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Thread: Curiosity Surface Operations

  1. #871
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    Such an improvement over the terrain we saw in the Viking program. The bleak, rock strewn fields may have made folks lose interest in Mars.

  2. #872
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Such an improvement over the terrain we saw in the Viking program. The bleak, rock strewn fields may have made folks lose interest in Mars.
    I guess they picked somewhere flat-ish because it was the first time NASA had tried to land there. Just like Apollo 15 wasn't the first moon landing (just the one with the best scenery).

  3. #873
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Such an improvement over the terrain we saw in the Viking program. The bleak, rock strewn fields may have made folks lose interest in Mars.
    Recall that Curiosity didn't land in interesting terrain. It landed in safe terrain and drove here. Viking didn't really allow that.
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  4. #874
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    Scientific American article by Dana Hunter, because she comes to my pumpkin events!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #875
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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    Yes, but has Curiosity convinced the Martians to join the Allies against the Turks?

  6. #876
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    phys.org: Curiosity Mars rover can choose laser targets on its own

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is now selecting rock targets for its laser spectrometer—the first time autonomous target selection is available for an instrument of this kind on any robotic planetary mission.
    Armed and dangerous. #pewpew
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  7. #877
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Scientific American article by Dana Hunter, because she comes to my pumpkin events!
    I missed this when you posted it. Being a sort-of wannabe geologist, I'm fascinated.

  8. #878
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    Curiosity rover got a 2 year extension which started on the 1st of October

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1009572.shtml

    US space agency NASA said Monday its Curiosity rover is driving toward uphill destinations on the Red Planet's Mount Sharp as part of its second two-year mission extension that commenced on Oct. 1.

    The new destinations included a ridge capped with material rich in the iron-oxide mineral hematite, about two and a half kilometers ahead, and an exposure of clay-rich bedrock beyond that, NASA said.

    These are key exploration sites on lower Mount Sharp, which is a 5.5-kilometer-high layered mound where Curiosity is investigating evidence of ancient, water-rich environments that contrast with the harsh, dry conditions on the surface of Mars today, it said.

  9. #879
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    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  10. #880
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    This is a little cynical, but I hope they will get to the mountain in the 2nd extended mission.
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  11. #881
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Curiosity rover got a 2 year extension which started on the 1st of October

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1009572.shtml
    :-D

  12. #882
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    Fantastic! Curiosity should get a life time guaranteed support to rove around as long as it can, she's good to the last bit.

  13. #883
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    That's not how NASA works. Each mission has to reapply for funding every 2 years. This keeps the teams sharp and the science questions updated. It's a good process that I participate in with SHARAD. I just wish it was 3 years instead of 2.
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  14. #884
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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    That's not how NASA works. Each mission has to reapply for funding every 2 years. This keeps the teams sharp and the science questions updated. It's a good process that I participate in with SHARAD. I just wish it was 3 years instead of 2.
    You must have a fairy godmother looking after you. You just might get your wish

    http://spacenews.com/report-recommen...ence-missions/

    As a series of NASA planetary spacecraft begin extended missions, a recent National Academies report recommends that the agency work with Congress to stretch out the review process that determines whether science missions should continue.

    Among the missions that formally started two-year extended missions Oct. 1 was NASA’s flagship Mars mission, the rover Curiosity. The rover landed on Mars in August 2012 and, after completing a prime mission of nearly two years, NASA approved a two-year extended mission in 2014. The agency earlier this year approved a second two-year extension that runs through September 2018.

  15. #885
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    One major recommendation from the report, though, was to extend the time between senior reviews. “Regular reviews of operating missions are essential. However, the current 2-year cadence creates an excessive burden on NASA, mission teams, and the Senior Review panels,” the report states. That burden comes from the time spent by mission teams preparing proposals and by NASA to recruit other scientists to review those proposals and then act on the recommendations of the reviewers. - See more at: http://spacenews.com/report-recommen....VCwQcbaD.dpuf

    That would relieve a big burden from the scientists. We spend about 4 months out of every two years working on that proposal. It's tedious and takes away from doing science. A 3 year cadence would allow us to spend 32/36=89% of our time doing science rather than 20/24=83% of our time.
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  16. #886
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    Curiosity is having drill problems

    spaceflightnow.com

    Engineers suspect a piece of foreign object debris may be intermittently stalling a motor needed to place the Curiosity Mars rover’s drill bit onto rocks, and the robot’s ground team is assessing the source of the potential contamination.

    More importantly, Curiosity project manager Jim Erickson said, engineers are spending the holidays crunching data from a series of diagnostic tests conducted in recent weeks to analyze the drill’s behavior and determine a possible fix.
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  17. #887
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    This time 5 years ago, a lot of people were on tenterhooks waiting for Curiosity's landing. On 6th August 2012 ToSeek started this thread. Time to look back and this article has video of the landing of curiosity as well as the other rovers NASA sent to Mars. Well done NASA.

    https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6911

    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, which landed near Mount Sharp five years ago this week, is examining clues on that mountain about long-ago lakes on Mars.

    On Aug. 5, 2012, the mission team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, exalted at radio confirmation and first images from Curiosity after the rover's touchdown using a new "sky crane" landing method. Transmissions at the speed of light took nearly 14 minutes to travel from Mars to Earth, which that day were about 154 million miles (248 million kilometers) apart.

  18. #888
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    Did they ever "fix" the drill issue?

  19. #889
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Did they ever "fix" the drill issue?
    Not that I head off. The last update I found was from Emily Lakdawalla's post.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...1675-1725.html

    Drill Update

    As Curiosity approaches the top of the Murray formation and journeys into new rock units, it would be a really good time for the drill to come back into service. Unfortunately, there is no estimate for when that may happen. Engineers have been hard at work testing the drill, trying to develop methods to reliably advance the drill feed. Project scientist Ashwin Vasavada tells me that the experiments they've been performing have borne some fruit but have not led to a solution that allows the drill feed to function reliably.

    They're shifting now from trying electronic solutions to the balky drill feed (like adjusting voltages, using one or the other or both brake coils) to mechanical solutions (experimenting with the orientation of the drill and with the use of vibration and percussion at different levels). And because it's been so long since the last successful drill attempt, on sol 1495 at Sebina, the project is beginning to expend some effort to explore some "less standard uses of the drill" that would bypass the use of the drill feed altogether for sampling activity. Let's all hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm glad they're preparing for the possibility that the drill feed mechanism might be unrecoverable.

  20. #890
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Did they ever "fix" the drill issue?
    Latest news from space.com senior writer, Mike Wall, says they are still working on the problem.

    https://www.space.com/37722-mars-rov...niversary.html

    "But one major health problem continues to afflict Curiosity: The rover has been unable to use its drill since December 2016. This is a big blow, because the drill — which sits at the end of Curiosity's 7-foot-long (2.1 m) robotic arm — allows the robot to access the pristine interiors of rocks and, therefore, characterize ancient environments. (Without this capability, the rover is mostly limited to analyzing surface material such as sand, which was shaped and altered in the recent past.)

    The issue lies in the drill feed mechanism, which moves the drill bit forward and backward. Until about a month ago, Curiosity engineers were focused primarily on diagnosing the problem and fixing it in a way that would restore normal drill operations, Vasavada said. But the team is now investigating an alternative drilling method — using the arm itself, not the feed motor, to move the drill."

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