point on the ellipse to science target, and that we could navigate target area.

Space.com: How far up do you want to go on Mount Sharp?

Just have to get a few hundred meters up the mound to get through the clay- and sulfate-bearing image. Really just the top of the NavCam image. Don't need to go any higher. Seeing the science mission in front of you, just not where we're doing it - actual target a bit to the right.

?? - When move?

First going to turn wheels in place, Sol 13. First short drive, Sol 15: drive, turn, back up.

Where will Curiosity go first?

Head southwest, then cross dune field.

Update how high: few hundred feet elevation, could require a few km elevation.

Proposed traverse: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA15685

NHK: What does blue in the third image signify?

Typical basalts.

Planetary Society: What is "dream mode"?

Rover is asleep, but FPGA can still monitor health. The "reptile brain" of the rover, still monitors even if computers are inactive. Do stuff with computers off because it saves energy.

MSNBC: Followup about images being blander

If you just took a picture, everything would look reddish.

Will be seeing balanced, corrected photos?

Will see two versions, one as is, one as if on Earth.

CBS: When complete MARDI movie available?

Probably a couple of weeks. Going through process of increasing data rate via MRO.

TPS: When view top of mountain?

Just a couple of sols from now. Planning it right now.

Polygonal area - is that high thermal inertia area? Can we drive away without looking at that?

"That's exactly what we're talking about!" We're "tantalizingly close", but it's in wrong direction from Mount Sharp.

Cougar
2012-Aug-15, 01:44 AM
The upward thrust doesn't mean it was liquefied, rock under high pressure will flow while retaining its solid structure. Mount Sharp is a large mass of sedimentary material that was pushed inward and upward as the crater walls settled inward and downward following the impact event.

Ah, I took the fluidity of Collins' model too far. Extremely interesting this study of impact craters. Collins theorizes (or identifies) that larger impacts result in craters with central rings of small hills rather than a central mountain....


This and subsequent erosion exposed old sedimentary layers that they want to look at.
Judging from the depth of a 10-year-old thesis on the subject (and long range reconnaissance), they apparently have a very good idea where they want to go.

Blackhole
2012-Aug-15, 03:22 AM
This is so cool. To think that we've evolved from a single celled organism to a species that is capable of manipulating electrons to a point where we can send mechanical robots millions of miles through space and safely land them on another planet so that they can explore and run tests. It's mind-boggling when you really think about it and it's accomplishments like this that make me proud to be human.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-15, 08:47 AM
Brain transplant is done, now they're testing systems to get ready to drive.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-15, 02:36 PM
Images seem to be disappearing from the RAW page, im sure there was a high res one of the wheels, now its just a thumbnail???:D They arent making there way online like the MER images did. :( :(

Cue the conspiracy theorists in 3...2...1...

Actually, I suppose they're already at it. I just haven't been looking! Remember the "interesting" discussions on BABB when the MER's first landed?

Rhaedas
2012-Aug-15, 02:43 PM
Images seem to be disappearing from the RAW page, im sure there was a high res one of the wheels, now its just a thumbnail???:D They arent making there way online like the MER images did. :( :(


Cue the conspiracy theorists in 3...2...1...

Actually, I suppose they're already at it. I just haven't been looking! Remember the "interesting" discussions on BABB when the MER's first landed?

Looks like they're trying to format the raw page so there's a category page and a timeline page, so it's easier to find the type of pictures you want. I notice that they still have a few inconsistencies, like having links like Sol 0, but then Sol 003. I'm sure some web designer is working hard right now to get the polished version up and running. I like the idea though, vs just scrolling through a mess of thumbnails of everything.

BadTrip
2012-Aug-15, 06:46 PM
McEwen:

New image of landing site from HiRISE, less oblique than first post-landing attempt.

[Images available at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/telecon/ ]

I have a question regarding this image:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16057.html

So I understand that it's color enhanced, etc... but if you look due east of Curiosity's position.... almost at the center of the image itself... wha's that pinpoint black feature? Looks to be perhaps at teh crest of a smallish dune or something? Stands out very clearly...but not relfective.. black. big rock?

Thanks

iquestor
2012-Aug-15, 06:56 PM
its a crater shadow.

