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#401 2008-03-14 21:04:01

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Women Drivers On Mars

by Dauna Coulter and Dr. Tony Phillips
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 14, 2008
Little noticed by the general public, February 23rd was a special day in space exploration. For the first time in history, an all-woman team of scientists and engineers guided a major NASA mission-the Mars Exploration Rovers. "We were in control of Spirit's activities for the day," explains Barbara Cohen of the Marshall Space Flight Center who headed up the science team. "It was a milestone in mission planning to be able to staff the uplink team with all women."

The occasion was Women's History Month-March 2008. (By meeting in February, "we got an early start," says Cohen.) According to a resolution by the US Congress, March is the time to recognize and celebrate achievements by American women. Cohen's team felt that an all-female "Spirit day" would be a fitting tribute.

Cohen and colleagues laid their plans for Spirit via conference call. From all around the country, more than two dozen female scientists and engineers dialed in to help. (Scroll to the end of the story for a list of participants.)

"Hey, any ladies in the house?" asked Cohen as the call began.

"Any guy attending today is required to wear a tutu," came one response.

"Does this webcam make me look fat?" joked another.

The banter quickly subsided and the team got down to the business of scheduling Spirit's day. At the moment, notes Cohen, "Spirit is hunkered down for the winter, covered with dust." But that doesn't mean the rover can't stay busy. With a bit of "women's ingenuity," Spirit was able to gather important data on Feb. 23rd just by watching the landscape and studying its surroundings.

"During the winter, we study how the landscape of Mars changes over time," says Cohen. "This gives us valuable information about Martian seasons."

"We also study rocks right in front of the rover. That's important because when the rover is traveling, it passes by them quickly and leaves them behind. Right now we can really zoom in on some of these rocks and understand them in depth."

Finally, "we look at things on Spirit itself, like the composition of the dust that collects on its surface."

Did Cohen notice any differences with only women calling the shots? "Not really," she says. "We've all been working in our roles for some time, and all the team members, both male and female, are very good at what they do. So we all just did our jobs. It's a big friendly group, so even the banter online was par for the course."

Although Feb. 23rd was a good sign of progress, it's not the end of the road, she cautions. "Women in science are still very much underrepresented. It's a testament to the way the Mars Exploration Rover mission is run that we have brought so women on board and we all feel comfortable."

"However," she adds, "I think now it would be nearly impossible to have a spacecraft team with no women on it. The work that women have done on spacecraft, both now and before us, shows that we bring absolutely as much talent, knowledge, and teamwork to the table as men do."

And please, no jokes about "women drivers on Mars!"

Leave the low hanging fruit alone.  big_smile


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#402 2008-04-19 05:04:49

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Leave the low hanging fruit alone.

That’s right.

Rumor has it that Oppy is stuck in Victoria crater. No official word from JPL.

Vincent


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#403 2008-04-19 08:23:22

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

While Oppy is getting unstuck, read all about her and Spirit's adventures in Spirit Takes in Home Surroundings, Opportunity Roves to Cape Verde - 31 Mar 2008

Oppy:

"We're hoping to get close enough to reach out and touch the face of this cliff," Squyres said Friday. There are a number of things that make that "kind of scary," he said. "One is that there is a very steep and rocky slope right below the cliff and those are always difficult to maneuver on."

Spirit:

After taking some full-color panoramic camera (Pancam) pictures of rock targets named for Bennett Hardy and super resolution images of Reuben C. Franklin at the end of February, Spirit began acquiring on Sol 1477 (Feb. 28, 2008) the first of the hundreds of images needed to create the 360-degree panorama of its winter haven surroundings, being named for Chelsey Bonestell (1888-1986), regarded by many as the most influential space artist of all time

also hear Steve Squyres in a Planetary Radio interview - 14 Apr 2008


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#404 2008-04-19 09:13:11

3488
Member
From: Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom
Registered: 2008-04-15
Posts: 23

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Hi cIclops,

You are correct, what a fascinating article, thank you very much for providing the links. Needless to say I will be reading it again.

I am a fully joined up member of the Planetary Society & the articles are always very well written.

Also check out Emily Lakdawalla's Planetary Blog, also excellent material there.

Regarding MER B Opportunty, I have found this Sol 1505 Front Haz Cam view.
1F261788646EFF89ABP1151L0M1.JPG

Some slippage is most certainly visible, though nothing like Puratory Dune or Jammerbugt earlier in the mission.

I think Oppy will get out of this OK.

Andrew Brown.


"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io". Linda Morabito on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.

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#405 2008-04-19 10:33:56

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Wow that image shows Oppy has picked up a lot of dust too, but not as much as Spirit. Oppy's problem right now is with the IDD, it needs to be stowed before it can move and it has failed to latch three times. IIRC this has happened before, so they will have a large experience base to help fix the problem.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#406 2008-04-19 11:19:47

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Picked up via e-mail from someone who lurks on USF that the center wheel is jammed and she is rocking. Looks like lots of dust kicked up during the dislodge attempts.

