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#176 2020-12-13 18:38:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

MRO and Odyssey are the engineering communications relays for InSight, they did not relay the platform’s landing information in real-time..

https://mars.nasa.gov/mro/mission/communications/
https://mars.nasa.gov/mro/mission/timel … ionsrelay/

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter communicates with the Deep Space Network antennas on Earth using two different kinds of radio waves: From the viewpoint of a Deep Space Network antenna on Earth, the orbiter spends about one-third of its time behind Mars during each orbit. During these times, the orbiter is "occulted from the Earth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Reco … ce_Orbiter

https://mars.nasa.gov/mro/mission/commu … commxband/

X-band communication is the primary means of communication between the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the 34-meter-diameter (112-foot) Deep Space Network antennas in California, Spain, and Australia.

https://mars.nasa.gov/odyssey/mission/t … ionsrelay/

Odyssey is serving as a communications relay station for the twin NASA Mars Exploration Rovers. Odyssey has transmitted 85% of the data from Spirit and Opportunity to Earth and will continue to provide the relay function throughout the rovers' and Odyssey's extended

https://mars.nasa.gov/odyssey/mission/s … nications/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Mars_Odyssey


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_insight
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/mission/communications/
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/mission/quick-facts/

Mission Duration:
A little over 1 Mars year (~2 Earth years); 709 Sols (Mars days), or 728 Earth days

https://twitter.com/NASAInsight

https://mars.nasa.gov/maven/

https://www.nasa.gov/content/communicat … for-maven/

Engineers work on the MAVEN spacecraft, which is dominated by the high-gain antenna that is crucial to communications with NASA's Deep Space Network. One of the antennas at the Canberra, Australia, station of NASA's Deep Space Network used to communicate with spacecraft operating far from Earth

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/spacecra … nications/

Antennas on rover deck:
Ultra-High Frequency Antenna
X-band High-Gain Antenna
X-band Low-Gain Antenna


Same systems antenna's for use as the others so I am wondering since the funding might be up that the team has been dismissed as I can not see how all of the orbiting satellites and bands would have all gone down....

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#177 2020-12-13 20:22:15

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 4,707

Re: Mars InSight lander

For SpaceNut ... the image reported earlier has some additional detail that I'll post below.

The image was dated December 13, 2020, so the lander is clearly still working.  However, so far, I've found ** nothing ** that reports on current operationsl.

Sol 728: Instrument Context Camera (ICC)
NASA's InSight Mars lander acquired this image of the area in front of the lander using its lander-mounted, Instrument Context Camera (ICC).

This image was acquired on December 13, 2020, Sol 728 of the InSight mission where the local mean solar time for the image exposures was 17:00:40.455 PM. Each ICC image has a field of view of 124 x 124 degrees.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For the record, this post is as of

2:21 AM
Monday, December 14, 2020
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

(th)

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#178 2020-12-17 19:18:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

Three things we've learned from NASA's Mars InSight

mars-insight-robotic-arm-deployed-flow-and-physical-properties-package-hp3-hg.jpg

A little more than one Martian year later, the stationary lander has detected more than 480 quakes and collected the most comprehensive weather data of any surface mission sent to Mars.. Since then, Mars has more than made up for lost time by shaking frequently, albeit gently, with no quakes larger than magnitude 3.7.

The lack of quakes larger than magnitude 4 poses something of a mystery, considering how frequently the Red Planet shakes due to smaller quakes.

The Wind May Hide Quakes
Once InSight started detecting quakes, they became so regular that, at one point, they were happening every day. Then, in late June of this year, the detections essentially stopped. Only five quakes have been detected since then, all of them since September.

Scientists believe Mars' wind is responsible for these seismically blank periods: The planet entered the windiest season of the Martian year around June. The mission knew that winds could affect InSight's sensitive seismometer, which is equipped with a domed wind and heat shield. But the wind still shakes the ground itself and creates literal noise that covers up quakes. This could also have contributed to what seems like the long seismic silence before InSight's first quake, since the spacecraft landed while a regional dust storm was settling down.

Surface Waves Are Missing
All quakes have two sets of body waves, which are waves that travel through the planet's interior: primary waves (P-waves) and secondary waves (S-waves). They also ripple along the top of the crust as part of a third category, called surface waves.

On Earth, seismologists use surface waves to learn more about the planet's internal structure. Before getting to Mars, InSight's seismologists expected these waves to offer glimpses as deep as 250 miles (about 400 kilometers) below the surface, into a sub-crustal layer called the mantle. But Mars continues to offer mysteries: Despite hundreds of quakes, none has included surface waves.


