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Topic: OT: One in Three Fails

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  1. #1

    OT: One in Three Fails

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    That is the not so stellar track record of U.S. attempts to land on Mars.

    Spacecraft Rover \"Spirit\" lands on MARS at 8:35 PST tonight. NASA is confident and says they\'re sorry about the multi-billion dollar whoops last time, and says \"This time, we\'ve done all the right things\". [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

    There\'s the success of the actual landing and then there\'s the successful gathering of data and pictures. But the people at JPL (and NASA) are smart, hardworking scientists and wishing them all the luck.

    http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/

  2. #2

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    and moved so quickly, too. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    Originally posted by Joanne Babunovic:
    That is the not so stellar track record of U.S. attempts to land on Mars.

    \"This time, we\'ve done all the right things\". [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I believe the last several Mars landers/micro-rovers cost in the 100\'s of million dollar range. This level of cost as well as the time table given to design and implement these landers was a departure from previous NASA approaches i.e. spends a lot of money, take a lot of time and test the heck out of every system. I used to consult for NASA\'s Jet Propultion Lab (software engineering) in Pasadenia (where all this goes on) in 1989-1991. Most of these people are very meticulous, dedicated and smart - many quite brilliant. The \"... we did it right\" comment really has to do with the change in metholology that results from this lean and mean. All of the phases of the engineering development lifecycle are shortened. It takes a while to get good at this approach.

    These pure science missions, I think, are a much better way to spend tax dollars than the extremely expensive manned missions like the Shuttle and the Space Station. I was just thinking, I did some work on the beginnings of the Space Station at Boeing when I got out of school in 1984 or so. Amazing how much time and money was wasted on that program. Heck , in a few months we may have some good evidence for life on Mars. Wow! We might even find some WMDs up there or the Beagle 2 [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Oh, BYW:

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - A NASA rover plunged through the atmosphere of Mars and bounced down upon its rocky surface Saturday night, beginning a mission to roam the Red Planet in search of evidence that it was once suitable for life.

    Scientists at NASA\'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory let out whoops of joy and embraced one another as signals from the Spirit rover indicated it had survived the landing.

    Within hours it began sending back photos of the Red Planet. Among the first was a tiny black and white image showing a sundial on the rover. Another showed the Martian horizon and portions of the lander.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    Too bad there\'s no oxygen there, or we could get convolution reverb samples from the surface.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    Jake,
    TO show you how little I know about our stars, I was wondering if there\'s sound up there? I think it is just oxygen and gravity that they are missing on Mars, but if you played music, you would hear it?

    Craig,

    Maybe you and I are in the same business? Jpl is a present client. We are helping them implement ERP Software for Mfg processes. Yes, they are an exceptional group, and dedicated to LEAN and best practices in general. Looks like it all paid off. Thanks for the news flash and your reply.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    Originally posted by Joanne Babunovic:
    Jake,
    TO show you how little I know about our stars, I was wondering if there\'s sound up there? I think it is just oxygen and gravity that they are missing on Mars, but if you played music, you would hear it?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Gravity is not a local phenomena, where there is mass, there is gravity (even our bodies have a negligible amount of gravity). Mars does have an atmosphere (thin as it is) therefore you would be able to hear sounds. There are instances even if you were floating in space in a suit where you could hear sound to some extent, such as in a dense enough gas cloud. The atmosphere of Mars is made up of 95% Carbon Dioxide, 2.6% Nitrogen, and 1.6% Argon and has gravity that is about 38% the gravity of Earth. You don\'t need oxygen for vibration propagation. Not sure the LSO would sound so good in a nebula tho. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    Hm...What happens to sound waves as an atmosphere\'s contents change? Heavier, denser ingredients in the atmosphere would slow the sound? Interfere with some frequencies?

  8. #8

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    My guess is that it would change the speed at which sound propogates but not the frequencies, just as the altitude and temperature do on earth.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    But wouldn\'t heavier \"air\" resist being moved by the vibrating sound source? And light \"air\" have little to vibrate, since sound is caused by a movement pushing the air in regular pulses that we call waves?

    (I really don\'t know--is there no change in an instrument\'s sound, on earth, at very high heights or in humid conditions where the air is heavier?)

  10. #10

    Re: OT: One in Three Fails

    The speed of sound through the atmosphere or other media is dependent on the density of the media, and this will change the sound characteristics of the waves. Thats why your voice sounds different when you breath some helium from a balloon at a party [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    As the atmospheric pressure decreases, the density of the air decreases and the speed of the sound decreases, and the sound changes.

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