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nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Don McKenzie, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Don McKenzie, Aug 6, 2012
    #1
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  2. Don McKenzie

    Jon Kirwan Guest

    On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 16:15:32 +1000, Don McKenzie <5V@2.5A>
    wrote:

    >Been there, done that :)
    >
    >http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454


    I started watching the NASA channel about 4 hours ago and
    stayed with it. (Still watching, while they are doing the
    news conference event and just finished congradulating each
    member of the EDL team (entry, descent, and landing.)

    Australia was part of this success, as well -- at least in
    terms of participating in the very much needed communications
    portions.

    What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    as it did.

    Jon
    Jon Kirwan, Aug 6, 2012
    #2
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  3. Don McKenzie

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Jon Kirwan"

    >
    > What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    > million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    > orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    > technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    > Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    > as it did.




    ** Wonder if " Howard Wolowitz " will be offering any chubby babes the
    chance to drive this little BUGGY on Mars ??




    ..... Phil
    Phil Allison, Aug 6, 2012
    #3
  4. Don McKenzie

    dp Guest

    On Aug 6, 9:43 am, Jon Kirwan <> wrote:
    > ...
    > What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    > million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    > orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    > technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    > Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    > as it did.
    >
    > Jon


    Same feelings here - very well done. I just cannot imagine
    how tense it must have been for the people (person?) whose
    baby this is; I know I have had my tense moments shipping
    overseas the first spectrometers and waiting for them to
    call home and work with HPGe detectors (each being generally
    a unique personality) they have never seen; I also know the
    relief at the end of it.
    And the scales are simply not comparable; how do these
    people survive the wait is just beyond me, I guess.

    Dimiter

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments

    http://www.tgi-sci.com
    ------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/sets/72157600228621276/
    dp, Aug 6, 2012
    #4
  5. Don McKenzie

    Bob Guest

    On Monday, August 6, 2012 11:13:26 PM UTC+1, Jordan wrote:
    > Great achievement, but have we forgotten something?
    >
    > I was surprised when I mentioned to some friends that there have been
    > successful landings on Mars since at least 1976 - they were astonished
    > and disbelieving.


    The size and sky-crane idea seems to have grabbed people's attention. And popular support means funding...

    Cynics might say it was a great achievement for US technology - after they saved money by canceling their commitment to some European programs. But as long as it is big and has a US flag on the side, that is all that matters with the US public.
    Bob, Aug 6, 2012
    #5
  6. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    On 07-Aug-12 8:13 AM, Jordan wrote:
    >
    >
    >> http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454
    >>

    >
    > Great achievement, but have we forgotten something?
    > I was surprised when I mentioned to some friends that there have been successful landings on Mars since at least 1976 -
    > they were astonished and disbelieving.


    Try and get people to believe that the Concord and 747 first flew in 1969, or that the B52 proto took to the air in 1952.

    BTW The B52 is still a current work horse.
    Only 6 new heads and 3 new handles. :)


    --
    Don McKenzie

    Web's best price on Olinuxino Linux PC:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/olinuxino.html

    The World's Cheapest Computer:
    DuinoMite the PIC32 $23 Basic Computer-MicroController
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/the-maximite-computer.html
    Add VGA Monitor/TV, and PS2 Keyboard, or use USB Terminal
    Arduino Shield, Programmed in Basic, or C.
    Don McKenzie, Aug 6, 2012
    #6
  7. On 2012-08-06, Don McKenzie <5V@2.5A> wrote:

    > Been there, done that :)
    >
    > http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454


    I thought the over-hyped commentary during the landing and especially
    in pre-landing videos (like the "Seven Minutes of Terror") was
    embarassing and made the design engineers and mission planners sound
    incompetent.

    The commentators kept yammering on about how there was "zero margin
    for error", and how "absolutely everything has to work right".

    Really? A design with _zero_ safety margin? Who signs off on a
    system design or mission plan like that?

    I'm pretty sure that the "absolutely everything has to work right" is
    also bullshit. I heard several people who seemd know know which way
    was up talking about redundancy in the hardware design, the software
    design, and in the mission planning itself.

    The blockbuster-movie-preview-preview-style-over-hyped-bullshit just
    detracted from what in reality was an utterly brilliant job. Even
    though nothing _did_ go wrong (AFAICT), and they hit center of the
    bullseye, I'm confident that there was both redundancy and margin for
    error designed/built into almost everything.

    --
    Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Hey, wait
    at a minute!! I want a
    gmail.com divorce!! ... you're not
    Clint Eastwood!!
    Grant Edwards, Aug 6, 2012
    #7
  8. Don McKenzie

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Jordan"
    >
    > Great achievement, but have we forgotten something?
    > I was surprised when I mentioned to some friends that there have been
    > successful landings on Mars since at least 1976 - they were astonished and
    > disbelieving.



    ** The first successful landing of a Mars probe complete with small "rover "
    vehicle was in December 1971.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_3

    The Soviets reached the moon with a probe in September 1959.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_2



    .... Phil
    Phil Allison, Aug 7, 2012
    #8
  9. Don McKenzie

    Sylvia Else Guest

    On 7/08/2012 8:56 AM, Grant Edwards wrote:
    > On 2012-08-06, Don McKenzie <5V@2.5A> wrote:
    >
    >> Been there, done that :)
    >>
    >> http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454

    >
    > I thought the over-hyped commentary during the landing and especially
    > in pre-landing videos (like the "Seven Minutes of Terror") was
    > embarassing and made the design engineers and mission planners sound
    > incompetent.
    >
    > The commentators kept yammering on about how there was "zero margin
    > for error", and how "absolutely everything has to work right".
    >
    > Really? A design with _zero_ safety margin? Who signs off on a
    > system design or mission plan like that?
    >
    > I'm pretty sure that the "absolutely everything has to work right" is
    > also bullshit. I heard several people who seemd know know which way
    > was up talking about redundancy in the hardware design, the software
    > design, and in the mission planning itself.


    Even the animated video of the skycrane clearly shows the rockets in
    pairs, with only one of each pair in use.

    Sylvia.
    Sylvia Else, Aug 7, 2012
    #9
  10. Don McKenzie

    Walter Banks Guest

    Jon Kirwan wrote:

    > On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 16:15:32 +1000, Don McKenzie <5V@2.5A>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Been there, done that :)
    > >
    > >http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454

    >
    > I started watching the NASA channel about 4 hours ago and
    > stayed with it. (Still watching, while they are doing the
    > news conference event and just finished congradulating each
    > member of the EDL team (entry, descent, and landing.)
    >
    > Australia was part of this success, as well -- at least in
    > terms of participating in the very much needed communications
    > portions.
    >
    > What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    > million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    > orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    > technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    > Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    > as it did.


    I like many watch the landing coverage. There are two
    things that really impressed me.

    1) The navigation to get them there on a really small landing
    footprint

    2) With all of the technology in the systems to land this
    successfully, one number still is impressive. There were still
    250 single point possible failures. The math against it working
    was astronomical. If there was anyone involved reading
    this I am all ears and you have my congratulations.

    Listing to the systems readout after the landing showed it
    almost everything was nominal.

    Congratulations all

    Walter Banks
    Walter Banks, Aug 7, 2012
    #10
  11. Don McKenzie

    Jon Kirwan Guest

    On Mon, 6 Aug 2012 12:50:50 -0700 (PDT), dp <>
    wrote:

    >On Aug 6, 9:43 am, Jon Kirwan <> wrote:
    >> ...
    >> What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    >> million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    >> orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    >> technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    >> Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    >> as it did.
    >>
    >> Jon

    >
    >Same feelings here - very well done. I just cannot imagine
    >how tense it must have been for the people (person?) whose
    >baby this is;


    Dr. Adam Steltzner probably deserves very high praise. And I
    very much appreciated his sincere comments about others on
    his team (some, he said, were better deserving and more
    skilled than he) to have been given the honor he was given in
    leading the EDL team who worked so hard at perhaps the more
    problematic parts of the problem starting 7-8 years ago. I'm
    sure he slave-drove these people, but he also was provided
    the source of confidence and the energy to push through
    problems with consistent and overwhelming force.

    >I know I have had my tense moments shipping
    >overseas the first spectrometers and waiting for them to
    >call home and work with HPGe detectors (each being generally
    >a unique personality) they have never seen; I also know the
    >relief at the end of it.


    Oh, what I wouldn't do to get my hands on the optical design
    of those devices and some ideas about sourcing parts here. I
    have worked with spectrophotometers for decades now, going
    back to the mid 1980's. Some of it expensive, but all of it
    only to commercial standards. I started using the Ocean
    Optics (because they were CHEAP) as soon as they first came
    out with something decent. (Most of my work was in the
    visible, near UV, and near IR -- but for very different
    applications.) I still have some decent setups here and I've
    designed some devices that can be made for only a few
    dollars, and wavelength calibrated for $8 more, so that high
    school students could actually built their own real-world
    equipment that could genuinely "do science" and meet
    calibration standards. No intensity calibration, though,
    sadly. That costs money to do. (Unless you have a suggestion
    about how to do it on the cheap?)

    >And the scales are simply not comparable; how do these
    >people survive the wait is just beyond me, I guess.


    I think few people understand just what this kind of team
    work means inside, how much it changes who you are, and what
    it means when the work is suddenly handed off and you scatter
    to the winds. Perhaps actors doing a long-running play, like
    Les Miserables, would understand when the play breaks up
    (though that one never seems to.) It's years of hard work
    building up a team that in the end works superbly together
    and has learned how it must be that each person makes up for
    the deficits of each other, while capitalizing on their
    strengths, into a whole unit that from the outside is totally
    functional and complete.... only to have it dismantled
    suddenly at the end. Or, at least, the serious threat of it.
    All that has been so hard-won....

    I feel for all here.

    Jon
    Jon Kirwan, Aug 7, 2012
    #11
  12. Don McKenzie

    Jon Kirwan Guest

    On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 21:26:55 -0400, Walter Banks
    <> wrote:

    >Jon Kirwan wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 16:15:32 +1000, Don McKenzie <5V@2.5A>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Been there, done that :)
    >> >
    >> >http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454

    >>
    >> I started watching the NASA channel about 4 hours ago and
    >> stayed with it. (Still watching, while they are doing the
    >> news conference event and just finished congradulating each
    >> member of the EDL team (entry, descent, and landing.)
    >>
    >> Australia was part of this success, as well -- at least in
    >> terms of participating in the very much needed communications
    >> portions.
    >>
    >> What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    >> million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    >> orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    >> technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    >> Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    >> as it did.

    >
    >I like many watch the landing coverage. There are two
    >things that really impressed me.
    >
    >1) The navigation to get them there on a really small landing
    > footprint
    >
    >2) With all of the technology in the systems to land this
    >successfully, one number still is impressive. There were still
    >250 single point possible failures. The math against it working
    >was astronomical. If there was anyone involved reading
    >this I am all ears and you have my congratulations.
    >
    >Listing to the systems readout after the landing showed it
    >almost everything was nominal.
    >
    >Congratulations all


    Of all those single points of failure, the ones that worried
    me the most were the pyros. You can test a lot of things --
    like the 65,000 pounds of force the parachute had to bear.
    But you can't test the ACTUAL pyros you will use. No matter
    what you do, the ones you place in there can't have been
    tested. We know how to make explosives of great uniformity,
    of course. But all of that has to go into a system and it
    must fire exactly correctly, under buffeting circumstances,
    without a single point of failure in a single pyro. Just one
    and that is it. Not that the rest wasn't also difficult. But
    some of the things, since as the novel use of an imbalance in
    weight distribution in order to permit direction control
    during entry, can have errors in one part of the software be
    compensated by the outer control loop in another part. So
    even there, there is a backup hope. But the pyros either
    work, or don't. That's what I was watching mostly for, though
    the rest was also sincerely knuckle-whitening as well.

    Jon
    Jon Kirwan, Aug 7, 2012
    #12
  13. Don McKenzie

    josephkk Guest

    On Mon, 6 Aug 2012 12:50:50 -0700 (PDT), dp <> wrote:

    >On Aug 6, 9:43 am, Jon Kirwan <> wrote:
    >> ...
    >> What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    >> million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    >> orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    >> technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    >> Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    >> as it did.
    >>
    >> Jon

    >
    >Same feelings here - very well done. I just cannot imagine
    >how tense it must have been for the people (person?) whose
    >baby this is; I know I have had my tense moments shipping
    >overseas the first spectrometers and waiting for them to
    >call home and work with HPGe detectors (each being generally
    >a unique personality) they have never seen; I also know the
    >relief at the end of it.
    >And the scales are simply not comparable; how do these
    >people survive the wait is just beyond me, I guess.
    >


    I have met some of these people, and i couldn't tell the difference in a
    few moments talking to them. Just the same they seem to be made of
    sterner stuff than Dale six-pack.

    >Dimiter
    >
    >------------------------------------------------------
    >Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments
    >
    >http://www.tgi-sci.com
    >------------------------------------------------------
    >http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/sets/72157600228621276/
    >
    josephkk, Aug 7, 2012
    #13
  14. In article <>,
    says...
    >
    > On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 21:26:55 -0400, Walter Banks
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >Jon Kirwan wrote:
    > >
    > >> On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 16:15:32 +1000, Don McKenzie <5V@2.5A>
    > >> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> >Been there, done that :)
    > >> >
    > >> >http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454
    > >>
    > >> I started watching the NASA channel about 4 hours ago and
    > >> stayed with it. (Still watching, while they are doing the
    > >> news conference event and just finished congradulating each
    > >> member of the EDL team (entry, descent, and landing.)
    > >>
    > >> Australia was part of this success, as well -- at least in
    > >> terms of participating in the very much needed communications
    > >> portions.
    > >>
    > >> What impresses me the most is that this trip was about 350
    > >> million miles, ending in a tight coordination with two
    > >> orbiting satellites, the ODY and MRO, and deploying novel
    > >> technologies to land a 1 ton vehicle (if I heard correct.)
    > >> Hard to believe that all of this could come together as well
    > >> as it did.

    > >
    > >I like many watch the landing coverage. There are two
    > >things that really impressed me.
    > >
    > >1) The navigation to get them there on a really small landing
    > > footprint
    > >
    > >2) With all of the technology in the systems to land this
    > >successfully, one number still is impressive. There were still
    > >250 single point possible failures. The math against it working
    > >was astronomical. If there was anyone involved reading
    > >this I am all ears and you have my congratulations.
    > >
    > >Listing to the systems readout after the landing showed it
    > >almost everything was nominal.
    > >
    > >Congratulations all

    >
    > Of all those single points of failure, the ones that worried
    > me the most were the pyros. You can test a lot of things --
    > like the 65,000 pounds of force the parachute had to bear.
    > But you can't test the ACTUAL pyros you will use. No matter
    > what you do, the ones you place in there can't have been
    > tested. We know how to make explosives of great uniformity,
    > of course. But all of that has to go into a system and it
    > must fire exactly correctly, under buffeting circumstances,
    > without a single point of failure in a single pyro. Just one
    > and that is it. Not that the rest wasn't also difficult. But
    > some of the things, since as the novel use of an imbalance in
    > weight distribution in order to permit direction control
    > during entry, can have errors in one part of the software be
    > compensated by the outer control loop in another part. So
    > even there, there is a backup hope. But the pyros either
    > work, or don't. That's what I was watching mostly for, though
    > the rest was also sincerely knuckle-whitening as well.
    >

    However, you can have redundancy in some types of pyros such as wire
    cutters and other release mechanisms. Whether such redundancy is worth
    the extra pyro weight, cabling and switching is a matter for experts
    to decide.


    Mark Borgerson
    Mark Borgerson, Aug 7, 2012
    #14
  15. In article <>, 5V@2.5A says...
    >
    > On 07-Aug-12 8:13 AM, Jordan wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >> http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454
    > >>

    > >
    > > Great achievement, but have we forgotten something?
    > > I was surprised when I mentioned to some friends that there have been successful landings on Mars since at least 1976 -
    > > they were astonished and disbelieving.

    >
    > Try and get people to believe that the Concord and 747 first flew in 1969, or that the B52 proto took to the air in 1952.
    >
    > BTW The B52 is still a current work horse.
    > Only 6 new heads and 3 new handles. :)


    Right up there is the first flight of the A-12 (predecessor to the SR-
    71) in 1962. Of course, only a limited number of people really knew
    about it at the time! ;-)

    Mark Borgerson
    Mark Borgerson, Aug 7, 2012
    #15
  16. Don McKenzie

    Geoff Guest

    Geoff, Aug 7, 2012
    #16
  17. Don McKenzie

    Jon Kirwan Guest

    Jon Kirwan, Aug 7, 2012
    #17
  18. Don McKenzie

    Guest

    On Tue, 07 Aug 2012 08:13:26 +1000, Jordan <> wrote:

    >
    >
    >> http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454
    >>

    >
    >Great achievement, but have we forgotten something?
    >I was surprised when I mentioned to some friends that there have been
    >successful landings on Mars since at least 1976 - they were astonished
    >and disbelieving.


    Apparently the first pictures from the surface of Mars were taken by
    Mars 3 in 1971, so successful landings happened a few years earlier.
    , Aug 7, 2012
    #18
  19. Don McKenzie

    dp Guest

    On Aug 7, 5:11 am, Jon Kirwan <> wrote:
    > ...(Most of my work was in the
    > visible, near UV, and near IR -- but for very different
    > applications.) I still have some decent setups here and I've
    > designed some devices that can be made for only a few
    > dollars, and wavelength calibrated for $8 more, so that high
    > school students could actually built their own real-world
    > equipment that could genuinely "do science" and meet
    > calibration standards. No intensity calibration, though,
    > sadly. That costs money to do. (Unless you have a suggestion
    > about how to do it on the cheap?)


    Oh no, I could not possibly have a suggestion. My spectrometers
    don't seem to have an overlapping wavelength range with yours,
    mine are xray/gamma. I am practically clueless when it comes to
    those in the UV and below range, mine generally count single
    photons.
    Efficiency calibration is costly on those for gamma, too,
    though - the calibration source costs thousands. The rest, hm,
    has become much less expensive since the release of the
    netmca-3 (one can still spend tens of thousands on it but
    does not have to any longer).
    I would be curious what gamma spectrometry the thing is
    carrying on board, too (if any, but likely so). Unlikely
    HPGe, but then who knows, Mars is a cold place, they may
    have figured some practical way to cool things down to
    about liquid nitrogen.

    Dimiter

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments

    http://www.tgi-sci.com
    ------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/sets/72157600228621276/
    dp, Aug 7, 2012
    #19
  20. Don McKenzie

    Guest

    On Mon, 6 Aug 2012 22:23:41 -0700, Mark Borgerson <>
    wrote:

    >In article <>, 5V@2.5A says...
    >>
    >> On 07-Aug-12 8:13 AM, Jordan wrote:
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >> http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-06/nasa-celebrates-successful-mars-landing/4180454
    >> >>
    >> >
    >> > Great achievement, but have we forgotten something?
    >> > I was surprised when I mentioned to some friends that there have been successful landings on Mars since at least 1976 -
    >> > they were astonished and disbelieving.

    >>
    >> Try and get people to believe that the Concord and 747 first flew in 1969, or that the B52 proto took to the air in 1952.
    >>
    >> BTW The B52 is still a current work horse.
    >> Only 6 new heads and 3 new handles. :)

    >
    >Right up there is the first flight of the A-12 (predecessor to the SR-
    >71) in 1962. Of course, only a limited number of people really knew
    >about it at the time! ;-)


    It didn't take long before the A-12 became public knowledge. Revel even had
    accurate models of it, and the D-21 drone, within a couple of years. They did
    a much better job of covering up the B2 project.
    , Aug 7, 2012
    #20
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