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 Posted:   Feb 22, 2021 - 5:21 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Very funny, LC. Now, they just need to find what they're looking for. Aha, yeah that's right - CLOTHES SNATCHERS!

Seriously - that whole landing thing is one helluva crazy stunt made all the more crazy cos it just so happens to work!

Seeing the heat shield separation automatically made me think back to Schiaparelli, because that appears to be the equivalent moment when the ESA lander's chance to reach the surface was shot.



Congrats to NASA for having somehow had the right hunch about how to go about getting a rover down not only in one piece, but also bang on the money. A truly extraordinay achievement. MAZURKA!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2021 - 7:18 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

It's not a perfect analogy, but I was reminded of ALIENS when the dropship touches down just long enough for the batmobile to exit, and takes off to land somewhere else.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 3:56 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I see, henceforth known as the "Bishop Maneuver," for when you need to A/B your landing in a hurry. Good analogy, though. It's funny that - if you ever heard Sir Ridley's commentary about NASA feedback from ideas portrayed in sci-fi movies during Alien: Covenant, there seems to be a 'back-scratching' platform for ideas going to and fro between the two disciplines. Obviously, the flow interplay must be somewhat constained but no great harm if life imitates art, and vice-versa.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 4:21 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

The scientists yesterday mention how when one of the members first proposed the concept of the Skycrane they thought he was losing it. But it is the only way to get such a heavy payload safely down to the surface. American Ingenuity.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The scientists yesterday mention how when one of the members first proposed the concept of the Skycrane they thought he was losing it. But it is the only way to get such a heavy payload safely down to the surface. American Ingenuity.

The passenger ship that deposits the gun hands out for Marshal O'Neil from Outland is a very heavy box-like object which I actually gave some scrutiny to when it was revealed in the Cinefex edition in which it featured. It is rectangular in planform and the downward-facing engines mirror the skycrane exactly - no ifs, no buts. I can't remember who designed it as a cinematically functional object, but having the engine thrusters facing symmetrically downwards at the corners seems to have been a masterstroke. High thrust angled at the corners is the way to evenly spread out the centrally placed load for a vertical descent down to a planetary surface. Whether by accident or deliberate design it seems to have had a certain amount of prediction attached to it.

Edit: The Outland ship would have been modelled by Martin Bower and Bill Pearson, who also built the CON-AM IO based facility/mine.



One way or the other, the concept was in the vaults.



Even the Apollo Lunar Module was an approximation for the skycrane. The ascent stage is the load and it sits above rather than below the spaceframe bearing it. The landing legs are where the engines would be, because it doesn't have to land. The basic idea is pretty universal by appearances, except that actual implementations will vary according to specifications.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

What do you mean? There is no audio there either, just the NASA people speaking.

From what I've read, the mikes failed during landing.


Yep, kinda sucks. But everything else worked flawlessly. The mics are in working condition and they did get the first sounds ever, of the wind blowing on Mars after landing.

They pointed out both the mics and onboard cameras are over the counter products and were not specifically made for Martian weather. While they did a few modifications on the parts they don't know how long they will last. They're expected to fail long before other Rover parts.

But it was a cool experiment for sure!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

During the presentation of the landing footage the scientists talked about a divert maneuver. When the engines fired and just before the sky crane drop the spaceship was moving sideways to avoid rocky terrain just like Neil Armstrong did in 69.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

During the presentation of the landing footage the scientists talked about a divert maneuver. When the engines fired and just before the sky crane drop the spaceship was moving sideways to avoid rocky terrain just like Neil Armstrong did in 69.

Of course the maneuver was a normal procedure of the landing process. The lander was loaded with a map of the terrain and it was coded to tell the skycrane/rover the safe areas it could land. When the heat shield was jettison the mapping device got a lock on the ground, lined up the onboard map with what it was seeing on the ground and found the best place to land within the parameters of decent. They got within 5 meters (approx 16.5 feet) to their preferred landing spot!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

During the presentation of the landing footage the scientists talked about a divert maneuver. When the engines fired and just before the sky crane drop the spaceship was moving sideways to avoid rocky terrain just like Neil Armstrong did in 69.

Of course the maneuver was a normal procedure of the landing process. The lander was loaded with a map of the terrain and it was coded to tell the skycrane/rover the safe areas it could land. When the heat shield was jettison the mapping device got a lock on the ground, lined up the onboard map with what it was seeing on the ground and found the best place to land within the parameters of decent. They got within 5 meters (approx 16.5 feet) to their preferred landing spot!


Yes I know. I didn't realize it could fly sideways and to actually see it on camera is amazing. That they landed Curiosity without the radar is a feat itself.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

To me, the skycrane came down like a ship. You know, one with a bow, stern, midships, port and starboard sides. So it's falling more or less like a skydiver belly-down with their arms and legs splayed outwards so as to maintain maximum cross-sectional atmospheric drag in the downward, falling sense. A bit like the SpaceX Starship prototypes.

It maintains this horizontally opposed attitude for most of the time, using its on board stable platform/element to maintain an upright sense with respect to the local Martian horizon.

If it needs to move left it heels to port, like a sailing yacht. The same thing happens if it needs to move right, to starboard. It may need to bow or stern dip to move for'ard or aft, depending on how it interprets it's map position. What we don't yet know is if the lander needs a full 3D model of it's immediate surroundings to get around or if just a plain 2D look down, plan position indicator arrangement with north, south, east and west demarcated is sufficient to the task. Either way, those folks had it nailed.

Chris, I think there was more of a dead reckoning approach with Curiosity's touchdown at Gale Crater. The same is largely true of Perseverance with that one AI exception of having a local map to be able to make actual vs purely virtual clockwork-like one-to-one synchronised position estimation. Concorde and B747s used to ply the Atlantic all the time mainly with 3x INS computers voting together to determine a most likely DR Lat/Long instantaneous position fix along the way, which I believe was evaluated as a 2D representation, although I'm not really sure of that. This was before GPS. The pilots would take a radio beacon position fix when leaving the coastline of the departing country. Ater the sea crossing, the last INS (9 max, with internal waypoint registers having to be wrapped around if more than 9 were required) waypoint would lead the way to the next overland radio beacon to bear on the charted course over that particular country's airspace. By the way, none of these methods rely on an active magnetic field for position determination. It's amazing what can be done with the Calculus and precision engineering.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2021 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   spiderich   (Member)

I'm in awe of all of it!

Richard G.

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2021 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Next news conference today at 4pm EST.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2021 - 4:24 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

NASA held a YouTube briefing Friday. They showed 2 routes they were contemplating for the rover to travel to the delta. They seemed to be relieved that the software update was successful. It involved helping the rover navigate and they likened it to the first update on your new electric car. A picture of one of the weathered dunes may be their first objective. It was layered shale.

 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2021 - 6:49 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

So far so good! Instruments are being unhinged and deployed. They took their first short drive.
There must be a lot of stress when it comes to updates because they need to reboot the system when they do this. Imagine if the Rover didn't reboot? You can't just unplug it like your computer, wait 10 seconds, plug it back in again and turn it on again.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2021 - 11:47 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Drive to nearest cliff edge. Driver over cliff edge for better view below (SatNavs are the best smile)

Oh dear, the lastest Microsoft Update contained a bug . . . or two.

 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2021 - 6:52 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Perserverance audio recordings:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/audio/

 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2021 - 8:09 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Perserverance audio recordings:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/audio/


You know its so crazy. Mars looks and sounds just like Earth. But take off your environmental helmet on Mars and you'll die a horrible death in 60 seconds.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2021 - 9:04 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sofqf7AkBwI

Interesting close-ups of some rocks.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2021 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sofqf7AkBwI

Interesting close-ups of some rocks.


These rocks are interesting but I am looking forward to closeups of the layered shale at the river delta. That should be fascinating. This desert landscape has change little when the water evaporated billions of years ago. Just amazing.

 
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