Perseverance / Ingenuity

The cosmos at our fingertips.
User avatar
Orca
Science Officer
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Orca » Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:56 pm

Perseverance will land on Mars February 18 - just a few weeks out! The new rover will have a lot of interesting experiments and have capabilities, some beyond those of earlier missions (Oxygen production, microphones, more cameras, storage canisters for future Earth-retrieval). However, I have particular – curiosity – regarding the small experimental rotor-craft, Ingenuity. There are quite a few audacious engineering challenges for this vehicle to overcome. I am not an engineer myself, but I have put together a few things about the mission I have been pondering:

The Martian atmosphere is extremely thin – on the Martian surface the air is about 1% the density of Earth’s. It’s like being higher than 100,000 feet above the ground on Earth. The blades have to produce lift in these conditions but also be small enough to allow the vehicle to be carried and deployed from the main craft. The solution: keep it light - the craft weighs about 4 lbs. (on Earth) - and uses 4-foot counter-rotating blades that spin very fast (2000 rpm).

High-speed rotors will require a lot of energy, and this brings us to the next problem: how do you provide a large amount of power while keeping the vehicle’s size and weight as small as possible? Ingenuity will only have three modest-sized lithium batteries. Only one will be used to get the craft off the ground; the other two are needed to keep the craft from freezing. Surface temperature is yet another challenge on the list: the temperature on Mars can fall below -200° F.

Naturally the only way to recharge the batteries between flights will be sunlight. There is less light on the surface of Mars than on Earth, so ideally you’d want a solar panel with the largest possible area to collect the feeble Martian sunlight. But in this situation you also need the panel to be small so as to keep the weight down and to avoid any negative effect to the vehicle’s flight characteristics. Ingenuity will have to charge for an entire day to conduct a 90 second flight.

Then there are the usual sorts of things any flying craft has to contend with: hard landings, crosswinds (Possibly! The wind on Mars, because of the thin atmosphere, caries very little force. That said, the vehicle is also very light), uneven terrain, etc. Each flight will have to be pre-programmed, with instructions relayed via Perseverance to Ingenuity, because the time delay due to the distance between Earth and Mars (signals require 5 to 20 minutes each direction) won’t allow for anything even close to direct real-time control.

I am certainly looking forward to seeing how this goes. No matter what happens, you have to hand it to this team for aiming high…

NASA site with videos and a mission overview: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/6-thin ... ay-to-mars

NASA’s Mars Helicopter homepage: https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/

JPL video about the project: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/videos/nasas-i ... t-on-mars/

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 20581
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by bystander » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:44 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
THX1138
Emailed Bob; Got a new title!
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:27 am
AKA: Wile-e-coyote super genius
Location: San Luis Obispo

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by THX1138 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:25 am

I sure hope we go back soon I was 12 years old when Armstrong stepped out of the eagle and that was too long ago, we should have a permanent moon base by now I tell ya and I sure hope that we at least have one before I go the way of all flesh. Oops my bad :? but nonetheless I'd just love to see a permanent base on the red planet, at least in my children's lifetime.
I've come to the conclusion that when i said i wanted to be somebody when i grew up i probably should have been more specific

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:41 pm

THX1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:25 am
I sure hope we go back soon I was 12 years old when Armstrong stepped out of the eagle and that was too long ago, we should have a permanent moon base by now I tell ya and I sure hope that we at least have one before I go the way of all flesh. Oops my bad :? but nonetheless I'd just love to see a permanent base on the red planet, at least in my children's lifetime.
That would require a huge amount of money for almost no value. We could put hundreds of smart rovers on the surface with the same resources.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
Orca
Science Officer
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Orca » Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:23 am

I tend to agree with Chris. In terms of exploration and data collection we can do a lot with robotic missions - far more efficiently than human exploration. Literally every aspect of any mission in space is made more expensive and complex by the need to keep the "human cargo" alive and safe (that is a Simpsons reference if anyone is curious, from "Deep Space Homer").

