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(Chicago Trib)   If the Mars rover's Rube Goldberg landing system fails, this guy has done his job   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 59
    More: Scary, Mars Science Laboratory, Mars rovers, radio signals, Martian surface, space junk, fuel lines, landing, Jet Propulsion Laboratory  
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6199 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Aug 2012 at 5:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-04 12:53:11 PM
The ultimate beta tester.
 
2012-08-04 05:25:38 PM
You know Murphy's law, that anything that can go wrong will go wrong? "Well, I'm Murphy," Manning said.

What a cool job!
 
2012-08-04 05:27:14 PM
Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?
 
2012-08-04 05:29:27 PM

olddeegee: Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?


Because with limited budgets, engineering an elegantly simple solution is out of the question.
 
2012-08-04 05:36:21 PM

olddeegee: Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?


That's what Wikipedia says, anyway.


Trying out new ideas is cool. That'd be enough for me.
 
2012-08-04 05:36:47 PM
Are... are they hiring?
 
2012-08-04 05:37:19 PM
How is this technique different than the last piece of hardware they dropped on that rock?
 
2012-08-04 05:37:19 PM

olddeegee: Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?


Yes. It's the size and weight (roughly) as a Mini Cooper. The Martian atmosphere is too thin to slow down such a heavy rover with parachutes to a speed where the bouncing balls would be effective.

According to an article I read (, the engineer in charge of the Entry, Descent, and Landing phase said that the rocket-powered sky crane method is "crazy" but it's the "least crazy of all methods they considered". I can't for the life of me find the article though: I could have sworn it was on Fark, but my Fark-fu is weak today.
 
2012-08-04 05:42:47 PM
Did they test for this potential Martian hazard on Curiosity?

cache.jalopnik.com
 
2012-08-04 05:48:42 PM
This is exactly the kind of thing I want my job to be. So cool!
 
2012-08-04 06:04:38 PM
i would love a job where all i was suppose to do was fark things up im good at that.
 
2012-08-04 06:15:48 PM

mr smart the great: i would love a job where all i was suppose to do was fark things up im good at that.


Have you looked into becoming an officer in the United States military?
 
2012-08-04 06:20:28 PM
You mean this guy?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-08-04 06:45:03 PM
How are they going to adapt to this?

static.flickr.com
 
2012-08-04 06:55:35 PM
I'll be more than a little amazed if this landing method actually works.

But I'm not betting against it.
 
2012-08-04 07:02:07 PM
I'm confident it'll land. This is somewhat similar to the moon landings. True, the moon landings were slower, but you also have 21st century computer technology now. They really had no choice though, with the size and weight of Curiosity, this was pretty much their only option. And if this does work, they'll have a way to land on other planets, moons and asteroids.
 
2012-08-04 07:31:49 PM
This sabotage has a purpose: to make sure the rover team members can deal with any challenge that space throws at them.

How is that going to help if they can't communicate with it while it's landing?
 
2012-08-04 07:37:50 PM
Maybe NASA funded the Total Recall remake so that we'd already have one thing that fails to get to Mars this year.
 
2012-08-04 07:38:21 PM
I'm gonna take a gamble and make a prediction:

The landing will fail due to some malfunction involving the drop cables. Either a winch motor will be out of sync with the others and cause the rover to touch ground at a bad angle, or the pyros/release mechanism that cuts the rover loose will glitch up and the thruster rig will remain attached, either crashing on top of the rover when the fuel is depleted or becoming such a dead weight on the ground that the still-connected rover cannot go anywhere.

/If it does succeed however, I'll be treated with loads of cool stuff to look at so I'll glad to be proven wrong in this case.
 
2012-08-04 07:43:47 PM
in simulator circles, this kind of thing is known as a Kobayashi Maru scenario.

/heh, heh
//good luck, Curiosity
 
2012-08-04 08:02:02 PM

plutoniumfeather: in simulator circles, this kind of thing is known as a Kobayashi Maru scenario.

/heh, heh
//good luck, Curiosity


Hope nobody "changed the conditions of the test".
 
2012-08-04 08:18:56 PM

fusillade762: This sabotage has a purpose: to make sure the rover team members can deal with any challenge that space throws at them.

How is that going to help if they can't communicate with it while it's landing?




It's testing for the mission overall once on the surface.
 
2012-08-04 08:27:02 PM
They're beginning the search for the Scapegoat....

/"whaddaya mean you didn't train the team for [whatever happened to crash the rover]??"
 
2012-08-04 08:27:25 PM

Smeggy Smurf: mr smart the great: i would love a job where all i was suppose to do was fark things up im good at that.

Have you looked into becoming an officer in the United States military?


Or Republican presidential candidate.
 
2012-08-04 08:35:12 PM

mr smart the great: i would love a job where all i was suppose to do was fark things up im good at that.


CEO?
 
2012-08-04 08:36:03 PM

heypete: olddeegee: Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?

Yes. It's the size and weight (roughly) as a Mini Cooper. The Martian atmosphere is too thin to slow down such a heavy rover with parachutes to a speed where the bouncing balls would be effective.

According to an article I read (, the engineer in charge of the Entry, Descent, and Landing phase said that the rocket-powered sky crane method is "crazy" but it's the "least crazy of all methods they considered". I can't for the life of me find the article though: I could have sworn it was on Fark, but my Fark-fu is weak today.


Yup. The parachute gets it down to around 200 m/h. And size-wise, it's closer to a small SUV. Sucker's HUGE.
 
2012-08-04 08:43:18 PM
Did they test for this potential Martian hazard on Curiosity?[pic]

What a sad human being
 
2012-08-04 08:49:17 PM

dualplains: heypete: olddeegee: Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?

Yes. It's the size and weight (roughly) as a Mini Cooper. The Martian atmosphere is too thin to slow down such a heavy rover with parachutes to a speed where the bouncing balls would be effective.

According to an article I read (, the engineer in charge of the Entry, Descent, and Landing phase said that the rocket-powered sky crane method is "crazy" but it's the "least crazy of all methods they considered". I can't for the life of me find the article though: I could have sworn it was on Fark, but my Fark-fu is weak today.

Yup. The parachute gets it down to around 200 m/h. And size-wise, it's closer to a small SUV. Sucker's HUGE.


delendaestziobot.files.wordpress.com

upload.wikimedia.org

Yes yes yes Viking wasn't a rover but size-wize, they're comparable. I admit I didn't do too much research but I can't understand the sky crane.
 
2012-08-04 09:04:13 PM
i.imgur.com

Also, here's an article that goes into more detail about that skycrane being the "least crazy" idea: http://sagansense.tumblr.com/post/28652256745/huge-mars-rovers-sky-cr a ne-landing-was-least

The other leading alternative was to send Curiosity bouncing across the Martian landscape cushioned inside airbags. The twin Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers landed this way in January 2004.

Again, however, Curiosity's heft nixed this idea. It weighs about five times as much as either Spirit or Opportunity.

"Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."
 
2012-08-04 09:14:58 PM
"Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."

how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?
 
2012-08-04 09:21:32 PM
YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTERY
 
2012-08-04 10:09:56 PM

tsakali: how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?


which is heavy. which adds more weight. which means they have to add more layers. and a bigger parachute.

and don't forget, they have to put this thing on a rocket that will go all the way to Mars
 
2012-08-04 10:12:49 PM

Nem Wan: Maybe NASA funded the Total Recall remake so that we'd already have one thing that fails to get to Mars this year.


Curiosity will not fail to get to Mars, it'll be on Mars late Sunday night or early Monday depending on your coastal preference, the question is how many pieces it'll be in once it's landed.
 
2012-08-04 10:15:23 PM
Upside down.
 
2012-08-04 10:24:36 PM
www.daviddarling.info
Approves.
 
2012-08-04 10:29:18 PM

tsakali: "Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."

how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?


He works on robots to send to mars, and he's the moron. Gotcha.
 
2012-08-04 10:30:29 PM

Man On Fire: tsakali: how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?

which is heavy. which adds more weight. which means they have to add more layers. and a bigger parachute.

and don't forget, they have to put this thing on a rocket that will go all the way to Mars


heavier than an elaborate space crane? Impossibru!
 
2012-08-05 12:01:21 AM
DON'T JINX THE GODS' DAMNED THING FOR LORD ARES' SAKE!!!

i.imgur.com
 
2012-08-05 12:42:22 AM
Assuming this works, this will be one hell of an engineering feat. My hat is off to them, and I am grateful because it gives me hope. For every thousand or so jihadists, teahadists, and other assorted assholes, there's one guy like them, and that might be enough.
 
2012-08-05 12:49:42 AM

tsakali: "Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."

how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?


No. No one thought of that. If only they had your phone number when the decision was made. You should email it to them for future reference along with a copy of that post.
 
2012-08-05 01:07:55 AM

Honest Bender: Are... are they hiring?


I used to want a job at JPL because-- well, fark, it's JPL.

Nowadays, I want a job at JPL because she works there:

images.wikia.com
 
2012-08-05 01:34:01 AM

Relatively Obscure: tsakali: "Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."

how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?

No. No one thought of that. If only they had your phone number when the decision was made. You should email it to them for future reference along with a copy of that post.

fark is serious business all of a sudden?
 
2012-08-05 01:38:34 AM

tsakali: "Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."

how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?


Yeah, cause some of the best scientists in the US didn't have the common sense of a Farktard in his basement. Gotcha.
 
2012-08-05 01:47:00 AM

ArcadianRefugee: Honest Bender: Are... are they hiring?

I used to want a job at JPL because-- well, fark, it's JPL.

Nowadays, I want a job at JPL because she works there:

[images.wikia.com image 417x646]


There's also Dr. Amber Jenkins-
blogs.jpl.nasa.gov

I actually do work at JPL and it's kind of awesome the amount of hot women that are much, much smarter than me.
 
2012-08-05 01:47:58 AM

dualplains: I actually do work at JPL and it's kind of awesome the amount of hot women that are much, much smarter than me.


Sorry, the amount of hot women THERE that are much, much smarter than me.
 
2012-08-05 02:19:24 AM

dualplains: ArcadianRefugee: Honest Bender: Are... are they hiring?

I used to want a job at JPL because-- well, fark, it's JPL.

Nowadays, I want a job at JPL because she works there:

[images.wikia.com image 417x646]

There's also Dr. Amber Jenkins-
[blogs.jpl.nasa.gov image 120x150]

I actually do work at JPL and it's kind of awesome the amount of hot women that are much, much smarter than me.



Who ever thought we needed a "Women of JPL" calendar?

/Hot nerds!
 
2012-08-05 02:21:24 AM

tsakali: "Unfortunately, we don't have fabric here on Earth strong enough to build airbags that would work for a rover the size of Curiosity," Steltzner said. "The bags would shred, not giving Curiosity any protection."

how does that make any sense?
Hasn't this moron ever heard of layers? or bullet proof kevlar perhaps?


Seriously? For future reference: If hundreds of highly paid professionals all working on a project decide against doing something a certain way after years of work, it's probably not because they've overlooked something that random internet people will see in 10 seconds.

Thank you providing a valuable IRL demonstration of the Dunning-Kreuger effect, though.
 
2012-08-05 02:49:55 AM
I'd love a job that let me put "Professional Troll" on my resume.
 
2012-08-05 02:57:11 AM
Flight, try SCE to AUX.
 
2012-08-05 03:31:43 AM

Relatively Obscure: olddeegee: Why did they go with this needlessly complicated method? I liked the bouncing ball landings. Is the Curiosity too big for that?

That's what Wikipedia says, anyway.


Trying out new ideas is cool. That'd be enough for me.


Its like, the size of a Sedan O_o . It also has a bunch of precision instruments that would not do well in that "landing"
 
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