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Thread: Phoenix on Mars

  1. #61
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    (i'll try my hand at some q's)

    Q: why wait to close the oven? (apparently was mentioned it could take a day)
    A: we could do it in 15 minutes, but since today was planned to sprinkle on microscope, we unexpectedly received the "oven full" signal, by then it was too late to reschedule todays activities. (Shaker operated for about 5 seconds when suddenly flow started happening into oven, shaker automatically turned off at "oven full" signal)

    Q oven full when?
    A this morning we found out that oven full happened overnight

    Q problems why?
    A clumpy, can't go through screen, don't know why, seems too cohesive

    Q just crunchy part is clumpy?
    A no, seems like all the way through, clumpy all over
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  2. #62
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    Q will future samples put next soil in scoop?
    A no, next times we will probably try to vibrate sample out slower, both using scoop and oven as vibrator. its like flour, you put it in a seeve, it won't go through, have to bang the seeve

    Q are other teams making progress in the mission
    A microscope is helping determine type of samples. trying to emulate clumps on earth but not succeeding yet

    Q data uplink when?
    A microscope commands uploaded now(?) TEGA will be commanded tomorrow, will start analysis 2 days from now.

    Q about ice?
    A seeing what happened, there MAY have been ice in TEGA oven, which may have changed the soil over the last couple of days so its flowing in now

    Q next priorities?
    A want to dig in 'wonderland', which is in polygon area. have only 4(?) wet cells for chemistry, so changing planned digs for it

    Q any soils on earth similar to soil on mars? will TEGA/micr. tell what caused the problems?
    A many types of soils on earth.. just haven't found anything similar yet

    Q vibrator causing problems for micr?
    A not using vibrator when using microscope, using vibrator is not power issue problem for micr.

    Q what does microscope tell us about soil, how big is it?
    A 6" long, sample holder 4", round, rotates, total 10" long 5" diameter. have diff types surfaces to determine particle properties like magnetic, color, size, etc. we're only looking at very small particles

    Q what was reaction when oven full in team?
    A found out hour before midpoint(?) meeting. kept quiet, during meeting he said suddenly "we got terminated early signal..... " ... ".. because of oven full signal" and everybody cheered

    Q is debate heating up now about ice/salt/martian stuff
    A we really except ice under soil, maybe there's some in soil, maybe some salt crust on top, we will find out. speculating now, maybe in week or two we will know. still much debate on it
    ____________
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    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
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  3. #63
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    I was wondering how Phoenix took those colorized photos mars, are they using different filters?

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    Last edited by 01101001; 2008-Jun-12 at 01:13 PM.
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    Q is shaking like a salt shaker over microscope?
    A at end of scoop there's sort of a 'bumper' to vibrate scoop, to make tiny particles fall off. we take images to check if works as planned

    Q question about lag between commanding and getting data back
    A takes a while, first need to validate commands so they won't hurt lander, long checking process for that indepth and detailed, sometimes there are problems. then, when ready, sent via deep space network antenna via X-band to orbiter. orbiter waits until over lander to send over UHF. 15 minute time delay, but much more delays involved due to system. send data up in early passes, sometimes get something back, usually get data back in later passes

    Q how do you empty the ovens after you analysed soil?
    A we don't. use only once. that's why 8 ovens

    Q (why land there?) yawn
    A very patient answer

    Q was there really music played when you announced oven full in meeting?
    A I just played music from laptop and kept it close to microphone. song was "shake shake shake"

    Q will TEGA be able to see what caused clumping?
    A if moisture or ice involved we will see it on heating. wet chem lab will tell about salts maybe

    Q sticky soil? like mississippi mud sticky? any earth description?
    A not known yet, not enough info

    Q sprinkling on sol 15 on lander deck, how long did image series take? how much material?
    A maybe 4, 5 tablespoons, didn't take long, maybe 15 minutes to do all of that. learning to deliver samples better every day now. really could not know 100% beforehand, learning now, took a few days, ready now to start all science

    Q clumpy nature of soil, still looking at hydrazine
    A our feeling is hydrazine would be combusted on way in, nitrogen/ammonia result from burn process, but should be find later if so, but probably not

    Q could drying of sample have enabled flow into oven? will all samples have to be dried now?
    A we don't think that's going to be the case, maybe if we did it again in a large dump, but expect when sprinkling that it will fall in immediately through screen, hopefully can investigate possible ice in it quicker by starting process sooner

    end of q/a
    ____________
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    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manchurian Taikonaut View Post
    I was wondering how Phoenix took those colorized photos mars, are they using different filters?
    Depends on the camera. RAC on the robot arms uses different colored LEDs to illuminate its subjects (usually out of the light down in a trench). They couldn't color-image Holy Cow possible-ice under lander well with it. The SSI (stereo surface imager) uses filters.