Think about mission duration, for example. It took Juno about 5 years to get to Jupiter. Cassini took 7 to get to Saturn. New Horizon took almost 10 years to get to Pluto. It doesn't really matter how long it takes for robotic missions to arrive at their targets. We can focus on cost-effective propulsion systems and have great flexibility in our mission plans simply because robots are not alive. Everything on a robotic mission is either integral to the craft or is doing science.

You'll notice a recurring theme in articles and discussions about the vehicles proposed to carry human explorers to Mars: speed. Powerful, advanced, and thus expensive propulsion systems are needed because getting to Mars in the shortest amount of time will keep the mass down (food, water, air, fuel, etc.) and will decrease the length of time the crew is exposed to solar and interstellar radiation. In some scenarios you have multiple ships going to Mars - dedicated supply ships sent out before the crewed ship arrives. I am sure that in any near-future crewed mission to Mars, the resources required for success would be vast and the lion's share would be focused on safely returning survivors with red dusty boots. Science would necessarily be a secondary concern.

I imagine humans will eventually land on Mars in the coming decades. However, I can't imagine that permanent colonies will be established for a very long time (if ever). Regardless of when we get there, robotic missions still have a huge role to play and the more we learn the better prepared we'll be for what comes next.

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:05 pm

Orca wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:23 am
Everything on a robotic mission is either integral to the craft or is doing science.
The ISS demonstrates another reality: humans are incredibly inefficient science machines. The astronauts up there spend a lot more time fixing toilets and looking for leaks and doing general housekeeping than they spend doing any kind of science. Of course, that's even true for scientists on Earth. But the more complex the environment becomes, the more time ends up invested in things other than the primary mission.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
rstevenson
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Posts: 2635
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Dartmouth, NS, Canada

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by rstevenson » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:41 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:05 pm
Orca wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:23 am
Everything on a robotic mission is either integral to the craft or is doing science.
The ISS demonstrates another reality: humans are incredibly inefficient science machines. The astronauts up there spend a lot more time fixing toilets and looking for leaks and doing general housekeeping than they spend doing any kind of science. Of course, that's even true for scientists on Earth. But the more complex the environment becomes, the more time ends up invested in things other than the primary mission.
I would argue that to a certain extent the primary mission is simply being up there, practicing the skills necessary to be in space for long periods of time (which we don’t know how to do yet, obviously.) I think of it as an evolutionary step (a baby step) towards a future in space. Of course the majority of humans will remain on planets, but we are a species that explores, and there’s a lot to explore out there.

Rob

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:19 pm

rstevenson wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:41 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:05 pm
Orca wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:23 am
Everything on a robotic mission is either integral to the craft or is doing science.
The ISS demonstrates another reality: humans are incredibly inefficient science machines. The astronauts up there spend a lot more time fixing toilets and looking for leaks and doing general housekeeping than they spend doing any kind of science. Of course, that's even true for scientists on Earth. But the more complex the environment becomes, the more time ends up invested in things other than the primary mission.
I would argue that to a certain extent the primary mission is simply being up there, practicing the skills necessary to be in space for long periods of time (which we don’t know how to do yet, obviously.) I think of it as an evolutionary step (a baby step) towards a future in space. Of course the majority of humans will remain on planets, but we are a species that explores, and there’s a lot to explore out there.

Rob
That's certainly true. But putting people on Mars is largely presented as a matter of science. And we're talking staggering amounts of money, which almost certainly will come from the same money pool as pays for scientific exploration. So there's a real harm to science by shifting resources to manned missions.

