Mars Exploration 1: Unmanned Missions (Probes; Rovers; etc.)

EnolaGaia

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... It's a shame we couldn't see the sky crane deploying and what not. ...
Do you mean it's a shame we didn't get to see something like this:

PerseveranceHanging2Land.jpeg

Yes - it's an actual photo of the rover being lowered onto the surface by the sky crane module ...
Mars landing team ‘awestruck’ by photo of descending rover

The world got its first close-up look at a Mars landing on Friday, as NASA released a stunning picture of its newest rover being lowered onto the dusty red surface.

The photo was released less than 24 hours after the Perseverance rover successfully touched down near an ancient river delta, where it will search for signs of ancient life and set aside the most promising rock samples for return to Earth in a decade.

NASA equipped the spacecraft with a record 25 cameras and two microphones, many of which were turned on during Thursday’s descent.

The rover is shown in stunning detail just 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) off the ground, being lowered by cables attached to an overhead sky crane, the red dust kicked up by rocket engines. NASA promises more photos in the next few days and possibly also an audio recording of the descent. ...

“This is something that we’ve never seen before,” flight system engineer Aaron Stehura noted at a news conference. “It was stunning, and the team was awestruck. There’s just a feeling of victory that we were able to capture these and share it with the world.” ...
FULL STORY: https://apnews.com/article/mars-rover-1st-close-up-photo-496df4eb54125512623959a7abe8e5c5
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's another photo of a type I don't recall us ever seeing before - an image of a Mars rover descending toward its landing zone with its parachute. The image was captured via a tricky time-critical maneuver by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

perseverance_descent.jpg

HiRISE Captured Perseverance During Descent to Mars

The descent stage holding NASA’s Perseverance rover can be seen falling through the Martian atmosphere, its parachute trailing behind, in this image taken on Feb. 18, 2021, by the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The ancient river delta, which is the target of the Perseverance mission, can be seen entering Jezero Crater from the left.

HiRISE was approximately 435 miles (700 kilometers) from Perseverance and traveling at about 6750 mile per hour (3 kilometers per second) at the time the image was taken. The extreme distance and high speeds of the two spacecraft were challenging conditions that required precise timing and for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to both pitch upward and roll hard to the left so that Perseverance was viewable by HiRISE at just the right moment. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/hirise-captured-perseverance-during-descent-to-mars
 

kamalktk

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Here's another photo of a type I don't recall us ever seeing before - an image of a Mars rover descending toward its landing zone with its parachute. The image was captured via a tricky time-critical maneuver by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
iirc we have gotten a photo of a descent before, but can't find the picture.

edit: it was Curiosity in 2012, and the BBC says they photographed Phoenix in 2008 https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-19150849

_62085970_para_nasa_624.jpg
 

Analogue Boy

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Hey! This is an American mission. It's "color", not "colour". :atom:
However, when the equations that would be used to process and translate tracking data into flight instructions were encoded onto punch cards, one critical symbol was left out causing a major fatal flaw in the software of the guidance system. Essentially, it was the lack of that over bar or over line, which is often confused in ensuing years with a hyphen, that caused the guidance computer to incorrectly compensate for some otherwise normal movement in the spacecraft. As the New York Times reported days after the launch: “The hyphen symbol, called a 'bar,' if officially fed into the computer on its punched card instructions, tells the machine not to worry about this normal veering movement. The spacecraft landed up manoeuvring in a way that it shouldn’t have and which put it on a path to crash, possibly into inhabited areas. For safety purposes, then, 293 seconds into the mission it was destroyed on command”.
Yours,
A Pedant.
 

Ringo

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Do you mean it's a shame we didn't get to see something like this:
Yes - it's an actual photo of the rover being lowered onto the surface by the sky crane module ...
I saw that today - it's amazing isn't it? There will be some video footage of the decent released too according to an article I read. I can't wait to see it. Again, it's a shame we didn't get a live feed but better late than never.
 

Mythopoeika

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Frickin' amazing!
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Video footage of the landing has been released.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-56159376
Awesome!
That heat shield being jettisoned from a height of 12km must have created quite a crater.
Also, given how thin the Martian atmosphere is supposed to be (especially at that altitude) I was surprised at how dramatically the parachute snaps open and the very rapid deceleration.
If the quality of the video is indicative of what is to come, we're in for some awesome footage in the months and years of Perseverance's mission (not to mention the helicopter drone)!
 

Ringo

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What an amazing achievement. Imagine seeing a Space X rocket land. My wish would be for some sort of camera/rover to be on the surface to film the landing from the ground up.

I'm excited about what they may discover but the landing excites me more.
 

Kondoru

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Thats very good.

Is there a significance to the colour scheme of the parachute?
 

EnolaGaia

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... Is there a significance to the colour scheme of the parachute?
Allegedly - yes ...
'Dare mighty things': hidden message found on Nasa Mars rover parachute

Internet sleuths claim to have decoded a hidden message displayed on the parachute that helped Nasa’s Perseverance Rover land safely on Mars last week. They claim that the phrase “Dare mighty things” – used as a motto by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – was encoded on the parachute using a pattern representing letters as binary computer code.

Reddit users and social media posters on Twitter noticed that the red-and-white pattern on the parachute looked deliberate, and arrived at the result by using the red to represent the figure one, and the white to represent zero.

Each of the concentric rings in the parachute’s pattern represents one of the words. The zeroes and ones need to be split up into chunks of 10 characters, and from that, adding 64 gives you the computer ASCII code representing a letter. For example, seven white stripes, a red stripe and then two more white stripes represents 0000000100, the binary for four. Adding 64 to that gives 68, the ASCII code for the letter D. ...

The challenge had been set by Nasa itself. While the pattern has a scientific purpose – it allows mission control to see the angle the parachute has deployed at and whether it has got twisted – during a live stream discussing the landing, one Nasa commentator said: “Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find. So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work.” ...

The hi-tech fabric making up the parachute was created in Devon, emphasising the international nature of the effort to get Perseverance to the red planet. Heathcoat Fabrics of Tiverton said it was “very, very proud of the achievement”, with the director of the company’s woven fabric department, Peter Hill, saying it represented 15 years’ work. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.theguardian.com/science...en-message-found-on-nasa-mars-rover-parachute
 

EnolaGaia

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Meanwhile ... China's Tianwen-1 has entered a parking orbit to prepare for landing its rover sometime in the coming months.
China’s Mars craft enters parking orbit before landing rover

China says its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months.

The China National Space Administration said the spacecraft executed a maneuver to adjust its orbit early Wednesday morning Beijing time and will remain in the new orbit for about the next three months before attempting to land. During that time, it will be mapping the surface of Mars and using its cameras and other sensors to collect further data, particularly about its prospective landing site. ...

A successful bid to land Tianwen-1 would make China only the second country after the U.S. to place a spacecraft on Mars. China’s solar-powered vehicle, about the size of a golf cart, will collect data on underground water and look for evidence that the planet may have once harbored microscopic life. ...
FULL STORY: https://apnews.com/article/china-mars-rover-enters-orbit-4d6a32e39bdb73d4ec463e98e16f05c0
 

IbisNibs

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I thought only airplanes did that.
 
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