Mars Phoenix Lander On Wide World Of Mars
When I was a kid growing up in the 1960's, one of the most amazing things to me was the live coverage from multiple cameras of world events, like the Winter Olympics. When they talked about "spanning the globe" to bring you a "Wide World of Sports," they weren't kidding around.
(Phoenix lander schematic)
NASA's Phoenix Lander is going to get a similar treatment from the many correspondents on Mars. Correspondents on Mars? That's right - the three orbiters, NASA's Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Europe's Mars Express are all getting themselves into position.
Even better, NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been helping out by simulating transmissions from Phoenix to rehearse the orbiters' operations.
Phoenix will enter the Martian atmosphere at a speed of 20,519 kph.
On that day, Odyssey will turn its robotic eyes from the heavens to point an ultrahigh- frequency antenna towards the descending Phoenix. A high-gain antenna will stream information back to Earth as Odyssey watches Phoenix slow itself through heat-shield friction, a parachute, and then firing descent rockets. That allows the lander to hit the Martian surface on three legs at just 5.4 miles per hour (2.4 m/s).
MRO and Mars Express will start recording Phoenix transmissions as backup data "about 10 minutes before landing," according to Ben Jai, mission manager at JPL for MRO.
Sooner or later, the world's planetary explorers will realize that we need a rock-solid, high-capacity data network for the solar system. George O. Smith, an engineer by trade and sf writer by avocation, wrote about this idea in an excellent set of stories in the early 1940's.
The Venus Equilateral Relay Station was a modern miracle of engineering if you liked to believe the books. Actually, Venus Equilateral was an asteroid that had been shoved into its orbit about the Sun, forming a practical demonstration of he equilateral triangle solution of the Three Moving Bodies. It was a long cylinder, about three miles in length by about a mile in diameter...
This was the center of Interplanetary Communications. This was the main office. It was the heart of the Solar System's communication line, and as such, it was well manned. Orders for everything emanated from Venus Equilateral.
(Read more about the Venus Equilateral Relay Station)
Via Mars Orbiters Prepare to Watch Phoenix Landing.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/3/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Transparent Smartphone Prototype From Polytron
See through this future phone in a video.
Not Going To Google IO
'Those who could not come in person would watch these proceedings via the glittering transmitter eyes...'- Frank Herbert, 1977.
Dead Cellphone? Try Solar-Powered Public Charging Stations
'Then he saw the geek ... leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'- David Brin, 1990.
Rats Communicate Brain-to-Brain
'Very useful gadget, but you can communicate with a computer about as well with a good briefcase console.'- Pournelle and Niven, 1981.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Haute Cuisine On International Space Station
'The gas gave sufficient heat for the culinary apparatus...'
Tongue Mouse Created By Valve Engineer
'He pressed hard with his tongue against his right upper first molar.'
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared...'
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off
'...a police control-override.'
Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye...'
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
NASA's LADEE Enters Lunar Orbit
'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'
3D Printing An Entire Car
"... Almost as good as the original it was printed from."
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
'See Vee Threepio - Vee for versatility - at your service...'
Google's Skin Tattoo Lie Detector
'Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'
inFORM Dynamic Shape Output Device
Like that pushpin device you remember, but supercharged.
Owlet Vitals, The Future Of Baby Monitoring
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Personal Electric Helicopter Will Be Ready In 2016
"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade."
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Almost.
HiBot's ACM-R5H Robot Video Shows Graceful Terminator-Style Swimming
'No! No! Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh!'
tDCS Jumpstarts Your Future
'We invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses...'.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories