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#1 2018-06-05 09:57:29

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Supposedly we should expect a big announcement from NASA  on Thursday 7th June about what Curiosity has found drilling down...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ … -week.html

Evidence of life?

If so, this could go two ways: an Antarctic style ban on real settlement (NASA's preferred option I suspect) or a real Mars Gold Rush with Space X in the lead.

I am a bit suspicious about this announcement - if it's along the lines of "regolith samples show the potential for Mars life to be there"...then I think this could be a set-up by the science lobby who want to put Keep Out notices all over the Red Planet.

But then again, maybe this is going to be a genuine announcement of Earth-shattering importance.

Last edited by louis (2018-06-05 14:00:16)


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#2 2018-06-05 20:26:17

SpaceNut
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Posts: 11,755

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

It appears that curiosity is life lab is back online after much efforts to get it working again.

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Mars_C … n_999.html

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#3 2018-06-06 00:32:45

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Would they call a press conference to announce something that's already been announced? Well I suppose it is NASA, so the answer might be yes, in which case, this is  a non-event. But on balance I think they are going to have more exciting news.

SpaceNut wrote:

It appears that curiosity is life lab is back online after much efforts to get it working again.

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Mars_C … n_999.html


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

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#4 2018-06-06 00:54:18

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,353
Website

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

tumblr_nks66za8eG1qbywm1o1_250.gif
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Teasers are usually rich kids with nothing to do. They cruise around looking for planets that haven't made interstellar contact yet and buzz them, meaning that they find some isolated spot with very few people around, then land right by some poor unsuspecting soul whom no one's going to believe and then strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennas on their head and making beep beep noises.

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#5 2018-06-06 02:06:50

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
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Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Guys,

Curiosity found Elk walking around on Mars.  Dr. Zubrin was wrong. smile

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#6 2018-06-06 17:49:03

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

If NASA have set up yet another nothing-burger press conference they are going to suffer some severe reputational damage. Let's hope against hope they are not that stupid.


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

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#7 2018-06-06 21:33:35

SpaceNut
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Posts: 11,755

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

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#8 2018-06-07 06:37:40

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

My dream result from this press conference would be if they announce they have discovered a fossil, but otherwise the surface is abiotic. That will start the Mars Gold Rush but won't raise doubts about human missions! Suddenly everyone will wake up to the story our close cousin Mars has to tell about life in the solar system. Space X will then be riding the crest of a wave.

We will see...I hope it's not one of those boring announcements about probabilities.


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#9 2018-06-07 11:59:04

louis
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From: UK
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Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

OK, watching it live on NASA TV...


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#10 2018-06-07 12:00:40

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

They're late starting!


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

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#11 2018-06-07 12:03:20

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Astrobiologist is there...interesting. No detection of life...well they got that out of the way...

Announcing organic compound finds.

Really exciting times.

Organics from billion year old rocks.

Methane in the atmosphere.

OK, not very interesting so far.


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

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#12 2018-06-07 12:11:03

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

SAM experiment.  Water been there for a v. long time.

Organic chemicals in old lake bed. Other sources including non-biological...geology or meteorites.

Methane...methane spikes (already known).  Plumes, patches and spikes - problematic, not repeatable. Methane sporadic. Almost random.

Repeatable identifiable seasonal. Marked changes through the Mars year...I guess that's the really significant result.


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#13 2018-06-07 17:42:01

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

A good summary of the NASA presentation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag_DfMyS6Q0


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

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#14 2018-06-08 15:53:27

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,987
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Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

What I see is not "Earth-shattering",  but it is good stuff:  (1) organic materials inside ~ 3B year-old mudstones from the lake that long ago filled Gale Crater,  and (2) confirmation of,  and better evaluation of,  atmospheric methane pulses that seem in some way to be seasonal.  All the rest is hype and nonsense.

There is no mention at all of the microbe fossil indications inside the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite from Mars,  reported in the 1990's by NASA scientists McKay and his colleague/co-author.  I think the response back then burned NASA's fingers pretty badly.  Which explains the very circumspect claims in the latest announcement. 

Such fossils in Earthly rocks are routinely accepted as evidence of microbial life,  but the science community as led by Carl Sagan demanded much more.  The terminology was "extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims".  I think that will eventually go down in history as one of the more egregious mistakes made by our science community.