Easy as she goes.

Vincent


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I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#407 2008-04-24 05:42:41

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Shoulder Motor Balks on Opportunity’s Robotic Arm - 23 Apr 2008

A small motor in the robotic arm of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity that began stalling occasionally more than two years ago has become more troublesome recently.

Rover engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are diagnosing why the motor, one of five in the robotic arm, stalled on April 14 after much less motion that day than in the case of several earlier stalls. They are also examining whether the motor can be used and assessing the impact on Opportunity's work if the motor were no longer usable.

The motor controls sideways motion at the shoulder joint of the rover robotic arm. Other motors provide up-and-down motion at the shoulder and maneuverability at the elbow and wrist. A turret at the end of the arm has four tools that the arm places in contact with rocks and soils to study their composition and texture.

"Even under the worst-case scenario for this motor, Opportunity still has the capability to do some contact science with the arm," said JPL's John Callas, project manager for the twin rovers Opportunity and Spirit. "The vehicle has quite a bit of versatility to continue the high-priority investigations in Victoria Crater and back out on the Meridiani plains after exiting the crater."

The performance of the motor in the past week is consistent with increased resistance in the electrical circuit, such as from degrading of wire in the winding, rather than a mechanical jam. Additional tests are planned for checking whether the apparent resistance is localized or intermittent.

Opportunity and Spirit landed on Mars in January 2004 to begin missions originally planned for three months. They have continued operating for more than four years, though each with some signs of aging.

Opportunity's balky shoulder motor began stalling occasionally in November 2005. The motor could still be operated by applying increased voltage. Engineers assessed it has an increased likelihood of becoming unusable, however, so the team changed its standard procedures for stowing and unstowing the arm.

Until then, on days when the arm would not be used, the team kept it stowed, resting on a hook under the front of the rover deck. Motion of the stall-prone shoulder motor is necessary to unstow the arm, so if the motor were to become unusable with the arm in the stowed position, the arm could not be deployed again. With diminished confidence in the balky motor, the team began unstowing the arm at the end of each day's drive rather than leaving it stowed overnight. This keeps the arm available for use even if the motor then stops working.

This spring, Opportunity is crossing an inner slope of Victoria Crater to reach the base of a cliff portion of the crater rim, a promontory called "Cape Verde." On April 14, Opportunity was backing out of a sandy patch encountered on the path toward Cape Verde from the area where the rover descended into the crater. As usual, the commands included unstowing the arm at the end of the day's short drive. The shoulder motor barely got the arm unstowed before stalling.

"We'll hold off backing out of the sand until after we've completed the diagnostic tests on the motor," Callas said. "The rover is stable and safe in its current situation, and not under any urgency. So we will take the time to act cautiously."


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#408 2011-11-28 19:37:41

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity Continutes To Scout For Site To Winter In with a sufficient northerly tilt.

As of Sol 2783 (Nov. 22, 2011), solar array energy production was 297 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.661 and a solar array dust factor of 0.463.

Total odometry is 21.34 miles (34,342.70 meters or 34.44 kilometers).

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#409 2011-12-19 01:55:22

JonClarke
Member
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 173

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity is positioned at one of the candidate sites for winter, on the north end of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. There are two candidate sites for winter havens that indicate sufficient northerly tilt. Opportunity is at one of those spots.

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Opport … s_999.html

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#410 2012-09-06 15:29:34

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

We have another rover that is also exploring a previously wet area of Mars. An active hydro-cycle still persist, Opportunity that solar powered "Champion." A mere bargain at $49.95 relatively speaking.
This image was posted by Hortonheardawho today. Enjoy, it is an amazing image.

Vincent

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11627092@N06/7945805228/


7945805228_7a760d9435.jpg


I hope they fire the person who designed the micro-imager on Curiosity. Curiosity is a public disgrace.

Last edited by Vincent (2012-09-06 15:32:54)


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#411 2012-10-19 07:52:03

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity sends back impressive image of "fracture fill" on steroids, while Curiosity continues to be held hostage by geologist. Cross eyed 3D from Hort.

Opportunity sol 3103 ( Oct 16, 2012 ) 3D of rocks and soil on Cape York, Endeavour crater, Meridiani Plain, Mars.

8101722270_9879bed176.jpg
s-1P403655364ESFBWCRP2587L257R2regT by hortonheardawho, on Flickr


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#412 2012-10-22 09:34:13

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity sol 3105 ( Oct 18, 2012 ) 180 degree panorama looking east on Cape York, Endeavour crater, Meridiani Plain, Mars.

From Hort. Must view original size to appreciate.

8105313652_d2d7a51d14.jpg
p-1N403836047EFFBWISP1627L0sqtv-5 by hortonheardawho, on Flickr


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#413 2012-10-22 13:07:15

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity sol 3104 ( Oct 17, 2012 ) 3D of rock and soil on Cape York, Endeavour crater, Meridiani Plain, Mars

From hort....

diggin up bones.....I hate it when i do this..


8113462989_97ce5d1d26.jpg
s-1P403745318EFFBWEGP2412L257R2regT by hortonheardawho, on Flickr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUEKtkskrbM

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-22 13:08:54)


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#414 2012-10-22 15:05:56

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity sol 3104 ( Oct 17, 2012 ) 3D of rock and soil on Cape York, Endeavour crater, Meridiani Plain, Mars. From hort.

8113584300_98054a9e07.jpg
s-1P403746181ESFBWEGP2589L257R2regT-c1 by hortonheardawho, on Flickr


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#415 2012-10-25 11:06:46

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity sol 3110 ( Oct 23, 2012 ) 3D of rock and soil on Cape York, Endeavour crater, Meridiani Plain, Mars, cross-eyed 3D from hort.

Moisture signatures and discoloration anomalies in my opinion.

Vincent


8120597099_ec6dc4456e.jpg
s-1P404280188EFFBWKBP2417L257R2regT by hortonheardawho, on Flickr

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-25 11:08:53)


Argument expected.
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-Dana Johnson

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#416 2012-10-27 10:27:59

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity sol 3112 ( Oct 25, 2012 ) 180 degree panorama looking east on Cape York, Endeavour crater, Meridiani Plain, Mars.

From hort...

8127986025_70e9142af2.jpg
p-1N404461313EFFBWR7P1655R0sqtv-5 by hortonheardawho, on Flickr


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#417 2013-07-05 09:05:48

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

These are low level water ice clouds at sunrise over the current position of the Opportunity Rover. It was published by Hortonheardawho as a gift. You can go to his flickr site for the animation.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=hortonheardawho

How do we know they are water ice clouds. Temperatures here are above the condensation point of CO2, -135C at the poles. We know they are low level because of the size of the elements. These are stratiform , not cumuliform because of the lack of vertical development. In other words they were formed by cooling, not heating.

Saturation is known to occur at the surface via radiational cooling. Saturation aloft at low levels is possible only with a low level vapor supply. It has long been suspected that vapor geysers have been seen along the Meridiani Plan.....
Clouds:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11627092@N06/9216883242/

Possible geyser locations:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11627092@N06/1341414193/

Last edited by Vincent (2013-07-05 09:08:51)


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

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#418 2013-07-05 09:14:53

Vincent
Member
From: North Carolina USA
Registered: 2008-04-13
Posts: 623

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

This is evident by the fact, that the only obvious water supply is at high levels buy polar water sublimation/evaporation and advective transport...


Argument expected.
I don't require agreement when presenting new ideas.

-Dana Johnson

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#419 2014-01-04 22:26:23

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

It keeps going and going 10 Years on Mars: NASA Rover Mission Celebrates 10th Martian Birthday

NASA's Spirit rover touched down on the night of Jan. 3, 2004 (Jan. 4 GMT), followed three weeks later by its twin, Opportunity. The two robots were originally supposed to explore Mars for 90 days, searching their disparate landing sites for signs of past water activity on the Red Planet.

It is hard to believe that Opportunity continues to operate today and shows no signs of slowing down.

I hope that there is more than just
10 Amazing Mars Discoveries by Rovers Spirit & Opportunity

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#420 2014-01-19 14:18:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

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#421 2014-01-19 17:55:18

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,640

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Oh dear...! LOL  Let's hear from Vincent on that one.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#422 2014-01-20 09:29:38

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,819
Website

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Hmmmm.  There are several small changes between the two photos that look like the effects of wind blowing dust around.  Maybe wind moving very small rocks.  Perhaps frost vs no frost.  One can map feature-to-feature between the two photos down to the smallest pebble size.  I think the occasional pebble "color" change (bright vs dark) is dust blown off a dark rock,  or maybe frost,  but I could be wrong.

The oddball one is that bowl-shaped object.  Quite startling.  That's too big to be a stone blown by the wind (most of the rest of the loose pebbles would have moved,  and they did not).  If it was blown there by the wind,  it's no rock,  it has to be very lightweight.  If it is a rock (or similar density),  something had to carry it there. 

Could it be a piece of some kind of debris off the rover itself?  Perhaps the equivalent of dried mud dropping off one of the wheel hubs?  Something like that would have a shape like that. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#423 2014-01-20 10:59:24

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,012

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

my understanding is that in Antarctica bowl shape rocks can be caused by Brine sitting in the bowl and then frost etching the rock .  the hole gets enlarged that way .


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#424 2014-01-20 14:24:23

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,819
Website

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Hi Void:

"Bowl shaped rocks in Antarctica" -- if you say so.  But,  how did it get there?  Can't be by wind,  the pebbles would have blown around.  The bowl-shaped artifact is clearly a lot larger,  cavity notwithstanding.  If it's stone,  it's a lot heavier than any of the pebbles. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#425 2014-01-20 18:42:52

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,640

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Primitive creatures throwing rocks at the rover? smile


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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