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Old 08-09-2011, 07:22 PM   #61
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NASA: MEDIA ADVISORY : M11-166 - NASA Offers Media Access To Mars-Bound Rover On Aug. 12
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:49 PM   #62
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CBS News Space: Curiosity Mars rover completes key pre-launch tests

SPACE.com: NASA Prepares Next Mars Rover for November Launch
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:21 PM   #63
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Spaceflight Now:
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Aviation Week: Mars Science Laboratory prepared for launch
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:31 PM   #64
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I wonder why they have such strict clean-room protocols. Won't the thing just get dirty on Mars anyway?

Maybe it's partially due to planetary protection.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:47 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Neo View Post
 I wonder why they have such strict clean-room protocols. Won't the thing just get dirty on Mars anyway?

Maybe it's partially due to planetary protection.
They don't want to contaminate Mars with alien (Earth) life forms (yet).
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:38 PM   #66
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NASA / NASA JPL:
Launch Preparations Report

August 31, 2011

Mars Science Laboratory Mission Status Report

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project continues to press ahead with launch preparation activities, planning to use additional time before encapsulating the rover in the launch vehicle's nose cone.

Officials want to maintain additional schedule margin for enhanced safety procedures in assembly and testing. System testing put the rover and other parts of the spacecraft through simulations of many activities from launch through operations on Mars' surface. Aspects of the test simulating the final moments before landing took longer than scheduled. Additional margin that had been built into the schedule has been consumed in recent weeks by stepped-up safety procedures in assembly and testing.

Based on this, the rover development team will turn over the spacecraft for encapsulation four days later in October than originally scheduled. The project expects to know in approximately two weeks if launch timelines may need to be adjusted. The mission's launch period begins Nov. 25 and runs through Dec. 18.

"We consumed some of the slack in our schedule during system testing in August, and we want to restore the slack to give the assembly, test and launch operations team time to do its job," said Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Pete Theisinger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The Mars Science Laboratory will deliver Curiosity to an August 2012 landing beside a mountain inside Gale crater on Mars. During a two-year mission on the Red Planet, the rover will investigate whether a selected area of Mars has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life and for preserving evidence about life.

The spacecraft's back shell, heat shield and cruise stage were delivered to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in May. The rover and descent stage were delivered in June.

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Old 09-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #67
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Landing on Mars like a boss!
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:25 PM   #68
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Quote:
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 They don't want to contaminate Mars with alien (Earth) life forms (yet).
If I was one of the scientists at NASA, I would sneeze all over the rover, every day.
The only way NASA is going to get serious founding, and the scientists their job security; is if they find a form of life out there.
Real, living, lifeforms.

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Old 09-05-2011, 07:50 PM   #69
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Speaking of contamination -
SPACE.com: Next Mars Rover's High-Tech Landing May Raise Contamination Risks
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:54 PM   #70
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The Atlas 5 for the MSL has arrived at the SLC-41 Vertical Integration Facility:
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:00 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Babelonia View Post
 Will the MSL get "cranelifted" and dropped to the surface?
Better not. It would be bad if it's actually lifted and then dropped. It's meant to be soft-landed by a sky-crane.

Here's the diagram for landing:
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:07 PM   #72
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So, they are presumably not worried about harmful propellant leaking out of the skycrane assembly and potentially damaging the pristine Martian environment?
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:21 PM   #73
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New photos in the KSC Media gallery showing arrival of solid rocket motor for the MSL's Atlas 5 (Sep. 12):
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:20 PM   #74
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Photos Final SRM mating

And a couple more photos of rocket assembly that have appeared today in KSC Media Gallery, this time from mating of the final SRM to Atlas 5 (Sep. 15):
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:40 PM   #75
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My dad works at the same plant where they made those (Aerojet Sacramento). Where did you find those photos?
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