• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Mars Rover launched successfully

PomfretPlunge

New member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
203
Points
0
Location
Washington, DC
Hey peeps, watched the Mars Rover get launched today on NASA TV. Beautiful, smooth launch on an Atlas-Centaur rocket. It took off from Cape Canaveral, headed southeast over the Atlantic, Centaur separated and fired twice. First Centaur burn put the ship in parking orbit at 101 miles altitude, 16,000 mph speed. Down across Africa, second Centaur burn over the Indian Ocean for eight minutes accelerating at 4.5G to 25,000 mph. Clean spacecraft separation and out she goes into the deep black. Godspeed, and good landing to her on Mars in August 2012.

:flag:

Here's some of the mission commentary from the launch.

---------------------------------------------

This is Atlas Launch Control.

Launch team, this is the NLM on the NLM net with our final launch poll, continuing the launch countdown at T minus four minutes.

NAM? NAM’s ready.
NASA CE? NASA CE, Go.
SMA? SMA is Go.
SMD? SMD is Go.
Mission Manager? Mission Manager is Go.
Copy that. The team’s ready to release the hold at T minus four minutes.
Status check to proceed with Terminal Count. Atlas systems:
Propulsion? Go.
Hydraulics? Go.
Pneumatics? Go.
L O2? Go.
Water? Go.

Centaur systems:
Propulsion? Go.
Pneumatics? Go.
LO2? Go.
LH2? Go.
AS Gas? Go.

Electrical systems:
Airborne? Go.
Ground? Go.
Facility? Go.
RF FTS? Go.
Flight Control? Go.
Instrumentation? Go.
Comm? Go.
GCQ? Go.
Umbilicals? Go.
UCS? Go.
Redline Monitor? Go.
Quality? Go.
OSM? Go.
ULA Safety Officer?
Range, Weather, and Clear to Proceed? Go.

LC, this is the LD on Channel One. LC, you have permission to launch.

Roger, proceeding with the count.

NLM, this is SMD on NLM net.
Go ahead, SMD.
SMD would like to report that the spacecraft is on internal power and it’s configured for launch for a T-zero of 15:02:00.
Copy, SMD. MSL is configured for launch. While I have your attention, I want to wish the entire team that supported MSL – Good Luck and Godspeed. It’s been a long, challenging journey getting here, and we are proud to start you on the way to Mars shortly. NLM Out.

Thank you very much, NLM. We really appreciate the thought.

This is Atlas Launch Control, 90 seconds before coming out of this planned, built-in hold at T minus four minutes. Once we lift off, we’ll be hearing our telemetry manager Rob Gagnon from United Launch Alliance calling the flight events as the vehicle heads downrange. At T minus four minutes and holding, with a minute and a quarter remaining in this planned built-in hold, this is Atlas Launch Control.
 

PomfretPlunge

New member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
203
Points
0
Location
Washington, DC
T minus fifteen seconds.

T minus ten.
Nine
Eight
Seven
Six
Five
Four
Three
Two
One
Main Engine start.
Zero. And Liftoff! Of the Atlas V with Curiousity, seeking clues to the planetary puzzle about life on Mars.

<Rocket noise>

Program is in, right on time.
RD-180 operating with thrust as expected.
And throttling down to 76%.
Roll program complete.
And MSL is now breaking the sound barrier.
SRB chamber pressures, following the nominal curve. Everything looks good.
And we’ve passed through Max Q.

Closed loop on Atlas BU

SRB profile continues to look nominal.
Throttling back up to 100% thrust on the RD-180. Engine parameters looking good.
Coming up on SRB burnout, we have burnout of the SRB’s. Everything is looking good.
Ten seconds to SRB jet.

<Boosters fly off>

And we have first pair, and second pair. Both sets of SRB’s have successfully jettisoned the vehicle. We have re-enabled guidance.

Vehicle is now 32 nautical miles in altitude, 54 miles downrange, travelling at 4900 miles per hour.
And we’ve throttled down, to hold a constant 2.5G level for Payload Fairing Jettison.
Approximately ten seconds.
<Fairing flies off>
Fairing jet! And we have also have a successful CFLR jettison, throttling up on the RD-180, everything looks good. Coming up to 89% thrust.
 