    The MECA optical microscope probably uses LED lighting.
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    end of q/a
    That was the best part to type DOUBLE respect for BinaryDude for doing this all the time!
    ____________
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    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

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  8. #68
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    Thanks, slang. I was swamped. I couldn't even half-listen and typing was right out. I will read your effort later.
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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post

    ...

    Q sticky soil? like mississippi mud sticky? any earth description?
    A not known yet, not enough info
    ...

    end of q/a
    The temperature and pressure conditions there are within the range of liquid water brines at least temporarily. Maybe the difficulty in modeling this problem is the resistance to seeing this as a legitimate possibility.

    If it were small amounts of liquid water even in the form of brines then that would fit perfectly since the small clumpy particles would be small amounts of mud.

    Bob Clark

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    Planetary Society Weblog: Phoenix sol 15 update

    Has information about combining Phoenix images, a good sprinkle test animation, and also a humorous artist's depiction of what Phoenix might look like after a protracted sample-delivery-technique campaign.
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  12. #72
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    University of Arizona Sol 17 Raw Images

    Texas A&M Sol 17 Raw Images (if not now, soon)

    This looks like a delivery to the MECA optical.


    Casper the Friendly Ghost haunts the Phoenix deck. (See it before it's an episode of Coast to Coast AM.) Actually, this looks like one of many oblique shots of the mouth of MECA to see where the delivery landed. Or, is it a detail of the middle of the scoop? Can the robot arm camera zoom? Edit: Yes it can, some.)



    NASA Phoenix Mission News
    Next televised media briefing: Friday, June 13, 2 p.m. Eastern [1100 PDT, 1400 EDT, 1800 UTC]
    But the NASA TV schedule has it an hour later:
    June 13, Friday 3 p.m. - Mars Phoenix Lander Mission Update - JPL/Tucson (Public and Media Channels)
    NASA TV (or NASA TV, Yahoo! source)
    Last edited by 01101001; 2008-Jun-12 at 06:24 PM.
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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Has information about combining Phoenix images, a good sprinkle test animation, and also a humorous artist's depiction of what Phoenix might look like after a protracted sample-delivery-technique campaign.
    ...what Phoenix might look like after protracted sample-delivery campaign
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  14. #74
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    Planetary Society Weblog: Sol 16 Update: The TEGA oven is full!

    The news is getting old, but it's such good news that a revisit doesn't hurt.

    On the seventh and final attempt to try and shake some of the material dumped on the TEGA instrument on sol 12 down into one of the tiny ovens it worked! The team had all but given up hope that this method would be successful and were surprised when the shaking sequence ended early. Worry that something could be wrong quickly evaporated as they realized that Phoenix had terminated the shaking correctly after sensing that the oven was full. The news brought cheers and a standing ovation for Dr. Bill Boynton the TEGA lead scientist when he gave a surprise announcement at a team meeting this morning.
    And there's a nicely composed image of the arm at Mars, with solar array, put together by guest blogger James Canvin.
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  15. #75
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    Wink even icy mud dries eventually?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGClark View Post
    The temperature and pressure conditions there are within the range of liquid water brines at least temporarily. Maybe the difficulty in modeling this problem is the resistance to seeing this as a legitimate possibility.

    If it were small amounts of liquid water even in the form of brines then that would fit perfectly since the small clumpy particles would be small amounts of mud.

    Bob Clark
    Let's see... There is a briny liquid substance suspected at icy temperatures just beneath the surface soil on Mars polar region, or ice and soil mix... A scoop of this stuff gets dumped on TEGA filtering screen... But it fails to fall through mesh... So it seems the binding properties of this icy slush holds the dump soil together into a kind of icy mud... But it is now no longer sitting on planet's icy surface but suspended in Mars' very dry atmosphere, so some of the icy brine's liquid sublimates.... Now a day or two later it is drier and suddenly falls through the mesh... Very puzzling this was not modelled in originally!... Oh the suspense, but it was fun just the same.