Seasonal methane emissions,  which on Earth is of biological origin.  Organic materials inside rocks,  which could be either precursors,  or results of,  Martian life.  Looks to me like a very strong indication that there was,  and still is,  microbial life on Mars,  somewhere underground.

I don't really believe in "fossil photos", because at enough magnification to cause blurring,  the human mind is hard-wired-programmed to see faces and other patterns that really aren't there.  I can't rule out fossils,  but I tend to discount such claims.   

No rover,  not even the 2020 rover,  is programmed and equipped to pick up a rock, bust it open with a hammer,  and look at the insides.  That takes a man (in a suit) on site,  with a hammer.  We will NOT know the answer to the life-on-Mars question until men go there,  in suits,  with hammers.  Simple as that. 

So,  get on with the damned war!

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2018-06-08 16:14:56)


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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#15 2018-06-08 16:20:03

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

GW,

Couldn't agree with you more about that phrase!   It's probably holding back science at the moment.

All we need for anything is ordinary (which should mean thorough and extensive) proof.   


GW Johnson wrote:

The terminology was "extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims".  I think that will eventually go down in history as one of the more egregious mistakes made by our science community.

GW


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

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#16 2018-06-08 16:26:49

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,647

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Why can't a robot be equipped with a hammer and a microscope?

Boston Dynamics has robots that can open doors, walk through them, and throw a box of hammers across a room.  If something is moving around in a petri dish, then ordinarily that's proof of life.  Take a sample of its DNA.  See if we can match it to anything here.  I've seen people do this with machines that fit on a single desktop.

How hard could it possibly be for a robot to look at something under a microscope on Mars?

If you keep busting rocks open and keep finding things moving around, that's typically a pretty big clue.

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#17 2018-06-08 16:50:55

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

I think there are probably a few angles to this:

1. Any robot would have to be Mars-rated. It's one thing having them running around in an Earth atmosphere in fairly warm conditions. Probably much more challenging in a Mars environment.

2. A lot of the BD robots are attached to power cables or have huge power packs on them. Not so easy to arrange all that on Mars (well not with puny sized missions of the type NASA specialises in).

3. The time delay in sending instructions must impede effective robot operation on Mars. Yes, you can have a self-motivating robot, but - again - one false step on Mars and you could have lost a billion dollars investment.

4. NASA are probably more risk averse than they need to be in using robots.

5.  They got to get well below the surface to find anything that isn't being fried by the radiation. Currently they go 5cms when they should be going 50cms at least.

Robots could however be very effective I think under direct human control on the surface.


kbd512 wrote:

Why can't a robot be equipped with a hammer and a microscope?

Boston Dynamics has robots that can open doors, walk through them, and throw a box of hammers across a room.  If something is moving around in a petri dish, then ordinarily that's proof of life.  Take a sample of its DNA.  See if we can match it to anything here.  I've seen people do this with machines that fit on a single desktop.

How hard could it possibly be for a robot to look at something under a microscope on Mars?

If you keep busting rocks open and keep finding things moving around, that's typically a pretty big clue.


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

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#18 2018-06-08 19:24:06

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 11,755

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Mars rated robotics would be to leverage from existing rovers that exist on mars today taking the best features to make a base line product for cheaper construction costs. Make minimal add ons possible and send lots of them to many more places to nail down the questions that man needs answered.

Life on mars, is the slow yes and then no, followed by maybe and then no, followed by ya we were wrong by maybe not only to finally say yes to earth not being the only life birth cradle.

Telerobotic not needed until man can go as the delay time will not work out very well as cost risk is to great.

kbd512 you reminded me of the robot wars tv show where the battles between teams aka battle bots to win a prise...

The Nasa anouncement is quite typical from all the past big news announcements....

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#19 2018-06-09 05:52:02

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 801

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

It takes days for a robot to walk over to an outcrop, examine it and sample it ( that's if it can reach it), a task that a man can do in minutes or a couple of hours, if it is at some distance. Then men have flexibility in task execution that no robot has, so they can collect more and different samples and then analyse them in a lab with devices that the rovers do not have.

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#20 2018-06-09 09:44:55

kbd512
Member
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,647

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

louis wrote:

1. Any robot would have to be Mars-rated. It's one thing having them running around in an Earth atmosphere in fairly warm conditions. Probably much more challenging in a Mars environment.