Glom
2012-Aug-15, 07:56 PM
its a crater shadow.

Looks more like a mound. The Sun is from the West, right?

mutleyeng
2012-Aug-16, 12:27 AM
From what I just gathered from Gareth Collins' (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/g.collins) PhD thesis, the central mountain of Gale Crater is largely composed of lower-crustal material being thrust upward as part of the impact. But doesn't that imply that the entire mountain was essentially "liquified" in the intense heat and pressure of the impact? Wouldn't that, in a sense, "sterilize" any sample drawn from the mountain?

This is a very good explanation of whats going on - its not an impact formed peak at all
http://youtu.be/_k16u4HnbRk?t=38m51s

ETA -
they edited the vid so now the relevant part of convo starts here
http://youtu.be/_k16u4HnbRk?t=33m43s

Swift
2012-Aug-16, 01:50 AM
This is a very good explanation of whats going on - its not an impact formed peak at all
http://youtu.be/_k16u4HnbRk?t=38m51s
That was brilliant. Great explanation (thanks Emily)

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-16, 10:03 AM
Were the right mastcam 100mm images of the sundial supposed to be in focus?

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00003/mcam/0003MR0000010000E1_DXXX.jpg

cjameshuff
2012-Aug-16, 02:02 PM
This is a very good explanation of whats going on - its not an impact formed peak at all
http://youtu.be/_k16u4HnbRk?t=38m51s

On further investigation, I think there's some confusion...Aeolis Mons/Mount Sharp is not the central peak, it's the off-center mound of eroded sediment that's half-burying the peak. The central peak itself is the old impact crater feature, after being buried and then exposed again.

The layered structure of the eroded crater fill, remnant mound, and central impact crater peak are a bit clearer in this topographic map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Topographic_Map_of_Gale_Crater.jpg

BadTrip
2012-Aug-16, 03:52 PM
Looks more like a mound. The Sun is from the West, right?

That's what I mean, yes. With the sun coming from West/NW... and that topographically looks like a mound... but what's at the top? A hole?.. or some non-reflective material? just looks odd to me is all. apparently it's inconsequential or other folks would be asking the same question.

Thanks anyway guys.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-16, 08:22 PM
Another audio press conference coming Friday at 1:30 pm EDT (half-an-hour later than usual):

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-244&cid=release_2012-244&msource=12244

Cougar
2012-Aug-17, 01:00 AM
This is a very good explanation of whats going on - its not an impact formed peak at all
http://youtu.be/_k16u4HnbRk?t=38m51s
ETA -
they edited the vid so now the relevant part of convo starts here
http://youtu.be/_k16u4HnbRk?t=33m43s

Yes, thanks, mutleyeng. And for the introduction to Emily Lakdawalla. As she says, 3 billion years is a really, really long time.

Gale crater also appears to be on the edge of a dropoff into what looks like it could have been a large lake or ocean in the distant past (google mars is still a bit limited). What's the thinking there?

Eadfrith
2012-Aug-17, 11:09 AM
When do they take some mastcam 100 pictures?

ToSeek
2012-Aug-17, 05:29 PM
Images for the telecon strongly suggest they're going to head east first: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/telecon/index.html

ToSeek
2012-Aug-17, 05:43 PM
MSL Media Teleconference
08.17.12


Participants

John Grotzinger - Curiosity project scientist, California Institute of Technology

Roger Wiens - ChemCam principal investigator, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Grotzinger:

Subbing for Mission Manager Mike Watkins. All instruments continue to checkout. DAN nstrument did bunch of quick pulses for 15 minutes, RAD "was listening", verified DAN was working. Weather instrument REMS collecting data, getting first data from full diurnal cycle on Mars. Yesterday's high was 1 degree above freezing. Thirty years since last long-duration monitoring of weather on Mars, since Viking 1 stopped communicating.

First image: Rover with crater rim in background.

Second image: Glenelg may be our first moderate-duration drive target. [It's where three different kinds of terrain meet, just what someone was talking about as a first target early on.] Then to base of Mount Sharp, then main target area on slopes.

Third image: Do local science first, go over to Glenelg where three kinds of terrain meet. Palindrome, going to pass through there coming and going.

Fourth image: Scour marks from descent stage thrusters. Again names of very old Canadian geologic formations, tried to tie in with heat.

