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#51 2005-08-13 05:23:34

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Excellent!  big_smile
But is there cause for concern, though, in this article:  "Giant probe heads off for Mars"?

The launch was, delayed because of an error:-

Engineers tracked down the problem to a check-out conducted after lightning struck just a kilometre from the launch pad. The check-out involved simulating a full fuel tank, but the computers were not reset afterwards.

So they still thought the Centaur tank was full and refused to allow technicians to pump in the liquid hydrogen needed for launch. After resetting the software, technicians had no problem loading fuel.

I hope the fact that the computers weren't reset doesn't mean there are other things which weren't done; other little errors we've yet to hear about .. !  :?

*But the article does say "After resetting the software"...  Does the article's author mean to imply that's synonymous with reseting the computers?  The article is a bit unprofessionally written.  [(New paragraph)  "So they still thought the Centaur tank was full..."]  What professional columnist writes in that fashion?

Danged lightning strikes.

Of course any troubles will surface (and hopefully not of the Mars Polar Lander variety...egad) eventually.  Hopefully minimal. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#52 2005-08-13 05:27:42

srmeaney
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From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

"Another bucket of KFC onroute to orbit Mars...Yay!" Waves flag.

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#53 2005-08-13 18:46:39

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Cindy:-

Of course any troubles will surface (and hopefully not of the Mars Polar Lander variety...egad) eventually. Hopefully minimal.

Yeah, maybe I'm being a bit paranoid but the disappointments of the Polar Lander and Climate Orbiter still haunt me.  :?
You're right about the confused terminology in the article, which is something I didn't pick up on a first reading. But whether the problem was with the software or the hardware, to my mind it still smacks of inattention to detail. I know there was a lightning strike involved but shouldn't these technicians be aware of stuff like that and look for the potential problems it might cause?
-- It was inattention to detail that caused the inexcusable confusion over imperial and metric units with the Climate Orbiter. I still can't believe that happened. Early in high school, in our science classes, we had it hammered into us: "Watch your units!" We were constantly reminded not to calculate in both apples and oranges at the same time, and then to give the answer in ... Well, which is it .. apples or oranges?!  :!:   It became like religious cant to us - you didn't start writing down figures until you knew what those figures meant - you just didn't!

-- And then NASA screws it up?!!  :shock:

O.K., O.K. I'll leave it at that. Sorry to rain on the parade. It's just that I do so much want this MRO to work and I don't want it screwed up by stupid mistakes.
-- Underneath all the angst, I really am delighted we're on our way to Mars again!  smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#54 2005-08-13 21:18:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

I just hope that the next atlas v for the new horizon probe launch in 2006 does not get any glitches that we might see along the way to mars.

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#55 2005-08-15 06:36:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Well part of the Mars orbiter takes broadband to space is a first step to increased dat flow from the probes that are still in operation on the planet and in orbit as well.

After the orbiter approaches Mars in 2006, it will join the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey to create a three-node network, which could become a component of the InterPlanetary Internet.

But the orbiter is only the start of interplanetary information sharing, NASA officials say. The orbiter "is sort of a pathfinder in these next-generation reconnaissance missions as we continue to put people back on the moon and ultimately get them to Mars,"

When humans land on Mars, they will need people on Earth to talk them through their activities and monitor their vital signs. But because it takes up to 20 minutes for an astronaut on Mars to get directions from Earth, NASA's mission control would face a 40-minute communications delay.

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#56 2005-08-16 08:29:31

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Here is another outcome from success.
Completion of NASA projects spells

Ball plans to trim work force putting an end for those effect upwards to 145 local jobs.

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#57 2005-08-16 09:59:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Then you have the elation from others that finally they can get to work.
University of Arizona Team Cheers Launch of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment resolving rocks and other geologic features as small as 40 inches (one meter) across.

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#58 2005-08-16 10:08:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Here is another instrument that we have packed onboard to view the planet with.
Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer, Mineral Mapper Traveling to Mars

This instrument will continue with where the rovers are on the find the trail of water in the form of minerals that are formed by it.

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#59 2005-08-19 07:44:23

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

update:Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Update: Spacecraft in Cruise Mode and Performing Well

will engage in four trajectory correction maneuvers (TCMs) to fine-tune and adjust its course to Mars, with the first such maneuver now being planned for August 27.

seems like alot to me but the again I'm no expert....

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#60 2005-08-23 09:32:44

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

MRO image

*Taken 3 days post-launch and 700,000 miles from Earth.  It's zipping right along.

The reason for taking pictures of Earth was to help the Mars Color Imager science team make sure it was working correctly and to measure the instrument’s sensitivity in space.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#61 2005-08-23 10:07:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Sort of reminds me of the first distant Hubble photos that were out of focus but this time no need to send a rescue mission with corrective optic prescription...

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#62 2005-08-28 19:41:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

MRO performs critical maneuver

*This was the 1st in a series of pre-planned trajectory correction maneuvers; involved 6 large thrusters.  TCM occurred Saturday, August 27, duration of roughly 15 seconds.  This will provide a "more refined Mars heading."

TCM went off without a hitch.  MRO's operations are "pretty much flawless." 

"All in all the spacecraft has been just operating as well as we could have ever expected," he told SPACE.com in an August 25 interview.

The MRO maneuver bolsters confidence that the large motors, associated propellant-handling plumbing, and other items are up to snuff for placing the craft into Mars Orbit Insertion in March 2006, said Steve Jolly, chief engineer and deputy program manager on MRO.

Orbital insertion slated for March 2006.  That's not too long away.  smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#63 2005-08-29 09:18:18

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,826

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Was reading a few other articles with some more details:
Most Powerful Martian Orbiter Launched

Was surprised by how many maneuvers are required in aerobreaking.

The Lockheed Martin spacecraft is more than 1.5 million mi. from Earth this week on what is to be a curving 310-million-mi. trajectory to arrive in an initial Mars orbit in March. Once in a high elliptical orbit, it will use 512 aerobraking maneuvers to descend to a 190-mi. science orbit by November 2006.

Loaded with lots of details of the rocket as made by lockheed as well a good deal of probe stuff as well.

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#64 2005-09-14 06:40:06

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

MRO's "farewell" to Luna

*This image was built up on September 8.  It was obtained as part of a craft "shakedown"/camera test.  MRO was aprox 6 million miles from Luna.

If the orbiter were equipped with human eyes instead of its high-powered camera, the moon would have appeared as little more than a star-like point of light, researchers said.

-also-

The camera test verified that the HiRISE instrument was functioning properly, and also allowed researchers to check the orbiter’s Context Camera and Optical Navigation Camera, which performed as expected.

Glad to know it. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#65 2005-11-08 01:53:31

noosfractal
Member
From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Coming up on the halfway point  smile

  • mro1.jpg

(this image is supposed to update automatically every 10 mins)
_


Fan of Red Oasis

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#66 2005-11-08 06:12:23

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Coming up on the halfway point  smile

(this image is supposed to update automatically every 10 mins)

*Excellent.  Thanks for posting that.  smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#67 2006-02-27 10:22:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

*Another update:

NASA mission controllers are preparing for a critical phase of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's 350-million-mile trajectory designed to rendezvous the spacecraft with the red planet on March 10...So far, the MRO, currently 15-million miles away, remains precisely on course for a proper orbital insertion.

the craft is so well on track that the final two of four planned course-correction maneuvers may not be necessary.

That's good to know.  big_smile

Before the MRO can begin its mission, however, it must spend nearly seven months adjusting its instruments and its orbit, using an experimental process called aerobraking.

Nearly 7 months?  Guess I forgot that little particular.

As the MRO nears its orbital insertion, ground controllers expect a signal shortly after 4:24 p.m. Eastern Time indicating the main thruster - generating 260 lbs. of force - has started its 27-minute burn needed to place the spacecraft into low orbit. That sequence will end during the 30-minute period when the orbiter flies behind Mars and falls out of radio contact. "This is obviously the critical maneuver," Graf said. "We will not see the end of the burn."

Aw man.  Fingernail biting time.

And the article reminds us that only 65% of missions have achieved successful orbit.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Mars_ … rival.html

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#68 2006-03-03 03:30:24

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

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

And the article reminds us that only 65% of missions have achieved successful orbit.

Of *all* missions perhaps, of US missions 71%  made orbit

successful:
1971 Mariner 9
1975 Viking 1
1975 Viking 2
1996 Mars Global Surveyor
2001 Mars Odyssey

failed:
1992 Mars Observer
1998 Mars Climate Observer


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

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#69 2006-03-09 22:29:35

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Payoff high in risky Mars mission
Craft must get into orbit before exploration can begin
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/03/0 … r.preview/
NASA's latest mission to Mars could eclipse all previous ones if it can get into orbit on Friday.

US spacecraft makes nail-biting approach to Mars
http://today.reuters.co.uk
Jittery NASA scientists waited on Wednesday for the most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet to make its risky final approach to Mars, where it is due to return 10 times the data of all previous probes put together.
NASA's unmanned Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has traveled some 300 million miles since leaving Earth in August, was due to enter its most delicate phase on Friday. It will try too ease into orbit around Mars, which has defeated two-thirds of all man-made craft sent there.

Fate of Mars probe depends on Friday engine firing
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/
These are tense days at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin spacecraft control centers where engineers are guiding the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to Friday's maneuvers for entering orbit around the planet.
The 27-minute firing of the six main engines on MRO will slow the craft, allowing Mars to capture the instrument-laden probe into an initial looping orbit. If the burn doesn't occur or gets cut short by a problem, the probe would be doomed to fly right past Mars.
"We have a tremendous amount of anxiety and concern at this particular point in time, which is what you'd want us to be," Jim Graf, the MRO project manager, said Wednesday, adding that his teams need to keep looking under rocks to ensure potential pitfalls don't go undiscovered and bite the $720 million mission

US Mars mission at ultra-critical stage
http://www.capeargus.co.za/index.php?fS … Id=3148081
....Some 21 minutes into that thruster burn, flight engineers will lose contact with the orbiter while it passes behind Mars.
If the orbiter threads that needle and goes into an elliptical orbit, it must spend the next six months using the drag of the planet's atmosphere to reel itself in from an elongated 35-hour loop to a nearly circular two-hour orbit.


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#70 2006-03-10 15:07:22

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

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Here we go...

Fuel tanks pressurized, reorentating for burn, switch to low gain antenna.

So far so good.


"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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#71 2006-03-10 15:25:30

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

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Were all slewwed up and burning...


"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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#72 2006-03-10 15:51:32

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

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Radio black out...


"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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#73 2006-03-10 16:25:29

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

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

And round the bend it goes... right on target!

Great job!  tongue


"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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#74 2006-03-10 16:38:56

Grypd
Member
From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,868

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

great news  big_smile


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#75 2006-03-10 18:19:48

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

And round the bend it goes... right on target!

Great job!  tongue

fantastic for Mars fan  ! another great Orbiter to the Red-planet

looking forward to the 1st readings and photos

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