The Ongoing Mars Explorer Thread

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Peter Kline, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]



    Complete story here.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not only that, there's going to be a good, old-fashioned holiday traffic jam at Mars in January, when MER-1 and MER-2 arrive and dispatch their rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) from the orbiters. No wonder JulieK has been scarce.

    Too bad about the Japanese spacecraft, though.

    So, already in Martian orbit are the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft and the Mars Global Surveyor.

    MER-1 and MER-2 will remain in Martian orbit, as will the Mars Express (the Beagle's "mothership"). And on the surface, one immobile lander (the Beagle) and the two NASA rovers.

    And let's hope the public gets caught up in the glorious excitement of it all.
     
  3. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Jack,

    It should be a teriffic time. Let's celebrate by buying a Mars bar!

    Peter
     
  4. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    ...or rent Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have It."
     
  5. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Jack: Do the MER's have orbital portions? I thought they were just rovers.

    Brian
     
  6. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    There are no orbiters for MER-1 and MER-2 (MER stands for Mars Exploration Rover). They are both direct shots like the Pathfinder mission, i.e. they are aimed directly at Mars and do not go into orbit before landing.

    Hopefully tomorrow we can say "the Beagle has landed" [​IMG]
     
  7. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Ruff!
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Woops, typed too hastily and without thinking. Correct: MERs 1 and 2 are landers only. And either Global Surveyor or Odyssey (forget which one) is being repositioned in orbit to serve as a relay station for the three landers.

    Yes, I too hope we hear the words "the Beagle has landed" in a few hours.
     
  9. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    The Martians are going to think we're launching some kind of invasion and will take countermeasures.

    Listen to me now and believe me later "Run for your life!!" [​IMG]

    After its landing on Mars, I am hoping the British Beagle will send back the message "Shaken, but not stirred".
     
  10. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    What time is the Beagle 2 supposed to be landing? When can we expect to hear from it?

    Brian
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's scheduled to land at 6:54 p.m. PST this evening. And then it will take another two hours to confirm whether or not the spacecraft landed successfully. Fingers crossed, heart pounding...
     
  12. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Are any of the US news channels expected to have decent (or even semi-decent) coverage of this? When the US mars probe landed a few years ago, there was really good coverage on the BBC back in the UK...
     
  13. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Jack: Thanks! I've been following all the latest probes, but didn't see a specific time mentioned as to when it was going to land.

    Who wants to bet that Mr. Richard C. Hoagland will see alien structures in the photos this lander returns? [​IMG]

    Looking forward to seeing the results, and I have my fingers crossed. This lander is using an airbag method similar to Pathfinder, is it not? I always wonder who the guy was who first thought of the airbag idea, and if he was laughed out of the planning meeting because of it... it seems like a lucicrous idea, but I guess it works!

    Brian B: It will be nice if we do get coverage, but since it's Christmas Eve, I bet we'll be seeing reports about the Pope giving the mass, or something else. The internet should have good coverage, I would hope.

    Brian
     
  14. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Both Brians: We haven't had "decent" coverage of any space-related news in the U.S. since Project Apollo (really, the coverage started slacking off dramatically before the end of Apollo). Don't expect live coverage in the U.S.

    Speaking of poor space reporting: Just this morning, the Los Angeles Times, in a review of all previous missions to Mars (Soviet, U.S.), the reporter said that the Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers touched down on the Red Planet in 1975.

    That would be 1976.

    In the heady days of Apollo, we had technologically literate correspondents and reporters who truly did their homework (and were, more often than not, enthusiastic about their assignments) and coverage of these events was superb. All the major news-gathering organizations had at least one correspondent each assigned to NASA full-time.

    No more. Not one news organization has a reporter assigned to NASA (or to space coverage) full time. Nor do the writers feel it necessary to learn about the science, the program, and its history. And it bloody shows.

    Space reporting these days is utterly pathetic.
     
  16. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Jack: That's probably all true... I do remember back during Pathfinder that CNN seemed to cover it fairly well, at least IMO. That might have been back when John Holliman was still alive. He had enthusiasm for space stuff, and it showed. RIP [​IMG] And I definitely remember a lot of live coverage of the first Hubble servicing mission, the one that corrected the faulty mirror, and gave us all the beautiful images we see today.

    Brian
     
  17. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Here is the official site.
     
  18. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    I guess Beagle 2 should be on the surface of Mars now. We won't know if it landed successfully for another 4 hours or so, I think (if I have the times right [​IMG])

    Brian
     
  19. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Supposedly JPL should be receiving the first signal from Beagle 2, via the Mars Odyssey, right about now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    **update**
    Beagle 2 Latest News

    I sure hope they get something during the next opportunity. It will be a real shame if this lander fails too [​IMG]

    Brian
     
  20. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Based on past attempted landings, things don't look so good. They're putting the best spin they can at the moment. Here's more info:
     

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