Historically, the investment societies made in exploration represented fairly small percentages of what we might today call "public" funds. Big, expensive exploration that required significant backing was either private, or funded by governments with the expectation of major returns. If Musk wants to set up a Mars mission, great. NASA? Maybe not.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 20581
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by bystander » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:53 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:19 pm
If Musk wants to set up a Mars mission, great. NASA? Maybe not.
Hopefully NASA can get out of Trump's idea of science, sending man back to the Moon. I'm not opposed to a robotic mission, maybe to the far side, but I don't see any reason for man to go back.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:04 pm

bystander wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:53 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:19 pm
If Musk wants to set up a Mars mission, great. NASA? Maybe not.
Hopefully NASA can get out of Trump's idea of science, sending man back to the Moon. I'm not opposed to a robotic mission, maybe to the far side, but I don't see any reason for man to go back.
The first trips to the Moon, while exciting, weren't about science. They were Cold War posturing. And honestly, current discussions about manned exploration of either the Moon or Mars, don't look much different.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
JohnD
Tea Time, Guv! Cheerio!
Posts: 1339
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: Lancaster, England

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by JohnD » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:43 am

How would you-all pronounce "Perseverance"?

I presumed, in ignorance, that in the US it would be 'per-SEV-erance' - emphasis on the second syllable. But I read that at NASA they call it "Percy"! How nice! And implying that you pronounce it 'PER-se-VER-ance'. Is that right?

John, the English Pedant

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:14 pm

JohnD wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:43 am
How would you-all pronounce "Perseverance"?

I presumed, in ignorance, that in the US it would be 'per-SEV-erance' - emphasis on the second syllable. But I read that at NASA they call it "Percy"! How nice! And implying that you pronounce it 'PER-se-VER-ance'. Is that right?

John, the English Pedant
I've never heard it any other way than the second: primary stress on the third syllable, secondary stress on the first.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17852
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Severance pay?

Post by neufer » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:07 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
JohnD wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:43 am

How would you-all pronounce "Perseverance"?

I presumed, in ignorance, that in the US it would be 'per-SEV-erance' - emphasis on the second syllable. But I read that at NASA they call it "Percy"! How nice! And implying that you pronounce it 'PER-se-VER-ance'. Is that right?
From 'PER-se-VER' (not per-SEV-er').
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
JohnD
Tea Time, Guv! Cheerio!
Posts: 1339
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: Lancaster, England

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by JohnD » Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:12 pm

Quote Neufer, "From 'PER-se-VER' (not per-SEV-er')."
As if that would stop a stress shift in words of English!

User avatar
THX1138
Emailed Bob; Got a new title!
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:27 am
AKA: Wile-e-coyote super genius
Location: San Luis Obispo

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by THX1138 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:51 am

Then of course there is the argument; or thought, that doing such things as going to moon and all gave children things to dream about in the future and indeed put the interest into some to become scientists and Etc. I can't rightly say one way or the other but if I had to guess I'd say these robots will effect no Childs decisions of his or her career
I've come to the conclusion that when i said i wanted to be somebody when i grew up i probably should have been more specific

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:18 pm

THX1138 wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:51 am
Then of course there is the argument; or thought, that doing such things as going to moon and all gave children things to dream about in the future and indeed put the interest into some to become scientists and Etc. I can't rightly say one way or the other but if I had to guess I'd say these robots will effect no Childs decisions of his or her career
It was robotic missions that sparked my interest in planetary science. It was robotic missions that inspired virtually everyone working at JPL and other space science labs. Not manned missions, not the ISS, not the prospect of humans walking on Mars.

The robotic missions are so much more exciting if you're a scientist or have a fascination with science.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
THX1138
Emailed Bob; Got a new title!
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:27 am
AKA: Wile-e-coyote super genius
Location: San Luis Obispo

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by THX1138 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:27 pm

Don't get me wrong I'm all for these robotic missions moreover each and every one of them are nothing less than scientific masterpiece's for us all to be proud of, you have backed up your position on the matter quite nicely.
All I'm saying is that where the public at large is concerned, well as proof of my position I offer the fact that there are a hundred movies titled (The first men on Mars) or what not but I don't think we will see to many movies being made about landing robots.
On another note somewhat off topic and where UFO's are concerned I have to imagine that if any of the sighting were real the reason for why no one has stopped in to say hi while they were here is that there were no they on board these crafts the distances are just to great to make it feasible for any living biological entity to accomplish thus if we have ever been visited its stands to reason that those were robots as well and where the public at large is concerned I refer back to my earlier statement about movies as I don't think (Robot from another planet) would be a big hit at the movies
I've come to the conclusion that when i said i wanted to be somebody when i grew up i probably should have been more specific