  16. #76
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    In an earlier Phoenix topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Is this like a melted flat smooth rock under Phoenix (under a thruster)?
    The June 12 APOD is a nice mosaic of the Ice Queen tableau rock and a lander leg.

    In fact, the apparent holes or depressions in the Snow Queen's otherwise flat surface are located just under the thrusters.
    (But still, I've heard speculated that maybe the thrusters didn't sculpt Snow Queen's dimples with heat, but maybe the blast just revealed their long existence, or dislodged rocks formerly occupying the spaces.)
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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutant gene 71 View Post
    ... But it is now no longer sitting on planet's icy surface but suspended in Mars' very dry atmosphere, so some of the icy brine's liquid sublimates.... Now a day or two later [the soil] is drier and suddenly falls through the mesh...
    Interesting point. If the soil stopped clumping because moisture had sublimated into the atmosphere, will there be enough moisture or ice in the sample(s) to be detected by TEGA?

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Interesting point. If the soil stopped clumping because moisture had sublimated into the atmosphere, will there be enough moisture or ice in the sample(s) to be detected by TEGA?
    Some briefing, some one expressed concern that that huge-dump sample sat too long probably to see the water that might have been there. They intend not to dawdle on the next TEGA sample.
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  19. #79
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    University of Arizona Sol 18 Raw Images

    Texas A&M Sol 18 Raw Images (if not now, soon)

    Kinda looks like a new scoop, or rescoop, to feed another instrument.


    Something there is so bright with the blue filter.


    Twitter reports the first TEGA oven has started cooking its sample. Confirms (with many of the other sites) that the MECA optical got a sample.
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  20. 2008-Jun-13, 04:36 PM
    Reason
    double post

  21. #80
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    I think the sources (like NASA TV schedule) agree now about the time of the Friday video Phoenix Lander Mission Update:
    1200 PDT
    1500 EDT
    1900 UTC

    NASA TV (or NASA TV, Yahoo! source) Edit: Just heard it's NASA TV media channel only. (Regular public channel will have STS-124 briefing. Public channel will carry Phoenix briefing later.)

    Edit: Briefing details are at:

    NASA JPL Phoenix Media Room:

    Briefing participants will include:
    --Peter Smith; Phoenix Principal Investigator; University of Arizona, Tucson
    --Michael Hecht; Lead Scientist for Phoenix Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena
    --Mark Lemmon; Lead Scientist, for Phoenix Surface Stereo Imager; Texas A&M University, College Station
    --Nilton Renno; Phoenix Science Team Member, Atmosphere; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    So, I expect, at least, some cool MECA optical images. I wonder what Lemmon, the SSI guy, has to show. Maybe an in-progress pan image?

    Edit: update -- live coverage changed to media channel only. NASA TV Schedule:

    June 13, Friday
    3 p.m. - Mars Phoenix Lander Mission Update - JPL/Tucson (Media Channel)
    5 p.m. - Replay of Mars Phoenix Lander Mission Update - HQ (Public and Media Channels)
    Last edited by 01101001; 2008-Jun-13 at 06:03 PM.
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  22. #81
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    The old news of soil in the oven, is still fun to read: Planetary Society Planetary News: Phoenix: Phoenix Fledges, Science Begins on Unusual Martian Soil (June 12):

    [At a status meeting:] When it came to Boynton, however, he offered a few updates on other things, then mentioned the TEGA data had shown the seventh vibration process terminated early. Of course, 'terminated' is a feared word in space circles, because it is usually a sign that something is going really wrong. In this case, however, it was a sign something had gone very right. The instrument is preprogrammed to stop the vibration once it gets the 'oven full' signal.

    After days of intense not knowing, Boynton worked it for his team. "It terminated," he told his colleagues, "because the oven was full."

    Then, Boynton punched a button on his laptop and strains of K.C. and the Sunshine Band singing their Bicentennial chart-topper "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" filled the air. The team roared, cheering the news and rising from their chairs to give the TEGA king a standing ovation. "We just had a good time for a minute or two," Boynton confessed.
    Briefing starts on NASA TV Media Channel momentarily.
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  23. #82
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    Briefing has begun on NASA TV Media Channel. Edit: Images: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/phoenix/main.php

    --Peter Smith; Phoenix Principal Investigator; University of Arizona, Tucson
    --Michael Hecht; Lead Scientist for Phoenix Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena
    --Mark Lemmon; Lead Scientist, for Phoenix Surface Stereo Imager; Texas A&M University, College Station
    --Nilton Renno; Phoenix Science Team Member, Atmosphere; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Peter Smith: End of characterization. This is first science-phase report. Two instruments at work on samples. Results today MECA and (later, days) TEGA.

