Mars Curiosity Rover

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Mars Curiosity Rover

Postby stephen.bennett » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:20 am

Just reading this months article about NASA's new rover. I am curious [:D] The retro rocket pack used for cushioning it's final decent, will it not contaminate the rover with burnt rocket fuel and affect experiment results?
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RE: Mars Curiosity Rover

Postby wilkibo » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:03 pm

As far as I can see, there are 4 rockets at the 4 corner of the pack and these rockets are at ca. 45 degs. to the vertical so that the propellant completely misses the rover.
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RE: Mars Curiosity Rover

Postby stephen.bennett » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:40 pm

I understand. I won't consider that a system that fully secures the rover from contamination from burnt rocket fuel though. Didn't NASA have issue with contaminated soil sampling on a previous mission?
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RE: Mars Curiosity Rover

Postby astrokin » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:43 am

I would assume that the NASA designers and engineers are painfully aware of the need to keep all Earth based contaminants to a minimum and where this is not possible at least log the nature of the likely contaminants for elimination from samples collected.

As with all highly complex systems, there's always the chance of the unforeseen occurrence.
I as a retired plumber who was conscientious and methodical (what do you mean pull the other one) I endeavored to analyze the systems I worked on carefully, in order to diagnose faults and effect repairs as efficiently as possible to
make sure said systems worked properly and for the cheapest price.

Compared to NASA a plumbing business is small change however the care we put into eliminating error is analogous.
As I've seen NASA performing over the years, sure they've got it wrong from time to time and sadly sometimes catastrophically but when the cameras turn to show the faces of the guys in the control room during good times and bad, you can see how much passion they express as events unfold. For me those faces reflect the care I felt with my work, I never blew up or drowned a client thankfully but NASA's systems are a thousandfold more complicated than the technology I worked with. I know they have the same passion for their work as I had. Neither occupation is the sort of work you get into halfheartedly, or if you are complacent, you'd not last five minutes. I've always thought it is amazing there have not been more deaths or errors, considering the high complexity of the jobs they do.

I think we should all aplaud their efforts despite the occasional mistakes, it is their efforts that may one day take us to the stars, most people make mistakes at work but the consequences don't usually effect the overall performance of their companies, poor NASA employees are dealing with potential life and death scenarios or extremely expensive failure and for that reason they always go the extra mile and work hard to ensure they've missed as little as possible in their plans.

I'm still sorry they didn't get the Camden Telescope-makers to test the Hubble mirror though, we'd have saved them a few bob[;)]


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