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   Undertoad  Tuesday Apr 15 12:05 PM

4/15/2003: New Mars rover



I hadn't seen this yet. This is the "Mars Exploration Rover-2", or merely "MER-2". It's scheduled to be launched at the red planet next month, hopefully with better results than NASA has had so far trying to get to Mars.

Assuming all goes well, there are to be two of these, at two different locations, roaming the Martian surface at a rate of one football field per day. Amongst other things, they'll be looking for signs of water in the planet's past. (There was an IotD image about Martian water before...)

Snazzy wheels!



Cam  Tuesday Apr 15 12:12 PM

Damn I wish I could get those wheels for my car, boy those would look good cruising the streets.

It's alway exciting when NASA sends something to Mars. Not just becuase of the discoveries that will be made, but just to see how badly hollywood will exploid the Martian Craze that is bound to take the nation.



Pete  Tuesday Apr 15 12:15 PM

Re: 4/15/2003: New Mars rover

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
Snazzy wheels!
I noticed that myself. Those hubcaps are definitely form over function. I also wonder about the color coordination. Bright Yellow/Bright Blue. It's even repeated throughout the room. I wonder how much thought goes into that. And how many times these scientists can be quoted as saying "wouldn't it be cool if .."

Are the surgical masks and rubber gloves necessary?


Elspode  Tuesday Apr 15 12:22 PM

MER 2 will launch a minimum of ten days after MER 1, which NASA has now had to push back to no sooner than June 1 due to issues with the electronics interconnecting the rover, cruise stage and entry stage.

This summer, Mars will be at its closest approach to Earth than ever before in recorded history. Dust off those telescopes, boys and girls, 'cause we're in for a show this summer!



dasviper  Tuesday Apr 15 01:45 PM

form&function

Things that are well designed for their function will be pleasing to the eye -- it's not a matter of one before/after the other, when done right. Can you think of counter examples? (Things that are designed well for their function and yet not nice on the eyes?) Okay, examples other than the skin on your elbows. That doesn't count.



richlevy  Tuesday Apr 15 01:48 PM

Re: Re: 4/15/2003: New Mars rover

Quote:
Originally posted by Pete


I noticed that myself. Those hubcaps are definitely form over function. I also wonder about the color coordination. Bright Yellow/Bright Blue. It's even repeated throughout the room. I wonder how much thought goes into that. And how many times these scientists can be quoted as saying "wouldn't it be cool if .."

Are the surgical masks and rubber gloves necessary?
Not so sure that the wheels are that way just to look cool. If the yellow material is some kind of foam rubber, the 'hubcaps' look like a coiled spring. I'll bet they are designed to allow the foam rubber to be compressed and push-pull back into a round shape.


Elspode  Tuesday Apr 15 02:12 PM

In spacecraft design (and these are part of the overall spacecraft design), minimal weight is a goal at every turn. The design of these wheels allow for maximum strength at a minimum weight, as well as allowing them to conform to a wide variety of surface types on Mars. I'm sure that the way they look is the outcome of their functional design, and aesthetics probably are a mere byproduct of the process.



blowmeetheclown  Tuesday Apr 15 02:14 PM

Re: form&function

Quote:
Originally posted by dasviper
Things that are well designed for their function will be pleasing to the eye -- it's not a matter of one before/after the other, when done right. Can you think of counter examples? (Things that are designed well for their function and yet not nice on the eyes?) Okay, examples other than the skin on your elbows. That doesn't count.
Velcro shoes.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Apr 15 04:47 PM

BLING! BLING!



Uryoces  Tuesday Apr 15 04:57 PM

Re: Re: form&function

Quote:
Originally posted by blowmeetheclown
Velcro shoes.
Aiieeee! I just watched "One Hour Photo" Sunday. Creepy.


floki  Tuesday Apr 15 06:16 PM

Re: form&function

Quote:
Originally posted by dasviper
Things that are designed well for their function and yet not nice on the eyes?
Women with an overdimensioned pelvis. From the viewpoint of evolution perfect for having lots of offspring. For most people though not quite pleasing to look at. In former times and even nowadays in different cultures corpulent women are seen as higly reproductive and are therefore favoured. Does anybody know when this "skinny women" trend set in?