    Orbiters have been helpful. Chose landing site. MRO helped avoid rocks. Orbiter communications relay (and monitored EDL). Getting back twice as much data as expected, which requires extra effort, so team is a little stressed and tired, especially now they're working graveyard shift.

    Digging into Martian soil. Been doing for a week or so. Key activity. Bright hard layer near surface. 2.5 inches down. Delivered to TEGA and MECA. Still debate about white stuff. Dug deeper and see exposed ice (he said). Not everyone's sure and still debating. Ice or salt seen? Everyone believes ice is near surface.

    Delivery to TEGA. Stuck and didn't go through screen. Shook for 4 days. And on the 7th shake, success. Bake begun.

    It's unusual, not like soil used in testing. Dribbling works for delivery. Next week: results from TEGA and deliver samples to MECA wet chemistry.
    Last edited by 01101001; 2008-Jun-13 at 10:09 PM.
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  24. #83
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    MECA optical guy:

    (Nice pictures. Not yet on Web, that I can find.)

    Tested sprinkle delivery for 3 days. Just right amount delivered.

    Showed 50-micron particle. Maybe olivine-green and usual Mars orange. Particle is clump of even finer particles, to resolution of device.

    A black glassy particle is more rounded, maybe volcanic glass. When weathered might yield the kind of orange particles described earlier.

    Did a split screen comparo of first landing-raised particles and now scoop from surface. Clumping from scooped sample is repeated down to finest scale, obviously a sticky material.

    Look at 6 substrates at a time (yielding knowledge of different physical behavior of particles). With atomic-force microscope can zoom in an additional 40 times.
    Last edited by 01101001; 2008-Jun-13 at 07:53 PM.
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    Lemmon, SSI guy:

    (Last article submit hung. Way behind.)

    Presented movie of trenching from last sol's trench images. Showed sol 16 landscape zoomed, showing small number of large rocks, just what MRO promised.

    Showed view of southeast, zoomed in to individual blocky rocks -- reminder of nearby Heimdall Crater. Showed pieces of panorama in progress. Nice.

    SSI does color stereo. Showed nice black and white animation of crouched-down spinning to reveal texture of land.
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  26. #85
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    I think I can't do Q&A. Someone else?

    Images now available at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/phoenix/main.php
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    Atmosphere guy:

    No dust storms. Dust. Like polluted place on Earth, with lots of fines.

    Orbiters show good dust storms downwind of Phoenix.

    Have imaged dust with SSI, if data stretched.

    Teaches us about Earth's atmosphere.
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    Planetary Society: Weblog: Phoenix Sol 17 & 18 Update

    Sol 18 also saw the first trenching activity with the arm. Up to now all the digging has used the robot arm in 'sample acquisition' mode, where a sample is picked up in the scoop leaving a small trench as a by-product. Tosol however saw the first use of another mode where the scoop is pulled across the surface to move a lot more soil in one go and make much bigger trenches quickly. The two existing trenches have been significantly enlarged in length during this activity. However after the loose surface soil, the ground underneath is hard and the scoop is not making much headway, next week the team is planning to use the rasp tool on the back of the scoop to try and grind into this layer.
    So a couple inches down through the loose material, it got harder. And apparently somewhat white. The plot thickens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGClark View Post
    If it were small amounts of liquid water even in the form of brines then that would fit perfectly since the small clumpy particles would be small amounts of mud.
    Were there liquid present and a clumping clod dropped a short distance, would it splat like mud and stay intact, or would it, as Peter Smith describes:

    Uh, the surface tends to be crusted. But if you pick up a scoop of soil that has both that crusty part and the stuff underneath, it tends to clump into little tiny clods. And these don't have much, uh, strength. You -- if you dropped one on the table it would shatter into little dust.
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  30. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Were there liquid present and a clumping clod dropped a short distance, would it splat like mud and stay intact, or would it, as Peter Smith describes:

    I think it would depend on the amount of water it contained.


    Bob Clark

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    Moist soil does not behave that way. Soil, with a trace of brittle cement (salt, ice), does, however.

    Please don't let your enthusiasm to find liquid water lead you up the garden path.

    Jon

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    By Fraser in forum Universe Today
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 2007-Sep-10, 05:30 PM

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