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Thread: Planning a Curiosity Landing Party

  1. #1

    Planning a Curiosity Landing Party

    I'm planning a party at my house to coincide with the MSL landing, with a projector screen watching online coverage. Landing should be around 5pm my local time so we'll have the whole evening. I'd like to anticipate what will happen immediately after landing and for the following 7 hours or so.

    I did watch the MER landings in 2004 - IIRC the first images came back quite quickly and there was plenty to watch for several hours. Is my memory accurate?

    Can anyone tell me what we can expect from NASA TV or other sources for the first few hours after landing?

  2. #2
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    I donno, but the curiosity landing system makes me REALY nervous.
    If she gets down safe, i dont think youd need NASA TV to get a party going after that!

    this is link to the latest landing ellipse prediction.
    http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/as...15687_full.jpg

    kinda looks like a hill range to the right, but i guess it must just be surface colouration making it look that way?
    edit. found this one that better shows topography of the landing ellipse - phew
    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/image...8_60840237.jpg
    Last edited by mutleyeng; 2012-Jun-12 at 03:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mutleyeng View Post
    kinda looks like a hill range to the right, but i guess it must just be surface colouration making it look that way?
    No - it's a real hill. It's informally called Mount Sharp.

    It's more than 4km tall.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA15685

    ( I made that artwork )

    I'm afraid the first day or 3 of MSL is going to be less exciting than MER once we're on the ground. MSL's mast will not deploy after landing. It'll be commanded to deploy a day or 2 later once the health of the vehicle has been established. There may be a Hazcam (engineering fisheye camera) image about 2 hours after landing, but it's not for sure. MARDI descent images will begin to be transmitted about then as well - we may have one or two of them by the end of that first sol as well if we're really lucky.

  4. #4
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    excellent work.
    It was the dark area within the ellipse i was looking at. As per usual i didnt make myself clear, sorry.

    Fingers crossed they can sort out the drill operation - Im sure they will figure out a workaround, but we dont need more controversy over experiment results

    The planetary society are holding Planetfest - in a clip from Bill Nye he did say it could be watched online, so that could be something to look out for
    http://www.planetary.org/get-involve...anetfest-2012/
    Last edited by mutleyeng; 2012-Jun-12 at 04:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    I had confirmation that Planetfest will be live streamed, so at least there will be interesting speakers to listen to even if no pictures.

    I am wondering, do we have any idea yet if Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will be likely to capture any of the descent?

  6. #6
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    curiosity landing.

    When is(was) this landing supposed to happen.
    Haven't heard a thing about it.

    PO'T

  7. #7
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    time - 10:31 p.m. PDT August 5th
    location - Gale crater

    Be there or be square

    seriously, if you havnt heard about it you just have to watch this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwinF...eature=related

    then look it up on wiki to see how big that thing is

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    No - it's a real hill. It's informally called Mount Sharp.

    It's more than 4km tall.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA15685

    ( I made that artwork )
    Good job too.

  9. #9
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    Looks complicated. Hope it goes okay.

    PO'T

  10. #10
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    I just asked this question for you in a pod cast from one of the MSL landing system engineers.
    Answer is pretty much as Dj said of course, but to pass on the answer i got...
    there will be an orbiter that has a window of a few minutes where it may gather the first image of descent, which will be a shot of where it will be landing ( it will have landed by this point, but thats likely the first picture they would download if they have time). The orbiter will then go out of range, and return an hour and a half later, where it will recieve further descent images, and if we are lucky, it may also have images from hazcams and two navcams. So if they get an image in the first pass, it will take "a few hours" before a picture would be released, then add a couple of hours onto that for anything on the ground, but no promises on that.
    As the host pointed out, JPL are very conservative on expectations they give out - so you can be optimistic the "if we are lucky" forecast may be the reality
    Last edited by mutleyeng; 2012-Jun-21 at 02:52 AM.

  11. #11
    A few clarification points...

    I wouldn't expect any images until L+ 2 hours. That should probably include Hazcam (fisheye engineering cameras) and a frame or two from MARDI the descent imager.

    There will be no Navcam or Mastcam images until L+2 days. They don't deploy the mast on landing day - they wait to check the health of the vehicle first and unlike MER - when stowed, the cameras are facing the rover deck and can't see anything (to be protected from the dust of landing)

    On that landing day - I'd expect something analogous to...

    http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...0F0006L0M1.JPG
    http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...0F0006L0M1.JPG
    http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...IA04984_br.jpg (but color)

    On the first day after landing - a MAHLI image looking at the horizon askew at 30 degrees in color - and those same Hazcam views but at full resolution - no mast cam views - maybe more MARDI descent images.

    On the second day after landing - probably something like this..
    http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...a/PIA04991.jpg
    and a color view of the horizon as well.

  12. #12
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    oh right, he deffo talked of a pair of Navcams low down on chassis - must just have misspoke and meant the front pair of hazcams.

    this is part of the talk for anyone interested
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a359J0vE8jQ&feature=plcp
    Last edited by mutleyeng; 2012-Jun-21 at 01:48 PM.

  13. #13
    Thank you so much for the excellent replies, this really helps me a lot. I think I'd be very happy to get something from Hazcam, and descent images will be a bonus if they happen. Looking forward to a good night!

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