View Full Version : Google Mars

March 14th, 2006, 01:25 PM
March 14, 2006

Greetings, Earthlings! -- from Google Mars

Google Mars (http://www.google.com/mars)

The maps were made from images taken by NASA's orbiting Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor.

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- First there was Google Earth, then Google Moon.

On Monday, Google Inc. expanded its galactic reach by launching Google Mars, a Web browser-based mapping tool that gives users an up-close, interactive view of the red planet with the click of a mouse.

The Martian maps were made from images taken by NASA's orbiting Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor.

Google Mars doesn't provide driving directions, but users can see the planet in three different formats: The Martian elevation map is color-coded by altitude; the visible-imagery map shows the surface in black-and-white pictures; the infrared map indicates temperature, with cooler areas dark and warmer areas bright.

Users can also zoom in on any of the three maps to view geographical features such as mountains, canyons, dunes and craters. The maps also pinpoint the locations of unmanned space probes that have landed on Mars.

The up-to-date maps even include the locations of the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which have been exploring opposite ends of the planet since 2004, said Phil Christensen, an Arizona State University planetary geologist who operates an infrared camera on the Mars Odyssey. Arizona State partnered with Google to create the maps.

While countless Mars images are already available on the Internet -- mostly through NASA's Mars mission Web sites -- the developers of Google Mars said this is the first time that members of the public can explore Mars on their own.

"The idea is to look at Mars and not think of it as a mysterious alien place," Christensen said.

Christensen said the Martian maps would most likely be updated every few weeks.

Last week, another spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, successfully slipped into orbit around the planet, joining the Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor.

Since the Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful spacecraft ever to orbit Mars, Christensen said, scientists may eventually incorporate its data into Google Mars.

Last summer, the Mountain View-based Internet search engine unveiled Google Earth, a three-dimensional, satellite-based mapping service that allowed browsers to interactively explore their neighborhood or far-flung places.

Google Earth was followed by Google Moon, which showed the locations of all six Apollo moon landings.

Google launched its Martian mapping service on what would have been the 151st birthday of astronomer Percival Lowell, who studied the red planet for more than two decades.

"We hope you enjoy your trip to Mars," Chikai Ohazama, a Google Earth team member, wrote in a blog posted on the search engine's Web site.

© 2006 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

March 14th, 2006, 06:56 PM
WOW -- Mindboggling

May 25th, 2008, 11:37 AM
Live on the web: Today May 25 @ 6 PM EST

NASA's Phoenix Mars Landing:
Where To Watch On the Web


Silicon Valley Insider (http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/5/nasa_s_phoenix_mars_landing_where_to_watch_on_the_ web)
Michael Learmonth
May 25, 2008 10:10 AM

This could be must see TV. But you'll only be able to watch it on the Internet: At 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, NASA begins live coverage of the Phoenix Mars Lander (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/index.html), as it attempts to make the first powered landing on the red planet since Viking 2 in 1976.

Watch it online here (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/) or in Second Life (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Explorer%20Island/183/151/22/).

Phoenix will enter Mars' atmosphere at almost 13,000 miles per hour Sunday evening and then undergo what NASA engineers refer to as "seven minutes of hell" as it deploys a heat shield, then a parachute, and fires thrusters to touch down at just before 8 p.m. ET. At least that's when NASA first learns if the landing was a success--it takes the signal 15 minutes to reach Earth.

NASA is expecting upwards of 500,000 (http://www.cio.com/article/print/365763) to tune in to its live coverage on the Web. Those tuning in will see the images at the same time as NASA, and get the analysis in real time. Phoenix's mission: Dig for ice that scientists believe exists just below the surface, and determine if it has ever, or could ever, support life.

A complete list of all attempted missions to Mars is here (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/log/)


NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/)

Program Note: NASA TV Live coverage of the Phoenix landing (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/) on Mars begins at 6 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 25

> Phoenix Set for Challenging Mars Landing Tonight (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/)

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/229611main_phoenix_stages_690.jpg (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/)
After a journey of 10-months and more than 400 million miles,
Phoenix arrives at the Red Planet just before 8 p.m. EDT tonight,
beginning its study of water and possible conditions for life
in the Martian arctic.

› Visit Phoenix Section (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/)


> Photo Gallery: Phoenix's Entry, Descent and Landing (http://javascript<b></b>:NewWindow('/externalflash/phoenix_edl_gallery/','Gallery','800','600','no'))

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/228382main_phoenix_entry_690.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:NewWindow('/externalflash/phoenix_edl_gallery/','Gallery','800','600','no'))
Phoenix will hit the Martian atmosphere at nearly 13,000 miles per hour,
kicking off a harrowing series of events that will bring it to a stop on the
surface seven minutes later.

› See How it Happens (http://javascript<b></b>:NewWindow('/externalflash/phoenix_edl_gallery/','Gallery','800','600','no'))



The Benniest
May 25th, 2008, 12:10 PM
Very cool! Unfortunantly, I will be working tonight until 7:00 p.m. my time.

Although, I'm sure it will be all over the internet after the video is shown live on the NASA site.

Thanks lofter.

May 25th, 2008, 06:01 PM
Now delayed until 6:30 PM ...

May 25th, 2008, 06:37 PM
My bad -- there was no "delay" (I mis-read the info) :o

It seems that confirmation of touchdown is scheduled for ~ 7:53 PM ...

Mars Phoenix Lander Update -- 6:00 pm EDT, May 25

- The Mars Phoenix Lander is on the home stretch to landing on the Red Planet's surface, with just 86,700 miles to go.

- Phoenix will touch down on Mars at about 4:38 pm PDT (7:38 EDT). The earliest possible confirmation of its landing could reach Earth 15 minutes later -- the length of time it takes for a signal to travel from Mars to Earth today.

Latest release: May 25, 3:15 p.m. (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/news/phoenix-20080525a.html)

We will post updates during the landing event. Please update your browser frequently.

› Landing coverage begins: 6:30 p.m. Eastern, NASA TV on the Web (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/)

May 25th, 2008, 07:22 PM
From NASA's Phoenix Blog (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/blogs/20080525.html) ...

Landing Day

05.25.08 -- 4:07 pm PDT (7:07 EDT)

[NOTE: About 30 minutes to Landing]

For those of you watching NASA TV, you're seeing periodic shots of Mission Control in between and during interviews. From where I sit, and what your probably can't see, are the rooms surrounding Mission Control, which are also full of people. Two of the four walls are glass windows, opening to to the "dark room" from which Gay Yee Hill is broadcasting on NASA TV, as well as another conference room. I can also see a viewing gallery above the "dark room" which is also full of people. Everyone is excited and you can feel a nervous tension building. Some folks in Mission Control are even talking via cell phones through the glass as they wish each other luck.

May 25th, 2008, 07:35 PM
From the blog:

4:29 pm (7:29 PM EDT)

The Mission Manager, Joe Guinn, has just announced that we should all be at our stations in preparation to bid farewell to our cruise stage, which has provided us an excellent trip to Mars. Cruise stage separation is in eight minutes.


18 minutes until confirmation ...

CNN has live coverage plus lots of animation and info :D

May 25th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Ff the landing has been successful then it has already happened.

Due to the distance from Mars < > Earth the signal will not be received for another ~ 10 minutes.

The fate of Phoenix is sealed :cool: .

May 25th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Phoenix has started transmitting ... awaiting entry into atmosphere of Mars.


May 25th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Final blog post before re-entry, describing what will happen next ...

4:39 pm (7:39 PM EDT)

We have now verified a successful cruise stage separation and turn to entry. The Phoenix UHF signal is also being picked up by Mars Odyssey. We're now less than six minutes from entry, at which point events will happen in rapid succession. Less than a minute after entry, Phoenix will begin heating to the point of plasma blackout due to the friction created by the atmosphere, during which we may lose communication briefly. Phoenix will then come out of plasma blackout about two minutes later. Over the four minutes following that, Phoenix will deploy its parachute, heat shield, lander legs, and then hopefully come to a soft landing on Mars.

May 25th, 2008, 07:57 PM

Images of Mars from the Phoenix landing vehicle will soon be received at NASA / Pasadena and broadcast for all to see :D

May 27th, 2008, 01:08 PM
This is incredible:


From the JPL Phoenix website (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/phoenix/main.php):

NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander can be seen parachuting down to Mars, in this image captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This is the first time that a spacecraft has imaged the final descent of another spacecraft onto a planetary body.

From a distance of about 310 kilometers (193 miles) above the surface of the Red Planet, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter pointed its HiRISE obliquely toward Phoenix shortly after it opened its parachute while descending through the Martian atmosphere. The image reveals an apparent 10-meter-wide (30-foot-wide) parachute fully inflated. The bright pixels below the parachute show a dangling Phoenix. The image faintly detects the chords attaching the backshell and parachute. The surroundings look dark, but corresponds to the fully illuminated Martian surface, which is much darker than the parachute and backshell.

Phoenix released its parachute at an altitude of about 12.6 kilometers (7.8 miles) and a velocity of 1.7 times the speed of sound.

The HiRISE, acquired this image on May 25, 2008, at 4:36 p.m. Pacific Time (7:36 p.m. Eastern Time). It is a highly oblique view of the Martian surface, 26 degrees above the horizon, or 64 degrees from the normal straight-down imaging of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The image has a scale of 0.76 meters per pixel.

This image has been brightened to show the patterned surface of Mars in the background.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

May 28th, 2008, 07:55 PM
Mars lander to get arm-moving order a day late

myway.com (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080528/D90UKCK80.html)
May 28, 7:44 AM (ET)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A day after an orbiter's radio shutdown blocked NASA from telling its newly planted Phoenix Mars lander what to do, orders were on the way to get its robotic arm moving.

