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Space Science

Homing In On Opportunity From Orbit 48

An anonymous reader writes "Finding its lander inside a 20-meter crater, NASA has further homed in its latest lander's location and a major science target for the Opportunity rover using high resolution orbital cameras from 400 km overhead. The lander's parachute even casted a shadow nearby this target [another 150 meter crater] during descent. Earlier, each bounce of the Spirit rover could be imaged, along with its backshell, heatshield and parachute debris. Even with dust and weathering, this method could find Pathfinder and Viking [barely], and a technical discussion with pictures is at Malin Space Systems, which designed the Mars Orbital Camera. Because of uncertainties in location, however, it would take 60 years to find the lost Mars Polar Lander, but they may look for Beagle if conditions aren't too dusty."
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Homing In On Opportunity From Orbit

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  • by danalien ( 545655 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @03:43AM (#8086194) Homepage
    can be found here: ses/20040125c.html []

    btw, I like this excerpt, about the 'Spirit' lander:

    >Encouraging developments continued for Opportunity's twin, Spirit, too. Engineers have determined that Spirit's flash memory
    >hardware is functional,strengthening a theory that Spirit's main problem is in software that controls file management of the memory.
    >"I think we've got a patient that's well on the way to recovery," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager Pete Theisinger at NASA's
    >Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    ...don't they kinda wished that they ran linux on it?
    and if it where buggy, they'd at least have a patch within a couple of hours ;-)

  • by dhaines ( 323241 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @03:48AM (#8086206)
    successful mission upon successful mission

    No. []
  • Puh-lease! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rk ( 6314 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:37AM (#8086342) Journal

    Every scrap of data from NASA science missions get released through the Planetary Data System [], eventually. It's just the science teams that actually propose and run the missions get first crack at the data.

    If you think this isn't fair, stop for a moment and think about the years of blood, sweat and tears that go into these missions. Do you think it is fair then that the scientist with the best internet connection gets to analyze the data first, just because he has a great internet connection? I guarantee you that would end space research because there's no payback for the teams who actually design the missions.

    And if you think they did a crappy job with the analysis, well, eventually all the raw data is released and everybody gets a crack at it.

  • by dk.r*nger ( 460754 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:23AM (#8086829)
    [...] 'OpenSource Space Initiative' [...]
    And no, I don't mean, build things, more a 'Think Tank' group, who tries to focus on
    solving troubles/things, elaborating on ideas, finding solutions... etc; and at the end of they
    day, everything is Open to everyone, to comment on & contribute.

    And five or six years down the line:

    From: Nasa JPL
    Subj: Re: First OpenSpace rapport

    Dear contributers,

    Your ideas are good, and we greatly appreciate your effort.

    However, your findings are not new to us. One of our hundreds of insanely intelligent scientists thought this up during lunch in october 1983, and had mathmatical proof why it won't work by the end of the day. I'm sorry I can't share it.

    Best regards,
    Dr.Ph.d. N.N.

    PS: Some of you guys seem bright. If only you'd not wasted your time doing this and come worked for us instead...

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright