Mars Curiosity Rover - Mission Progress


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Message 1184130 - Posted: 9 Jan 2012, 19:19:05 UTC

Mars Science laboratory (MSL) - is due to arrive at the Red Planet on 6 August 2012


A while yet to go ....

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Message 1184731 - Posted: 12 Jan 2012, 10:57:05 UTC

PASADENA, Calif.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft successfully refined its flight path Wednesday with the biggest manoeuver planned for the mission's journey between Earth and Mars.

Engineers had planned today’s three-hour series of thruster-engine firings to accomplish two aims: to put the spacecraft's trajectory about 25,000 miles (about 40,000 kilometres) closer to encountering Mars and to advance the time of the encounter by about 14 hours, compared with the trajectory following the mission's Nov. 26, 2011, launch.

The maneouver used the eight thruster engines on the cruise stage of the spacecraft, grouped into two sets of four. It began with a thrust lasting about 19 minutes, using just one thruster in each set and affecting velocity along the direction of the axis of rotation. Then, to affect velocity perpendicular to that line, each set of thrusters was fired for 5 seconds when the rotation put that set facing the proper direction. These 5-second bursts were repeated more than 200 times during a period of about two hours for a total of about 40 minutes.

The mission's second trajectory correction manoeuver, expected to be about one-sixth the magnitude of this first one, is scheduled for March 26. Up to four additional opportunities for fine-tuning, as needed, are scheduled before the arrival at Mars on Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time).

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Message 1185810 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 21:04:14 UTC

Great update Chris, good to know all is going well for this mission.
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Message 1188623 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 19:38:06 UTC
Last modified: 26 Jan 2012, 19:40:11 UTC

Don't forget Opportunity, and RIP to Spirit.

Opportunity

Opportunity 2

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Message 1188780 - Posted: 27 Jan 2012, 7:50:02 UTC

Super links, Chris....
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Message 1192022 - Posted: 6 Feb 2012, 19:09:26 UTC
Last modified: 6 Feb 2012, 19:09:48 UTC

This is not really Curiosity news but it does affect what may come after.

NASA/ESA

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Message 1202320 - Posted: 4 Mar 2012, 10:13:25 UTC

9th Feb 2012

Engineers have found the root cause of a computer reset that occurred two months ago on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory and have determined how to correct it. The fix involves changing how certain unused data-holding locations, called registers, are configured in the memory management of the type of computer chip used on the spacecraft. Billions of runs on a test computer with the modified register configuration yielded no repeat of the reset behavior. The mission team made this software change on the spacecraft's computer last week and confirmed this week that the update is successful.

The Mars-bound spacecraft performed a brief alignment activity using its star scanner and sun sensor on Jan. 26. During the alignment observations, the star scanner detected Mars. "Our target is in view," said JPL's Steve Collins, attitude control subsystem engineer for Mars Science Laboratory's cruise from Earth to Mars.


24th Feb 2012

Unlike previous Mars rovers, Curiosity is equipped with a Radiation Assessment Detector. on Jan. 27th, 2012, Curiosity's spacecraft was hit by the most intense solar radiation storm since 2005. The event began when sunspot AR1402 produced an X2-class solar flare. When the particles hit the outer walls of the spacecraft, they shattered other atoms and molecules in their path, producing a secondary spray of radiation that Curiosity both absorbed and measured. "Curiosity was in no danger," says Hassler. "In fact, we intended all along for the rover to experience these storms en route to Mars."

Curiosity

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Message 1204176 - Posted: 9 Mar 2012, 16:12:12 UTC

Thanks for the update here Chris, some great vids via the "CURIOSITY" link.


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Message 1206031 - Posted: 15 Mar 2012, 5:08:40 UTC - in response to Message 1188623.

Don't forget Opportunity, and RIP to Spirit.

Opportunity

Opportunity 2



HAHA oh wow, is Opportunity still buzzing around up there? I thought that would have died by now. What a spectacular feat of engineering, to still be operating in that environment with no maintenance.
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Message 1216836 - Posted: 11 Apr 2012, 13:05:28 UTC

Mars Science Laboratory Mission Status Report 26th March

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, halfway to Mars, adjusted its flight path today for delivery of the one-ton rover Curiosity to the surface of Mars in August. Tests completed aboard Curiosity last week confirmed the health of science instruments the mission will use to learn whether an area holding an extensive record of Martian environmental history has ever offered conditions favourable for microbial life.

We are now on a trajectory that will put us much closer to the point we want to hit on Aug. 5," added Tomas Martin-Mur, navigation team chief for the mission. The halfway point of the trip from Earth to Mars will be April 1, in terms of duration. The mission launched Nov. 26, 2011. It will land the evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (early Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time).

One of Curiosity's 10 science instruments, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) has been collecting data for three months, monitoring the natural radiation environment in interplanetary space. This information, particularly effects RAD has measured from recent solar flares, is crucial for design of human missions to Mars.

In the past two weeks, the rover team has checked the status of the other nine of Curiosity's science instruments, powering them on for the first time since before launch. All the instruments passed these checkouts.

Latest update

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Message 1216974 - Posted: 11 Apr 2012, 19:49:17 UTC

All systems go!!....good.




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Message 1225163 - Posted: 30 Apr 2012, 0:45:01 UTC - in response to Message 1216974.

100 Days and Counting to NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Landing

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Message 1225244 - Posted: 30 Apr 2012, 6:54:51 UTC

Remind me in August, til then it's on cruise control.
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Message 1225256 - Posted: 30 Apr 2012, 8:17:45 UTC

Thanks Lynn, I was going to check for an update tomorrow :-)


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Message 1225401 - Posted: 30 Apr 2012, 18:48:43 UTC - in response to Message 1225256.

Thanks Lynn, I was going to check for an update tomorrow :-)



Welcome Chris, I was hoping you were not bummed by me posting the update.
99 days and counting.

Thanks, Lynn

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Message 1225612 - Posted: 1 May 2012, 5:14:08 UTC - in response to Message 1225401.

The Mini Cooper-size vehicle, ensconced within the Mars Science Laboratory, is speeding toward the Red Planet, rapidly whittling away the 352-million-mile journey. Not fast enough.

Scheduled touchdown Aug. 5.

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Message 1225637 - Posted: 1 May 2012, 5:36:10 UTC

I just mentioned the Curiosity in another thread. I'm glad to see it's already being discussed here. :-)

Can't wait for August!
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Message 1229237 - Posted: 8 May 2012, 21:56:48 UTC - in response to Message 1225163.

100 Days and Counting to NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Landing


Only 92 now and counting...


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Message 1232425 - Posted: 15 May 2012, 10:16:03 UTC

The countdown clock is here.

Curiosity Clock

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Message 1252526 - Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 6:20:02 UTC - in response to Message 1232425.

Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

Team members share the challenges of Curiosity's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.

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