1. ## Mars Science Laboratory

If you go to this web site: http://eyes.nasa.gov/index.html you can load a very cool simulation of the Mars Science Lab probe, as it approaches and lands on Mars early Monday morning. You can watch the whole thing, all the way to touch down. Hopefully the real one lands just like the images on the sim...

2. Thanks for the link, Mars is starting to loom larger.
I sure hope it survives "The Seven Minutes of Terror", lot of things need to go right.
I plan on watching the landing live on NASA TV as well, starting 11pm EDT on August 5th, like I did the 'Twins' landings back in 2004.
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

3. Very cool! thanks for the heads up.

What is our present journey time to Mars?

Bill

4. Right now:
Cruise Stage Separation in 37 hours, 21 minutes.

If I remember, Entry is 7 minutes after separation, and Landing is 7 minutes later.

EDIT: Interesting to keep the sim running, and watch as the Cruise Vehicle's speed keeps increasing as it gets closer to Mars.

5. Originally Posted by Dain Arns
.. EDIT: Interesting to keep the sim running, and watch as the Cruise Vehicle's speed keeps increasing as it gets closer to Mars.
I was watching the same thing! When I started it running yesterday, the speed was 7999 MPH. Now it's 8018.

6. ## MPH

Errrr.... how fast? Perhaps 48,018 MPH? I think so. I guess there was no room for the '4' on the display window. Here is picture to point out actual speed.
Chuck B
Napamule

7. Well that's interesting. If you use t=d/v, and plug in 228,000 miles and 8000 MPH, you get 28 hours, so 8000 is correct, relative to Mars. Maybe the 48,000 MPH is relative to Earth?

8. I think I figured it out. Mars orbital velocity is 49,123 (min) and 59,252 (max) MPH. The 48,000 value for speed we see at the bottom of the sim falls within that range, when we subtract the 8085 MPH Mars relative value we see at the left of the sim. So, I'm thinking the 48,000 MPH is sun relative, or "solar system speed".

9. That sounds about right (as if I knew anything of this, lol).

Whats odd is that with all the various gravity wells in the system, plus travelling away from the sun, leaving Earths grip, entering the gravity pull of Mars, it is constantly changing. Flying outwards of the Earth orbital trek of the sun out towards the orbital trek of Mars also will bring up speed, I would think, though probably only a very very slight fraction.

It would be cool to be able to get to this planet in a week or two, or even less...

10. Its going to be a lot faster by the time it hit s the upper atmosphere of Mars, like 5,000 MPH faster! Should be just over 13,000 MPH when it begins its entry .

11. Six hours from impact, err, landing!! Velocity now 8255 MPH. Godspeed MSL!

12. 6 Hours to impact. Should be about 10PM Phoenix time. I hope all goes well.

I note that the landing site looks like it 'might' be near what looks like (perhaps) a muddy river bed? Looks 'interesting'.

13. 10:31 PST. If they can maneuver one of the orbiters currently parked in Mars orbit (Odyssey?), we'll know at that time. But they've been having attitude gyro "issues" with that ship. They lost one and are now having to maneuver using the backup gyro, which is oriented "cockeyed" so that it can be used to affect attitude in any axis. Geez. My head hurts!!

14. Orbital mechanics gives me a headache and heartburn!

15. Very cool, they did it!

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