Author Topic: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread  (Read 402758 times)

Offline Bubbinski

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #945 on: 03/23/2013 04:26 AM »
New raw images are up for sol 215 and sol 221-222!  Good to see them back.
As far as space is concerned, the more the merrier!

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #946 on: 03/25/2013 11:46 PM »
03.25.2013

Curiosity Resumes Science Investigations

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has resumed science investigations after recovery from a computer glitch that prompted the engineers to switch the rover to a redundant main computer on Feb. 28.
The rover has been monitoring the weather since March 21 and delivered a new portion of powdered-rock sample for laboratory analysis on March 23, among other activities.

"We are back to full science operations," said Curiosity Deputy Project Manager Jim Erickson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The powder delivered on Saturday came from the rover's first full drilling into a rock to collect a sample. The new portion went into the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument inside the rover, which began analyzing this material and had previously analyzed other portions from the same drilling. SAM can analyze samples in several different ways, so multiple portions from the same drilling are useful.

The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) is recording weather variables. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) is checking the natural radiation environment at the rover's location inside Gale Crater.

Like many spacecraft, Curiosity carries a pair of main computers, redundant to each other, to have a backup available if one fails. Each of the computers, A-side and B-side, also has other redundant subsystems linked to just that computer. Curiosity is now operating on its B-side, as it did during part of the flight from Earth to Mars. The A-side was most recently used starting a few weeks before landing and continuing until Feb. 28, when engineers commanded a switch to the B-side in response to a memory glitch on the A-side. The A-side now is available as a backup if needed.

One aspect of ramping-up activities after switching to the B-side computer has been to check the six engineering cameras that are hard-linked to that computer. The rover's science instruments, including five science cameras, can each be operated by either the A-side or B-side computer, whichever is active. However, each of Curiosity's 12 engineering cameras is linked to just one of the computers. The engineering cameras are the Navigation Camera (Navcam), the Front Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Front Hazcam) and Rear Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Rear Hazcam). Each of those three named cameras has four cameras on it: two stereo pairs of cameras, with one pair linked to each computer. Only the pairs linked to the active computer can be used, and the A-side computer was active from before landing, in August, until Feb. 28.

"This was the first use of the B-side engineering cameras since April 2012, on the way to Mars," said JPL's Justin Maki, team lead for these cameras. "Now we've used them on Mars for the first time, and they've all checked out OK."

Engineers quickly diagnosed a software issue that prompted Curiosity to put itself into a precautionary standby "safe mode" on March 16, and they know how to prevent it from happening again. The rover stayed on its B-side while it was in safe mode and subsequently as science activities resumed.

Upcoming activities include preparations for a moratorium on transmitting commands to Curiosity from April 4 to May 1, while Mars will be passing nearly directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. The moratorium is a precaution against possible interference by the sun corrupting a command sent to the rover.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project is using Curiosity and the rover's 10 science instruments to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.



http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1456
« Last Edit: 03/25/2013 11:47 PM by robertross »
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Offline mlindner

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #947 on: 03/26/2013 02:18 AM »
Upcoming activities include preparations for a moratorium on transmitting commands to Curiosity from April 4 to May 1, while Mars will be passing nearly directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. The moratorium is a precaution against possible interference by the sun corrupting a command sent to the rover.

I'm not sure of the reasoning for this. Their communication should be encrypted and checksummed. There should be no way a command should be able to be corrupted unless there was a hardware failure on the rover itself.

Online hop

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #948 on: 03/26/2013 03:37 AM »
I'm not sure of the reasoning for this. Their communication should be encrypted and checksummed. There should be no way a command should be able to be corrupted unless there was a hardware failure on the rover itself.
I think it's a very big simplification for general audiences.

Checksum would prevent the rover from trying to execute corrupted commands, but there would still impacts. What ever was supposed to be uplinked doesn't get there, and the rover has to do something else instead. That "something else" has to be planned and tested, so at some error rate it's more efficient to just make the "something else" plan A and not bother trying to uplink at all. Downlink is limited in conjunction too, so science activities would have to be limited anyway.

That said, I recall reading elsewhere that the main reason they don't command is actually that they don't want to try to recover from anomalies when com is limited and unpredictable.  If the rover is sitting doing something very simple, it's unlikely to run into problems. If you start a drive under ratty com, hit a problem and go into safe mode, you may not be able to get telemetry to diagnose or uplink to recover. Many failures can result in falling back to low gain antennas, which would further complicate things.

Online MP99

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Upcoming activities include preparations for a moratorium on transmitting commands to Curiosity from April 4 to May 1, while Mars will be passing nearly directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. The moratorium is a precaution against possible interference by the sun corrupting a command sent to the rover.

I'm not sure of the reasoning for this. Their communication should be encrypted and checksummed. There should be no way a command should be able to be corrupted unless there was a hardware failure on the rover itself.

Quote
"In theory, there should be no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is." (William T. Harbaugh)

If communication will be difficult, regardless whether some might get through and be checksum'd OK, it seems safer to wait it out.

DSN is a valuable resource, so I suspect it's more worthwhile to use it for something else during the "blackout".

cheers, Martin

Offline mlindner

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #950 on: 03/27/2013 01:54 AM »
Upcoming activities include preparations for a moratorium on transmitting commands to Curiosity from April 4 to May 1, while Mars will be passing nearly directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. The moratorium is a precaution against possible interference by the sun corrupting a command sent to the rover.

I'm not sure of the reasoning for this. Their communication should be encrypted and checksummed. There should be no way a command should be able to be corrupted unless there was a hardware failure on the rover itself.

Quote
"In theory, there should be no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is." (William T. Harbaugh)

If communication will be difficult, regardless whether some might get through and be checksum'd OK, it seems safer to wait it out.

DSN is a valuable resource, so I suspect it's more worthwhile to use it for something else during the "blackout".

cheers, Martin

That quote applies more in the real world. Inside of a computer the system is designed to be idealistic, its the only way you can guarantee code runs. Once you get the bits in from the radio it's either it fails checksum or it succeeds (assuming it doesn't fail decryption). If it succeeds then you can be 100% certain (as long as you have computers voting to avoid radiation effects) that what you got is what was sent from Earth. (Disclaimer: I'm a (soon to be) embedded software engineer. I've written checksumming code for cubesat communications.)

But we're getting off topic. This is an update thread. So I'll stop talking about this any longer here.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2013 01:55 AM by mlindner »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #951 on: 03/27/2013 12:02 PM »
DSN is a valuable resource, so I suspect it's more worthwhile to use it for something else during the "blackout".

Have they scheduled the bandwidth for another use?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online Targeteer

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #952 on: 03/31/2013 08:00 PM »
The Science Channel (SCI) has a show titled "NASA Mission to Mars" that discusses Curiousity's mission.  It originally aired 19 Mar and re-aired today when I caught it on the schedule.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2013 08:14 PM by Targeteer »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline fthurber

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #953 on: 04/01/2013 03:39 PM »
I saw this last week and I was a little dismayed at how beat up the wheels were just from short roving here on earth.  There were dents and even holes in the wheels; this does not bode well for long term roving on Mars...

Offline mlindner

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #954 on: 04/01/2013 04:05 PM »
I saw this last week and I was a little dismayed at how beat up the wheels were just from short roving here on earth.  There were dents and even holes in the wheels; this does not bode well for long term roving on Mars...

1/3rd the gravity, 1/3rd the force.

Offline douglas100

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #955 on: 04/02/2013 02:16 PM »
I saw this last week and I was a little dismayed at how beat up the wheels were just from short roving here on earth.  There were dents and even holes in the wheels; this does not bode well for long term roving on Mars...

Don't worry about it. Opportunity's been going over nine years and its wheels are still turning.
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Online hop

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #956 on: 04/02/2013 07:40 PM »
Don't worry about it. Opportunity's been going over nine years and its wheels are still turning.
MER wheels aren't really a useful comparison, they are a different design and not subject to the same loads. However, the team have repeatedly stated that dings, dents and even holes in the wheels are expected and not a sign of problems.

edit:
oops, writing "are" instead of "aren't" also isn't useful :(
« Last Edit: 04/03/2013 02:42 AM by hop »

Offline catdlr

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #957 on: 04/04/2013 12:57 AM »
News release: 2013-121                                                                    April. 3, 2013

Used Parachute on Mars Flaps in the Wind



The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-121&cid=release_2013-121

PASADENA, Calif. - Photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how the parachute that helped NASA's Curiosity rover land on Mars last summer has subsequently changed its shape on the ground.

The images were obtained by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Seven images taken by HiRISE between Aug. 12, 2012, and Jan. 13, 2013, show the used parachute shifting its shape at least twice in response to wind.

The images in the sequence of photos are available online at http://uahirise.org/releases/msl-chute.php and at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA16813 .

Researchers have used HiRISE to study many types of changes on Mars. Its first image of Curiosity's parachute, not included in this series, caught the spacecraft suspended from the chute during descent through the Martian atmosphere.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project and Curiosity are managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying Mars from orbit since 2006, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mro .

Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov


- end -


>>>Click on picture below to start the motion <<<
« Last Edit: 04/04/2013 12:58 AM by catdlr »
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Offline iamlucky13

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #958 on: 04/05/2013 12:23 AM »
DSN is a valuable resource, so I suspect it's more worthwhile to use it for something else during the "blackout".

Have they scheduled the bandwidth for another use?

They seldom have trouble finding multiple tasks to keep the DSN antennas (3 sites, each with 4 or more antennas) quite busy. The real challenge is scheduling everything so everyone can get their data without interrupting each other.

Currently though, the big 70m dish at the Goldstone, California site, is offline have one of its main bearings serviced. I would not be surprised if the start of this major maintenance work was deliberately chosen to coincide with the Mars conjunction, since the spacecraft there account for a lot of the DSN bandwidth allocation.

http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/features/70metermaintenance.html

Quote
As with any large, rotating structure that has operated almost 24 hours per day, seven days per week for over 40 years, we eventually have to replace major elements," said Wayne Sible, the network's deputy project manager at JPL.

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: MSL Curiosity Post Landing SOL 1 onwards Update Thread
« Reply #959 on: 04/05/2013 01:23 AM »
News release: 2013-121                                                                    April. 3, 2013

Used Parachute on Mars Flaps in the Wind

very cool to see!
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