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Thread: Miscellaneous

  1. #11


    Robert D. Braun | New Era of Mars Exploration

    Published on Oct 13, 2015

    Lecture Title: Entry, Descent and Landing Technology Investments Designed to Enable a New Era of Mars Exploration
    Special Lecture Series: AE585 Seminar

    In the past twenty years, significant advances have been made in our ability to land scientific payloads on the Mars surface. These advances have come largely from continued evolution and refinement of Viking-era spaceflight technology. Over the past five years, a suite of new EDL technologies has been matured and is rapidly approaching readiness for mission infusion. This presentation will provide an overview of present EDL capabilities and discuss the basis for the present set of EDL technology investments. Looking forward, the benefit of these technology investments will be characterized in terms of the potential future missions that may soon be possible. While Mars exploration will be the focus of this talk, the application of some of these same technologies to science missions to other planetary bodies and a variety of Earth-based applications will also be discussed.

    Dr. Robert D. Braun leads an active research program focused on the design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration and has contributed to numerous spaceflight projects. He has also served as a senior leader for several engineering and technology organizations at NASA, including service as the NASA Chief Technologist in 2010-2011. From 1989 to 2003, he was a member of the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Braun received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State in 1987, M.S. in Astronautics from the George Washington University in 1989, and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 1996. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vice Chair of the NRC Space Studies Board, and the author or co-author of over 275 technical publications in the fields of atmospheric flight dynamics, planetary exploration, design optimization, and systems engineering. From January through June 2015, he served as a Moore Distinguished Scholar at Caltech.

  2. #12


    Controlling Robots on Mars (from Tested: The Show!)

    Published on Nov 23, 2015

    Bobak Ferdowsi, systems engineer at NASA JPL (AKA Mohawk Guy), was a guest at our recent live show to talk about the challenges of controlling a robot on Mars. To illustrate the communications delay of interplanetary remote-control, Will and Jeremy stage a demo using a reprogrammed RC toy with time-delay controls!

  3. #13


    Mars exploration zones

    Published on Dec 22, 2015

    This concept animation shows just one of many potential concepts for how the first human landing site on Mars might evolve throughout the course of multiple human expeditions to the Red Planet over a decade or more.

  4. #14


    Let's Not Use Mars as a Backup Planet | Lucianne Walkowicz

    Published on Jan 14, 2016

    Stellar astronomer and TED Senior Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, searching for places in the universe that could support life. So it's worth a listen when she asks us to think carefully about Mars. In this short talk, she suggests that we stop dreaming of Mars as a place that we'll eventually move to when we've messed up Earth, and to start thinking of planetary exploration and preservation of the Earth as two sides of the same goal. As she says, "The more you look for planets like Earth, the more you appreciate our own planet."

  5. #15


    Published on Dec 23, 2013

    The innermost moon of Mars, Phobos, is seen here in full 360 degree glory. The images were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on ESA's Mars Express at various times throughout the mission's 10 years.

    The moon's parallel sets of grooves are perhaps the most striking feature, along with the giant 9 km-wide Stickney impact crater that dominates one face of the 27 x 22 x 18 km moon.

    The origin of the moon's grooves is a subject of much debate. One idea assumes that the crater chains are associated with impact events on the moon itself.

    Another idea suggests they result from Phobos moving through streams of debris thrown up from impacts 6000 km away on the surface of Mars, with each 'family' of grooves corresponding to a different impact event.

    Mars Express has imaged Phobos from a wide range of distances, but will make its closest flyby yet on 29 December 2013, at just 45 km above the moon.

    Although this is too close to take images, gravity experiments will give insight into the interior structure of Phobos.

    Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

  6. #16


    Mars: Dry Ice and Dunes

    Published on Jan 24, 2013

    Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures the springtime thaw of seasonal carbon dioxide ice on Mars.

  7. #17


    Mars showcase

    Published on Oct 28, 2013

    From the highest volcano to the deepest canyon, from impact craters to ancient river beds and lava flows, this showcase of images from ESA's Mars Express takes you on an unforgettable journey across the Red Planet.

    Mars Express was launched on 2 June 2003 and arrived at Mars six-and-a-half months later. It has since orbited the planet nearly 12 500 times, providing scientists with unprecedented images and data collected by its suite of scientific instruments.

    The data have been used to create an almost global digital topographic model of the surface, providing a unique visualisation and enabling researchers to acquire new and surprising information about the evolution of the Red Planet.

    The images in this movie were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera and the video was released by the DLR German Aerospace Center as part of the ten years of Mars Express celebrations in June 2013. The music has been created by Stephan Elgner of DLR's Mars Express planetary cartography team. DLR developed and is operating the stereo camera.

  8. #18


    What Mars looked like 4 billion years ago

    Published on Nov 19, 2013

    Once warm and wet, Mars is now cold and dry. NASA's MAVEN orbiter will look for clues to how the planet's atmosphere has developed, and how density fluctuations might affect future crewed missions

  9. #19


    ESA Unveils Spherical Mars Sample Return Container

    Published on Nov 19, 2013

    The container is engineered to carry 11 receptacles, store them under 14?F (-10?C), and weigh less than 11lbs (5kg). It will land on Mars with a sample providing rover. When it is filled, it will launch and rendezvous with a return-trip spacecraft.

  10. #20


    Seven Minutes of Terror: The Challenges of Getting to Mars

    Published on Jun 22, 2012

    Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory share the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.

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