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Space Science

NASA Releases Mars Data for Maestro 1220

The Maestro Team writes "The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released the first Mars data update for Maestro, containing images just received from the Spirit Mars rover. Maestro is the public version of the actual tool used by the mission scientists to operate the rover. You can download Maestro and the latest Mars images from the official Maestro site, and join the developers and other users in #maestro on"
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NASA Releases Mars Data for Maestro

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  • Beagle2 (Score:3, Funny)

    by holzp ( 87423 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:00AM (#7910229)
    Now we just need to sent it looking for that British probe.
    • I have a theory. As Beagle2 looked, well like a kettle barbecue - I bet those guys discover it in the shed out back when summer arrives. Imagine their faces when they realise they laucnhed 3Kgs of barbecue charcoal by mistake...
    • "...the object of this expedition is to see if we can find any traces of last year's expedition." -- Sir George Head, OBE

      (reference [])
  • sweet! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Savatte ( 111615 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:02AM (#7910268) Homepage Journal
    I spent all that time building my own rover, hoping, nay - praying, for this to happen. It's nice to finally be able to do something with it other than cover up the crab grass on my lawn.
  • by glassesmonkey ( 684291 ) * on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:02AM (#7910272) Homepage Journal
    Get your your bittorrent files here:
    Maestro for Windows [] & Mars Dataset #1 []

    Maestro for Linux [] & Mars Dataset #1 []
    (tar -xzvf dataset immediately above your "JPL" directory)

    Maestro for Solaris [] & Mars Dataset #1 []
    (tar -xzvf dataset immediately above your "JPL" directory)

    Maestro for Mac [] & Mars Dataset #1 []
    (Requires Java3D [])

    Maestro User's Guide (pdf) []
    BitTorrent stats []

    Provide feedback to these folks: maestro [at] telascience [dot] org
  • I can't wait to start exploring. On the advice of some other /.ers yesterday I grabbed maestro early. Looks like it was a good thing I did...

  • by patternjuggler ( 738978 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:04AM (#7910324) Homepage
    Maestro is the public version of the actual tool used by the mission scientists to operate the rover.

    So I'm guessing this public version of the tool used to operate the rover lacks some capabilities, like the ability to operate the rover?
  • by Spikeman56 ( 543509 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:05AM (#7910330) Homepage
    Downloaded it and its pretty cool lookin... it's neat to see the pre-processed raw images. They even have a 3d model of the rover and its surroundings (however the rendering process makes everything EXTREMELY dissying). What puzzled me though is that Maestro is written in Java and a java application can be run on any virtual machine that has the necessary files therefore preventing seperate OS editions, but for some reason this has separate douwnloads for Linux/Solaris, Windows, and OSX. Hmm... anyway looking forward to the next data pack!
  • These are the kinds of things that will interest people in space exploration again. Although the site is "conserving bandwidth", and didn't have as much info as I would like available right this second, the idea that I can be reviewing the data returned by the Mars rovers at the same time as NASA's scientists is really, really appealing.

    This is the kind of thing that makes people seriously consider careers in science. Imagine a father and son (or mother and daughter) pouring over this info together, comparing their take with NASA's. That's super exciting.

    Maybe one of the kids downloading Maestro today will take the first steps on Mars tomorrow...
    • 2 billion hits (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:23AM (#7910680) Homepage
      You are quite right and even better the NASA folks are keenly aware of this. I saw an interview with one of the JPL directors on Nasa TV and he said they had gotten more than 2 billion hits to the NASA web site since the landing. In perspective this is more than they got during all of 2003.

      Second I think it is real cool that some of the key people in the project / science team at NASA are women. Maybe this will help in that department as well, we sure need their brain power in the tech sector.

      • Yeah, this is really interesting. I wonder if anybody has noticed the server string on their servers:

        Server: Apache/2.0.45 (Unix) mod_perl/1.99_09-dev Perl/v5.6.1 covalent_auth/2.3 DAV/2 CovalentSSL/2.3.3 RSA/SSLC mod_jk/1.2.2-beta-1

        They're taking some beta software for some serious rides there....

