Phoenix landing on Mars today - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Phoenix landing on Mars today

The Phoenix lander will be setting down on the north pole of Mars in less than twelve hours from the time of this post.

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/



This reminded me of those little rovers that are still running around the planet surface even today:

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 10:32 AM
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I hope it finds oil.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 10:36 AM
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I hope it finds oil.
Environmentalists wouldn't let us drill for it though
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 11:11 AM
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that was a sweet video! thanks

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 11:43 AM
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Read that they have not had a powered landing on Mars since the 70's. Hope things go well, I know this thing is searching for water and what not.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 11:47 AM
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that was a sweet video! thanks
i concour..


drill it
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 03:09 PM
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I hope it finds oil.

Yeah? And how do you propose they bring it back while keeping it under $100 a barrel?

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 03:22 PM
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we can have a US owned refinery with martian workers. And a pipeline running to the US. It's all good until an asteroid hits the pipeline. Gasoline at 70cents a gal. FTW
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 03:35 PM
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It's HIGHLY unlikely that the conditions necessary to make oil ever existed on Mars. That would have required a vigorous biosphere and active plate tectonics.

It does however contain methane gas which could be converted for fuel, not for transport for use on Earth but for travel back to Earth.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHI1000RR View Post
It's HIGHLY unlikely that the conditions necessary to make oil ever existed on Mars. That would have required a vigorous biosphere and active plate tectonics.

It does however contain methane gas which could be converted for fuel, not for transport for use on Earth but for travel back to Earth.
While they are waiting for enough to be converted, they can look at pictures from the 1970's of people waiting in lines at the gas stations when they had no fuel to dispense

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 04:48 PM
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That video is fake, it's a cartoon


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 04:59 PM
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I'm sure the martians would be happy to give us their fossil fuels for good trade options...i mean look at how the arabs take care of us!

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah? And how do you propose they bring it back while keeping it under $100 a barrel?
I propose it flies back on the sarcasm train.

Oh and. Your mom.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
While they are waiting for enough to be converted, they can look at pictures from the 1970's of people waiting in lines at the gas stations when they had no fuel to dispense
funny thing about that is prices did not sky rocket when that happened back in the 70's.. The theory for converting methane to fuel on Mars is to launch unmaned return vehicle a full year prior so it can start converting.. Interesting stuff.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 08:54 PM
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5 minutes ago
PASADENA, Calif. — A NASA spacecraft plunged into the atmosphere of Mars and successfully landed in the Red Planet's northern polar region on Sunday, where it will begin 90 days of digging in the permafrost to look for evidence of the building blocks of life.

Cheers swept through mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the touchdown signal from the Phoenix Mars Lander was detected after a nailbiting descent. Engineers and scientists hugged and high-fived one another.

"In my dreams it couldn't have gone as perfectly as it went," project manager Barry Goldstein said. "It went right down the middle."

Among Phoenix's first tasks were to check its power supply and the health of its science instruments, and unfurl its solar panels after the dust settled. Mission managers said there would be a two-hour blackout period as Phoenix conducted the checks while out of view from Earth.

Initial results show Phoenix landed almost level, tilted at a quarter of a degree.

"The hardest part is over. There's still a lot of drama left," said Goldstein, who kept up a JPL tradition by passing out bowls of lucky peanuts during the landing.

Phoenix plunged into the Martian atmosphere at more than 12,000 mph after a 10-month, 422 million-mile voyage through space. The lander kept in contact with Earth through the orbiting Mars Odyssey during the entire "seven minutes of terror."

It performed a choreographed dance that included unfurling its parachute, shedding its heat shield and backshell, and firing thrusters to slow to a 5 mph touchdown. The radio signal confirming the landing came at 4:53 p.m. PDT.

"Touchdown detected!! We're on the surface of Mars and there is celebration in Mission Control!!" JPL engineer Brent Shockley blogged from inside mission control.

It's the first successful soft landing on Mars since the twin Viking landers touched down in 1976. NASA's twin rovers, which successfully landed on Mars four years ago, used a combination of parachutes and cushioned air bags to bounce to the surface.

Mission chief scientist Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, had two words to describe the landing: "Picture perfect."

Phoenix's landing is a relief for NASA since Mars has a reputation of swallowing spacecraft. More than half of all nations' attempts to land on Mars have failed.

Phoenix's target landing site was 30-mile-wide shallow valley in the high northern latitudes similar in location to Earth's Greenland or northern Alaska. The site was chosen because images from space spied evidence of a reservoir of frozen water close to the surface.

Like a tourist in a foreign country, the lander initially will take in the sights during its first week on the Red Planet. It will talk with ground controllers through two Mars orbiters, which will relay data and images.

Phoenix is equipped with an 8-foot-long arm capable of digging trenches in the soil to get to ice that is believed to be buried inches to a foot deep. Then it will analyze the dirt and ice samples for traces of organic compounds, the chemical building blocks of life.

The lander also will study whether the ice ever melted at some point in Mars' history when the planet had a warmer environment than the current harsh, cold one it currently has.

Scientists do not expect to find water in its liquid form at the Phoenix landing site because it's too frigid. But they say that if raw ingredients of life exist anywhere on the planet, they likely would be preserved in the ice.

Phoenix, however, cannot detect signs of alien life that may exist now or once existed.

The only other time NASA searched for chemical signs of life was during the Viking missions. Neither lander found conclusive evidence of life.

Phoenix avoided the doom of its sister spacecraft, the Mars Polar Lander, which in 1999 crashed into the south pole after prematurely cutting off its engines. The Polar Lander loss, along with the earlier loss of an orbiter the same year, forced NASA to overhaul its Mars exploration program.

Phoenix, named after the mythical bird that is reborn from its ashes, inherited hardware from a lander mission that was scrapped after the back-to-back Mars losses, and carries similar instruments that flew on Polar Lander.

Built by Lockheed Martin Corp., Phoenix is the first mission from NASA's Scout program, a lower-cost complement to the space agency's pricier Mars missions. It cost $420 million to develop and launch Phoenix compared to the $820 million originally invested in the twin rovers.

The rovers have dazzled scientists with their Energizer Bunny-like ability to keep going and their geologic findings that ancient Mars once had water that flowed at or near the surface.

Mission managers do not expect Phoenix to be as hardy as the rovers since winter will set in later this year at the landing site with fewer hours of sunlight available each day to power the lander's solar panels.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 09:07 PM
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i hear they are sending a dirt bike next.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 11:10 PM
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oil is dead plants n dinos...
if there were dinos on mars that'd be a waste of a water-finding mission

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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First photos from the northern polar landscape:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/slides...s-phoenix.html

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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And some videos of what they actually pulled off yesterday.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/vid...#challengesEDL

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:09 AM
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OMG people, Jim's oil remark was sarcasm!


Cool vid, Jeff. This is quite an achievment for NASA. Now let's get some people up there.

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
First photos from the northern polar landscape:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/slides...s-phoenix.html


Wow, there is a shadow of some kind of lifeform in #5. I wonder if its one of them transformers or just "that guy".


Who knows, their more than meet the eyes.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 02:35 PM
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Kind of sucks that this thing can not move. It has to find signs of life or water directly beneath it? What are the odds? I guess they could not make a rover with all this equipment..
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
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OMG people, Jim's oil remark was sarcasm!


Cool vid, Jeff. This is quite an achievment for NASA. Now let's get some people up there.

We know but oil on Mars has been suggested for colonization and such.. That's what CLSB is for, to debate useless topics...
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:33 PM
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The only cool part of my job in the Air Force, is when once in a blue moon we get to load up cool shit, such as this. Too bad that doesn't happen as often at my base...
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