A UHF radio on the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter turned off Tuesday, preventing it from relaying the command from NASA to the lander to begin to unfurl its 8-foot robotic arm.

Mission leaders said the incident caused a one-day delay in preparations for getting the spacecraft ready to begin its key scientific experimentation: digging up icy soil samples for testing from its location in Mars' northern arctic region.

Fuk Li, manager of the Mars exploration program for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said the glitch may have resulted from a cosmic ray ...

© 2008 IAC Search & Media

May 28th, 2008, 09:15 PM
may have resulted from a cosmic ray ...

Oldest excuse in the book.

May 29th, 2008, 12:19 AM
Consider the source ...

Fuk Li, manager of the Mars exploration program for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said ...

The Benniest
May 30th, 2008, 05:59 PM
Mars Lander Starts Moving Its Robotic Arm

A panoramic view taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the sweeping plains of the Martian polar north. More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/05/19/science/052008-Mars_index.html)

By KENNETH CHANG (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/kenneth_chang/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: May 30, 2008

NASA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_aeronautics_and_space_administration/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s Phoenix Mars lander has successfully lifted its robotic arm, mission managers announced Thursday.

“All of the joints are healthy, and we’re raring to go,” Matthew L. Robinson, the lead engineer for the mission’s robotic arm flight software, said at a news conference Thursday. Overcoming one of the few glitches in the mission so far, the arm was able to free itself from a protective sheaf that did not fully unwrap after landing.

The primary mission for the lander is to dig into an ice layer believed to exist a few inches beneath the surface and look for signs that this region of Mars, in the far northern plains, might have been warm and wet in the past.

Testing the arm will take a few days, and the first scoops of Martian soil are to be dug up next week.

The spacecraft also completed a 360-degree panorama, showing what Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/university_of_arizona/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the principal investigator, described as a “hummocky terrain” — mostly flat with slight bumps and troughs caused by the expansion and contraction of under-surface ice.

The few rocks were small — generally about five inches in diameter, with some as wide as eight inches — and most were flat , Dr. Smith said.

Curiously, the rocks appeared brighter than the soil.

The science team has started naming the rocks, drawing from fairy tales and folk legends. One Humpty-Dumpty-inspired rock was named “King’s Men,” and another “King’s Horses.” One otrough was named “Sleepy Hollow,” so two nearby rocks are now “Ichabod” after Ichabod Crane, the main character of the story, and “Headless,” the headless horseman who pursues Ichabod.

“This allows the team to have a little fun with the naming opportunities,” Dr. Smith said, “because we’re going to use as many as one or two hundred names throughout the mission, and it helps us remember what they are.”

As might be expected given the arctic location, the weather conditions are frigid. James A. Whiteway of York University in Toronto, the science team leader for the weather station that the Canadian Space Agency built for Phoenix, reported a high of minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of minus 112.

Copyright 2008 New York Times Company

June 2nd, 2008, 11:24 AM
Fuk Li, manager of the Mars exploration program for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory...

I am not touching that one......

June 21st, 2008, 12:59 PM
Mars probe makes 'ice' discovery


Tiny clumps of material which can be made out in the bottom left of the Dodo-Goldilocks trench on 15 June (left) are gone by 19 June (right)

Nasa's Phoenix lander has unearthed compelling evidence of ice on Mars, the US space agency believes.

Chunks of a bright material found in a trench dug by the craft have disappeared over four Martian days, suggesting they have vapourised.

While digging in another trench, the lander's arm connected with a hard surface at the same depth.

The finds lend weight to suggestions water is locked up in a permafrost layer close to the planet's surface.

Missing matter

"It must be ice," said Dr Peter Smith, Phoenix's principal investigator, who is based at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

"These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it's ice," he said.

"There had been some question whether the bright material was salt," he added.

"Salt can't do that."

The dice-sized chunks were unearthed in a trench informally known as Dodo-Goldilocks, which Phoenix dug and photographed on the 20th day of its stay on Mars.

Four days later when the trench was snapped again, some of the chunks had disappeared.

Earlier in the mission hopes of discovering ice were fading as soil samples scooped up earlier by Phoenix yielded no trace of water.

While evidence of ice on Mars has been gathered before, part of Phoenix's mission is to search out evidence to support the idea that the polar region of the planet could be habitable.

'Same depth'

Further confirmation of the ice theory came from another trench, known as Snow White 2.

Digging there was halted when the scraper on the lander's robotic arm hit a hard surface just under the soil layer.

"We have dug a trench and uncovered a hard layer at the same depth as the ice layer in our other trench," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University, St Louis, who is co-investigator for the robotic arm.

The arm also stopped three times earlier while digging in a "polygon".

This automatic reaction is a programmed response triggered when the scoop hits a hard, sub-surface region.

"Polygons" are soil features seen on Earth when permafrost layers in soil expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall.

Phoenix now seems to have confirmed that similar features on Mars are caused by the same processes as those on this planet.