        I believe both mod_perl/1.99 and mod_jk/1.2.2-beta-1 are, well, beta software. I thought I heard mod_perl 2.0 was released, but I haven't heard any great success stories. But that's a really nice test fo

    • by QuantumFTL ( 197300 ) * on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:51AM (#7911170)
      Although the site is "conserving bandwidth", and didn't have as much info as I would like available right this second,

      There is a secondary site at [] which has a lot more info.

      Check it out. It even has a Wiki [] about Maestro and MER.

      Many Maestro and MER related questions are also being answered in #maestro on

      Justin Wick
      Science Activity Planner / Maestro Support Staff
      Mars Exploration Rovers
    • Maybe one of the kids downloading Maestro today will take the first steps on Mars tomorrow...

      Indeed! But tomorrow seems kind of soon. Possibly by next Tuesday though....

  • by JPL-Jeff ( 737613 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:07AM (#7910400)
    We (the Maestro team) hope you all really enjoy Maestro. Don't forget to join us in our chat channel (#maestro in and send us your comments at maestro (at) telascience (dot) org.
    • Well I would but your IRC seems to have been slashdotted

      Connect retry #12 (6667)
      * Unable to connect (Connection refused)
      * Connect retry #13 (6667)
      * Unable to connect (Connection refused)

      And so on and on......
    • I'd just like to congratulate the JPL team for the success up to this point with the Spirit mission! Also thanks to JPL-Jeff and the others on #maestro who have been keeping us up to date with all of the latest news.

      Some of the channel regulars are responsible for setting up the FAQ [] which should be one of the first stops if you have questions about Maestro.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hi Jeff, Out of curiosity ... is Maestro anything like SAP? I've been running around installing SAP like mad the last week and half. Some people just don't plan. =) I'd check out Maestro myself, but I'm on narrowband. =(
    • by JPL-Jeff ( 737613 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:15AM (#7910578)
      ACK - no, the irc is #maestro on Sigh - not enough sleep!!!

      Join us in #maestro on!
    • I have to say that is an amazing piece of work. How cool to be back in middle school and to be able to see exactly what the NASA folks see. And to be able to drive the rover and give it commands. Very cool and very educational and the tutorial is wonderful. It really is kid friendly and easy to use and at the same time complex enough for NASA to use to pilot a robot on Mars.
    • This is in the range of cool as during one of the Voyager fly-bys of Saturn when someone at JPL retransmitted the pictures over amateur radio Slow-Scan TV as they came in. A bunch of us sat around VE2CUA watching them "live".

      Yeah, in that range of cool. Thanks!

    • by Jagasian ( 129329 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @01:05AM (#7911385)
      I think we need to divert money from the military to NASA :) It should be a 50/50 split.
    • Got any room for 3rd year computer engineering students next fall for 4 months?
    • Just loaded this onto my G4 here at the office and it's blowing my mind. I love it. It makes me feel like I'm kind of involved in this mission, which we all are right!

      I cannot wait to get home and put it on my daughters iMac - she's 5 and loves that "little mars robot". Maestro will really help her get a feel for what's going on, and make her feel involved too.

      Thanks JPL - Bring on that data!!
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:17AM (#7910597) Homepage Journal
    I love this program. I have never felt so close to space exploration as I do when I'm poking around it.

    It is an awe inspiring mission and this software practically lets you touch it.

    Heres an interesting quote from their "Conductor" guided tour of the dataset, which is extensive and shows you EVERYTHING they have on the mission so far.
    (emphasis mine)

    The images shown here were among the first to arrive from Mars. The Navcam image on top was taken before the rover mast was deployed. The rover's high-gain antenna can be seen on the left side of the image. It was this image, loaded in the mission version of Maestro, that gave the scientists their first glimpse of where Spirit had landed.
  • man the pictures i have seen so far are absolutley amazing. I cant wait to get a lot more. Here is to a long life for the rovers. Maestro is pretty slick.
  • rovers in museums (Score:3, Informative)

    by spanklin ( 710953 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:20AM (#7910637)
    This is somewhat offtopic (apologies in advance), but I've heard that some museums / science centers are going to be building realistic Mars terrain models, and replica rovers are going to travel the country. Interactive exhibits are planned where visitors can control the replica as it moves across the fake Mars terrain. Download maestro now to practice!
    • Make sure you do your practicing at work. From DNRC newsletter #17:

      I took the QuickTime panorama of the Mars Pathfinder, reworked it into my own HTML web page (neatly entitled "Pathfinder Mission Control") and put a heading "Pathfinder Active Camera Control" above the panorama.

      Soon the news travelled, from Induhvidual to Induhvidual, that I had found a way to control the camera on the Pathfinder from my computer at work. My PC was swarmed by Induhviduals each taking their turn "controlling the camera".

    • Re:rovers in museums (Score:3, Informative)

      by awtbfb ( 586638 )

      That would be the Personal Exploration Rover []. Here's the press release [].
  • by popo ( 107611 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:21AM (#7910653) Homepage

    Maybe if we all pull "left" at the same time...
  • More download links (Score:5, Informative)

    by JPL-Jeff ( 737613 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:35AM (#7910846)
    In addition to the torrent links, we have a lot of great mirror sites for Maestro. You can find them all here:
  • Someone get the biggest wlan signal booster they can find and ship it in a freighter to the Arecibo observatory while I install this baby on a laptop. Ever had an RC car whose control frequency interfered with something? Think bigger. >:)

  • Since when did the government care to provide Linux support? NASA is truely the exception to the rule.
    • Hold on a sec, cuz. It's Java. That is only tenatively Linux support....
    • Re:Linux Binaries? (Score:2, Informative)

      by martyvona ( 739012 )
      Actually, I can tell you that the following facts are true: 1) Maestro and the corresponding mission software were developed almost entirely on workstations running Linux and other open source software 2) The official workstations that are running this software at JPL run Linux 3) Most of the testing and optimization was done on Linux, thus you can expect Maestro to run best on Linux 4) We distribute different installers just to make it easiest for people to get the correct versions of all the required
  • Where is Bill Nye's Marsdial? Thats what I want to see.
    That was on this probe right?
    • Database/site-00/NAVCAM/2N126468579DNL0000P1502L0 M 1

      9th image down in the NAVCAM folder, which is in the site-000 folder.

      Selected Point:
      XYZ in Site 0 [m]:

      That little white patch at top left of the solar panel, with the black antennae in the middle. I think it triples as a transmitter and colour balance.

      BTW anyone know if there's a way of exporting a file with coordinates etc. that can be imported into someone else's Maestro to show a location on an image?
  • I think this calls for a great collection of Mars rover political cartoons from the various newspapers:
  • Ah yes. I am getting this Maestro thingy at 11.1Mbps. Heh. OC-12 to Abilene....
  • by JPL-Jeff ( 737613 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @01:41AM (#7911780)
    Well, I really hope that people won't be scared away from Maestro because of all the rubbish posted here. It certainly killed any useful discussion before it could start. It's a pity - we worked very hard on Maestro, and I think that there are a lot of people out there who would enjoy it.

    I'm very new to Slashdot (ok, ok, I joined just so I could announce Maestro :) ). Does this happen often? How is it usually dealt with? It seems like in situations like this the editors might consider just pulling the article and posting it again later.

    Of course, I don't see how anyone could even FIND this post considering the company it will be keeping.. oh well! :(

    Jeff Norris
    Maestro Team Lead
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    • since the junk posts are moderated to -1, and most people read comments that are only moderated +1 or higher, it's not that big of a problem. it is a pretty stupid thing for people to do though, but don't let it discourage you!! A lot of people are very impressed with the work your team has put into this!!
    • by Pavan_Gupta ( 624567 ) <`pg8p' `at' `'> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @01:53AM (#7911855)
      JPL-Jeff, don't be discouraged by the nonsense posted on slashdot from time to time -- your message is easily caught from amongst the "crapflood." Regardless, trust in the slashdot moderators, hopefully they'll keep things in check.

      Moreover, trust that your link will be getting all the attention it needs. I noticed your download links far up in the discussion (inside the crapflood taht is), and I'm sure others have as well.

      Hopefully the moderators will be on the ball tonight -- at least they can easily see where the spam is.

