Mars

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Mars is just too cool.

The image is, of course, from NASA/JPL.

Sand dunes often accumulate in the floors of craters. In this region of Lyot Crater, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows a field of classic barchan dunes on Jan. 24, 2018. Just to the south of the group of barchan dunes is one large dune with a more complex structure. This particular dune, appearing like turquoise blue in enhanced color, is made of finer material and/or has a different composition than the surrounding. The map is projected above at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 34.7 centimeters (13.7 inches) per pixel (with 1 x 1 binning); objects on the order of 104 centimeters (40.9 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.

Learn more and get a 14MB TIFF at  www.nasa.gov…

be well

 

Well, not quite a Sikorsky, but drones are beautiful, too, eh! WooHoo!

NASA Mars Helicopter Technology Demonstration

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Published on May 11, 2018

The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration that will travel to the Red Planet with the Mars 2020 rover. It will attempt controlled flight in Mars’ thin atmosphere, which may enable more ambitious missions in the future. For more information, visit https://go.nasa.gov/2IC8tIh

I was referred to this short piece from a thread called NASA will send a Helicopter to Mars in 2020 by our gortex [Knight of Ni Member Registered: 8/16/2009 Location: Valles Marineris Mood: Variable] and since this is right up my alley as Mars might convince me to stay alive, I got excited and …from there, I found these.

Crazy Engineering: Mars Helicopter

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Published on Jan 22, 2015

JPL engineers are working on a small helicopter that could ‘scout’ a trail for future Mars rovers, but getting a chopper that could fly in the Martian atmosphere is tricky. Episode 2 of Crazy Engineering.

Crazy good stuff

Here’s what a NASA drone for Mars could look like

GeoBeats News
Published on Jan 26, 2015

Hoping to expand the range of what Mars rovers can investigate, NASA is considering equipping the intrepid explorers with helicopters. Mars rovers have done a lot of great work for NASA, but their investigative range is restricted to what can be seen via their onboard cameras. Hoping to expand the options for what the intrepid explorers can look into, the space agency is considering equipping them with helicopters. The goal isn’t to make the rovers themselves fly, but to provide them with a scout that can travel quickly and send back information. Researchers on the ground could go through the data collected, determine which areas of the Red Planet look most intriguing, and send the rover along the proper path. The detachable helicopter could also be useful in aiding the search for particular areas that offer promising opportunities for in-depth analysis and sample collection. The plan is to create a flying rover assistant that weighs about 2 pounds and has a propeller span of just over 3-and-a-half feet. A proof-of-concept prototype, which according to NASA looks kind of like a tissue box, is currently being tested at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The next rover mission to Mars is scheduled to depart in 2020.

Sweet. Petite.

NASA’s Mars Drone Scout – Behold The Future

UPHIGH Productions
Published on Apr 7, 2017

Behold The Future…NASA’s new Mars drone to scout for human habitation sites. The way humans explore Mars could be about to take a giant leap forward with the invention of special flying drones to explore harder to reach parts of the red planet. NASA says the devices could help identify sites for human habitation.

Engineers from NASA’s Langley Research Center are developing a drone that can fly in the thin Martian atmosphere. The autonomous aircraft will team up with ground-based rovers to give researchers far greater flexibility in exploring currently inaccessible features, such as lava tubes and deep canyons.

As well as exploring hard to reach places, Langley engineers say the drones will scout the surface of Mars looking for suitable areas to build human habitats. The “Mars Electric Flyer” project focuses on lightweight structures powered by electric motors. These machines will have vertical takeoff and landing flight control, as well as autonomous navigation.

The electric-powered drones will be equipped with cutting edge motor and battery technologies so they can carry out long-range missions without human intervention. The machines will also be equipped with advanced mapping and remote sensor systems.

The plan is to send the aircraft to Mars on board one of NASA’s rovers. A concept video released by Langley shows the rover using a robotic arm to release the drone on the surface of the planet. The drone then takes off to explore caves and canyons before returning to the rover for post-mission recharging.

The autonomous aircraft, still in the prototype stage, is designed for the thin atmospheric conditions on Mars and is currently undergoing low-pressure chamber flight tests at Langley.
https://www.rt.com/viral/383127-mars-…

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NASA Langley Engineers Propose Mars Flyer Concept

Imagine being able to survey more parts of another planet like Mars than ever before. Orbiters and rovers have been successful so far but engineers keep looking for new ways to gather information. One way may be by using an unmanned aerial vehicle like this Mars Flyer concept. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xjHC…

This looks rather sporty and fleet…

Should have enough air, right?

And please,

Give my regards to the Admiral, Langley.

Mars Helicopter Scout

KISSCaltech
Published on Nov 12, 2015

MiMi Aung, the Autonomous Systems Deputy Division Manager at JPL, presented the Mars Helicopter Scout at the Keck Institute for Space Studies lecture on April 1, 2015. The Mars Helicopter Scout is a current proposal to demonstrate helicopter flight at Mars on the Mars 2020 mission.The Mars Helicopter Scout will scout ahead of a planetary surface rover to provide high-resolution aerial images of the terrain for science and operational purposes. This talk described the scope of the Mars Helicopter Scout proposal, the signficant science and operational benefits of a helicopter in planetary surface exploration, and the technical design overview of Mars Helicopter Scout. The talk concluded with examples of feedforward applications of a planetary helicopter to future missions, with an invitation for lecture attendees to join in further envisioning the much bigger, broader future applications offered by this addition of an aerial dimension to the state-of-practice surface rovers and orbiters in planetary exploration today.

And there you have it.

Exciting stuff and exciting times ahead.

You may have heard the news… plans are to get one up there in 2020… just two tiny yarn!

 

peace

 

See now, this is how the moon got put into place…

Dee- lish!

Beauty.

One of many slabs stuck in the surface in a region of Mars that I can not recall the name of right now. Nifty eh?!

Here’s a nice shot of one.

A very unfortunate Sumatran rhino, which are endangered as it is; and some god damn bastard has to go and cut off it’s horn.

The individual(s) that did this is lucky our paths haven’t crossed as I would cut something off the asswipe(s) for them to remember their crime by. At least while they bled out.

Creeps me out how sick people are.

Sigh.

peace

 

It is! Chock full of really interesting stuff, this place. And lots of stuff gets a “fascinating.”

That’s a nice one.

True color by my buddy Charles Schults!

Pan of Gusev

Those are some nice looking plains.

 

 

 

Look at that. That looks fine. Like somewhere I would want to walk around and check out.

Glad we are going up!

Peace

 

Oh I remember this lil guy so well. This gif is by NASA, created way back in the day in response to the outstanding public inquiry. The “Bunny” was our first taste of the bizarre things to come.

The official conclusion was that this was a piece of airbag material from the landing that had just happened.

That official opinion was based on the proximity in time combined with the movement ‘in the light breeze’ and the yellowish coloration. They did, however, to their credit, say that it was an inconclusive finding and they couldn’t truly say exactly what it was. They kept an eye on it and it appeared next under the edge of the lander. It was not seen again, sadly.

I have always had a problem with the airbag conclusion, despite it’s theoretical plausibility. Do notice that only one “ear” moves. If it was light airbag material, would only the one move? And … how exactly would the two “ears” stand up like that? They could well be right, but to my eye —it simply doesn’t look like what they are saying— it just seems “wrong.”

YMMV Hmmm?

Think on that a while…

Peace

 

Marias Pass, Mars

Sol 991-995 Mastcam imagery projected onto Navcam meshes.
Sol 1080 Mt.Sharp Panorama

Credit: NASA, JPL/Caltech

Blender navcam import plugin by Rob Haarsma: https://github.com/phaseIV

Music: Matt Uelman – Desert

Yellowknife Bay, Mars

Curiosity Sol 137 Mastcam imagery projected onto Sol 133 Navcam meshes.

Credit: NASA, JPL/Caltech

Blender navcam import plugin by Rob Haarsma: https://github.com/phaseIV

Music: Jan Jelinek – Do Dekor
https://www.discogs.com/Jan-Jelinek-L…

Southern Flank of Husband Hill, Mars

Spirit rover sols 672-677 (Nov 23-28 2005 ) Pancam imagery projected onto Sol 671 Navcam meshes.

Credit: NASA, JPL/Caltech

Blender navcam import plugin by Rob Haarsma: https://github.com/phaseIV

Music: Alan Hovhaness – Sonata for Harp, Op. 127: ll. Lento misterioso

https://www.discogs.com/Alan-Hovhanes…

Fabulous!

Credit for these videos being available to us plebes goes to the user sittingduck at Unmanned Spaceflight, a project of The Planetary Society, which has some rather dedicated people who document Curiosity’s activities in detail on a sol-to-sol basis. Very cool. The necessary software to do this was created by Rob Haarsma. See above for the link.

[via jeep3r, rubberneck, Member; here.]

This kind of immersion is possible by creating a 3D mesh from the stereo views of Curiosity’s navigation cameras (greyscale). This means that the shapes and general dimensions of the rocks and landscape are amazingly accurate. The whole scene has been imported into Blender (a free 3D editing program), merged with high-resolution color images from Curiosity’s MastCam and all that was finally compiled into a video.

I do believe we are on our way!

And I don’t think it gets any better than that.

Dig it.

Peace

 

A Stunning Video of Mars That Took Three Months to Stitch Together—by Hand

This is from Wired magazine via Russ Hudson, who will receive PentaProps™!

IF YOU SHOULD one day find yourself in a spacecraft circling Mars, don’t count on a good view. The Red Planet’s dusty atmosphere will probably obscure any window-seat vistas of its deep valleys and soaring mesas. “The best way to see the planet’s surface would be to take a digital image and enhance it on your computer,” says planetary geologist Alfred McEwen, principle investigator on NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. He would know: In the past 12 years, the powerful HiRISE camera has snapped 50,000 spectacular, high-resolution stereo images of the Martian terrain from the planet’s orbit, creating anaglyphs that anyone can view in 3D using special glasses. The highly detailed stereograms depict the planet’s surface in remarkable detail—but 3D glasses aren’t always handy, and still images can only convey so much about Mars’ varied topography.

To fully appreciate the Martian landscape, one needs dimension and movement. In the video you see here, Finnish filmmaker Jan Fröjdman transformed HiRISE imagery into a dynamic, three-dimensional, overhead view of the Red Planet—no glasses required.

For Fröjdman, creating the flyover effect was like assembling a puzzle. He began by colorizing the photographs (HiRISE captures images in grayscale). He then identified distinctive features in each of the anaglyphs—craters, canyons, mountains–and matched them between image pairs. To create the panning 3-D effect, he stitched the images together along his reference points and rendered them as frames in a video. “It was a very slow process,” he says.

Read the rest …

I’m lovin’ it!

I want to GO there … and if I can get myself on one of Elon Musk’s upcoming ships I WILL!

Full circle, eh?

Or something like that…

Peace

Nice, huh?
This image of another round rock, taken by Curiosity on Sol 1555, has been debayered, enlarged and cropped, by, I imagine, LookingAtMars, Member, who posted it and said it had been.

Yes, there are others, too!

You can find most of them here.

I found this particular one here.

Here is the link to the pic.

Peace

 

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Things to see on Mars: “go home, Erosion, you’re drunk!”

— Charles W Shults III

Indeed!

Ha!

I am just glad we are starting to see some good stuff again.

Makes sense there would be more goodies ‘round the edges, eh?

Gotta get this image number…

Peace.

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A world o’ wonder, I tell ya.

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Great, eh?

Actually, the important thing here is that the pattern of interest is easily discernible in the full, uncropped view.

atssmileblink

 

It must be so cool up there.

Reminds me of the Old Man In The Mountain in New Hampshire. I was sad when he passed and glad I had the chance to see the old coot.

Let’s all push for finding out for sure on schedule or better, okay?

It’s the right thing to do.

Peace.

Mars is raising some eyebrows again and for this I am grateful.

It’s been a long time!

Actually, the poster noted that the irascible Tom Van Flandern had seen these forms back in 1999 (on the bottom picture) and had them on his site.

He was a cool one. Wonder what he’s up to.

Could this be natural? Of course. But it has so many of the features that it’d need to have if it wasn’t and it is in such a confined area… the heart sings!

And hey, I guess we’ll all be going up there soon (Go Muskies!) so maybe we will get to see this place for real, up close and personal. Note to self: It is worth staying alive for. Even if it’s just rocks.

But hooodoggy, it sure looks good from up here, doesn’t it?

They need to get that hi res 30cm per pixel camera overhead pronto! C’mon NASA! That’ll fix it!

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Imaged in April 2009 via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s CTX Context Camera, here’s a cropped image showing a small section of the area, slightly contrast-enhanced.

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The big picture from whence the top one is cropped, imaged via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX Context Camera in April 2009.

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Above image acquired by the MOC camera on the Mars Global Surveyor in 1999. It is at a slightly lower resolution.

There’s a nice discussion at  Strange Terraced Features on Mars Reminiscent of Megalithic Structures.

It is where I first saw this.

 

This is crop from a notorious Mars Rover photo that shows what appears to be a carving that looks like it should be in Egypt. It’s about 5 feet high, if the measurements are true, and they likely are. Note also the plastic looking rounded edge object near the center. Also interesting is that this is the first such photo I’ve worked on where the color data was deleted from the released data so I had to add my own rather than bring them out of suppression… that doesn’t sit well with me.

The blurb above is at the store and has a lot of emotion in it.