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(Ars Technica)   NASA announces details of new Mars rover being sent to find Dhar Ry and Ejon Khee   (arstechnica.com) divider line 31
    More: Cool, Mars Rover, organic compounds, NASA, sample return, Measuring instrument, core sample, experimental design  
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1201 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Aug 2014 at 11:54 PM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-08-02 10:57:40 PM  
So cute, so cool.
 
2014-08-02 11:43:59 PM  
fta The sample return portion of the mission...

Didn't anyone watch Andromeda Strain?
 
2014-08-03 12:01:12 AM  
Needs little quadcopter subdrones allowing it to scout routes (which would allow faster coverage of land), take close up aerial photographs of distant rocks, return samples to Mars 20/20 master rover, paint graffiti onto distant boulders, and just be badass.
 
jvl
2014-08-03 12:23:33 AM  

RoyBatty: Needs little quadcopter sub drones...


Pretty sure that's not going to work. Gravity is less, but air density is waaay less.
 
2014-08-03 12:27:07 AM  
Yup, that's one seriously thiiiiiiiiiiin atmosphere.
 
2014-08-03 12:38:54 AM  

jvl: RoyBatty: Needs little quadcopter sub drones...

Pretty sure that's not going to work. Gravity is less, but air density is waaay less.


Isn't the halfway point for air density on Mars three feet, as opposed to Earth's 18,000 feet?
 
2014-08-03 12:41:03 AM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-08-03 12:43:40 AM  

jvl: RoyBatty: Needs little quadcopter sub drones...

Pretty sure that's not going to work. Gravity is less, but air density is waaay less.


http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA480702
i.imgur.com

In the near term a rotorcraft-equipped lander is viewed as
a very attractive candidate for a Scout-class mission
capable of high resolution remote sensing surveys, limited
in situ science, and the return of samples to the parent
lander for detailed analysis.

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com


i.imgur.com


i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com
 
2014-08-03 12:52:49 AM  
It still blows my mind they really pulled that skycrane shiat off. That's some farking Hollywood sci-fi shiat and they actually did it. No live feeds, no real time remote control. A button was pressed and all they could do is sit and wait.
 
2014-08-03 12:53:27 AM  
RoyBatty is awesome!!

*applause*
 
2014-08-03 12:57:10 AM  
Color me skeptical on a quadcopter for that thin air: you'd either need to spin those blades  faster than mach 1 at the tips, or make very elongated, and thus frail and hard to store/deploy blades, wouldn't you? At that point, ducted fans or monopropellant rocket nozzles would seem to make more sense? I can't imagine getting a good useful range or duration out of that.  Maybe an unfolding, or telecoping-blade, mono-bladed copter with rocket power could work, but steering those is very tricky.

OTOH, I am all tingly just thinking about the tech for the sample return rocket.
 
2014-08-03 01:16:51 AM  

RoyBatty: Needs little quadcopter subdrones allowing it to scout routes (which would allow faster coverage of land), take close up aerial photographs of distant rocks, return samples to Mars 20/20 master rover, paint graffiti onto distant boulders, and just be badass.


Also, a nuclear warhead just in case we find intelligent life
 
2014-08-03 01:20:21 AM  
Pat yourselves on the back, Farkers. No one has mentioned doing it in Kerbal yet
 
2014-08-03 01:37:23 AM  
Yes, but will it find the buried Shadow Ship?
 
2014-08-03 01:43:13 AM  
I hope we land rovers on Titan or one of the moons of Jupiter in my life time. Sorry, but I'm sick of seeing Mars up close. It has become the tmz celeb socialite of planets, a barren wasteland with nothing of substance.

Besides If they map the entire surface and check every rock nobody will want to go there. Oh look honey here is the rock rover number 329 checked in the year 2029.
 
2014-08-03 02:30:21 AM  
Meh, I returned a surface sample from Duna, so how hard could it be.

Of course the goddamn thing glitched on rentry and crashed but it worked
 
2014-08-03 02:35:34 AM  

Theory Of Null: Besides If they map the entire surface and check every rock nobody will want to go there. Oh look honey here is the rock rover number 329 checked in the year 2029.


Yep, not one single person ever goes to see the Grand Canyon
 
2014-08-03 03:14:24 AM  

phalamir: <strong><a data-farkhash="" href="http://www.fark.com/comments/8357945/92232572#c92232572" target="_blank">Theory Of Null</a>:</strong> <em>Besides If they map the entire surface and check every rock nobody will want to go there. Oh look honey here is the rock rover number 329 checked in the year 2029.</em>

Yep, not one single person ever goes to see the Grand Canyon


True. but it's relatively close, is the american thing to do, and is always last on the list of exciting places to visit. Mars is one big Mojave Desert. Unless they build a casino resort there it will never be exciting.
 
2014-08-03 03:33:34 AM  
img3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-08-03 04:42:57 AM  

Theory Of Null: I hope we land rovers on Titan or one of the moons of Jupiter in my life time. Sorry, but I'm sick of seeing Mars up close. It has become the tmz celeb socialite of planets, a barren wasteland with nothing of substance.

Besides If they map the entire surface and check every rock nobody will want to go there. Oh look honey here is the rock rover number 329 checked in the year 2029.


This is what I'm saying. Can we attempt landing on Europa already?
 
2014-08-03 04:48:57 AM  
"Willie, do you really think there are any Martians?"

Willie thought a second and then said, "No."

He was right.

RIP Dhar and Ejon
 
2014-08-03 08:43:46 AM  
static.tvgcdn.net

So, we have to walk 30 kilometers to find a 20 year old russian lander, built by a man who now specializes in making sandwiches?


/really hate this planet
 
2014-08-03 09:14:20 AM  

Mister Peejay: jIsn't the halfway point for air density on Mars three feet, as opposed to Earth's 18,000 feet?


I don't see how it could be.

Scale height (the rate at which the atmosphere gets thinner) is directly proportional to absolute temperature. Mars' average temperature is around 3/4 that of Earth.

Scale height is inversely proportional to atmospheric molecular weight. Mars' atmosphere is mostly CO2, so its molecular weight is (very roughly) 3/2 that of Earth's.

Scale height is inversely proportional to gravity. Mars' gravity is about 2/5 that of Earth.

So, Mars' scale height should be about 3/4 * 2/3 * 5/2, or 5/4, that of Earth. If the halfway point is 18,000 feet on Earth, on Mars it should be around 22,500 feet.

But the surface pressure on Mars is 1/100 that of Earth, so flying just above the surface there is about as hard as flying at 20 miles above Earth's surface. It can be done, but it's very different from swimming through our surface-level soup.
 
2014-08-03 09:30:26 AM  

Theory Of Null: phalamir: <strong><a data-farkhash="" href="http://www.fark.com/comments/8357945/92232572#c92232572" target="_blank">Theory Of Null</a>:</strong> <em>Besides If they map the entire surface and check every rock nobody will want to go there. Oh look honey here is the rock rover number 329 checked in the year 2029.</em>

Yep, not one single person ever goes to see the Grand Canyon

True. but it's relatively close, is the american thing to do, and is always last on the list of exciting places to visit. Mars is one big Mojave Desert. Unless they build a casino resort there it will never be exciting.


Valles Marinaris.  Makes the Grand Canyon look like an irrigation ditch.

Olympus Mons.  Largest volcano in the solar system.

Polar icecaps of solid CO2, which we can go look at after our own icecaps melt.
 
2014-08-03 11:05:35 AM  

jfarkinB: But the surface pressure on Mars is 1/100 that of Earth, so flying just above the surface there is about as hard as flying at 20 miles above Earth's surface. It can be done, but it's very different from swimming through our surface-level soup.


I wouldn't be so sure. The highest altitude reached by a helicopter is currently only 7.7 miles. The highest level flight is 6.8 miles. High-altitude flight is very difficult for helicopters.
 
2014-08-03 11:14:16 AM  

Tobin_Lam: I wouldn't be so sure. The highest altitude reached by a helicopter is currently only 7.7 miles. The highest level flight is 6.8 miles. High-altitude flight is very difficult for helicopters.


It's hard to imagine a helicopter that could fly at those heights and fly efficiently enough at lower altitude to reach those heights (without running out of fuel).

Designing a rotor-lift craft to fly only at low pressure shouldn't be quite as hard. Of course, I'm no aeronautical engineer, so I won't be the one designing it. But I wouldn't be too surprised to see an enterprising amateur team launch one from a high-altitude balloon in the next few years.
 
2014-08-03 11:43:19 AM  

jfarkinB: Tobin_Lam: I wouldn't be so sure. The highest altitude reached by a helicopter is currently only 7.7 miles. The highest level flight is 6.8 miles. High-altitude flight is very difficult for helicopters.

It's hard to imagine a helicopter that could fly at those heights and fly efficiently enough at lower altitude to reach those heights (without running out of fuel).

Designing a rotor-lift craft to fly only at low pressure shouldn't be quite as hard. Of course, I'm no aeronautical engineer, so I won't be the one designing it. But I wouldn't be too surprised to see an enterprising amateur team launch one from a high-altitude balloon in the next few years.


I did sort of forget about the whole "not having to fly in dense atmosphere" part. I suppose the design could be a bit different if you are only dealing with high altitudes.
 
2014-08-03 04:43:32 PM  
Bondith:

Valles Marinaris.  Makes the Grand Canyon look like an irrigation ditch.

Olympus Mons.  Largest volcano in the solar system.

Polar icecaps of solid CO<sub>2</sub>, which we can go look at after our own icecaps melt.


What I'm trying to say is.  I want to see an environment completly diffrent than what Mars has to offer up close and not just slighlty diffrent. Things we can't easily imagine.  I want see something more active. I don't want to spend decades looking at just Mars surface. It's interesting, but not that intersting.

If we must keep exploring Mars surface at least send some cheap probes  to Europa and Titan.
 
2014-08-03 04:52:44 PM  
Isn't the limit on the rovers currently the amount of power they need and can generate? Also, I did think the current rover was the end-all be-all for a generation or so. Like, we half expected to have new launch and propulsion methods before launching the next rover.
The sample return plan was really the next big step, but NASA should get more practice at that with asteroids before doing the super-risky Mars one.

Also, wouldn't it be more worthwhile to make a high-atmosphere glider to operate on Venus, or a rover for Mercury, or landers for the moons of Jupiter/Saturn?

I'll mention Kerbal and say that my experience suggests that a sample return mission will launch from Mars, unite with a craft orbiting Mars to pick up a return-to-Earth stage, and then head back home. Id actually want to have two return capsules planned; and delay the second one so that lessons can be learned if the first fails. The return craft shouldn't actually need to be very big.


But, I'd rather see NASA plan to launch something designed to go really freakin fast and have power for at least a century. Start exploring the space around our solar system. We need to do it eventually and it will take a long time to leave the solar system, so the earlier we start the better.

As a sad side note, if we make a craft fast enough to reach another star within a century, it will only be within that stars solar system for a matter of days at best.
 
2014-08-03 06:15:28 PM  

Chris45215: Start exploring the space around our solar system. We need to do it eventually and it will take a long time to leave the solar system, so the earlier we start the better.


That's like saying the Romans should have spent all their time sending ships across the Atlantic instead of building a road to Gaul.

Just the space in our Solar System is farking huge.  The nearby space outside is even huger.  If we spent all the resources to even begin that project, we wouldn't have anything left to actually get off this rock, since the sheer number of craft needed to even badly map out the Solar System would strip the Earth bare.  We need to figure out going to Mars before we can even begin to think about the outer planets, much less another start system.  Mars is going to be a farking nightmare to get to with humans as-is.  If we can't get that right, it really doesn't matter what's on Titan, much less outside the Oort Cloud, because we aren't going anywhere.  Getting to Mars buys us the time to worry about extra-solar space.  But not getting to Mars because we are worrying about Alpha Centauri buys us nothing.  This isn't "learning to walk before you run", this is "learning to gain even rudimentary motor control before booking your around-the-world solo sailing trip"
 
2014-08-03 08:25:12 PM  

phalamir: Chris45215: Start exploring the space around our solar system. We need to do it eventually and it will take a long time to leave the solar system, so the earlier we start the better.

That's like saying the Romans should have spent all their time sending ships across the Atlantic instead of building a road to Gaul.

Just the space in our Solar System is farking huge.  The nearby space outside is even huger.  If we spent all the resources to even begin that project, we wouldn't have anything left to actually get off this rock, since the sheer number of craft needed to even badly map out the Solar System would strip the Earth bare.  We need to figure out going to Mars before we can even begin to think about the outer planets, much less another start system.  Mars is going to be a farking nightmare to get to with humans as-is.  If we can't get that right, it really doesn't matter what's on Titan, much less outside the Oort Cloud, because we aren't going anywhere.  Getting to Mars buys us the time to worry about extra-solar space.  But not getting to Mars because we are worrying about Alpha Centauri buys us nothing.  This isn't "learning to walk before you run", this is "learning to gain even rudimentary motor control before booking your around-the-world solo sailing trip"


I was never thinking of getting humans on Mars. It's just not suited for human life and would require way too many resources to set up, the cost of building a permanent self-sustaining base on Mars is huge. My idea isn't to do huge exploration of the solar system or map it; more like Voyager probe 2.0, but preferably much faster and with much more science. We've done it a few times, so there is no reason we can't do it again. The point of doing it is the extremely long lag time between launch and science.

Robotic exploration will be the future for quite a long time; I don't expect humans to walk on Mars and return during the next 50 years because currently it would just be a stunt compared to how much we could learn by spending the same amount on robots.

Once we devise a cheaper primary launch system or a space elevator, then we can look at sending heavier payloads or human exploration. But before that, humans are too big, unwieldy, and require too much maintenance compared to robots.
 
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