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Old 26th November 2018, 12:57 PM   #1
Steve001
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Mars Lander Insight has landed safely just now.

Just announcing the news. First photo should be available with a web search. First photo.
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File Type: jpeg Ds9EYfxXoAAPNmx.jpeg (27.5 KB, 24 views)

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Old 26th November 2018, 12:59 PM   #2
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Woot!
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Old 26th November 2018, 01:08 PM   #3
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Old 26th November 2018, 01:56 PM   #4
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Way to go, NASA! Happy days.
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Old 26th November 2018, 02:42 PM   #5
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Just watching CNN coverage Wow.

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Old 26th November 2018, 03:21 PM   #6
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Good good good!

But will this help Mark Watney?
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Old 26th November 2018, 03:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Good good good!

But will this help Mark Watney?
Poor Mark!

Also, you are two posts away from quad 3s, which is a very fine poker hand
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Old 26th November 2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Poor Mark!

Also, you are two posts away from quad 3s, which is a very fine poker hand
It'd be better in 3 card brag............... oh, hang on....
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Old 26th November 2018, 03:53 PM   #9
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I watched it "real time" on the NASA site (given the speed of light delay) and found it very exciting! Amazing what can be done both in terms of the actual physical technology and the autonomous programming. I am extraordinarily impressed.

But I do want to know what's up with the NASA control room personnel being required (my presumption) to wear the stupid uniforms! What's wrong with people just wearing the normal clothes that they would wear to work, or if they wished, dressing up a little as each individual thought most appropriate for them on this particular occasion? Who mandated they all should look the same? And once that was decided, who went on to choose uniform styles that were rejected for the next Star-Trek remake?

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Old 26th November 2018, 04:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I watched it "real time" on the NASA site (given the speed of light delay) and found it very exciting! Amazing what can be done both in terms of the actual physical technology and the autonomous programming. I am extraordinarily impressed....
Me too. It was exciting and really stressful actually.

Science ROCKS!
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Old 26th November 2018, 04:30 PM   #11
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I think they need to check the definition of terror.

Exciting, tense, stressful, anxious sure, but not terror.

Thanks for the link GlennB.
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Old 26th November 2018, 05:21 PM   #12
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I watched Curiosity land, but this one happened while I was on the bus.
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Old 26th November 2018, 06:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Poor Mark!

Also, you are two posts away from quad 3s, which is a very fine poker hand
Two pairs, you mean.
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Old 26th November 2018, 11:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
But I do want to know what's up with the NASA control room personnel being required (my presumption) to wear the stupid uniforms! What's wrong with people just wearing the normal clothes that they would wear to work, or if they wished, dressing up a little as each individual thought most appropriate for them on this particular occasion? Who mandated they all should look the same? And once that was decided, who went on to choose uniform styles that were rejected for the next Star-Trek remake?
Required? Did it occur to you that they just might really be proud to wear that uniform. As a 20 year veteran of the military, I can tell you I was bloody proud to be wearing mine
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Old 26th November 2018, 11:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Required? Did it occur to you that they just might really be proud to wear that uniform. As a 20 year veteran of the military, I can tell you I was bloody proud to be wearing mine
That is not a military uniform nor are they members of a military organization. If I was a member of the military, considering the long-term commitment and personal risk that a real military enlistment requires, I personally would be angered by the use of a questionable science fiction imitation uniform for PR purposes for a group of civilians. A low level version of "stolen valor?"

Nor do i understand why you thought I was alluding to military uniforms at all. Police and fire fighters wear uniforms, as well, but so do many health care professionals, baristas, big box store employees, etc. Some of these involve jobs with special obligations and honor, others are more mundane. But I was not insulting any.

And I am not blaming the members of the team at all: I have no doubt that they are very hard working, dedicated, highly trained, and extremely talented individuals. Individuals who were hired and who serve as civilians. But I have no doubt they normally come to work in civilian clothes: shirt sleeves, pants, maybe some in suits. But as civilians. Not dressing up as some sort of pseudo-military organization to which they are not members.

You might legitimately question if the team wanted to dress up in uniforms or not; neither you nor I can speak conclusively about their thoughts (knowing scientists and engineers I doubt it was their idea). But to structure my comments as an insult to the military? Come on!
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Old 27th November 2018, 12:40 AM   #16
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They're wearing burgundy shirts. They don't look even vaguely military, nor do they - to my eye - look like anything off Star Trek.

I have no idea if they voluntarily wore them, but I don't think it's hugely out of order for a major organisation, in the knowledge that they are potentially going to be broadcast to a global audience, to think that presenting a clear image of professionalism and teamwork is a good idea.

Don't misunderstand, I'm no fan of any kind of dress code in general, and I agree that people should, broadly speaking, be free to wear whatever they want to, but for this one day, a historic moment of sorts, maybe even the engineers decided it would make a good visual, and a nice momento.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:20 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
That is not a military uniform nor are they members of a military organization. If I was a member of the military, considering the long-term commitment and personal risk that a real military enlistment requires, I personally would be angered by the use of a questionable science fiction imitation uniform for PR purposes for a group of civilians. A low level version of "stolen valor?"

Nor do i understand why you thought I was alluding to military uniforms at all. Police and fire fighters wear uniforms, as well, but so do many health care professionals, baristas, big box store employees, etc. Some of these involve jobs with special obligations and honor, others are more mundane. But I was not insulting any.

