Author Topic: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!  (Read 12512 times)

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Offline Compound

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2012, 03:50:08 PM »
There was a question before landing about visiting the skycrane wreckage, and they said it's very unlikely, as there is probably unburnt rocket fuel and they don't want to go near that.

The report I heard was 140kg of fuel was still in the tanks when the crane cut loose.   If it's all around the wreckage you wouldn't want to drive the rover through it.  Hydrazine is corrosive and reactive.  And you wouldn't want to take the chance that the metal wheels would set off the decomposition reaction that makes it a rocket fuel, even though the chances of that are slim.  Best reason is that the rover is a big chemistry lab, you wouldn't want to contaminate all of it with Hydrazine.

Forget that. I want to see the first fire started on Mars! Go for it!


Offline goflyblind

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2012, 04:02:58 PM »
There was a question before landing about visiting the skycrane wreckage, and they said it's very unlikely, as there is probably unburnt rocket fuel and they don't want to go near that.

The report I heard was 140kg of fuel was still in the tanks when the crane cut loose.   If it's all around the wreckage you wouldn't want to drive the rover through it.  Hydrazine is corrosive and reactive.  And you wouldn't want to take the chance that the metal wheels would set off the decomposition reaction that makes it a rocket fuel, even though the chances of that are slim.  Best reason is that the rover is a big chemistry lab, you wouldn't want to contaminate all of it with Hydrazine.

Forget that. I want to see the first fire started on Mars! Go for it!

it would be really unimpressive, given the atmosphere. i'm not sure you could even get a regular fire started. :-\
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2012, 04:14:09 PM »
There was a question before landing about visiting the skycrane wreckage, and they said it's very unlikely, as there is probably unburnt rocket fuel and they don't want to go near that.

The report I heard was 140kg of fuel was still in the tanks when the crane cut loose.   If it's all around the wreckage you wouldn't want to drive the rover through it.  Hydrazine is corrosive and reactive.  And you wouldn't want to take the chance that the metal wheels would set off the decomposition reaction that makes it a rocket fuel, even though the chances of that are slim.  Best reason is that the rover is a big chemistry lab, you wouldn't want to contaminate all of it with Hydrazine.

Forget that. I want to see the first fire started on Mars! Go for it!

it would be really unimpressive, given the atmosphere. i'm not sure you could even get a regular fire started. :-\

Yeah, there's no free oxygen in the atmosphere, and hydrazine isn't one of those fuels that generates it's own (like solid fuel rockets), it needs to be catalyzed by something to break down into gases and release it's energy.  I always wondered if the atmosphere on mars is inert enough to do the light bulb trick they do in the glove boxes at work, to test if there's no oxygen or moisture in the box you carefully melt a hole in a light bulb and turn it on inside the box, if it stays lit for 24 hours it's safe to do experiments with chemicals that are air sensitive.


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2012, 11:15:20 AM »


Just a thought about the cost of 2.5 billion.  The government took in 2.56 TRILLION in revenue for fiscal year 2011.  That's 1,000 times that much.  The rover costs 0.1% of the entire U.S revenue.  Scaling that down to a decent middle class wage of $50,000 per year, that'd be about $50.  That's the cost of a tank of gas for a mid sized car.  Somehow I don't think that buying one fewer tank of gas per year is gonna make the difference between life and death.


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2012, 11:17:37 AM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.


Offline goflyblind

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2012, 02:42:45 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

the size and the method.
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Offline D.B. Barnes

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2012, 02:54:41 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

the size and the method.

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Offline Lembach

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2012, 08:23:11 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2012, 08:35:50 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 

Secondly, where did you get that I am apathetic about space exploration as a whole?  My point was that this isn't the moon landing; we've done this before.  I want to know why people are so excited about this particular mission.  Goflyblind explained it a bit, though I'm not sure I totally get it.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2012, 08:57:15 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 

Secondly, where did you get that I am apathetic about space exploration as a whole?  My point was that this isn't the moon landing; we've done this before.  I want to know why people are so excited about this particular mission.  Goflyblind explained it a bit, though I'm not sure I totally get it.

The level of complexity of this landing was extremely high, so many steps and stages to it.  And given the failure rate on missions to mars a lot of people thought this one was a bit of a reach.  Automation software has advanced pretty well so I figured if the hardware worked the landing would work, but consider all those thousands of components and connections that all had to work after being launched from Earth and traveling through space for 7? months, any one component failure and it all goes poof.  Less complicated missions have some margin for minor failures, this one had more than one stage where a minor error would have caused a crash.


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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2012, 05:47:45 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 

Secondly, where did you get that I am apathetic about space exploration as a whole?  My point was that this isn't the moon landing; we've done this before.  I want to know why people are so excited about this particular mission.  Goflyblind explained it a bit, though I'm not sure I totally get it.

The level of complexity of this landing was extremely high, so many steps and stages to it.  And given the failure rate on missions to mars a lot of people thought this one was a bit of a reach.  Automation software has advanced pretty well so I figured if the hardware worked the landing would work, but consider all those thousands of components and connections that all had to work after being launched from Earth and traveling through space for 7? months, any one component failure and it all goes poof.  Less complicated missions have some margin for minor failures, this one had more than one stage where a minor error would have caused a crash.
Another thing:  When the project was originally planned, it had a much larger budget.  The folks involved had to be especially creative in almost every part of the design in order to get in done under budget.

Also, nerds can go around saying, "yeah, I wonder if the football players who shoved us in lockers back in high school could drop a car on Mars and not get a scratch on it!"

Or, at least, that's what I would imagine the nerds would think...


Offline Lembach

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2012, 06:25:17 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 


Bet they'll have an interest when the 460 feet (140 meter) wide Asteroid 2011 AG5 swings by (or into) the Earth in 2040.


Offline D.B. Barnes

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2012, 06:58:18 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 


Bet they'll have an interest when the 460 feet (140 meter) wide Asteroid 2011 AG5 swings by (or into) the Earth in 2040.

VIVA IL ESORDIO DEL DIABETE ADULTO DUCE!!!


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2012, 07:18:38 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 


Bet they'll have an interest when the 460 feet (140 meter) wide Asteroid 2011 AG5 swings by (or into) the Earth in 2040.

Meh, that size chunk of rock won't do much.  If made of iron maybe 1 mile wide crater, if made of lighter stuff maybe an air burst like Tunguska.   Basically equivalent to a few big storms and earthquakes mixed together.  An ocean hit might cause a nasty tsunami, that would probably be the worst case.

If you want to scare people talk about comets, like Hyakutake in 96, that thing was over 2 miles across and passed nearly over the north pole, 0.1 AU out.  If that comet had  a slightly different orbit we would all be toast right now.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Mars Science Laboratory: NASA Is Going To Land A Small Car On Mars!
« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2012, 07:30:55 PM »
I don't really understand the hulabaloo.  It's not like this is the first time we ever landed a science vessel on another planet.

It's that level of indifference that makes me believe humanity has no interest in expanding out into the universe. We're just going to sit here until an asteroid hit us.
All of humanity wiped out because we are all stuck on this one planet. Except the Chinese. They're getting their act together, it seems.
Okay first of all, not all of humanity is required to share the same interests as you. 


Bet they'll have an interest when the 460 feet (140 meter) wide Asteroid 2011 AG5 swings by (or into) the Earth in 2040.

Meh, that size chunk of rock won't do much.  If made of iron maybe 1 mile wide crater, if made of lighter stuff maybe an air burst like Tunguska.   Basically equivalent to a few big storms and earthquakes mixed together.  An ocean hit might cause a nasty tsunami, that would probably be the worst case.

If you want to scare people talk about comets, like Hyakutake in 96, that thing was over 2 miles across and passed nearly over the north pole, 0.1 AU out.  If that comet had  a slightly different orbit we would all be toast right now.