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Houston, we have a problem. With the MSL.

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posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by Vandalour
 


I hate to see a thoughtful and true science space exploration thread turned into a silly "conspiracy" based solely on a few individuals' desires for there always to be some ulterior motive with NASA:


....make our tax founded merchandise disappear by faking a malfunction....



This sullies the actual people involved in these programs, slanders them actually.

As if these highly intelligent people would go along with such "fakery"?? Ridiculous. Everything that's happening in this program is clear to those who are able to comprehend the science.

Sadly, many people prefer fantasies and wishful thinking, over solid science......




posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 01:24 PM
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I'm hoping the course correction goes well. It's good they had triple redundancy on this.

Here's the latest tweet from about 10 minutes ago:


My trajectory correction maneuver is slated for Jan 11. I'm getting ready to fire those engines!


twitter.com...



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 03:25 PM
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Good discussion, thanks to contributions and insights.

I've written about the earlier Mars probe failures, let me go find a link...



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by JimOberg
 


Jim, any more information about the drill mechanism on Curiosity? You started a short lived thread near the launch, and I only was able to do a short scan of the info. Thanks.



posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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Keeping my fingers crossed. The first planned trajectory maneuver should start in an hour from now. Guess will have to check for an update tomorrow morning when I get up.



posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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Updated at 3:10 pm PST (Jan. 11, 2012) NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft has begun firing thruster engines for the first and largest flight-path adjustment of the trip from Earth to Mars.


The course correction and burn is expected to last almost 3 hours. They can do five more smaller burns on route to Mars if needed. They are using the inertial navigation unit while they try to identify the problem with star-tracking guidance which caused a reset in one of the two main spacecraft computers.

Looks good so far.

marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov...

www.jpl.nasa.gov...



posted on Jan, 12 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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So far, so good...


Spacecraft Completes Biggest Maneuver

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft successfully refined its flight path Wednesday with the biggest maneuver planned for the mission's journey between Earth and Mars.

"We've completed a big step toward our encounter with Mars," said Brian Portock of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., deputy mission manager for the cruise phase of the mission. "The telemetry from the spacecraft and the Doppler data show that the maneuver was completed as planned."


from here



posted on Jan, 12 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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I see the burn was successful.



Spacecraft Completes Biggest Maneuver PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft successfully refined its flight path Wednesday with the biggest maneuver planned for the mission's journey between Earth and Mars. "We've completed a big step toward our encounter with Mars," said Brian Portock of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., deputy mission manager for the cruise phase of the mission. "The telemetry from the spacecraft and the Doppler data show that the maneuver was completed as planned."

WAY TO GO, NASA!!!!!!

marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov...



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
reply to post by JimOberg
 


Jim, any more information about the drill mechanism on Curiosity? You started a short lived thread near the launch, and I only was able to do a short scan of the info. Thanks.


This may not be what you are looking for because it is old info from November:


Testing indicates that the rover can meet all of its mission success criteria. Experiments continue on engineering models of the rover's sampling system, including the hammering drill, to refine understanding of the best ways to use the system once Curiosity is on Mars. Continued testing on Earth will study which aspects of the drill performance will degrade during the mission and how to exercise operational workarounds. An example is that the percussion mechanism in the rotary-percussion drill can develop electrical shorts after prolonged use (beyond that required for mission success). The drill will be used in rotary-only mode on some rocks to prolong availability of hammering. The potential also exists for material to come off the drill bit as it wears and to complicate analysis of the powdered sample. In both cases, workarounds exist including the use of rotary-only drilling, replacing the bit, and using the scoop to provide soil samples directly to the analytic laboratory.

NASA Watch



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 


I believe that's it. It was my understanding from just a browse, that the designer of the drill wasn't satisfied with the number of tests performed mostly with the software programs. I will review this when I have a chance. Thanks.



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by abeverage
Although hitting mars with a probe has a bad track record, this is the 4th straight failure for Russia. The USA has not done too bad


Er.. the USA knows how to film on the backlot.
edit on 21-1-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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No!!

I hope this doesn't have any problems. First Grunt and now this.

I am anxiously awaiting new rovers pics in the future from Curiosity. I hope all goes well.


hehe now it makes my conspiracy mind wonder even more about mysterious Mars


But seriously this is possible when launching such things into space

edit on 1/21/2012 by mblahnikluver because: hit enter too soon



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 10:58 AM
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if anybody is interested, i found this image on their twitter accnt, showing the route and current location.

It appears to be updated daily


edit on 21-1-2012 by Kr0nZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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Maybe Grunt failed because there were no triple redundancy expenditures, on that shoestring budget. I also think the Russians have a bit to learn about orbital mechanics, seeing how many times they missed the moon and Mars in the past. I believe it is just political pressure the Russian scientists have to endure and wont be listened to if they forward a concern. The space race is over, and beyond earth orbit still seems to be a challenge, as it always was for them.



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


I'm not so convinced it has to do with the orbital mechanics at this point, since it is just a matter of the math (and, yes they had some targeting troubles with early Moon missions.....that was likely due to less than sophisticated computing power, and a lot of assumptions, then, about the exact mass of the Moon, etc).

With "Grunt" it appears to be a physical problem and equipment engineering failure. Possibly related to on-board computer software or hardware too.

There is a thread about the Russian Venera missions to Venus.....several of the landers sent back no photos, simply because the lens caps would not come off. There was an instance of one lander, had two cameras, but only one lens cap came off.

And, there is the case where the lens cap that did come off, happened to land by accident right where a probe needed to hit the ground, for a soil density test! Cracked the cap into pieces, shown by the photos.

They decided for future Venera Landers to attach a lanyard to the caps....LOL! It can sometimes be the unexpected an unanticipated that make you say "D'oh!"



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by ProudBird
 


I expected the Russian Venus landers to come up when I said they are challenged with landing. Mind you the Venus probes relied on the thick atmosphere to slow them for hard landings as the parachutes were jettisoned at 50 km altitude. They were not powered landing. At that point in the atmosphere of Venus the atmospheric pressure is like 1,000 feet below our earth's oceans. From there they used a metal break, like you see aircraft and the Space Shuttle use for friction drag.

I will give you however that their orbital mechanics proved successful in their Venus endeavors. I never doubt the Russian technological expertise, I love what the Russians have been able to accomplish in space, I am part Russian myself. I am saddened by the political pressure their rocket scientists had to endure. They could have accomplished more if there were more checks and balances ingrained in their space infrastructure than just building bigger machines.



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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Apparently, that pressure on the Russian scientists, is still alive today.

I found it interesting that Russia is the largest producer of plutonium-238, the power source choice of NASA for deep space probes (since Voyagers), (America halted production of plutonium-238 back in the 70's, for contamination reasons). I find it interesting because the Phobos-Grunt was not using plutonium decay for power, all solar power, with a touch of Colbalt in the battery system. I find that interesting because they have that reserve of plutonium. I also understand the financial difference in the two power sources, which brings us back to the political pressures guiding the Russian space program, maybe in handling (costs), or maybe because they have cost saving chain of command that doesn't like potential failures (political pressure due to them wanting it now, and not more studies instead), stupidly, I may add.



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


Solar panels from China are cheaper than designing a reliable RTG.
They have enough to worry about.



posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 09:20 AM
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Update:

NASA has solved the computer glitch it experienced in late November which prevented the spacecraft from using the onboard celestial navigation system.

Apparently the cause was related to memory data registers. This could have been serious since registers are usually part of the CPU itself and not part of external storage like RAM or hard disc.

It looks like NASA has sent instructions to the craft to not use the "bad" registers, which NASA now calls "unused".

Full story here: marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov...




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