You're quite right.  Now you're thinking the way I do about the stuff SpaceX wants to do.  I like what I hear, but man do they have their work cut out to make it happen.  The same is true here.  This won't be easy, but totally worth it.  Curiosity runs 2.5M lines of C code on a RAD750 radiation hardened processor.  The newer RAD5500 series are far more capable processors than the RAD750 series.

If you want to know why JPL continues to succeed where the manned space flight program has foundered, watch this video:

Mars Martian Mega Rover | Full Documentary

If you want to know what JPL and NASA delivers for companies like SpaceX to consume and use, Curiosity has sent back 19.6TB of data in 5 years of operations on the surface of Mars.

Five Years of Curiosity on Mars (public talk)

louis wrote:

2. A lot of the BD robots are attached to power cables or have huge power packs on them. Not so easy to arrange all that on Mars (well not with puny sized missions of the type NASA specialises in).

We have 1t to play with and Robonaut's mass isn't anywhere near that.  We need a Terminator on Mars... because "We'll be Bach", that's why.

NASA spends a lot of money and years of effort on advanced robotics, but then the agency rarely uses all the advanced capabilities they paid so dearly to develop.  Everything can't be a science curiosity.  There has to be a coherent plan to use the capabilities developed for something useful.  If you spend 10+ years developing and testing something like Robonaut, then it's time to start using it.  My favorite part was they had a problem with Robonaut in orbit due to proper grounding of its circuits, but it was never designed to be serviceable by astronauts.  WTF?  Where did they think they were sending it?

This is R5:

Meet R5: Valkyrie

Have the people from MIT, BD, GM, and NASA get together and design something that moves like a human.  It needs to move about 2 generations beyond R5 in terms of dexterity and mobility and R5 is pretty amazing.  Fluid human-like movement is required.

louis wrote:

3. The time delay in sending instructions must impede effective robot operation on Mars. Yes, you can have a self-motivating robot, but - again - one false step on Mars and you could have lost a billion dollars investment.

It's pretty clear to me that future robots that go to Mars will require more durability, agility, and dexterity.  If the robot falls over, then it needs the ability to dust itself off and get back up again.  If it drops a tool, it needs to go "oops" and pick it back up again.  The BD robots handle falls and mistakes quite well.  They simply "reset" themselves and try again, just like a human.

louis wrote:

4. NASA are probably more risk averse than they need to be in using robots.

No kidding, but Curiosity was $2B.  The Mars 2020 rover is probably at least that much, and I posted how much data they get when they painstakingly do everything correctly.  Lots of hard work and a big risk, but also a big reward.

louis wrote:

5.  They got to get well below the surface to find anything that isn't being fried by the radiation. Currently they go 5cms when they should be going 50cms at least.

Give the robot a shovel and tell it to start digging.  If we have robots that can use wrenches (the kinds humans use), then we can teach a robot to use a shovel.  It needs to dig the same way humans do (food on shovel, put your weight into it, loosen the regolith, then chuck the regolith to the side.  The robot literally needs a backpack or tool belt.  It needs a canister of roll out solar cells in a backpack that it can clean with a soft brush.  Since the robot can shake your hand and handle eggs and whatnot without crushing them, it can also handle delicate thin film arrays made slightly more durable with thicker plastic coatings like the ones our military uses.  It deploys the cells at a work site or when it's time to stop.  At night, it can "sleep" in a thermal sleeping bag (Mylar emergency bags) like a human to conserve power.

louis wrote:

Robots could however be very effective I think under direct human control on the surface.

Exactly.  We need that ITV-P concept I proposed in the NASA Plans thread so a team can stay in orbit for a year or two, reap the benefits of 1g, and hunt for life and resources for the first colonists to use.  Once we identify everything that looks promising, then we send people to go check it out.  There's a gaming VR company, Axon or something like that, that lets you wear a suit enabling you to "feel" what you're touching with very small electric shocks that stimulate certain kinds of nerve cells (you can "feel" heat / cold, texture, and pressure, for example).  Similar tech but, but being developed to let robots "feel" things.

Last edited by kbd512 (2018-06-09 09:55:34)

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#21 2018-06-09 18:18:55

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,384

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

We don't fundamentally disagree I think - just over how you get to a situation to where you are best using robots on Mars. I certainly don't think it's that easy to get human-like movement in temperatures of minus 50 celsius and below, which are pretty average on Mars.

kbd512 wrote:
louis wrote:

1. Any robot would have to be Mars-rated. It's one thing having them running around in an Earth atmosphere in fairly warm conditions. Probably much more challenging in a Mars environment.