Pie  Tuesday Apr 15 06:34 PM

Re: Re: 4/15/2003: New Mars rover

Quote:
Originally posted by Pete

Are the surgical masks and rubber gloves necessary?
I think they're trying to keep from infecting the Red Planet with terran bacteria, virii, etc. The whole thing is being assembled in a cleanroom. (If we do ship over flora and fauna at some point, they'll hopefully be chosen very carefully...)

Terran life forms are well-known for their tenacity, even in extremely inhospitable environments. So yes, the masks are very necessary.

Definitely going to break out the big 'scope this summer, when I'm in Arizona...

- Pie


Griff  Tuesday Apr 15 07:47 PM

Re: Re: Re: 4/15/2003: New Mars rover

Quote:
Originally posted by Pie


(If we do ship over flora and fauna at some point, they'll hopefully be chosen very carefully...)

- Pie
I vote for kudzu, multi flora rose, and rabbits.


richlevy  Tuesday Apr 15 07:53 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: 4/15/2003: New Mars rover

Quote:
Originally posted by Griff


I vote for kudzu, multi flora rose, and rabbits.
Lets not forget nutria, which sounds more like a vitamin supplement than a rodent.


Griff  Tuesday Apr 15 08:01 PM

Its a rodent. Its a vitamin supplement. Its the vitamin supplement that tastes like rodents.

Lets not forget hemoragic(sp?) fever.



Elspode  Tuesday Apr 15 09:13 PM

Its a dessert topping...its a floor wax!



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Apr 15 09:34 PM

Quote:
Does anybody know when this "skinny women" trend set in?
Yes. Hugh Hefner. The first playmate was Marilyn Monroe. After that they got slimmer and slimmer.


tw  Tuesday Apr 15 11:44 PM

Something that characterizes an industry. In nuclear power, it was cooling towers. In Home construction, hammers or duct tape. In spacecraft, it is that yellow Kapton tape. The stuff was to spacecraft constuction what duct tape is to domestic building and repair. Some is draped down from the rover. In iMax pictures of the shuttle, Kapton tape floats off of walls in the cargo bay.

Two functions necessary for spacecraft. It must withstand UV radiation AND it must not outgas. Nylon, for example, is taboo in spacecraft because nylon continues to outgas. But Kapton tape was the one material good for fixing almost anything on a spacecraft.



GlassJaw  Wednesday Apr 16 01:53 AM

Re: Re: Re: 4/15/2003: New Mars rover

Quote:
Originally posted by Pie


I think they're trying to keep from infecting the Red Planet with terran bacteria, virii, etc. The whole thing is being assembled in a cleanroom. [snip]
- Pie
It is hard to tell from the pict if it is a true Cleanroom, or merely a Controlled Environment. The difference being in the number of allowable particles greater than 0.5 Micron in diameter per cubic foot of air; Cleanrooms like Intel uses to make wafers for harddrives are rated and tested at 1 (or less!) particle per cubic foot of air, Controlled enviroments are typically rated at 1000 or 10,000 particles per ft^3.

Either way, The gloves they are wearing are Nitrile Critical Environment Gloves, where the gloves are designed to protect the environment/equipment from the particles shed by the people, and not necessarily protect the people from the environment (as in the case with Surgical Gloves.)

In my previous life, I worked QA/QC for one of the companies that supplied these types of gloves for AMD/Intel/etc. Quite fascinating actually.


novice  Wednesday Apr 16 03:56 AM

GlassJaw, how can you tell those are NCEG gloves ? They look exactly the same as the ones the nice lady at LAX was wearing.



Unknown_Poltroon  Wednesday Apr 16 12:09 PM

" In former times and even nowadays in different cultures corpulent women are seen as higly reproductive and are therefore favoured. Does anybody know when this "skinny women" trend set in?"

Actually, something neat i saw on the discovery channel, the standards of beauty dont change that much from culture to culture. MEn tend to find a woman with a certan ratio of hip measurement to waist measurement, i think its .7 or 1.7. ANd its remarkably consistent overall, from culture to culture.



GlassJaw  Thursday Apr 17 03:36 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by novice
GlassJaw, how can you tell those are NCEG gloves ? They look exactly the same as the ones the nice lady at LAX was wearing.
First, from the way they are all dressed, (in full "bunny suits"), the cleanroom they are in would require no less than a Glove rated for Critical Environments, or else the contamination engineer would be looking for new employment. Each lot of the gloves we maufactured for this type of environment were tested for quality assurance for particulate and ionic extractable contamination. One of our OEM Customers had a MAXIMUM Specification for allowable particles which was 1500. That is a Total of 1500 particles per sq-cm of glove area greater than 0.5 microns in size. For reference (following a quick search of google) a single crystal of Table Salt is about 100 Microns in diameter, a human hair is about 50-70 microns, and a bacteria is about 2-3 microns. VERY stringent. I have been suited up in similar garb to the group in the picture, just to go into and observe a Class 10 Cleanroom in action. (That would be Rated at less than or equal to 10 particles greater than 0.5 microns in size per cubic foot of airspace.)

The white color of the gloves leads me to believe that they are nitrile material. I would have to get my hands on one to tell you 100%, but I am confident in my statement. Could be Natural Rubber (normally yellow-ish) with Titanium Dioxide as a coloring agent, but most likely not. There are a number of levels of quality that gloves can be made to fulfill. Most likely the LAX-Lady was using a White Glove, which could be either a lower quality nitrile glove, or the aforementioned natural rubber glove with colorant. Remember your MarketDroidSpeak: Perception is Reality, ergo "White" is "Clean (aka Not Dirty)".

Either way, I would bet that they were a lower quality (read Commodity Product) glove than those used in the picture above. By way of example, the Gloves we manufactured for the CE Industry sold for between $97.00 and $175.00 per case of 1000 gloves. If you need gloves from Costco for checking the luggage at LAX, look for a price range of about $20 per 1000. Huge difference in price, and MEGA difference in quality of product.


tw  Thursday Apr 17 04:30 PM

Contamination is not the only reason for those suits. Static electric control is quite strick. Fabrics may be woven with electrically conductive materials so that static electric is not a threat.

Working in such environments is interesting. How do you tell who is who - especially when you don't know most people in the other shifts? Somehow I managed to learn without knowing why. They later tell me, learn by viewing the eyes. However I also found height to be important.

Contamination is also why recovering satellites from space using the shuttle was not productive. Any space vehicle brought back to earth in a shuttle bay was so contaminated as to require complete disassembly and cleaning. Often cheaper to just build a new one.



OnyxCougar  Friday Apr 18 03:40 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Unknown_Poltroon
" In former times and even nowadays in different cultures corpulent women are seen as higly reproductive and are therefore favoured. Does anybody know when this "skinny women" trend set in?"

Actually, something neat i saw on the discovery channel, the standards of beauty dont change that much from culture to culture. MEn tend to find a woman with a certan ratio of hip measurement to waist measurement, i think its .7 or 1.7. ANd its remarkably consistent overall, from culture to culture.
Actually, the standard of beauty IS different from culture to culture, but also from time period to time period. For example, in 1400's Europe, most art depicts women with "full" hips and bulging abdomens (see picture). Back in those days, most people ate very little as a rule, nigh on starving, and the body style was the "waif" look of today. The attractive women were the ones who ate well, and therefore had a "thicker" appearance. This is well documented throughout history.

In addition, on the cultural side of things, going back to the "nose plug" post, I would say that "attractive" is a hugely relative term. You probably won't see a 18 year old male in LA saying, hey, look at those neck rings!! But it's probably pretty common for 18 year old equivalent in that culture to admire that.


[edit]
pitcure from www.stanford.edu website.
[/edit]


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Apr 18 04:28 PM

3 cheers for Ruben's women.



Torrere  Saturday Apr 19 02:12 PM

I'm guessing that she would be quite attractive today.



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