Study of dune dynamics will help scientists understand the topography of Mars

dec-13-2015-mars-sand-dune-curiosity-hg.jpg

https://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2020GL089464

http://www.fapesp.br/

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#179 2020-12-17 19:23:22

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,982

Re: Mars InSight lander

It's going to be so much fun to go there and get better pictures.  I can stare at the pictures we've taken for hours and never get enough.

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#180 2020-12-20 11:02:07

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,195
Website

Re: Mars InSight lander

It looks to me like Insight's pictures,  weather data,  and especially the seismic data are all big successes.  The borrowing mole would appear to be a complete failure.  I hope they don't shut it down too soon,  just because the mole failed. 

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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#181 2020-12-20 11:29:13

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

The last time we wee not getting data on the lander was AUGUST 24, 2020; NASA Engineers Checking InSight's Weather Sensors

Updated Sept. 14, 2020: On Sept. 6, 2020, InSight's weather sensors (collectively called the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Suite, or APSS) were reset. They appear to be operating nominally again, gathering data on wind speed and direction, air temperature and pressure, and magnetic fields. Although the issue that required APSS to be reset has not been determined, the team will continue to carefully monitor the situation.

APSS is in safe mode and unlikely to be reset before the end of the month while mission team members work toward a diagnosis. JPL engineers are optimistic that resetting the control computer may address the issue but need to investigate the situation further before returning the sensors to normal.

Hopefully thats all it is and not something else...

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#182 2020-12-20 14:41:49

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 4,707

Re: Mars InSight lander

For SpaceNut re #181

Thanks for this helpful and reassuring update on the problem of non-flowing weather data from Insight.

September of 2020 is a while ago.   If there is no further news, then this is a case of "no news is NOT good news" ....

Best wishes for success in catching any updates that may occur.

(th)

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#183 2020-12-26 10:03:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

Hooray data is back up

  • Daily Weather Report

    Time      Air Temperature (°F | °C)    Wind Speed (mph | m/s)    Pressure (Pa)

    Date Sol  Max. Avg. Min. Max. Avg. Min. Direction (most common) Max. Avg. Min.

    Dec. 24, 2020  739    9.6° F   -66.3° F -137.8° F 32.7 10.9 0.6 SW    739.2  719.6  693.1

    Dec. 23, 2020  738  15.4° F      -88° F    -137° F 36.2 11    0.6 WNW 737.4  719.4  689.7

    Dec. 22, 2020  737  18.4° F   -75.9° F  -136.6° F 33.7 10.5 0.5 SW    743    722.8  693.6

    Dec. 21, 2020  736  16.1° F   -89.6° F     -138° F 32.7 8.2   0.5 WNW 739.6 720.4 690

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#184 2020-12-31 11:21:18

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

For current weather on Mars at Insight location, see:
https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/

Seems that the sensors have gone off line again on the 27th....


Dec. 28, 2020  743  -° F -° F -° F                        - - -            n/a   735.4 716.2 691.4

Dec. 27, 2020  742  -° F -° F -° F                        - - -            n/a    735.6 720.1 691.6

Dec. 26, 2020  741  24.7° F -64.7° F -138.2° F   28.9 9.6 0.5  SW    737 716 692.5

Dec. 25, 2020 740   27.9° F -80.2° F -137.4° F   30.2 9.5 0.4  WNW 734.2 715.6 688.1

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#185 2021-01-09 20:58:14

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

It have been Nasa trying to stretch out the funding for the data not being made available as NASA extends Juno and InSight missions, will continue exploring Jupiter and Mars

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#186 2021-01-14 21:10:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

Looks like Nasa is finally saying Uncle to getting the Mole to be buried to proper depth....
NASA declared the Mars digger dead Thursday after failing to burrow deep into the red planet to take its temperature.

The Mole's 16-inch-long (40-centimeter) device that is part of NASA's InSight lander couldn’t gain enough friction in the red dirt. It was supposed to bury 16 feet (5 meters) into Mars, but only drilled down a couple of feet (about a half meter).
Following one last unsuccessful attempt to hammer itself down over the weekend with 500 strokes, the team called it quits.

not a real drill and a poor stake to hold something with....

InSight's French seismometer, meanwhile, has recorded nearly 500 Marsquakes, while the lander's weather station is providing daily reports. On Tuesday, the high was 17 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 degrees Celsius) and the low was minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49 degrees Celsius) at Mars' Elysium Planitia, an equatorial plain.

Sure the data is of value for surface condition planning but at what cost?

Also where is the data for the solar array levels of power its been receiving?

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#187 2021-01-15 05:57:36

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 4,707

Re: Mars InSight lander

There's been a lot of criticism of the design of the Mole on this forum.  No doubt there's been a lot of criticism on other forums as well.

Yesterday I read an article (perhaps the one SpaceNut showed in #186) that included an explanation for the failure.

The design was based upon the soil reported back by previous probes.  In tests with simulated soil matching the previously reported data, the probe worked.

Unfortunately for the design team, the soil at Insight's location was ** different ** from the previous soil samples. 

I'm not sure there is any blame to assign in this situation ... It was a gamble, and the team lost.  What definitely was gained was deep knowledge of ** another ** type of soil to be found on Mars.

No doubt there will be another attempt to drive the heat sensor below the surface, and this time the design will be >>> guess what! A gamble!

The new design may work at the new landing site, or it may fail.

The video (I believe #38) shows the success of the drill that is taking rock samples as Curiosity meanders up Mount Sharp.  Those excavations show that a drill will definitely work with rock.  It might work with the soil at the landing site of Insight.  Is anyone certain of that?  I'd be surprised.  It's a gamble.

It might work!  What could go wrong?  Would anyone make a full year's salary bet it would work? 

A miniature oil derrick would appear to be required to set the mole.  That will take mass and energy.  No doubt ** someone ** will take the gamble.  The scientific payoff is significant.  But even with a miniature oil derrick, with removable pipe sections and all, it will still be a gamble.

(th)

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#188 2021-01-15 18:15:15

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

post 21 contains the bit lengthening drill which would have work...

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#189 2021-01-15 19:01:57

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 4,707

Re: Mars InSight lander

For SpaceNut re #188

Thanks for pointing out the earlier design ... http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 99#p140399

That design appears (to me at least) to be a full rover's worth of mass all by itself.  My guess is the Insight team was given a fixed amount of mass to work with, and they did the best they could with the information they had and the mass budget they were given.

It is perfectly reasonable for another entity with the appropriate deep pockets to pick up the challenge and complete the drill hole.  They could land right next to Insight, drill a hole right next to the probe, lift the probe out of it's dinky hole, drop it into the new one, and tamp soil around it.

It is just a matter of waiting for the gallant rescuer to show up.

(th)

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#190 2021-01-15 20:09:55

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,195
Website

Re: Mars InSight lander

The mole thing was a ridiculous design from the word get-go.  Nothing like that has ever been seriously proposed for use here on Earth.  Why would it ever work on Mars? 

Answer:  it could not possibly work in most real-world scenarios.

And what could it possibly do if it encountered a big underground rock on Earth,  or on Mars? 

Answer:  nothing.

I saw a report on AIAA's "Daily Launch" that confirms some other reports I had seen:  the weather station and seismology instruments work just fine,  but the mole and its related heat flow sensor instrumentation have proven to be a total failure,  after 2 desperate years of trying. The lander is still operational,  in terms of those weather and seismology instruments.

To drill through any kinds of soils and rocks requires a twisting drill.  That drill requires both a torque to turn,  and an end load to penetrate.  Those forces and torques are the same to penetrate the same kinds of rocks,  anywhere in the solar system,  regardless of the local gravity.  It is a question of material strength.  We already know how to apply both adequate torques and adequate end loads,  using hydraulics or electrics,  for many kinds of rocks and soils. 

The problem is the resisting reaction forces,  especially in low gravity environments. That is elementary statics.  Those reaction forces depend almost exclusively upon weight and the related friction.  Which in lower gravity requires more dead-load mass than on Earth.  On Mars,  the dead-load mass is 1/0.37 = ~2.7 times higher mass,  to achieve the same weight force,  and same friction force,  by which to supply the same reactions for torque and end load on the drill.

As a corollary,  for an asteroid with 0.01 gee surface gravity,  you need factor 100 times larger mass.  At 0.001 gee surface gravity,  you need 1000 times the mass.  On the moon at 0.165 gee,  you will need 6 times the mass.  At essentially zero gravity,  you would need an infinite mass. 
That is just what it takes to make a real drill bit rig work.  Period.  There simply is no way around that sort of physics.

And before you say "just stake it down",  take a moment to think through what it really takes to "stake something down".  You still have to supply the same end load to penetrate a soil or a rock with a stake.  That's just what it takes to bust your way through this stuff,  whatever it is. 

Now,  once you have done that,  what holds the stake in the material that you just penetrated? 

Friction!  Friction that depends upon the weight (not the mass !!!) of the material adjacent to the stake. 

Stake forces in very low gee are simply going to be negligible. And there is no way around THAT little piece of inconvenient physics,  either.

These same arguments apply to bulldozer blade (or bucket) operation on Mars,  too.

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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#191 2021-01-15 20:15:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,902

Re: Mars InSight lander

The bent and twisted end of the sensor pipe image in 157 tells the story of the force when using the landers mass to aid the hammer in pushing down on the end was greater than what it was designed for.

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