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Successful New Landing on Mars

 
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 08:19 am
Phoenix!!! Put your clothes back on!!!!
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 08:20 am
BBB
Latest images:

http://fawkes4.lpl.arizona.edu/gallery.php
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 05:50 pm
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 08:01 pm
I haven't had a chance to read up on this particular lander yet, does it have the ability to move like the rovers, or is it stuck in one spot?

If it can move, I assume they will drive it away from the landing site before running any soil tests, right?
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 09:10 pm
It's stuck in one spot, and expected to serve about 90 days, before winter disables it.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 09:18 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
It's stuck in one spot, and expected to serve about 90 days, before winter disables it.

Well then, I hope they landed it where they wanted it.

How many holes can it dig? And how deep can it dig?
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 09:19 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
The primary mission for the lander is to dig into an ice layer believed to exist a few inches beneath the surface and look for signs that this region of Mars, in the far northern plains, might have been warm and wet in the past.
A lander's primary mission is to dig into the ice layer a few inches beneath the surface, and look for signs that this region might have been warm and wet in the past.

Alas, that defines many a marriage!
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 09:22 pm
I don't recall how deep it can go.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 09:30 pm
Your wit is penetrating.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 09:33 pm
Well at least something is penetrating.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 07:44 am
In 1976, NASA sent a couple of VIKING probes to Mars to dig into the surface and analyze the subsoil. What is the difference between now and then, except more advanced technology? The location on the planet?
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 05:12 pm
This will be the first time to dig where there is ice.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 05:39 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
This will be the first time to dig where there is ice.

*IF* there is ice. Right?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that's been proven yet. They might dig up a big frozen clot of dry-ice (CO2) instead.

(I'm pretty sure they *will* find water ice, but I guess I'm just holding my breath a bit longer before counting on it)
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 05:42 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
edgarblythe wrote:
This will be the first time to dig where there is ice.

*IF* there is ice. Right?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that's been proven yet. They might dig up a big frozen clot of dry-ice (CO2) instead.

(I'm pretty sure they *will* find water ice, but I guess I'm just holding my breath a bit longer before counting on it)


To be sure.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 11:23 pm
Turns out that the damn thing landed right smack on top of some ice that was just belwo the ground surface. They forgot that the jet wash would blow the soil cover away just like a leaf blower, thus revealing an ice lattice that was just below the surface. However, according to the report, the ice is just beneath the lander and is situated so , that it would be impossible to get the polarized light analysis or the spec analysis done at that angle. Oh well, when the sucker gets down to real business itll probably find some ice right next to it but just below the dirt and gravel. They have a little drill and a melter too. I think they will have to apply the melter on an infrequent basis because like any appliance that generates heat, it uses up the juice and I think that the solar battery chargers need to be babied.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2008 07:51 am
I would doubt the solar battery chargers themselves would need to be babied so much as:

1) The batteries have a lifespan (rechargeable though they would be, and logically assuming they are electrochemical*).

2) Most to the point, the electromechanical / purely-mechanical parts would likely have the shortest lifespan of any of the systems.

*the days of a practical capacitive battery are not here
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2008 08:25 am
farmerman wrote:
Turns out that the damn thing landed right smack on top of some ice that was just belwo the ground surface. They forgot that the jet wash would blow the soil cover away just like a leaf blower, thus revealing an ice lattice that was just below the surface.

How do they prevent the landing activity of the lander from contaminating their tests?

I assume the lander itself was sterilized before departure (hopefully), but what about fuel leakage and high temps from the engines, could those affect the soil samples near the lander?
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2008 01:49 pm
rosborne979 wrote:

How do they prevent the landing activity of the lander from contaminating their tests?

I assume the lander itself was sterilized before departure (hopefully), but what about fuel leakage and high temps from the engines, could those affect the soil samples near the lander?


I agree. But they are supposed to be smarter than we are. Maybe they are. But NASA had the one mission that screwed up because of metric/English measurement conversion. Maybe they aren't.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2008 02:45 pm
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 07:02 pm
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Phoenix lander has returned the highest-resolution pictures ever taken of dust and sand on the surface of another planet as it prepares for its primary mission of searching for signs of life on Mars, NASA scientists said on Thursday.

The pictures were taken through an optical microscope and showed particles -- some as small as one-tenth the diameter of a human hair -- that were collected on a slide when Phoenix touched down on May 25 at the arctic circle of the Red Planet, kicking up dust from the surface.

"We have images showing the diversity of mineralogy on Mars at a scale that is unprecedented in planetary exploration," Michael Hecht of the U.S. space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said at a media briefing.

One of the tiny grains shown in the pictures, taken largely to test the lander's instruments, was clear and whitish but the scientists said it was a mineral -- possibly salt -- and not likely ice, which they are eager to find as it is considered key to enabling life on the planet.

Other particles were reddish brown like the Mars surface or dark and glossy.

"What we're seeing in the microscope is almost certainly not ice," said Tom Pike, Phoenix geology team leader and a professor at Imperial College London, because a particle of ice that small would have melted before it could be photographed.

He said salt deposits, which are often found around ice, also would be intriguing to the Phoenix team.

Pike said the microscopic photos were never intended to seek out ice or other signs of water and life on Mars, and that the primary tool for that is a robotic arm. Continued...


http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKN0534238920080605
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