NASA launches super-size Mars rover to red planet (Update)

Nov 26, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

The world's biggest extraterrestrial explorer, NASA's Curiosity rover, rocketed toward Mars on Saturday on a search for evidence that the red planet might once have been home to itsy-bitsy life.

It will take 8 1/2 months for Curiosity to reach Mars following a journey of 354 million miles.

An unmanned Atlas V rocket hoisted the rover, officially known as Mars Science Laboratory, into a cloudy late morning sky. A Mars frenzy gripped the launch site, with more than 13,000 guests jamming the space center for NASA's first launch to Earth's next-door neighbor in four years, and the first send-off of a Martian rover in eight years.

NASA astrobiologist Pan Conrad, whose carbon compound-seeking instrument is on the rover, had a shirt custom made for the occasion. Her bright blue, short-sleeve blouse was emblazoned with rockets, planets and the words, "Next stop Mars!"

Conrad jumped, cheered and snapped pictures as the rocket blasted off a few miles away. So did Los Alamos National Laboratory's Roger Wiens, a planetary scientist in charge of Curiosity's rock-zapping laser machine, called ChemCam.

Wiens shouted "Go, Go, Go!" as the rocket soared. "It was beautiful," he later observed, just as NASA declared the launch a full success.

The 1-ton Curiosity - as large as a car - is a mobile, nuclear-powered laboratory holding 10 science instruments that will sample Martian soil and rocks, and analyze them right on the spot. There's a drill as well as the laser-zapping device.

It's "really a rover on steroids," said NASA's Colleen Hartman, assistant associate administrator for science. "It's an order of magnitude more capable than anything we have ever launched to any planet in the solar system."

The primary goal of the $2.5 billion mission is to see whether cold, dry, barren Mars might have been hospitable for microbial life once upon a time - or might even still be conducive to life now. No actual life detectors are on board; rather, the instruments will hunt for organic compounds.

Curiosity's 7-foot arm has a jackhammer on the end to drill into the Martian red rock, and the 7-foot mast on the rover is topped with high-definition and laser cameras. No previous Martian rover has been so sophisticated or capable.

With Mars the ultimate goal for astronauts, NASA also will use Curiosity to measure radiation at the red planet. The rover also has a weather station on board that will provide temperature, wind and humidity readings; a computer software app with daily weather updates is planned.

The world has launched more than three dozen missions to the ever-alluring Mars, which is more like Earth than the other solar-system planets. Yet fewer than half those quests have succeeded.

Just two weeks ago, a Russian spacecraft ended up stuck in orbit around Earth, rather than en route to the Martian moon Phobos.

"Mars really is the Bermuda Triangle of the solar system," Hartman said. "It's the death planet, and the United States of America is the only nation in the world that has ever landed and driven robotic explorers on the surface of Mars, and now we're set to do it again."

Curiosity's arrival next August will be particularly hair-raising.

In a spacecraft first, the rover will be lowered onto the Martian surface via a jet pack and tether system similar to the sky cranes used to lower heavy equipment into remote areas on Earth.

Curiosity is too heavy to use air bags like its much smaller predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity, did in 2004. Besides, this new way should provide for a more accurate landing.

Astronauts will need to make similarly precise landings on Mars one day.

Curiosity will spend a minimum of two years roaming around Gale Crater, chosen as the landing site because it's rich in minerals. Scientists said if there is any place on Mars that might have been ripe for life, it would be there.

"I like to say it's extraterrestrial real estate appraisal," Conrad said with a chuckle earlier in the week.

The rover - 10 feet long and 9 feet wide - should be able to go farther and work harder than any previous Mars explorer because of its power source: 10.6 pounds of radioactive plutonium. The nuclear generator was encased in several protective layers in case of a launch accident.

NASA expects to put at least 12 miles on the odometer, once the rover sets down on the Martian surface.

This is the third astronomical mission to be launched from Cape Canaveral by NASA since the retirement of the venerable space shuttle fleet this summer. The Juno probe is en route to Jupiter, and twin spacecraft named Grail will arrive at Earth's moon on New Year's Eve and Day.

NASA hails this as the year of the solar system.

Explore further: Students see world from station crew's point of view

More information: NASA: http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

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User comments : 58

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ShotmanMaslo
4.7 / 5 (15) Nov 26, 2011
Another succesfull launch by the Atlas V rocket. Cant wait for crewed launches.