      No worries though, you've got an awesome piece of software, and I'm as eager as anybody to see it in action.

    • By spam I take it you mean some of the "comments" posted here (like this one). Well, welcome to Slashdot. As the number of members in a community goes up, so does the number of assclowns in said community (probably not a linear relationship), and said assclowns don't care what they're assclowning, allowing them to overwhelm meaningful content. Being very very big, Slashdot has very very many assclowns. The moderation system is an attempt to address that, but you also get moderators that are assclowns (like

      • I saw in excess of 1000 comments, but when I checked initially with my usual filtering I only saw 70 or 80. The rest were clearly spam in the purest sense of the word (check them, they surely were made automatically).

        It is the first time I see something that vicious here, I wonder if it is a bunch of different machines 0wn3d by a cracker posting each comments as ACs (thus making too laborious to block based on IP address...).
    • Just browse with a filter on the comments of +2 and you'll find the comments are pretty good. All the crap gets moderated down.
    • Originally posted by JPL-Jeff (737613)
      I'm very new to Slashdot (ok, ok, I joined just so I could announce Maestro :) ). Does this happen often? How is it usually dealt with?

      We just ask the British to send a probe to the GNAA home planet to find intelligent life. :D

    • Jeff, Thanks for posting information on Slashdot - downloaded Maestro, and am loving it!! With regards to the spam, the moderators have done a great job, as reading comments with a threshold of 4, I didn't even see the negative comments until I went back with a lower threshhold. I think your message came across loud and clear!

      thanks, brandido
  • Does it come with source code? A program is of little use to me unless I can hack on it.
  • Can this program be used a Windows/MacOS X/Linux screen saver to collect images? I'd love to show this program off at work. ;)
  • by __aailob1448 ( 541069 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @02:28AM (#7912101) Journal

    I asked JPL-jeff on IRC about it and his answer was:

    gozu - I don't have the numbers in front of me. It's like about 15 Mbits of products per day on the HGA, more like 180 Mbits per day on the UHF if we do all the orbiter passes.

    So it averages out to 2.3 Kbps! Of course, this is in bursts so the real speeds are higher than this. But still...It's shocking.

  • by lpangelrob2 ( 721920 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @02:31AM (#7912120) Journal
    It seems that the link to the Java3D download is quite broken, so I'll post a better one here. andjavaadvancedimagingupdate.html []

    It doesn't specifically tell you, but if you try to fire up Maestro without Java3D, nothing happens.

    As it is, this is a quality Java app -- reminds me of old *quality* Encarta multimedia footage (back in oh... 1998 or so). Just better. :-)


    This is a post about getting it to work on Xandros Linux, but people using other distros with newer versions of libstdc++ may have the same problem, so you may need to symbolically link the libstdc library on your unit to the version the software calls for as well.

    The software is a PIG. Its a Java application and even on my 3.0Ghz HP graphics workstation with a Quadro4 graphics card, its slow and a major memory hog. Still, Its pretty cool.
  • by rm3friskerFTN ( 34339 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @03:13AM (#7912348) Journal
    The USA Today article Imprint shows Mars craft landed in 'weird stuff' [] describes "The soil was stripped up and folded in an interesting way," said Jim Bell, who designed the panoramic camera that Spirit used to photograph the "mud-like" patch []. "It has quite alien textures."

    Might this soil crust on Mars be same/similar to the biological soil crust found at Arches National Park [] (Moab, Utah)?

    Additional details regarding biological soil crusts maybe are to found here:

    intermediate details []

    advanced details []

  • This story has received 1220 comments, including this one.

    Total crapflood comments: 996
    Comments discussing the crapflood: 59
    Comments scored at -1 (not included above): 27
    Legitimate, on-topic comments: 138

    Distribution of comment scores:

    Score Crap- Discuss Non- Total
    flood Crap- Crap-
    flood flood

    -1 996. 21. 27. 1,044.
    0 0. 10. 36. 46.
    1 0. 16. 33. 49.
    2 0. 9. 38. 47.
    3 0. 1. 7. 8.
    4 0. 0. 4. 4.
    5 0. 2. 20. 22.

    (sorry about the periods. The lameness filter

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming