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View Full Version : OT: Go, Curiosity!


Rohirrim
08-03-2012, 05:58 PM
For those who might not know, at approx. 1:30 AM on Monday the newest Mars rover, Curiosity, will touch down on the surface of the planet. This thing is an engineering marvel and the technique they are using to land this craft is so dicy, they are calling the procedure, "Seven Minutes of Terror."

Here's the vid of what they are attempting: http://www.space.com/16265-7-minutes-of-terror-curiosity-rover-s-risky-mars-landing-video.html

Let's hope they pull it off. ;D

RaiderH8r
08-03-2012, 06:27 PM
For those who might not know, at approx. 1:30 AM on Monday the newest Mars rover, Curiosity, will touch down on the surface of the planet. This thing is an engineering marvel and the technique they are using to land this craft is so dicy, they are calling the procedure, "Seven Minutes of Terror."

Here's the vid of what they are attempting: http://www.space.com/16265-7-minutes-of-terror-curiosity-rover-s-risky-mars-landing-video.html

Let's hope they pull it off. ;D

Let's hope they programmed everything using the same units or made the appropriate conversions. Thatwould be a start.

broncosteven
08-03-2012, 08:12 PM
Glad I am not the only person here interested in NASA!

I got our Daycare into the rover program, they built their own big rover and each kid built something they would like it to have. Lots of fun!

Hope this goes well, this is certainly not the KISS method. If the rockets don't fire the rover crashes.

NASA said that this was the best planetary insertion they have ever done so, so far things are on track.

It is amazing to think they are going to land what is essentially a mid sized car with a Lab and lasers on the surface of Mars!

ant1999e
08-03-2012, 10:17 PM
:strong:

SonOfLe-loLang
08-03-2012, 11:35 PM
pretty nuts! thanks for sharin

orinjkrush
08-04-2012, 07:41 AM
great thread/ post. thanks!

Rohirrim
08-04-2012, 07:59 AM
Glad I am not the only person here interested in NASA!

I got our Daycare into the rover program, they built their own big rover and each kid built something they would like it to have. Lots of fun!

Hope this goes well, this is certainly not the KISS method. If the rockets don't fire the rover crashes.

NASA said that this was the best planetary insertion they have ever done so, so far things are on track.

It is amazing to think they are going to land what is essentially a mid sized car with a Lab and lasers on the surface of Mars!

I just hope I get the chance to see Americans walking on the surface of Mars before I die. :thumbs:

maven
08-04-2012, 08:00 AM
Hope this goes well, this is certainly not the KISS method. If the rockets don't fire the rover crashes.


The bouncing beach ball method was an odd way to land a rover. Hopefully in the future they ditch the parachute portion of the descent.

Fedaykin
08-04-2012, 12:51 PM
The bouncing beach ball method was an odd way to land a rover. Hopefully in the future they ditch the parachute portion of the descent.

Why? It's efficient, cheap and reliable -- at least compared to powered descent.

Fedaykin
08-04-2012, 12:51 PM
For those who might not know, at approx. 1:30 AM on Monday the newest Mars rover, Curiosity, will touch down on the surface of the planet. This thing is an engineering marvel and the technique they are using to land this craft is so dicy, they are calling the procedure, "Seven Minutes of Terror."

Here's the vid of what they are attempting: http://www.space.com/16265-7-minutes-of-terror-curiosity-rover-s-risky-mars-landing-video.html

Let's hope they pull it off. ;D

Less crazy than the bouncing ball method, IMHO

Tombstone RJ
08-04-2012, 01:17 PM
seems incredibly complicated, lots of opportunity for something to not go right.

broncosteven
08-04-2012, 06:07 PM
seems incredibly complicated, lots of opportunity for something to not go right.

My 1st thought, problem is Curiosity is way too big to use the beach ball method, they could do it with the other smaller rovers and it worked well.

broncosteven
08-04-2012, 06:11 PM
I just hope I get the chance to see Americans walking on the surface of Mars before I die. :thumbs:

I kinda "meh" on sending people to Mars, it is a barren wasteland.

Now I would love to see people land on Europa or Titan in my life time and send back realtime (delayed only by distance) footage of Jupiter or Saturn from their moon.

I think there are better chances to find lifeforms (think animals or fish) on Titan or Europa than on Mars. Lot further to go though.

BlueCrusher
08-04-2012, 06:11 PM
Let's hope they programmed everything using the same units or made the appropriate conversions. Thatwould be a start.

As a software engineer that worked my ass off on those programs at Lockheed in Waterton canyon for those missions to only see them fail.
+1

maven
08-04-2012, 09:05 PM
I kinda "meh" on sending people to Mars, it is a barren wasteland.

Now I would love to see people land on Europa or Titan in my life time and send back realtime (delayed only by distance) footage of Jupiter or Saturn from their moon.

I think there are better chances to find lifeforms (think animals or fish) on Titan or Europa than on Mars. Lot further to go though.

100% with you right there. Though, it doesn't have to be humans going since we are still a long way off.

broncocalijohn
08-04-2012, 09:11 PM
Get Gene Kranz in there. It would be dubbed ""2 minutes of ease landing".

SonOfLe-loLang
08-05-2012, 12:28 AM
I kinda "meh" on sending people to Mars, it is a barren wasteland.

Now I would love to see people land on Europa or Titan in my life time and send back realtime (delayed only by distance) footage of Jupiter or Saturn from their moon.

I think there are better chances to find lifeforms (think animals or fish) on Titan or Europa than on Mars. Lot further to go though.

I think i read somewhere Titan was the closest thing to earth, right? Atmosphere wise? Not that its livable, either, but still.

cutthemdown
08-05-2012, 03:49 AM
awesome lets hope NASA stripped down cheaper missions pay off.

Drek
08-05-2012, 05:55 AM
awesome lets hope NASA stripped down cheaper missions pay off.

This isn't a stripped down mission. This was in the works before budget cuts and cost $2.5B.

Right now we rely on Russia to ferry our astronauts to the space station. We give NASA less money annually than we spent in Iraq and Afghanistan in a couple months.

In 2030 when China is the dominant force in space exploration and puts a man on Mars the American people will wonder how we let that happen.

The answer will be that a bunch of short sighted, selfish pricks voted for a bunch of other short sighted, selfish pricks and deconstructed the U.S. step by step to increase short term gain for the wealthiest citizens. Hell of a legacy we're leaving behind.

RaiderH8r
08-05-2012, 06:48 AM
As a software engineer that worked my ass off on those programs at Lockheed in Waterton canyon for those missions to only see them fail.
+1

Stupid gravity.

Rohirrim
08-05-2012, 08:49 AM
This isn't a stripped down mission. This was in the works before budget cuts and cost $2.5B.

Right now we rely on Russia to ferry our astronauts to the space station. We give NASA less money annually than we spent in Iraq and Afghanistan in a couple months.

In 2030 when China is the dominant force in space exploration and puts a man on Mars the American people will wonder how we let that happen.

The answer will be that a bunch of short sighted, selfish pricks voted for a bunch of other short sighted, selfish pricks and deconstructed the U.S. step by step to increase short term gain for the wealthiest citizens. Hell of a legacy we're leaving behind.

^ yep

And the American people will probably be paying for that Chinese mission.

orinjkrush
08-05-2012, 08:01 PM
don't overlook the probability that we already have an operational replacement for the shuttle (Aurora). my guess is that it will be revealed within 10 years or so. watch for the unknown sounds/lights in the sky. we are not THAT stupid to rely on the Russkies for launch to orbit.

24champ
08-05-2012, 08:23 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/mars/curiosity_news3.html

live coverage.

Houshyamama
08-05-2012, 08:39 PM
This is a great app: http://eyes.nasa.gov/

broncosteven
08-05-2012, 09:09 PM
don't overlook the probability that we already have an operational replacement for the shuttle (Aurora). my guess is that it will be revealed within 10 years or so. watch for the unknown sounds/lights in the sky. we are not THAT stupid to rely on the Russkies for launch to orbit.

I am not aware of a shuttle replacement project called Aurora. There was a Project Aurora that was never officially released to the public that was more of a SR-71 Blackbird replacement. Some say it never flew, I have heard it has, I would like to think we have one in a sunk works bunker somewhere ready to go if needed.

Constellation was Bush's Whitehouse push in his lameduck presidency years which was to get men back to the moon and maybe even Mars. It did stipulate the new Larger Orion Capsule that looked more like a Saturn V with 2 SRB's attached. It was to have test launches by 2012 but it would have also kept us in Low earth orbit for years until the longer distance Mars crafts were developed. Bush also wanted to see a Moon base as a jump off point for Mars.

Obama's WH stripped out Bush's WH Constellation, giving up to $1Bill each to 3 private contractors to service the Low Earth Orbit, ISS delivery bus.

WHen I first heard that I got bent about it and thought NASA was being gutted and my kids would be doomed to a life without a public Space Adminstration that would get people to deep space.

Then a few months after the Shuttle was decommishend the Obama WH announced the SLS Deepspace Platform.

When I went to KSC this summer and heard the talk about the SLS project I was won over by our tour guides. THey showed us the new Platforms for the SLS and Orion gantry that they need to make 3 times taller.

The SLS will have the 1st non-manned test launch for 2014. with manned testing in 2020ish.

I like it the more I think about it, My kids could be the ones to test out Orion in low Earth orbit some time in 2024.

I think SLS gives us the best chance to get to Mars or Titan, or Europa. before I get too old and die.

I think it makes sense to spend good money on a good project and let the suborbital/orbital privateers take care of the ISS

broncosteven
08-05-2012, 09:12 PM
This isn't a stripped down mission. This was in the works before budget cuts and cost $2.5B.

Right now we rely on Russia to ferry our astronauts to the space station. We give NASA less money annually than we spent in Iraq and Afghanistan in a couple months.

In 2030 when China is the dominant force in space exploration and puts a man on Mars the American people will wonder how we let that happen.

The answer will be that a bunch of short sighted, selfish pricks voted for a bunch of other short sighted, selfish pricks and deconstructed the U.S. step by step to increase short term gain for the wealthiest citizens. Hell of a legacy we're leaving behind.

In a few months Spacex Dragon and McDougal Douglas and one other group will get the $1Bill from NASA to do the Low earth orbits in the mean time.

broncosteven
08-05-2012, 09:15 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/mars/curiosity_news3.html

live coverage.

Looking forward to watching this as it is huge as far as size of Payloads to be sent in one piece.

broncosteven
08-05-2012, 09:38 PM
I think i read somewhere Titan was the closest thing to earth, right? Atmosphere wise? Not that its livable, either, but still.

I think if we were to land on the Ice sheet of Europa then boar down a couple hundred feet or even Miles down we would find the same type of stuff we would see if we went out to the middle of one of our oceans and dropped some lines for food. It is farther than Mars but closer than Saturn

Titan cryovolcanism, where instead of spewing molten rock, volcanoes erupt with water and ammonia. The Ammonia could be a no go because it is so harmful to us. But I bet there could be some Ammonia based life forms that would be cool to study!

24champ
08-05-2012, 09:50 PM
I think if we were to land on the Ice sheet of Europa then boar down a couple hundred feet or even Miles down we would find the same type of stuff we would see if we went out to the middle of one of our oceans and dropped some lines for food. It is farther than Mars but closer than Saturn

Titan cryovolcanism, where instead of spewing molten rock, volcanoes erupt with water and ammonia. The Ammonia could be a no go because it is so harmful to us. But I bet there could be some Ammonia based life forms that would be cool to study!


Europa looks promising for life, scientist think it holds more H2O than Earth.

myMind
08-05-2012, 10:34 PM
touchdown confirmed!
wheels down!

oldustyballs
08-05-2012, 10:37 PM
That was so awesome seeing mission control erupt in joy and triumph. It seriously brought tears to my eyes. WAY TO GO NASA!!!

maven
08-05-2012, 10:39 PM
America!!!!!!

**** yah!!!!!!!!!!

24champ
08-05-2012, 10:42 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232350219700932608/photo/1

small pic

KevinJames
08-05-2012, 10:45 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232350219700932608/photo/1

small pic

Awesome they got it landed and working

but WTF can't see anything from that

2.5 Billion dollar mission and they couldn't put a 1080p camera on that b****?

tsiguy96
08-05-2012, 10:49 PM
its a hazard camera with a dust filter on it, what more do you expect for being on mars for about 6 minutes. more will come.



and in case anyone missed it. a robot flew 352 million miles, parachuted down, rocketed itself into sustained flight, craned down a surface lander/laboratory, then flew away. cant believe it.

24champ
08-05-2012, 10:56 PM
Awesome they got it landed and working

but WTF can't see anything from that

2.5 Billion dollar mission and they couldn't put a 1080p camera on that b****?

https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232352483492630529/photo/1

Slightly bigger, but I am sure we'll be seeing bigger and better pictures in the coming days or so. I would assume it is a bit difficult to transmit HD pictures in real time from Mars to Earth.

KevinJames
08-05-2012, 11:02 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232352483492630529/photo/1

Slightly bigger, but I am sure we'll be seeing bigger and better pictures in the coming days or so. I would assume it is a bit difficult to transmit HD pictures in real time from Mars to Earth.

2nd picture is definitely better. How long is it supposed to be lasting up there for? Hopefully awhile.

oldustyballs
08-05-2012, 11:04 PM
2nd picture is definitely better. How long is it supposed to be lasting up there for? Hopefully awhile.

The mission is for two years but could last longer. It has a nuclear power supply that could last 50 years but the parts on the rover will not likely last that long.

cutthemdown
08-05-2012, 11:07 PM
under 3 billion is part of NASA's new strategy of rovers and spacecraft that don't have huge huge price tags.

3 billion to go to Mars, in comparison the new destroyer Obama wants built are 4 billion a piece. Not saying its cheap just that they are trying to do more with less money.

KevinJames
08-05-2012, 11:18 PM
The mission is for two years but could last longer. It has a nuclear power supply that could last 50 years but the parts on the rover will not likely last that long.

Thats cool hope we find what were looking for and hopefully its not martians ROFL!

On a serious note what exactly is this new rover capable of doing? For example like scanning, different camera types all that kind of stuff.

cutthemdown
08-05-2012, 11:20 PM
Mars not an easy planet to go to. Tons of missions have failed. Very excited for our space program to be having such success despite us not being able to fund them really well right now. Congratulations to them and all the engineers at JPL.

cutthemdown
08-05-2012, 11:26 PM
Thats cool hope we find what were looking for and hopefully its not martians ROFL!

On a serious note what exactly is this new rover capable of doing? For example like scanning, different camera types all that kind of stuff.

It has like 4 different spectrometers that will analyze rock, minerals, gasses searching for organic material. Many of them built by other countries who helped out on the rover.

Its bigger then the other rovers and also has a laser that can vaporize rock, then analyze the gasses. Its goals are just more of the same. To look for what has been on planet, how much water, was their life, is their organic material somehwere, what minerals are there and where are they etc etc.

Very exciting and what is best about it is its something we can all agree on. Who could be against exploring a planet for under 3 billion. What a great job by NASA in trying times when it comes to getting money from the feds and taxpayers.

broncosteven
08-05-2012, 11:26 PM
It landed successfully!!!!

Great Job NASA, Watching the JPL Speeches need to find the link to the 1st images already sent back!

OOOOOOHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOO! Screw the Olympics, GO NASA!

cutthemdown
08-05-2012, 11:29 PM
Think about it. A spacecraft that fires into orbit, land itself, then drives around shooting a laser at rock vaporizing it and sampling the gasses. Amazing stuff.

broncosteven
08-05-2012, 11:31 PM
Curiosity Image Gallery:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/gallery-indexEvents.html

KevinJames
08-05-2012, 11:32 PM
It has like 4 different spectrometers that will analyze rock, minerals, gasses searching for organic material. Many of them built by other countries who helped out on the rover.

Its bigger then the other rovers and also has a laser that can vaporize rock, then analyze the gasses. Its goals are just more of the same. To look for what has been on planet, how much water, was their life, is their organic material somehwere, what minerals are there and where are they etc etc.

Very exciting and what is best about it is its something we can all agree on. Who could be against exploring a planet for under 3 billion. What a great job by NASA in trying times when it comes to getting money from the feds and taxpayers.

Very exciting looking forward to lots of Mars news from here on out.

24champ
08-05-2012, 11:55 PM
Curiosity Image Gallery:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/gallery-indexEvents.html

From one of the pictures captions...

As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed

Can't wait to see those Hi-Res pics.

broncosteven
08-06-2012, 12:04 AM
Touch down at 22:39 Pacific time.

broncosteven
08-06-2012, 12:43 AM
Tomorrow the High gain Antenna will be deployed and the Rover will be able to talk directly to Earth without needing to route through the orbiter.

The rest of today will all be check out work to make sure they get all the gear they want to use tomorrow.

Rohirrim
08-06-2012, 04:31 AM
Great news to wake up to. Can't wait to watch the new discoveries unfold.

DivineLegion
08-06-2012, 07:26 AM
Who let Baja in the control room? Has anyone seen the footage? There is an old Hippy in there with long hair and a graying beard.



Here:
http://i.imgur.com/Vgpoi.jpg

Tombstone RJ
08-06-2012, 07:42 AM
Good stuff from NASA! This is the future of space exploration for the foreseeable future: unmanned, self contained, independent automated rovers. The cost of missions sky rocket when people are involved.

But as others have said, if we do send people out it should be to planets we are sure can sustain life. The only way we will know that is by sending rovers first to do the preliminary work.

Rohirrim
08-06-2012, 07:52 AM
Since I was a kid, reading Ray Bradbury novels, I always dreamed of the day we would see colonies of geodesic domes on the plains of Mars and people riding sailing vessels across the red landscape.

GreatBronco16
08-06-2012, 09:22 AM
I stayed up last night to watch this. It was after 1 this morning when it landed. I just couldn't believe that everything went exactly the way it was drawn up. I can't wait to see the hi res pics and video.

broncocalijohn
08-06-2012, 10:08 AM
When does McGaffney come in here and tell us this isnt Mars but a set on a backlot to have us believe it is a Mars I bet the rover is a Jew in some way.

This should help NASA getting funding if it is successful. TO Gaffney, this is the reason for the phony baloney Mars trip :)

Beantown Bronco
08-06-2012, 10:28 AM
When does McGaffney come in here and tell us this isnt Mars but a set on a backlot to have us believe it is a Mars I bet the rover is a Jew in some way.

This should help NASA getting funding if it is successful. TO Gaffney, this is the reason for the phony baloney Mars trip :)

Some more footage captured today. I'm analyzing the pixels now to determine its authenticiy.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Y03zBX_q4TM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

cutthemdown
08-06-2012, 11:26 AM
Good stuff from NASA! This is the future of space exploration for the foreseeable future: unmanned, self contained, independent automated rovers. The cost of missions sky rocket when people are involved.

But as others have said, if we do send people out it should be to planets we are sure can sustain life. The only way we will know that is by sending rovers first to do the preliminary work.

I really think it will end up more for mining and resources them actually living there. I bet some day we really do harvest asteroids and minerals off planets. It makes since because we are using ours up, and we will have more and more people.

100 years from now maybe.

Rohirrim
08-06-2012, 12:50 PM
http://bidaxe.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/cfaa3_Lost_In_Space_Robot_1.jpg

cutthemdown
08-07-2012, 12:13 AM
here is an email I got forwarded to me. It's from a world class engineer who worked with my father on numerous space programs and telescopes. Makes me proud remembering how awesome and smart my father was. Genius smart like Macgyver lol. Seriously some of the stories I have are funny. Just how he could fix things so easily using parts from other machines.



These guys who work on our space program are uber smart.







From: Office Of The Director [mailto:Office.Of.The.Director@jpl.nasa.gov]
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 2:10 PM
To: all.personnel@list.jpl.nasa.gov
Subject: Mars Science Laboratory



OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR

August 6, 2012

TO: JPL Employees and Contractor Personnel

FROM: Charles Elachi

SUBJECT: Mars Science Laboratory


Does it get any better than this! As we all held our breaths (I certainly did), Curiosity made a flawless landing on the surface of the Red Planet last night at 10:32 p.m. PDT.

This historic achievement was the product of years of very sustained effort on the part of hundreds of JPL’ers and our colleagues at other NASA centers, in industry, academia and our international partners.

The Mars Science Laboratory team dared a mighty thing. I can’t begin to express how proud I am of their historic achievement. Like Olympians, the women and men who worked on this mission, like all of our missions, performed magnificently. They worked long and hard, making many sacrifices along the way. The stress was immense with the whole world watching. And they were competing against a very tough opponent with the odds against them; if you look up the historical win-loss record, Mars is still ahead by a wide margin. The team went up against all these challenges and came away with gold. They are, in the quest for knowledge of the universe we live in, true Olympians. As President Obama said in his congratulatory message, "Even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination." This, indeed, describes all that we do at JPL.

This accomplishment is also the result of JPL's identity as part of two great American institutions: Caltech gives us firm footing and deep roots with its tradition of excellence in the pursuit of knowledge, while NASA encourages us always, every time we undertake a mission, to stretch further and reach higher into the heavens.

Last night, we celebrated the landing with its heart-stopping seven minutes of terror. But let us not forget that the real job of this mission has yet to start. And don’t for a second begin to think that all the drama of this mission is over. This is just the beginning. In the days, weeks, months and years ahead, there are great adventures and discoveries waiting.

And what is true of Mars is true of our missions to Saturn, to Jupiter, to Vesta and Ceres, our own planet and its moon, and the larger universe beyond the backyard of our solar system. Our Curiosity knows no bounds at all of these places.

My deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone. To say again, I could not be more proud.

FireFly
08-07-2012, 04:39 AM
I just hope I get the chance to see Americans walking on the surface of Mars before I die. :thumbs:

Unlikely. I'd expect the Chinese or the Russians there first

Rohirrim
08-07-2012, 08:08 AM
Unlikely. I'd expect the Chinese or the Russians there first

I doubt Russia. Putin is too self-interested to invest in that. China? Maybe. They'll have to steal all the technology first. That might take a while.

broncosteven
08-07-2012, 10:00 AM
Unlikely. I'd expect the Chinese or the Russians there first

I think China wants to go to the moon, they may not be ready for a landing yet but I bet within the next couple years they do a flyby.

It is more a symbol for them to prove they are a super power. The only issue is we won't know about it until they are home safe and sound. NASA was transparent but if China has an Apollo13 type issue or worse no one will ever know.

bronco militia
08-07-2012, 10:24 AM
I think China wants to go to the moon, they may not be ready for a landing yet but I bet within the next couple years they do a flyby.

It is more a symbol for them to prove they are a super power. The only issue is we won't know about it until they are home safe and sound. NASA was transparent but if China has an Apollo13 type issue or worse no one will ever know.

DOD will know about it

Beantown Bronco
08-07-2012, 10:37 AM
I think China wants to go to the moon, they may not be ready for a landing yet but I bet within the next couple years they do a flyby.

It is more a symbol for them to prove they are a super power. The only issue is we won't know about it until they are home safe and sound. NASA was transparent but if China has an Apollo13 type issue or worse no one will ever know.

Hope they fly better than they drive.

Tombstone RJ
08-07-2012, 11:04 AM
I think China wants to go to the moon, they may not be ready for a landing yet but I bet within the next couple years they do a flyby.

It is more a symbol for them to prove they are a super power. The only issue is we won't know about it until they are home safe and sound. NASA was transparent but if China has an Apollo13 type issue or worse no one will ever know.

Perhaps, but you can't really do stuff like this in a closet, can you? If China does go to the moon I'm pretty sure they would want the world to know about it. If something goes wrong, well, that's part of the risk and there's really no shame to the Chinese, after all, the will be the second nation to try a moon landing with real live people.

Also, think about this: if they did successfully land on the moon--in secret--and then return the astronauts safely to the earth--all in secret--how can they all of a sudden proclaim their victory to the world without major questions as to why they did it in secret to begin with? The rest of the world would be like wtf China?

cutthemdown
08-07-2012, 02:37 PM
Unlikely. I'd expect the Chinese or the Russians there first

I doubt it check their record going to Mars. They are way behind us still. But....having said that I believe it will be an international effort between Europe, Japan, China and Russia. Or a combo of some other countries etc etc. I really do believe its such a huge undertaking it may take the human race, not just the USA, to get it done.

Make no mistake though no country can send out spacecraft into the great beyond quite like the USA.

orinjkrush
08-07-2012, 03:06 PM
I am not aware of a shuttle replacement project called Aurora. There was a Project Aurora that was never officially released to the public that was more of a SR-71 Blackbird replacement. Some say it never flew, I have heard it has, I would like to think we have one in a sunk works bunker somewhere ready to go if needed.

Constellation was Bush's Whitehouse push in his lameduck presidency years which was to get men back to the moon and maybe even Mars. It did stipulate the new Larger Orion Capsule that looked more like a Saturn V with 2 SRB's attached. It was to have test launches by 2012 but it would have also kept us in Low earth orbit for years until the longer distance Mars crafts were developed. Bush also wanted to see a Moon base as a jump off point for Mars.

Obama's WH stripped out Bush's WH Constellation, giving up to $1Bill each to 3 private contractors to service the Low Earth Orbit, ISS delivery bus.

WHen I first heard that I got bent about it and thought NASA was being gutted and my kids would be doomed to a life without a public Space Adminstration that would get people to deep space.

Then a few months after the Shuttle was decommishend the Obama WH announced the SLS Deepspace Platform.

When I went to KSC this summer and heard the talk about the SLS project I was won over by our tour guides. THey showed us the new Platforms for the SLS and Orion gantry that they need to make 3 times taller.

The SLS will have the 1st non-manned test launch for 2014. with manned testing in 2020ish.

I like it the more I think about it, My kids could be the ones to test out Orion in low Earth orbit some time in 2024.

I think SLS gives us the best chance to get to Mars or Titan, or Europa. before I get too old and die.

I think it makes sense to spend good money on a good project and let the suborbital/orbital privateers take care of the ISS

I concede your point re. Aurora and the Shuttle.

I guess I was referring to the DoD's proven propensity to never shelve an operational capability without having another one ready. As you know there are several aviation & space programs within the US: NASA, mostly unclassified; DoD mostly classified and CIA all classified.

Some of the details of the SR-3 resemble the rumored Brilliant Buzzard or “Mothership” aircraft, but these were supposed to carry their second stage aircraft on top, rather than on the bottom as with the SR-3. This second stage was rumored to be Aurora, (a high-speed, high-altitude delta-winged aircraft), and the lengthening of runways at facilities such as Area 51 (taken by some as evidence of Aurora) could instead be necessary either to support SR-3's takeoff or XOV's landing. Most descriptions of Aurora, however, describe it as a hypersonic plane with exotic engine technology; the SR-3 described by Aviation Magazine is similar to existing rocket-powered aircraft. Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE) technology, visually apparent by donuts-on-a-rope contrail - and audibly by its deep bass pulsing boom noise, has been associated with these programs from eyewitness accounts during the 1990s. (wikipedia)

I should state that if I did KNOW of the existence of black spaceplanes, I certainly would NOT post it to the Mane. sorry.

Therefore, I am using my intuition based on a very long time in the USAF.

Here's an interesting website which discusses several Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) concepts, for which patents were applied. Many of them rely on today's or actually yesterday's technology to accomplish. i.e. doable.

http://robotpig.net/__aerospace/tsto.php?page=0

My hunch is that we are already operating military orbital missions and that the strange sounds in Wisconsin and the strange delta shaped lights are in fact evidence of such. But, if I or someone else had real proof, I'm sure the FBI would be knocking on our doors.

So we get to speculate based on the actions of past history.

What, a stealth fighter? a stealth bomber? Nah, just ghost stories.

ant1999e
08-08-2012, 06:52 PM
Go to the link to see a picture

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/space-junkies-try-explain-mysterious-image-photo-mars-190419541.html

A mysterious blotch that appeared along the horizon in a photo from the surface of Mars stirred speculation about what it might be, as two hours later it was gone.
One image from the Curiosity rover as it landed on the fourth planet from the sun showed a "faint but distinctive" image on the horizon, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, a subsequent batch of images sent from the unmanned rover two hours later showed no trace of the blotch.
One theory put forth by space enthusiasts in the L.A. Times story is that Curiosity had somehow snapped a photo of part of the spacecraft that escorted the rover through the Martian atmosphere crash-landing a distance away.
[Slideshow: Latest images from Mars]
But to capture that image "would be an insane coincidence," one engineer told the newspaper.
Others say more feasible possibilities would be simply dirt on the lens, or maybe a dust devil twisting far in the distance.
But as more images start to pour into NASA, more is being learned about the rover's pinpoint landing.
In what some are dubbing the "crime scene" photo of the landing zone taken by another satellite, Curiosity is seen on the ground along with pieces of the spacecraft that broke apart as planned on the way to the surface. The photo reveals the heat shield that protected the rover as it entered the atmosphere and the parachute that helped ease the vehicle onto Mars. Also seen are parts of the "sky crane," the spacecraft that carried the rover to the planet, the article noted.
Could the sky crane crashing be the blotch? From another L.A. Times story:
The crime scene photo showed that the sky crane had crash-landed, as designed, about 2,000 feet away—and in the same direction that Curiosity's camera was pointed when it snapped the first photo showing the blotch. The new satellite photo also showed that the sky crane, when it crash-landed, kicked up a violent wave of dirt that had scarred the surface of Mars.
Curiosity mission manager Michael Watkins told the Times if it were the case, "it would be incredibly cool. ... A crazy, serendipitous thing."
Images from Mars have always fueled curiosity.
Remember what folks thought was a huge face on Mars? An image from Viking 1 in 1976 that appeared to show a rock formation with eyes, a nose and a mouth? Later high-resolution imaging and side-by-side analysis proved the "face" to be a mesa, like the flat-topped natural formations found in the southwestern U.S.
As the Curiosity rover readies to begin the scientific discovery part of the mission, maybe more interesting things will be revealed.