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BigJim
2003-Jun-08, 02:42 PM
Mars Exploration Rover -A launches today at 2:05 or 2:44 PM EDT. (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/launch_e.html) Watch it on NASA-TV online! This is the one that will land in Gusev.

kilopi
2003-Jun-08, 03:28 PM
Hmm...nothing at the press releases (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/index.html). How soon before the event does the streaming video (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/launch_e_internet.html) start?

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-08, 04:48 PM
Hmm...nothing at the press releases (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/index.html). How soon before the event does the streaming video (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/launch_e_internet.html) start?

I haven't been able to determine that. I'm dropping in from time to time to check, though. I'd guess at around 30 minutes, that is conventional for most launches. I just hope that the servers can cope - there is going to be a lot of public interest in this one.

STOP PRESS: Launch postponed 24 hours due to weather. (They were only giving it about 40% chance earlier)

(Edited to add latest postponement)

MHS
2003-Jun-08, 06:26 PM
If NASA's servers can't cope with all the traffic you can always try CNN. They usually only show a couple of minutes though.

Psi-less
2003-Jun-08, 07:03 PM
According to NASA's webpage (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/) it's been scrubbed due to weather conditions. Next try, tomorrow (6/9) at 2:02 pm Eastern/11:02 am Pacific. DRAT!! :evil:

Psi-less

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-08, 07:55 PM
According to NASA's webpage (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/) it's been scrubbed due to weather conditions. Next try, tomorrow (6/9) at 2:02 pm Eastern/11:02 am Pacific. DRAT!! :evil:

Psi-less

Quite. I'm willing to bet that I'll be on the way home from work when/if it launches tomorrow. Today would have been quite convenient. Yeah, OK, a successful shot outweighs my inconvenience, I know.

Psi-less
2003-Jun-09, 12:17 AM
Quite. I'm willing to bet that I'll be on the way home from work when/if it launches tomorrow. Today would have been quite convenient. Yeah, OK, a successful shot outweighs my inconvenience, I know.

That's okay. I know how you feel. I was hoping for today since there might actually be some info on the one (1) TV station we get here. Tomorrow the soaps will be on and fate forfend that anything should interrupt *those*. The outcry from their viewing public would be horrendous! Bleah!!

Psi-less

tracer
2003-Jun-09, 08:32 PM
Darn it, when is DirecTV going to pick up NASA-TV as one of its channels?!

Pluto is a planet
2003-Jun-09, 11:02 PM
will you be able to see it in the sky?

g99
2003-Jun-09, 11:09 PM
Darn it, when is DirecTV going to pick up NASA-TV as one of its channels?!
In Jacksonville we had NASA t.v. for about two months then it switched to a christian channel. Big switch. :o

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-09, 11:23 PM
will you be able to see it in the sky?

Yeah - if you were at the Cape or in the North Atlantic just after lift-off. The MERs aren't going to do even one parking orbit - it's straight to Mars (what is known as a 'direct-ascent' trajectory) - so visibility anywhere else unless you've got some quite powerful optics.

Incidentally, gleaned this snippet off Usenet, which is that historically Delta 2 launchers have a 50% chance of not being scrubbed on the first launch, another 50% in the second day - and a 90% chance of lift-off within the first week.

I'm not sure how this maths works -(1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16+1/32+1/64+1/128 I make to be around 99.2%), but I guess this is actuarial. It's mysterious, but maybe the excess 9.2% could be eroded by the pressure on the launch controllers to call a 'Go' as time wears on...

Pluto is a planet
2003-Jun-10, 01:43 AM
Will this probe be able to take pictures of passing asteroids?

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-10, 04:16 AM
Will this probe be able to take pictures of passing asteroids?

The MER spacecraft are purely Mars landers, not strictly interplanetary probes, so they do not have the instrumentation to investigate passing objects.

But, incidentally, there are some asteroids that motor about between the orbits of Earth and Mars - however, the pickings aren't rich. You really want to travel through the main belt between Mars and Jupiter (as Cassini did) to get a glimpse.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-10, 04:15 PM
Launch is now scheduled for just before 2 pm today EDT.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-10, 06:24 PM
will you be able to see it in the sky?

Yeah - if you were at the Cape or in the North Atlantic just after lift-off. The MERs aren't going to do even one parking orbit - it's straight to Mars (what is known as a 'direct-ascent' trajectory) - so visibility anywhere else unless you've got some quite powerful optics.



Self-correction. Don't know where I got that from. Can't have been a reliable web source. I've just been watching the launch and they are placing MER-1 in a parking orbit (although they don't say if it might be a fractional orbit). I don't believe they've separated the second stage yet. In that case, maybe the probe/second stage will be briefly visible from the right place(s) (it'd have to be night to see it, of course).

Everything looking good so far, though it's still not on a Mars trajectory... :)

ToSeek
2003-Jun-10, 06:36 PM
Everything looking good so far, though it's still not on a Mars trajectory... :)

Is now! "Spirit" is on its way to Mars!

pmcolt
2003-Jun-10, 06:38 PM
Well, good luck and safe journey to MER-A.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-10, 06:38 PM
Chattering away to myself now :roll: , but it looks like I was right the first time - second stage put MER into a fractional orbit, then 3rd stage kicks in and it's on its way.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/launch_e_diagram.html

And it's just this minute been confirmed it is on its way! So here's to MER-1! One more Mars probe to go...

(edited to remove apostrophes. Cringe)

g99
2003-Jun-10, 08:09 PM
It was a very beautiful launch i was watching on msnbc and CNN. They would switch between the onboard camera and a ground based camera. Just amazing. When i first saw the curvature of the earth i niticed i was actually holding my breath!

I really hope more cameras are put on the launches. They are so beautiful and spectacular. I loved it. I will always remeber this launch as the first one where i really felt i was in the rocket looking down. (yes i know they have put cameras on one before but that cut out too soon)

When does the second one go up?

Crimson
2003-Jun-10, 08:11 PM
When does the second one go up?

June 25.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-10, 08:38 PM
It was a very beautiful launch i was watching on msnbc and CNN. They would switch between the onboard camera and a ground based camera. Just amazing. When i first saw the curvature of the earth i niticed i was actually holding my breath!

I really hope more cameras are put on the launches. They are so beautiful and spectacular. I loved it. I will always remeber this launch as the first one where i really felt i was in the rocket looking down. (yes i know they have put cameras on one before but that cut out too soon)

I think it's becoming the custom, particularly with Delta 2. Yeah, that was great watching the Florida coastline recede and the horizon start to curve - then the solid rockets break away. I was hoping they'd be able to keep the camera feed from the discarded 1st stage long enough so we could see signs of it heating or breaking up.

The maiden Delta 4 launch, last November, went one better - they had a camera on the 2nd stage too, looking past the engine bell, so you could see stage one separate and the 2nd stage engine start (then shut-down and restart again). And the buzz is it's all in realtime.

More cameras, yep! (I'd really like that Soyuz booster separation sequence from the same perspective).

ToSeek
2003-Jun-12, 03:37 AM
Where is it now? (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/spiritrightnow.html)

freddo
2003-Jun-12, 04:18 AM
Where is it now? (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/spiritrightnow.html)

sodding awesome link ToSeek... Bookmarked.

C.

Mainframes
2003-Jun-12, 12:27 PM
Where is it now? (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/spiritrightnow.html)

sodding awesome link ToSeek... Bookmarked.

C.

Was just about to ask if there was a link to a where is it now diagram. Cheers! :D

Psi-less
2003-Jun-12, 02:23 PM
Where is it now? (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/spiritrightnow.html)

sodding awesome link ToSeek... Bookmarked.

C.

I'll second that! It'll be nice to be able to see the progress. Hmmmm...maybe if we got a dish we could get the NASA channel.

Psi-less

ToSeek
2003-Jun-12, 04:08 PM
Where is it now? (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/spiritrightnow.html)

sodding awesome link ToSeek... Bookmarked.

C.

That's what I'm here for. ;)

ToSeek
2003-Jun-18, 12:28 AM
Where is it now? (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/spiritrightnow.html)

sodding awesome link ToSeek... Bookmarked.

C.

Was just about to ask if there was a link to a where is it now diagram. Cheers! :D

The page now includes Mars Express and Nozomi:

http://mars1.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/realtime/mera3.jpg

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-18, 12:42 AM
Well, now you've done it ToSeek - looks like the Wacky Racers. USans will start lobbying for Peter Perfect to step on the gas with MER-A. (Actually what we really need is a big Dick Dastardly Decal on the side of Mars Express - erk, no, forget that, it means we'd have to rename Beagle 2 Muttley) :)

ToSeek
2003-Jun-18, 01:04 AM
Well, now you've done it ToSeek - looks like the Wacky Racers. USans will start lobbying for Peter Perfect to step on the gas with MER-A. (Actually what we really need is a big Dick Dastardly Decal on the side of Mars Express - erk, no, forget that, it means we'd have to rename Beagle 2 Muttley) :)

STOP THAT PIGEON!

nebularain
2003-Jun-18, 07:50 PM
So, what does that make Nozomi? Penelope Pittstop?

("He-e-lp!")

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-18, 11:52 PM
So, what does that make Nozomi? Penelope Pittstop?

("He-e-lp!")

It's a shoo-in.

So - we have the Mean Machine in first place closely followed by the Turbo Terrific (now isn't that a better name than Spirit?) with the Pink Compact in third place. So votes on renaming Opportunity..? (Actually - the Bouldermobile would do quite well, given it's a rover and designed to cope with such).

(I now have this road-runner image of Dick and Muttley busy setting up a Ten-Ton Mass to intersect MER-1's trajectory.)

nebularain
2003-Jun-19, 07:30 PM
So votes on renaming Opportunity..?

Well, here's the cast list (http://www.hotink.com/wacky/) if anyone wants to chime in.


Actually - the Bouldermobile would do quite well, given it's a rover and designed to cope with such.

Ahh - the predicesors to Captain Ca-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-v-e-m-a-a-n!
( link (http://www.engletec.demon.co.uk/cartoonlegends/images/caveyshout.jpg) )

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-19, 08:38 PM
Well, here's the cast list (http://www.hotink.com/wacky/) if anyone wants to chime in.



Curses! [twirls mustachios]. Penny's was the Compact Pussycat, not the Pink Compact. (Well, actually that does sound more Japanese. Hello Kitty...)