Go, Curiosity!
omatumr
Nov 26, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ThanderMAX
4.7 / 5 (11) Nov 26, 2011
KUDOS to NASA for successful launch !!

See you in next August :)
Tseihta
1.6 / 5 (20) Nov 26, 2011
No actual life detectors are on board; rather, the instruments will hunt for organic compounds.


What??? It's not Star Trek? "Captain... I detect two life forms on the surface"

Curiosity's 7-foot arm has a jackhammer on the end to drill into the Martian red rock, and the 7-foot mast on the rover is topped with high-definition and laser cameras.


Jackhammers that drill and laser cameras? WOW this thing really is advanced!! (SARC... I'm laying it on pretty thick here)

jet pack and tether system similar to the sky cranes used to lower heavy equipment into remote areas on Earth.


Say what? Where has this ever been done on earth to lower heavy equipment? I'm sure the author must be referring to a helicopter or the DHC-6 but I've never seen one with a jet pack....

...
Gale Crater, chosen as the landing site because it's rich in minerals.


Minerals? Geeez come on!

Who writes this? This is pretty sad 'reporting' especially for a science news site...
Pirouette
1.6 / 5 (26) Nov 26, 2011
The NASA has already determined, from past rover missions, that Mars has minerals and frozen water on her surface. But you must remember that NASA is also all about acquiring as much funding as possible each year for future missions. . . .so that they will do as little as possible with each Mars mission in order to keep that money coming. Curiosity is state of the art NOW, but wait until the NEXT rover is built.
I called one of the scientists at NASA and suggested that they put a "motion sensor" on one of the color video cameras to detect any movement of life on Mars. He answered that they will have 2 color video cameras on Curiosity and that is the plan. I argued that what if something is ALIVE on Mars and is moving in the vicinity of the rover. He said that the rover is not equipped to detect life, but only geology and possible microbes. Geology encompasses many things including minerals, water, gases, etc. but I didn't argue further and he didn't volunteer any more info.
Skepticus
3.1 / 5 (9) Nov 26, 2011
Congratulations, Curiosity, for making it off the launch pad. The anti-nukes dills are foaming! You'd just made my day.
Newbeak
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 26, 2011
Lets hope it doesn't get stuck in orbit incommunicado like the Russian mission.It will be a nail-biter when it comes time to touch down on Mars.
FrankHerbert
3.1 / 5 (117) Nov 26, 2011
If I recall correctly, Pirouette believes there are transparent ruminant-like animals living on the surface of Mars (and here my speculation of his thought processes begins), NASA is aware of these animals and is purposefully denying their existence as evidenced by the lack of instruments to detect them. I guess we should also have a ghost detector of some sort on the rover as well...

Please take all of his opinions with a grain of salt.
Newbeak
4.1 / 5 (8) Nov 26, 2011
If I recall correctly, Pirouette believes there are transparent ruminant-like animals living on the surface of Mars

Hey,Frank,we still enjoy freedom of religion in this country,lol!
RobL
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 26, 2011
Best news of the year! "The reason the dinosaurs went extinct is because they did not have a space programe"- Larry Niven :D
Pirouette
1.4 / 5 (21) Nov 26, 2011
http://www.nasa.g...eam.html

LOL Newbeak. . .as you may recall, I NEVER said transparent life forms. I DID say 'SEMI-TRANSPARENT" life forms. They are NOT ruminants like bull-$hit artist FrankHerbert says. FrankHerbert has been known to lie about what others say that he disagrees with for the sake of spreading lies. He is of the old school for denouncing progressive thought and hard evidence. . . .only because HE is NOT the one to find it first. He is a jealous freak who cannot stand to see others excel in their chosen field. Thus, he didn't come to this thread to praise NASA and the MSL mission, but to BASH others. FrankHerbert and his many alter egos roam through Physorg seeking the ruin of personalities to make himself feel better about himself.
Pirouette
2.8 / 5 (11) Nov 26, 2011
Anyway. . . .Hi Newbeak. . . .good to see you here. Today is a great day for NASA and us. Congrats to all the scientists, engineers, technicians and everyone who participated in making this dream happen. I am sure that all will go well and that Curiosity will be let down gently onto the Mars surface and will do as she's commanded.
SleepTech
5 / 5 (9) Nov 26, 2011
I got to see the launch first-hand, gorgeous day, gorgeous launch.
Parsec
5 / 5 (14) Nov 26, 2011

I called one of the scientists at NASA and suggested that they put a "motion sensor" on one of the color video cameras to detect any movement of life on Mars.

