Mars Exploration Rover Mission Status - December 29, 2003

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov
Guy Webster (818) 354-6278 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
News Release: 2003-174 December 29, 2003
Mars Exploration Rover Mission Status
NASA's Spirit rover spacecraft fired its thrusters for 3.4 seconds on Friday, Dec. 26, to make a slight and possibly final correction in its flight path about one week before landing on Mars.
Radio tracking of the spacecraft during the 24 hours after the maneuver showed it to be right on course for its landing inside Mars' Gusev Crater at 04:35 Jan. 4, 2004, Universal Time (8:35 p.m. Jan. 3, Pacific Standard Time.) Spirit's twin, Opportunity, will reach Mars three weeks later.
"The maneuver went flawlessly," said Dr. Mark Adler, Spirit mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
This was Spirit's fourth trajectory correction maneuver since launch on June 10. Two more are on the schedule for the flight's final three days, if needed. Adler said, "It seems unlikely we'll have to do a fifth trajectory correction maneuver, but we'll make the final call Thursday morning after we have a few more days of tracking data. Right now, it looks as though we hit the bull's-eye."
The adjustment was a quick nudge approximately perpendicular to the spacecraft's spin axis, said JPL's Chris Potts, deputy navigation team chief for the NASA Mars Exploration Rover project. "It moved the arrival time later by 2 seconds and moved the landing point on the surface northeast by about 54 kilometers" (33 miles), Potts said. The engine firing changed the velocity of the spacecraft by only 25 millimeters per second (about one-twentieth of one mile per hour).
For both NASA rovers approaching Mars, the most daunting challenges will be descending through Mars' atmosphere, landing on the surface, and opening up properly from the enclosed and folded configuration in which the rovers arrive. Most previous Mars landing attempts, by various nations, have failed.
Each rover, if it arrives successfully, will then spend more than a week in a careful sequence of steps before rolling off its lander platform. The rovers' mission is to examine their landing areas for geological evidence about past environmental conditions. In water, which is key information for assessing whether the sites ever could have been hospitable to life. Opportunity will land halfway around Mars from Spirit.
As of 13:00 Universal Time (6 a.m. PST) on New Year's Day, Spirit will have traveled 481.9 million kilometers (299.4 million miles) since launch and have will have 5.1 million kilometers (3.2 million miles) left to go. Opportunity will have traveled 411 million kilometers (255 million miles) since its July 7 launch and will have 45 million kilometers (27.9 million miles) to go, with three remaining scheduled opportunities for trajectory correction maneuvers.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. Additional information about the project is available from JPL at
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html
and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at
http://athena.cornell.edu/ .
-end-
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Ron) wrote in

In this case we can definitely say that the "Beagle Has Not Landed, but ....". Brittannia may rule the waves, she might rule the skies, but her finest hour is yet to arrive". (apologies to Sir Winston Churchill).
--LH
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Oh, I think it is safe to say it has landed, it just isn't talking to anyone for whatever reason.
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George wrote:

The Beagle found a Martian rabbit and it is off for a romp. *|;-)
--
Geo Communications Services -- www.geocommunications.net
Jo Schaper's Missouri World -- http://www.missouriworld.net
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anyone
No, no, no. That's not scifi. The beagle found a Martian rabbit, who ate it and is now annoyed by indigestion.
/BAH
Subtract a hundred and four for e-mail.
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I thought the beagle was playing Sopwith with the Mars Red Barron? (Peanuts!)
TL
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but
her
Actually, NASA found the culprit behind the beagle incident, but they haven't decided what to do about it yet:
http://www.satiresearch.com/go.asp?sid "505
Maybe they could send in the Marines! LOL
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Churchill).
to
HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY!!!! LOL. TL <--- former Marine :) and man, I'd gladly go.
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anyone
That's as good of an explanation as I've heard so far. :-)
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As the Robot said to the Wabbit, (or as the Actress said to the bishop)..op cit, whatever.
-- LH
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Oh George, robots send data, humans talk, or have you a problem with this sublety
-- LH
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How funny would it be if it was discovered that the ESA used miles and yards instead of meters.
Andy
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AMH wrote:

Or Metres for that matter. Why would they do that then. I don't think as yet that we can conclude that the Beagle has or has not landed. It doesn't seem to be working properly though.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (AMH) wrote in

Not funny - actually happened recently, last couple of years I believe, some one in NASA used miles instead of KM, and Oh Oh,
-- LH
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That was irony!
Andy
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On a sunny day (31 Dec 2003 11:42:55 -0800) it happened snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (AMH) wrote in

They used airbags and parachutes ;-(
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And they probably used metres instead of meters as well. A meter is a dial of sorts attached to a measuring device of sorts. A metre is a length of measurement. Maybe they measured the metres on their meters? <Grin> cheers Bill
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More likely they delivered a bagel instead of the Beagle.
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but
her
This line is going nowhere fast. Again. LOL.
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