APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:07 am

Image 1000 Sols

Explanation: Shortly before Mars' June 2015 conjunction, the Curiosity Rover celebrated 1000 sols on the red planet. After its August 5, 2012 landing, Curiosity's 1000th sol or martian day on the surface corresponded to planet Earth's calendar date May 31, 2015. Because the line-of-sight to Mars is close to the Sun near the conjunction, radio communications are affected and the six-wheeled, car-sized robotic rover cautiously remains parked at this spot for now. The view looks back toward the stomping grounds for Curiosity's nearly 10.6 kilometer trek so far, with the hazy rim of Gale Crater in the distance. The mosaicked panorama was constructed with images from navigation cameras taken on Curiosity's sol 997.

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DL MARTIN

Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by DL MARTIN » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:31 am

Finally I have an image of Mars that I can relate to as an Earthling. Like travelling west and seeing the foothills in the distance.

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:29 am

1000 Sols...and nothing but BEACH....
Nice.... but the Martians are going to FINE us for leaving tracks on their planet.... :lol2:

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by hoohaw » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:43 am

Old folks, it is often said, get to be conservative, and lack vision. I am 75, and don't think that applies to me. However, I may be wrong. In fact I'd like your opinion. Here goes: I think the idea of people ever going to Mars, period, is profoundly stupid. There is no point in it for those who would go, or for us at home. A professional geologist has told me I'm wrong; that a professional geologist on Mars would be a great asset. Despite that, I do not agree. There is no shielding from cosmic rays; no realist possibility of growing food; etc, etc, etc. Well, you get the picture. I'll be happy to be told I'm wrong, if I am!

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by emc » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:26 pm

We explore to expand our knowledge and resources. We adapt in order to harvest those resources. I believe Solar System exploration and cultivation is logical technical evolution.

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:56 pm

hoohaw wrote:Old folks, it is often said, get to be conservative, and lack vision. I am 75, and don't think that applies to me. However, I may be wrong. In fact I'd like your opinion. Here goes: I think the idea of people ever going to Mars, period, is profoundly stupid. There is no point in it for those who would go, or for us at home. A professional geologist has told me I'm wrong; that a professional geologist on Mars would be a great asset. Despite that, I do not agree. There is no shielding from cosmic rays; no realist possibility of growing food; etc, etc, etc. Well, you get the picture. I'll be happy to be told I'm wrong, if I am!
I am neither old nor conservative. I'm strongly pro-science, and strongly support public funding of scientific research, including research without obvious commercial applications.

I agree with your view. Scientifically, there would be little value in having humans on Mars at any time in the near future. If the ISS has taught us anything, it's that manned spaceflight comes at huge expense and offers only minimal scientific gain. For the cost of a single geologist on Mars we could place hundreds of robotic probes. And that geologist would not be able to do much more than the robots, and he'd only be spending a fraction of his time doing it.

There are public policy reasons for manned spaceflight (which we can argue for or against). But if science is our primary goal, it currently makes little sense.
Chris

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by geckzilla » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:30 pm

I'd like to see a person set foot on Mars in my lifetime. I was too young to experience the Moon. If it doesn't happen, I'm not going to be upset, either. Our robotic missions and great space observatories have already returned such a wealth of information... Honestly, if I had to vote between ten incredibly robost robotic missions to outer planets and one mission to land humans on Mars, the robots would win every single time. If the public will is to send humans to set foot on Mars, though, so be it.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by tmulcahy » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:38 pm

Looks like Rover lost a hubcap.
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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by neufer » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:48 pm

geckzilla wrote:
Our robotic missions and great space observatories have already returned such a wealth of information... Honestly, if I had to vote between ten incredibly robost (sic) robotic missions to outer planets and one mission to land humans on Mars, the robots would win every single time.
Ten :!: robotic missions to outer planets!

Think more like a hundred robotic missions to outer planets!

The three robotic missions happening right now cost a total of ~ US$3 billion.

Code: Select all

Rosetta/Philae: US$1,800 million
New Horizons:   US$  650 million
Dawn:           US$  446 million
A mission to put a man on Mars and bring him back alive would cost a minimum of ~ US$300 billion.
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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:03 pm

I wasn't making a price comparison, though. I was saying that I'd pick ten robots over the human Mars mission any day... even if it was only ten.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by neufer » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:59 am

geckzilla wrote:
I wasn't making a price comparison, though.

I was saying that I'd pick ten robots over the human Mars mission any day... even if it was only ten.
You sorta left the impression that it was a meaningful comparison...when it clearly isn't.

Some day the Chinese will land a man on the moon
and the U.S. will have to respond with an ambitious manned program of some sort.

Until that day let's all enjoy & support the much more exciting & cost effective robotic missions.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by Ann » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:15 am

neufer wrote: Until that day let's all enjoy & support the much more exciting & cost effective robotic missions.
Yay! :clap: :yes:

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:16 am

neufer wrote:Until that day let's all enjoy & support the much more exciting & cost effective robotic missions.
Much more scientifically exciting, without doubt. But I expect your average guy on the street would find a man walking on Mars more exciting than the combined science of every robotic mission to date. And that reality certainly drives space policy.
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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by neufer » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:17 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
neufer wrote:
Until that day let's all enjoy & support the much more exciting & cost effective robotic missions.
Much more scientifically exciting, without doubt. But I expect your average guy on the street would find a man walking on Mars more exciting than the combined science of every robotic mission to date. And that reality certainly drives space policy.
Unlike Geck, I wasn't too young to experience the Moon landings (and was admittedly a big fan).

The average guy on the street found Apollo 11 & Apollo 13 exciting primarily, IMO,
because there was a damned good chance that the astronauts were going to die.

The other Apollos soon became so predictable that the final Apollo was turned into Skylab.
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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by BMAONE23 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:57 am

neufer wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
neufer wrote:
Until that day let's all enjoy & support the much more exciting & cost effective robotic missions.
Much more scientifically exciting, without doubt. But I expect your average guy on the street would find a man walking on Mars more exciting than the combined science of every robotic mission to date. And that reality certainly drives space policy.
Unlike Geck, I wasn't too young to experience the Moon landings (and was admittedly a big fan).

The average guy on the street found Apollo 11 & Apollo 13 exciting primarily, IMO,
because there was a damned good chance that the astronauts were going to die.

The other Apollos soon became so predictable that the final Apollo was turned into Skylab.
Nah
Apollo 18 went there too

http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=EUL21U0jsUo

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Re: APOD: 1000 Sols (2015 Jun 13)

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:55 am

Until a better (or not considerably worse) alternative to Earth is found (by which I mean beyond the solar system) and until it becomes feasible to get there, there probably isn't much to be gained from manned space exploration. (I would be unlikely to support exploitation of off-Earth solar system resources for commercial gain.) It was a great achievement to send people to the Moon and back and it would be a great achievement to send people to Mars and back, if only to stroke the all-important human ego. And the ISS is a fine achievement too, even if inefficient for science. But further than that, I don't see the point of Moon or Mars colonies, or bases, unless they become practical stepping-stones to somewhere better. For now, space colonization is too fanciful, but perhaps not for the humans of the coming centuries. For the time being, our robots are much better at the science of exploring the solar system and finding the evidence to solve its puzzles. In terms of what is achievable in the here and now, we already know that Earth is the place to be.