At tens of thousands of dollars per gram of delivered payload, there is a rigorous review process to get instruments on-board. Since the odds that your 'motion detector' would detect anything is about as close to zero as it is possible to get, I am glad that instruments that actually collect valuable data was sent instead.
plasticpower
4.6 / 5 (10) Nov 26, 2011
NASA has the correct approach to Mars exploration. Taking baby steps with rovers, building up experience. These missions are cool. They get more complicated each time. This one is REALLY complicated and I expect we'll see some really cool stuff from it. If this mission is a success, it will add many new tricks to NASA's toolbox when it comes to extraterrestrial exploration. Being able to gently land a "car" onto a planet's surface without using the atmosphere for breaking will go a long way to make landings easier on other planets!
Baseline
3 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2011
It would seem NASA could find a couple of tools in this thread for their box.
ubavontuba
1.2 / 5 (5) Nov 26, 2011
I stil don't understand why they didn't install a microscope.
tigger
5 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2011
The touch down... now THAT is something to be concerned about with this mission, quite amazing the method being used!
spaciman
5 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2011
Just a thought.
Imagine yourself as a (white) mouse on mars. Along comes this rocket ship, which transforms into a giant ugly machine with huge appendages. From near its head, out shoots a death ray. Sounds like theres a story in it.
CapitalismPrevails
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
It's amazing how NASA can't successfully launch a mission to Mars but Russia still can't.
Pirouette
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2011
I stil don't understand why they didn't install a microscope.


http://www.nasa.g...dex.html

http://www.nasa.g...257.html

http://www.nasa.g...er1.html
The only instruments I see in this list and illustration that are even remotely similar to a microscope is the MAHLI and SAM. Not even certain of either.
The NASA is only concerned with Mars weather and water-bearing minerals, geology, on this mission, sad to say
Pirouette
1 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
It's amazing how NASA can't successfully launch a mission to Mars but Russia still can't.

There is a Russian-made science instrument aboard Curiosity. Could be that Russian scientists have more faith in American technology to deliver the goods, than in their own.
lol. . . .I'm sure they were patting each other's backs and doing high 5's at Balkanur on Saturday. :)
CapitalismPrevails
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
WOW, lol it's early in the morning for me. I meant NASA CAN launch a successful mission to mars. Not CAN'T.
Pirouette
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 27, 2011
WOW, lol it's early in the morning for me. I meant NASA CAN launch a successful mission to mars. Not CAN'T.

LOL. . . .most of us make allowances for TYPOs, Cap. It's OK.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (8) Nov 27, 2011
I called one of the scientists at NASA and... I argued that what if something is ALIVE on Mars and is moving in the vicinity of the rover. He said that the rover is not equipped to detect life, but only geology and possible microbes. Geology encompasses many things including minerals, water, gases, etc. but I didn't argue further and he didn't volunteer any more info.
I'm thinking he was probably preoccupied wondering if he gets paid enough to have to take phonecalls from dweebs and nutcases, and what he could do to get his number unlisted? By the way mars the god of war was a 'he'.
http://www.wordso...ars.html

-By the way your superficial attempts at bonding are cloying:
LOL. . . .most of us make allowances for TYPOs, Cap. It's OK.
-The way to make friends (and enemies) is to refrain from posting nonsense and stories about glassy-headed aliens and butterbeans and commenting on things you know nothing about and cant be bothered to research etc.
dschlink
5 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
Another succesfull launch by the Atlas V rocket. Cant wait for crewed launches.

Go, Curiosity!


Have to agree here. Man-rating the Atlas V would be a much faster, safer, cheaper way of shipping people to the ISS than the current NASA boondoggle.
Nerdyguy
1.2 / 5 (33) Nov 27, 2011
I got to see the launch first-hand, gorgeous day, gorgeous launch.


Very sweet! Something I've always had on my "to-do" list and haven't gotten around too yet. I'm envious!
Callippo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
We should wait for successful landing for not to be too disappointed later. The landing is much more risky operation than the launch and we did lost many devices during this already.
350
3 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2011
Dis wud B terrible when we ruin D red planet! Dis probe B sent dere to terraform D beautiful planet into a wasteland like we B livin on. Drillin and lasering it to oblivion with its "cameras" and such. And then polluting it wif radioation N such, dis B a sad day, we B needin to focus on muda earf, not dis planet.

Word-2-Ya-Brudda
Isaacsname
Nov 27, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2011
Dis wud B terrible when we ruin D red planet! Dis probe B sent dere to terraform D beautiful planet into a wasteland like we B livin on. Drillin and lasering it to oblivion with its "cameras" and such. And then polluting it wif radioation N such, dis B a sad day, we B needin to focus on muda earf, not dis planet.

Word-2-Ya-Brudda

LOL. . . .very funny 350. . . . .some of us here are hoping that GhostofOtto will take up the NASA invitation to join their astronaut program so that he can be the first to land on Mars and see all the semi-transparent life forms that live there for himself. . .up close and personal. Like the saying goes: "Experience is the best teacher"
:))
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
Dis wud B terrible when we ruin D red planet! Dis probe B sent dere to terraform D beautiful planet into a wasteland like we B livin on. Drillin and lasering it to oblivion with its "cameras" and such. And then polluting it wif radioation N such, dis B a sad day, we B needin to focus on muda earf, not dis planet.

Word-2-Ya-Brudda

LOL. . . .very funny 350. . . . .some of us here are hoping that GhostofOtto will take up the NASA invitation to join their astronaut program so that he can be the first to land on Mars and see all the semi-transparent life forms that live there for himself. . .up close and personal. Like the saying goes: "Experience is the best teacher"
:))
...and also commenting on why 'clean' oil sands are so much more preferable than the icky oily stuff. Which somehow got contaminated by accident I guess.

What else ya got dwee- er, piro?
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (112) Nov 27, 2011
Pirouette, I guess you don't realize "semi-transparent" is a redundant term. Transparent would be "semi-invisible" so semi-transparent would mean "semi-semi-invisible".

I look forward to your flailing attempts at claiming I've misquoted you!
Pirouette
2 / 5 (8) Nov 27, 2011
Ghost. . . .are you FrankHerbfart by a different name? Are you his evil twin? Your personality might be melding with his through electronic neuronal transfer. . .LOL
AND what's wrong with cleaning oil from sand? You seem to take issue with the word "clean" and have become obsessed with it. Did you have issues with BP cleaning up globs of oil from the Gulf states' sandy beaches? Did you take issue with Obama demanding that BP "clean" the oil from the bottom of the Gulf and cap the hole where the oil was pouring out of? Were you demanding that the government put a stop to people picking up oily seagulls and other shore birds and then "cleaning" the oil from their feathers? You are nit-picking again. And I used to think you were intelligent.
Pirouette
1.6 / 5 (5) Nov 27, 2011
@FrankHerbfart. . . .when I said "semi-transparent", I meant "semi-transparent". Jellyfish are "semi-transparent" as are certain other sea creatures because they are "see-through", and yet solid. Got it?
And yes, you ALWAYS misquote me and you always seem to have trouble comprehending my comments. Go back to school and take a course in remedial reading comprehension. It will do you good.
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (109) Nov 27, 2011
Actually they are not semi-transparent. They are just transparent. You don't seem to understand the term.

Also where have I misquoted you? The only place where it seems I have was in quoting you as saying transparent rather than semi-transparent, which since you don't understand the terms in the first place, I was using the term you MEANT to use but were too ignorant too.

Go back to school and take a course in remedial reading comprehension.


Yep.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
They are SEMI-transparent because you can SEE jellyfish, but also SEE the ground underneath them. A piece of Saran wrap is transparent.If you put it on the floor, someone not aware it's there will likely step on it and not see it. Capeesh?
Pirouette
2 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2011
It seems that it is YOU who are ignorant of the differences in the definitions of semi-transparent and transparent. You prefer for people to blindly follow your lead regarding the English language when you can't even comprehend easy sentences. For shame, Herbfart
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (111) Nov 27, 2011
It seems to me the "misquoting" thing started when I quoted Pirouette as saying he believes there are "transparent ruminants on Mars" rather than "semi-transparent animals on Mars". Since semi-transparent isn't a word and if Pirouette had a better grasp of the English language, he'd know to use transparent, so no, that's not misquoting that's correcting.