You're quite right.  Now you're thinking the way I do about the stuff SpaceX wants to do.  I like what I hear, but man do they have their work cut out to make it happen.  The same is true here.  This won't be easy, but totally worth it.  Curiosity runs 2.5M lines of C code on a RAD750 radiation hardened processor.  The newer RAD5500 series are far more capable processors than the RAD750 series.

If you want to know why JPL continues to succeed where the manned space flight program has foundered, watch this video:

Mars Martian Mega Rover | Full Documentary

If you want to know what JPL and NASA delivers for companies like SpaceX to consume and use, Curiosity has sent back 19.6TB of data in 5 years of operations on the surface of Mars.

Five Years of Curiosity on Mars (public talk)

louis wrote:

2. A lot of the BD robots are attached to power cables or have huge power packs on them. Not so easy to arrange all that on Mars (well not with puny sized missions of the type NASA specialises in).

We have 1t to play with and Robonaut's mass isn't anywhere near that.  We need a Terminator on Mars... because "We'll be Bach", that's why.

NASA spends a lot of money and years of effort on advanced robotics, but then the agency rarely uses all the advanced capabilities they paid so dearly to develop.  Everything can't be a science curiosity.  There has to be a coherent plan to use the capabilities developed for something useful.  If you spend 10+ years developing and testing something like Robonaut, then it's time to start using it.  My favorite part was they had a problem with Robonaut in orbit due to proper grounding of its circuits, but it was never designed to be serviceable by astronauts.  WTF?  Where did they think they were sending it?

This is R5:

Meet R5: Valkyrie

Have the people from MIT, BD, GM, and NASA get together and design something that moves like a human.  It needs to move about 2 generations beyond R5 in terms of dexterity and mobility and R5 is pretty amazing.  Fluid human-like movement is required.

louis wrote:

3. The time delay in sending instructions must impede effective robot operation on Mars. Yes, you can have a self-motivating robot, but - again - one false step on Mars and you could have lost a billion dollars investment.

It's pretty clear to me that future robots that go to Mars will require more durability, agility, and dexterity.  If the robot falls over, then it needs the ability to dust itself off and get back up again.  If it drops a tool, it needs to go "oops" and pick it back up again.  The BD robots handle falls and mistakes quite well.  They simply "reset" themselves and try again, just like a human.

louis wrote:

4. NASA are probably more risk averse than they need to be in using robots.

No kidding, but Curiosity was $2B.  The Mars 2020 rover is probably at least that much, and I posted how much data they get when they painstakingly do everything correctly.  Lots of hard work and a big risk, but also a big reward.

louis wrote:

5.  They got to get well below the surface to find anything that isn't being fried by the radiation. Currently they go 5cms when they should be going 50cms at least.

Give the robot a shovel and tell it to start digging.  If we have robots that can use wrenches (the kinds humans use), then we can teach a robot to use a shovel.  It needs to dig the same way humans do (food on shovel, put your weight into it, loosen the regolith, then chuck the regolith to the side.  The robot literally needs a backpack or tool belt.  It needs a canister of roll out solar cells in a backpack that it can clean with a soft brush.  Since the robot can shake your hand and handle eggs and whatnot without crushing them, it can also handle delicate thin film arrays made slightly more durable with thicker plastic coatings like the ones our military uses.  It deploys the cells at a work site or when it's time to stop.  At night, it can "sleep" in a thermal sleeping bag (Mylar emergency bags) like a human to conserve power.

louis wrote:

Robots could however be very effective I think under direct human control on the surface.

Exactly.  We need that ITV-P concept I proposed in the NASA Plans thread so a team can stay in orbit for a year or two, reap the benefits of 1g, and hunt for life and resources for the first colonists to use.  Once we identify everything that looks promising, then we send people to go check it out.  There's a gaming VR company, Axon or something like that, that lets you wear a suit enabling you to "feel" what you're touching with very small electric shocks that stimulate certain kinds of nerve cells (you can "feel" heat / cold, texture, and pressure, for example).  Similar tech but, but being developed to let robots "feel" things.


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

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#22 2018-06-09 19:20:18

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 11,755

Re: 7th June - Big announcement by NASA? What could it be?

Cold and yet we are playing in the snow of Antartica to learn more about planet earth. Man is very resiliant when prepared.

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