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(The Register)   Curiosity ready to scoop first soil sample, kill cat   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 5
    More: Followup, cats, soil sample, Martians, scoop, mineralogy, Mars rovers, Grease  
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1828 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Oct 2012 at 2:30 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-05 12:53:34 PM  
2 votes:
We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.

So, we've gone from Rovers about the size of the old Little Red Wagon, to this behemoth, which means much more equipment can be packed aboard.

I think that's great.

I'm a bit curious though. I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.

I read where a small group of enthusiasts contacted NASA before one of the Rovers launched some years back and got permission to include a microphone for sound in the equipment. They, like myself, wanted to hear the sounds of an alien world, even if it's just the wind blowing or the wheels crunching through the gravel.

The system they created failed. It never sent back one peep.
I wonder why NASA has not included any such microphones since. I think it would be great to listen to the sound from a Rover. Not to mention NASA, cash strapped as always, could make a bundle off the recordings which various artists would no doubt put to music.

Kind of like Whale Sounds.

I'll never get to Mars. I'd be surprised if we even send any actual astronauts to the planet in my lifetime. By the time we return to the moon, I'll probably be too old to give a shiat.

However, I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.
2012-10-05 04:44:14 PM  
1 votes:

doyner: DemDave: doyner: Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.

Not only that, but Curiosity is nuclear-powered. If I've learned anything from comic books it's that alien spores+radiation can't lead to anything good.

Actually, I remember reading an article about the lengths NASA went to in order to avoid contamination. But I wonder what the chances are of a spore surviving that long in the frozen vacuum of space (much less reentry)?

Pretty good if it survived their decontamination processes.


Clearly, I was talking about a hypothetical. But according to this article, that "hypothetical" might actually have been more of a "reality."
2012-10-05 04:02:37 PM  
1 votes:

DemDave: doyner: Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.

Not only that, but Curiosity is nuclear-powered. If I've learned anything from comic books it's that alien spores+radiation can't lead to anything good.

Actually, I remember reading an article about the lengths NASA went to in order to avoid contamination. But I wonder what the chances are of a spore surviving that long in the frozen vacuum of space (much less reentry)?


Pretty good if it survived their decontamination processes.
2012-10-05 03:23:49 PM  
1 votes:

Rik01: I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.


Actually it was the opposite (new window). NASA expected Spirit and Opportunity to last for 90 days before dust build-up drained the solar power. Instead, Martian winds continually cleaned off the panels, allowing the rovers to last for years.
2012-10-05 12:34:41 PM  
1 votes:
"It is standard to run a split of your sample through first and dump it out, to clean out any residue from a previous sample," said Joel Hurowitz, a sampling system scientist on the Curiosity team. "We want to be sure the first sample we analyse is unambiguously Martian, so we take these steps to remove any residual material from Earth that might be on the walls of our sample handling system."

Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.
 
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