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15655
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:41 pm

THX1138 wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:27 pm
Don't get me wrong I'm all for these robotic missions moreover each and every one of them are nothing less than scientific masterpiece's for us all to be proud of, you have backed up your position on the matter quite nicely.
All I'm saying is that where the public at large is concerned, well as proof of my position I offer the fact that there are a hundred movies titled (The first men on Mars) or what not but I don't think we will see to many movies being made about landing robots.
On another note somewhat off topic and where UFO's are concerned I have to imagine that if any of the sighting were real the reason for why no one has stopped in to say hi while they were here is that there were no they on board these crafts the distances are just to great to make it feasible for any living biological entity to accomplish thus if we have ever been visited its stands to reason that those were robots as well and where the public at large is concerned I refer back to my earlier statement about movies as I don't think (Robot from another planet) would be a big hit at the movies
If it came at minimal cost, I'd agree. But it doesn't. A single manned mission may consume the resources of dozens of robotic missions, and return less scientific value than even one robotic mission.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
THX1138
Emailed Bob; Got a new title!
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:27 am
AKA: Wile-e-coyote super genius
Location: San Luis Obispo

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by THX1138 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:08 am

That's one sad fact there Chris, dam and where this thread of Orca's is concerned I think that its pretty darn reasonable to assume that if Perseverance should find fossil remains of any life forms we are all going to see a mad rush of robotic landers being sent there by every country that has the ability to attempt it, could turn out to be more fun than the space race was to watch. Keeping my fingers crossed for a safe landing regardless. Peace, out
I've come to the conclusion that when i said i wanted to be somebody when i grew up i probably should have been more specific

User avatar
Orca
Science Officer
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Orca » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:18 pm

From my personal perspective, I was fascinated by robotic missions when I was a kid and remain so to this day. But I don’t believe my enthusiasm for space exploration is common. Almost anyone can marvel at a post-processed image taken by Hubble; far fewer have continuously followed the real science that Hubble has accomplished.

I suppose there could be an argument that crewed missions are to space exploration what Jack Hannah is to natural conservation. For someone passionate about protecting biodiversity there is no need to see animals paraded around on Late Night TV. However, for folks who may not even be aware of an endangered species and certainly don’t think about such things in their day-to-day, actually seeing the animals may help them to empathize with the plight of endangered species. Likewise, seeing humans with grey – or perhaps even orange - dust on their boots might inspire future explorers to take more math classes. Of course it’s pure speculation on net effect over time that crewed space travel has on public opinion. Newness is probably the biggest factor. I think if you could describe the IIS to folks in the 60s or 70s, they’d be very impressed. However, from my observations very few “non-spacegeek” folks these days have any particular interest in the project.

Forrest White
Ensign
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:57 pm

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Forrest White » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:31 am

Today, NASA's Perseverance Rover will make a bold attempt to land at the foot of this ancient river delta on Mars - Good Luck! https://prnt.sc/zysvjq

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 11175
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Ann » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:16 pm

It landed, did it?

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17852
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by neufer » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:23 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Ann wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:16 pm


It landed, did it?

Ann
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Orca
Science Officer
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by Orca » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:24 pm

Successful landing!

I am glad that the landing occurred during the day - a large swath of school kids got to follow along as it happened. My daughter was pretty excited about it. Though she was disappointing when she found out that the retrieval missions for the soil collector wouldn't be likely to happen until we're into the 2030s...

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: Perseverance / Ingenuity

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:54 am

Twas on the evening news! A relief of sorts! I hope we get some fibulas (fabulous) Photos back & learn more about Mars! 8-)
Last edited by orin stepanek on Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!