PomfretPlunge

New member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
203
Points
0
Location
Washington, DC
Five seconds to Spacecraft Sep. Achieved our targeted roll rate.
We have spacecraft separation!
<Yeah!>

Mars Science Laboratory is on its way to Mars.
 

speden

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
893
Points
16
I hope the rover has a soft landing. Something like two thirds of all missions to Mars have failed. The Martians don't take kindly to outsiders landing on their planet.
 

riverc0il

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2001
Messages
13,039
Points
0
Location
Ashland, NH
Website
www.thesnowway.com
I hope it crashes. These economic times and we're wasting all this money, pathetic.
LOL. Knew it was only a matter of time before that comment happened! :D

Lots of people (both private and public) are employed by this project. Completely cutting space programs would have a negative impact on the economy. And economic gains are often made be advances in technology. No doubt the fat needs to be cut. But science is important and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 

andyzee

New member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
10,884
Points
0
Location
Home
Website
www.nsmountainsports.com
LOL. Knew it was only a matter of time before that comment happened! :D

Lots of people (both private and public) are employed by this project. Completely cutting space programs would have a negative impact on the economy. And economic gains are often made be advances in technology. No doubt the fat needs to be cut. But science is important and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Provided you could afford it. Right now who would the technological advances benefit? Sure, may be "American" companies, but they would just export all technology anyway. No argument from me that technology is important, just don't believe this to be the time to pay for it.
 

riverc0il

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2001
Messages
13,039
Points
0
Location
Ashland, NH
Website
www.thesnowway.com
Provided you could afford it. Right now who would the technological advances benefit? Sure, may be "American" companies, but they would just export all technology anyway. No argument from me that technology is important, just don't believe this to be the time to pay for it.
If it makes you feel any better, they aren't launching the Shuttles any more. :spin:
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,717
Points
48
Location
Southeast NH
I'm with Andy on this one. I think the space program should be private business. Let the Richard Branson's of the world pay for it if they're into that sort of thing.
 

speden

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
893
Points
16
Basic science like this is an excellent long term investment for the economy. As the U.S. gets more technologically behind the world technology leaders, missions like this help keep us in the game.

If the 2 billion they spent on this rover project was instead diverted to a jobs program, or extending unemployment benefits, etc. it would make almost no difference to the economy. But the loss to science would be huge. Just my opinion.
 

andyzee

New member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
10,884
Points
0
Location
Home
Website
www.nsmountainsports.com
Basic science like this is an excellent long term investment for the economy. As the U.S. gets more technologically behind the world technology leaders, missions like this help keep us in the game.

If the 2 billion they spent on this rover project was instead diverted to a jobs program, or extending unemployment benefits, etc. it would make almost no difference to the economy. But the loss to science would be huge. Just my opinion.


You are correct 2 billion would be nothing in the grand scheme of things. However, 2 billion here 2 billion there starts adding up. It's more a matter of getting in the "save" state of mind. Now, what happens if this is put of let's say 10 years?

Basic science like this is an excellent long term investment for the economy. As the U.S. gets more technologically behind the world technology leaders, missions like this help keep us in the game.
.

And let me repeat, who benefits from this? The United States? Please tell me how? With all the jobs and manufacturing being sent overseas.

I think the space program should be private business. Let the Richard Branson's of the world pay for it if they're into that sort of thing.
I agree with above statement, the private sector benefits, let the private sector pay for this.
 

speden

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
893
Points
16
You are correct 2 billion would be nothing in the grand scheme of things. However, 2 billion here 2 billion there starts adding up. It's more a matter of getting in the "save" state of mind. Now, what happens if this is put of let's say 10 years?



And let me repeat, who benefits from this? The United States? Please tell me how? With all the jobs and manufacturing being sent overseas.


I agree with above statement, the private sector benefits, let the private sector pay for this.

Well if you want to go to Mars, it costs 2 billion. Other countries have tried to half ass it, and they ended up with failed missions. Russia just put a 163 million dollar piece of junk in orbit that will not make it to Mars. Putting it off ten years just means you lose the know how and infrastructure to do it, and you gain nothing.

The biggest benefit of big science is that it inspires the next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers. You won't inspire kids by fixing a few rusty bridges, but sending a ground breaking probe to Mars will generate a lot of interest in the schools. It also seeds a lot of research money into U.S. universities. If the U.S. doesn't want to lead, other countries will be happy to take over while we bicker over how much to eviscerate our budgets.

The private sector is the wrong place to do big science. There is no short term profit for sending a lander to Mars, so the private sector would never do it. One of the things that has been so successful about NASA is that it is open to industry with the technologies it develops. Private companies want to compete with each other and are not open.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,717
Points
48
Location
Southeast NH
Well if you want to go to Mars, it costs 2 billion. Other countries have tried to half ass it, and they ended up with failed missions. Russia just put a 163 million dollar piece of junk in orbit that will not make it to Mars. Putting it off ten years just means you lose the know how and infrastructure to do it, and you gain nothing.

The biggest benefit of big science is that it inspires the next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers. You won't inspire kids by fixing a few rusty bridges, but sending a ground breaking probe to Mars will generate a lot of interest in the schools. It also seeds a lot of research money into U.S. universities. If the U.S. doesn't want to lead, other countries will be happy to take over while we bicker over how much to eviscerate our budgets.

The private sector is the wrong place to do big science. There is no short term profit for sending a lander to Mars, so the private sector would never do it. One of the things that has been so successful about NASA is that it is open to industry with the technologies it develops. Private companies want to compete with each other and are not open.

Guess I just want to see a hard number. What's the ROI on that $2B.

I look at the whole picture over time and with NASA, I'm not so certain that allocating 35% of money earmarked for scientific research is the best investment in advancing science and technology in this country.

from wiki:

Seen in the year-by-year breakdown listed below, the total amounts (in nominal dollars) that NASA has been budgeted from 1958 to 2008 amounts to $471.23 billion dollars—an average of $9.06 billion per year. By way of comparison, total spending over this period by the National Science Foundation was roughly one-fourth of NASA's expenditures: $101.5 billion, or $2 billion a year.[2] NASA's FY 2008 budget of $17.318 billion represents about 0.6% of the $2.9 trillion United States federal budget during the year, or about 35% of total spending on academic scientific research in the United States.[3]

It would seem to me that most of the major advances in science right now are happening in private business.
 

riverc0il

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2001
Messages
13,039
Points
0
Location
Ashland, NH
Website
www.thesnowway.com
I agree with above statement, the private sector benefits, let the private sector pay for this.
The problem is that there is some science that the private sector is not going to invest in because it doesn't have ROI. It might be important science but the private sector might not believe it has a good enough ROI to invest the R&D budget.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,717
Points
48
Location
Southeast NH
The problem is that there is some science that the private sector is not going to invest in because it doesn't have ROI. It might be important science but the private sector might not believe it has a good enough ROI to invest the R&D budget.

If a private business won't invest because they won't make any money at it, then explain to me why it's a good long term investment for the national economy as speden said and many who support NASA seem to suggest?

What products wouldn't exist today if we hadn't spent nearly a half a trillion dollars on the space program over the past 53 years? What is the overall economic benefit to the economy of those products? If the science is so important, but doesn't produce an economic benefit, then what humanitarian / life science benefit has investment in the space program created?
 

andyzee

New member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
10,884
Points
0
Location
Home
Website
www.nsmountainsports.com
LOL. Knew it was only a matter of time before that comment happened! :D

Lots of people (both private and public) are employed by this project. Completely cutting space programs would have a negative impact on the economy. And economic gains are often made be advances in technology. No doubt the fat needs to be cut. But science is important and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Can someone name 10 advances in technology that came out of the space program that have benefited mankind?
 

riverc0il

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2001
Messages
13,039
Points
0
Location
Ashland, NH
Website
www.thesnowway.com
If a private business won't invest because they won't make any money at it, then explain to me why it's a good long term investment for the national economy as speden said and many who support NASA seem to suggest?
That is my point, it is not a good long term investment for the national economy which is the very reason why private companies and corporations won't investigate in many scientific pursuits (and let's not limit ourselves to NASA here, let's include all higher education research including stuff like cancer research). Much of science is not profitable. Look at vaccines. Vaccines are often not profitable so private sector doesn't want much to do with them yet they do good for humanity.

I'm speaking on very broad terms here. As noted above, of course there is fat to be trimmed. And given the expense of the program, those projects that could be better managed by the private sector should be explored. But the bottom line is there is a lot of good that is done for education, science, and research that private sector wouldn't fund. Just because an idea is not profitable does not mean it should be abandoned. You've gotta be a pretty hard core libertarian to not accept that.

Might as well toss out public education, public health efforts, public works projects, national transportation, and public safety. Outsourcing any of those doesn't matter as it is still tax payer supported projects that do good that no private business is going to take up (unless being paid by tax payers, excepting higher ed... a case could be made there as public is almost as expensive as low cost private now).

And DHS, I am surprised you against NASA but against leasing Cannon. Two sides of the very same coin, IMO.
 
Top