I'm guessing the offense is that Pirouette thought I was mocking him by claiming his martians are fully-invisible ("semi-transparent[sic]") rather than transparent. I guess he thinks this makes his position seem less reasonable. Heh. If it makes you feel any better I wasn't trying to claim you said your martians are invisible in the same sense as air, but rather that they are transparent in the same sense as a jelly fish. Anyway, your position is fucking insane regardless of the transparency of your imaginary ETs.

By "ruminant" I was simply trying to invoke the image of a largish animal as per the photo "evidence" pirouette linked.
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (109) Nov 27, 2011
Actually both jellyfish and saran wrap are *transparent*. Air (under most circumstances), ghosts, and Yahweh are invisible. Learn the language tough guy.
rwinners
Nov 28, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
@FrankHerbfart. . . .you're entitled to your own whacko opinions, and I wish you would stop using the "N" word in the other threads and stop sending me your PMs. I will not view them, you loathsome creature.
Blakut
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2011
http://en.wikiped...slucency and i declare a wikipedia war!
plasticpower
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
Another succesfull launch by the Atlas V rocket. Cant wait for crewed launches.

Go, Curiosity!


Have to agree here. Man-rating the Atlas V would be a much faster, safer, cheaper way of shipping people to the ISS than the current NASA boondoggle.


While true, I think the logistical problem with man-rating the Atlas rocket is that it's actually using the Russian-built RD-180 engines for it's first stage. Without a way of knowing how well these were put together I think it's never going to happen unless they replace the first stage with something domestic.
Blakut
2 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
Just found out the wheels have dots on them so the tracks spell out JPL in morse code.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
I didn't know about dots on the tracks. The dots may help to enhance good traction in the sandy soil. . . .not too sure if it would make a big difference on rocky terrain though.
Jimbaloid
5 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
It's amazing how NASA can successfully launch a mission to Mars but Russia still can't.


But with this observation, I would hope you are still rather disappointed about the failure of the Russian probe. We all miss out on the scientific findings, including the opportunity to come on here to read and comment about it!
TychoCraterCafe
2 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2011
Well then, let's hope it detects the microbes that Dr. Gil Levin's Labeled Release Experiment did in 1976, when life on Mars was discovered and promptly suppressed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
AND what's wrong with cleaning oil from sand? You seem to take issue with the word "clean" and have become obsessed with it. Did you have issues with BP cleaning up globs of oil from the Gulf states' sandy beaches? Did you take issue with Obama demanding that BP "clean" the oil from the bottom of the Gulf and cap the hole where the oil was pouring out of? Were you demanding that the government put a stop to people picking up oily seagulls and other shore birds and then "cleaning" the oil from their feathers? You are nit-picking again. And I used to think you were intelligent.
Why - yes - the EPA should be digging up all these nasty tar sands wherever they occur and CLEANING them. Because CLEANING up messes is their JOB isn't it??

Bwaaahaahaaaa!! You get the Dweebish award of the year. STFU for god sake.
TychoCraterCafe
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
The los of Phobos-Grunt is huge, as was the other Phobos landers. At this point the failures are almost suspect...
NotAsleep
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 28, 2011
FrankHebert, Pirouette, GhostofOtto, way to ruin a comment thread about a mission to mars
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2011
FrankHebert, Pirouette, GhostofOtto, way to ruin a comment thread about a mission to mars
So... we can ignore the dweebish, the religious, the philosophically cross-eyed, the inane CTs (except for me) and the like; step around them and walk on as it were, and run the risk of allowing their nonsense to escape into the world unchallenged and uncorrected? Sorry I don't think this is a responsible option.

Multiple independent discussions can and do take place in threads. Try it - say something cogent.
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
It's amazing how NASA can successfully launch a mission to Mars but Russia still can't.


But with this observation, I would hope you are still rather disappointed about the failure of the Russian probe. We all miss out on the scientific findings, including the opportunity to come on here to read and comment about it!


Perhaps NASA will have the new unit make a flyby of the failed craft and try to communicate with it, or take pics of it to try to see what went wrong... Wait... aren't there still at least 2 satellites orbiting Mars? I wonder if they've tried to get a visual on the russian probe...
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
Well then, let's hope it detects the microbes that Dr. Gil Levin's Labeled Release Experiment did in 1976, when life on Mars was discovered and promptly suppressed.


"the LR squirted a drop of carefully designed radioactive food onto a tiny cup of Martian soil and monitored the air above the soil to detect radioactive gas that any microorganisms present might breathe out. Levin and his co-workers, notably Dr. Patricia Ann Straat, then spent the next decade developing the experiment and instrument, and in analyzing the results obtained from its successful operation on Mars. At both landing sites, some 4,000 miles apart, the LR returned evidence of living microorganisms."
http://www.gillev...mars.htm

Yes, radioactive "food" dropped on a little soil sample killed all possible life on Mars... Perhaps they were afraid whatever was there might eventually try to kidnap Santa Claus?
NotAsleep
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
You can't masquerade insults and jabs as intelligent conversation (see: "STFU for god sake.") and then tell me to say something cogent. If you're trying to sway the opinions of people that believe everything they see on the internet then perhaps you should take up a job in politics. I come to this site to read science articles with thoughtful, non-insulting comments and normally stop reading the comment threads when they become totally irrelevant to the original article.

However, I couldn't help but get more irritated than normal when you (and others) hijacked a comment thread about a successful launch of a technological marvel to another planet by talking about the BP oil spill and sand clean up... even the ridiculous talk about semi-transparent aliens on mars was more relevant than that.

Someone will always listen to the "crazies", you don't always need to try and prove how smart you are by proving them wrong to everyone. Most people aren't listening anyway
Ricochet
5 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
Arguing on here is a coping mechanism for my somewhat menial job. So no, I will definately not STFU. I will not donate my sanity to someone else's peace of mind.
NotAsleep
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
It's amazing how NASA can successfully launch a mission to Mars but Russia still can't.


Perhaps NASA will have the new unit make a flyby of the failed craft and try to communicate with it, or take pics of it to try to see what went wrong... Wait... aren't there still at least 2 satellites orbiting Mars? I wonder if they've tried to get a visual on the russian probe...


Ricochet, the satellite in question is actually in earth's orbit. It never made it out of our gravitational well, unfortunately

PhysOrg is also where I spend time not thinking about my somewhat menial job. It's either that or drink, so you know where I am when I'm not commenting much
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2011
You can't masquerade insults and jabs as intelligent conversation (see: "STFU for god sake.") and then tell me to say something cogent.
I'm sorry. I find thoughtless comments insulting, and I have trouble ignoring them. As you seem to be having trouble ignoring me.
However, I couldn't help but get more irritated than normal when you (and others) hijacked a comment thread about a successful launch of a technological marvel blah
Yah and again, I find comments about why didnt NASA put motion sensors on this rover worthy of insult for the same reason. So what?

And if it makes sense to list past inanities in order to make a point, then so what? This is SOP when debating the merits of dense aether or nootron repulsion or electric universe etc. Glassy headed aliens and christ scientist certainly fall into this category.
you don't always need to try and prove how smart you are
Yes you are right people know this from all the many smart things I have already said.
Blakut
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! Transparent Ruminants. Or, sorry, semi-transparent ruminants. WTF is going on here??? Who are you people?

Back on topic... sort of. Being nuclear powered, i think this mission can last for many years. If i read it correctly, the rover can operate night and day, any season, and the power output won't diminish too much in a few years. It would've be cool if they dropped this rover close enough to get Spirit unstuck from the sand, and back on track. It really would've been a first in space exploration.
Newbeak
not rated yet Nov 30, 2011
It would've be cool if they dropped this rover close enough to get Spirit unstuck from the sand, and back on track. It really would've been a first in space exploration.

Fascinating idea! Sort of an interplanetary tow truck..
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (110) Dec 01, 2011

I called one of the scientists at NASA and suggested that they put a "motion sensor" on one of the color video cameras to detect any movement of life on Mars.

At tens of thousands of dollars per gram of delivered payload, there is a rigorous review process to get instruments on-board. Since the odds that your 'motion detector' would detect anything is about as close to zero as it is possible to get, I am glad that instruments that actually collect valuable data was sent instead.


LMAO Pirouette, you didn't just get burned. You didn't just get burned by OMATUMR!

Parsec, Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
omatumr, Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:57 am

You didn't just get burned by omatumr with UNANIMOUS 5's.

You, sir, got ultimate-sick-burned by Oliver "I rape my children" Manuel with unanimous 5's from 13 people. HA!