Fifth image: Goulburn Scour one of greatest interest, will aim ChemCam here and get higher-resolution images.

Once done, drive toward Glenelg, expect to be first target of drilling. Will take soil sample enroute.

Sixth image: This one underscores the reason we picked this landing site, seven kilometers away. Looks like Sedona or Four Corners area, mesas made of layers of light-colored reddish outcrops. Expecting to find hydrated minerals.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-17, 05:50 PM
Wiens:

You've heard about our death ray laser beam, well, that's ChemCam. At the top of a funnel, ChemCam gets to do the most analysis, targets of greater interest accessed by other instruments. Designed to do up to 14,000 analyses. French and US collaboration.

High-powered megawatt laser creates pinhead spot on a rock, boils it into plasma. Telescope focuses light emitted, taken in, spectroscopy done.

So far: taken images of each calibration target for ChemCam. (Images 3 and 4.) Round parts of target are about 3/4" in diameter.

Haven't turned laser on yet but have done everything else.

Next few days: image targets again, doublecheck, want to make sure aiming laser correctly. Going to take image of a rock.

First victim target is N165, a three-inch rock near the rover. Generic rock, not a particular science target. Just verifying pointing capabilities. Image, then target with 30 laser shots within 10 seconds, take a spectrum after each shot. Look for any changes as shots go on, any other surface effects.

Team is very excited, waited eight long years for this, hope to be back next week to talk about first results.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-17, 05:58 PM
APB News: When expect Curiosity to start at Glenelg, when get there, how long there, how long to base of Mount Sharp?

Grotzinger: Still doing checkouts, probably first wheel motions next week, toward end of next week finish up CAP1B, then roll into period of time we call intermission. Some of that is some very specific science experiments with MastCam, ChemCam, and SAM. After that, if all goes well, we'll hit the road. Will drive as efficiently as we can. Expect to take 3-4 weeks to get there. But if we see fine-grained materials, that's a major target, and we'll stop for that. Month or more of science there, then toward end of calendar year head for base of Mount Sharp.

CBS: When first hi-res images of Mount Sharp?

Image 6: hills there the size of multi-story buildings. Broad boulevards and highways.

What about the summit?

Working through the sequences. Some issues with pointing in that direction with calibration, going to be a week or two.

?? - How 1 degree above freezing defined?

Actual measurement 276 Kelvin. Will get full weather report next week.

MSNBC - Any surprises yet?

No real surprises from engineering perspective [thank goodness]. Scientifically, landing site shows some differences from other sites but mostly similar. Bedrock uncovered by thrusters exciting and surprising. Not a good first target for drilling, though. But just going to be remote sensing.

ToSeek
2012-Aug-17, 06:08 PM
?? - When doing science on Goulburn Scour?

Next couple of days and weeks. Test drive of rover. Then move back to Goulburn.

How far up to go to get to hydrated minerals?

About halfway up, line of lighter stuff, line between hydrated and unhydrated.

USA Today - Why Glenelg?

Three terrains all coming together, very obvious target.

New Scientist - Any ideas about what different terrains at Glenelg signify? Ditto for Goulburn.

It just looks distinctive and interesting. "It looks cool - let's go there." Similar for Goulburn but more highly constrained.

Abandon high-thermal inertia area?

No, that's the lighter stuff next to Glenelg.

Planetary Society - Senior review before taking soil samples?

Project review in mid-September, external review board comes in, evaluate how well we've done with surface operations. Barring any hurdles, get the green light to proceed with drilling. We are allowed to do scooping ahead of time, want to do that to demonstrate to review board that we know what we're doing.

BBC - Sense of discussion involving going in wrong direction for three months? What do you expect to see from test rock?

We don't think there is any wrong direction. Two-year mission, want to get to base of Mount Sharp. So close to HTI unit, other geological units. Even though in opposite direction, it's one place we can go to to characterize lots of the terrain in the landing ellipse.

Not particularly mysterious, probably typical Mars basalt. 48% silicon dioxide, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium .... See if laser can tell us anything about coatings on the rock, tells us about weather, what's happened to rock over the eons. That and target practice. Want to shoot something midrange, nice face facing us, something easy to start with.