And I am not blaming the members of the team at all: I have no doubt that they are very hard working, dedicated, highly trained, and extremely talented individuals. Individuals who were hired and who serve as civilians. But I have no doubt they normally come to work in civilian clothes: shirt sleeves, pants, maybe some in suits. But as civilians. Not dressing up as some sort of pseudo-military organization to which they are not members.

You might legitimately question if the team wanted to dress up in uniforms or not; neither you nor I can speak conclusively about their thoughts (knowing scientists and engineers I doubt it was their idea). But to structure my comments as an insult to the military? Come on!
You seem to be mis-characterizing what these people do. You seem to think that this is "just a job" for them, like going to work at the office Mon to Fri, 9am and to 5pm then home for coffee and slippers. If that is what you think, then you'd be wrong. They are all part of a team, and many of them have given a long term commitment to what they are doing... some of them have 10 to 15 years on the one probe.

It is not at all unusual for team to wear a uniform, even in the vocation of space-flight.


New Horizons mission to Pluto


Rocketlabs (Black uniforms because, you know, New Zealand and the All Blacks)


Mars Curiosity Rover.

Having the uniform gives a team the sense of togetherness, a sense of common purpose and shared vision...

Wearing
the uniform shows the world that you are a part of something bigger than yourself; something you are proud to be a part of.

I watched the Curiosity landing and touchdown live on TV.. it was one of those moments that I will never, ever forget. Watching Adam Steltzner pacing up and down the rows of workstations made me nervous as hell.. and the unbridled joy and emotion at "touchdown confirmed" made it all worth it. If I was smart enough, skilled enough or lucky enough to be involved in something like that, I would WANT to be wearing that uniform.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:24 AM   #18
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Maybe to ensure that nobody wears, let's say, an inappropriate shirt then goes on TV to give an interview and the whole thing becomes about THAT shirt.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Maybe to ensure that nobody wears, let's say, an inappropriate shirt then goes on TV to give an interview and the whole thing becomes about THAT shirt.
^This.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
That is not a military uniform nor are they members of a military organization. If I was a member of the military, considering the long-term commitment and personal risk that a real military enlistment requires, I personally would be angered by the use of a questionable science fiction imitation uniform for PR purposes for a group of civilians. A low level version of "stolen valor?"

Nor do i understand why you thought I was alluding to military uniforms at all. Police and fire fighters wear uniforms, as well, but so do many health care professionals, baristas, big box store employees, etc. Some of these involve jobs with special obligations and honor, others are more mundane. But I was not insulting any.

And I am not blaming the members of the team at all: I have no doubt that they are very hard working, dedicated, highly trained, and extremely talented individuals. Individuals who were hired and who serve as civilians. But I have no doubt they normally come to work in civilian clothes: shirt sleeves, pants, maybe some in suits. But as civilians. Not dressing up as some sort of pseudo-military organization to which they are not members.

You might legitimately question if the team wanted to dress up in uniforms or not; neither you nor I can speak conclusively about their thoughts (knowing scientists and engineers I doubt it was their idea). But to structure my comments as an insult to the military? Come on!
You serious? Maybe they want to wear a uniform, whether it is just for this occasion or for evermore. Maybe it is a way to showcase their professionalisim, unity, skill and pride at being in a very exclusive club of people who have directly put gosh darn functinal robots on another planetary body. Stolen valour? Go have a cup of tea or whatever beverage, go have a lie down, and think long and hard about what you have just written.
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Old 27th November 2018, 03:17 AM   #21
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Anyone want to talk about...the science?
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Old 27th November 2018, 05:23 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Maybe to ensure that nobody wears, let's say, an inappropriate shirt then goes on TV to give an interview and the whole thing becomes about THAT shirt.
Yeah, I mean of all the amazing things we decide to talk about this event we talk about them wearing the colour shirts... We really are an intrinsically small minded animal.
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Old 27th November 2018, 05:24 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Anyone want to talk about...the science?
Of what, how the polyester in the shirts is created, or the synthetic dye?......
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Old 27th November 2018, 05:26 AM   #24
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When is it due to start sending back actual data of its observations?
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Old 27th November 2018, 10:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
Just announcing the news. First photo should be available with a web search. First photo.
Looks like a mad Martian spit on the lens - again.
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Old 27th November 2018, 10:29 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I watched it "real time" on the NASA site (given the speed of light delay) and found it very exciting! Amazing what can be done both in terms of the actual physical technology and the autonomous programming. I am extraordinarily impressed.

But I do want to know what's up with the NASA control room personnel being required (my presumption) to wear the stupid uniforms! What's wrong with people just wearing the normal clothes that they would wear to work, or if they wished, dressing up a little as each individual thought most appropriate for them on this particular occasion? Who mandated they all should look the same? And once that was decided, who went on to choose uniform styles that were rejected for the next Star-Trek remake?
Maybe they just want to look like a bunch of professionals and not like a group of random people picked off the streets.
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Old 27th November 2018, 10:36 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Looks like a mad Martian spit on the lens - again.
Luckily, that's just the dust cover doing its job, not the lens.
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Old 27th November 2018, 10:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
Luckily, that's just the dust cover doing its job, not the lens.
Hopefully they have wipers on that thing.
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Old 27th November 2018, 11:07 AM   #29
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I am fully in favor of just continuing with the science. Although we will have to wait for everything to be set up and the data to begin to come in, as I stated in my first post I am already incredibly impressed by the team's ability to do the landing! So many things had to work precisely and without fail after months in space, mostly autonomously. And they did! More broadly the desire of humans to explore simply because of curiosity, and their amazing abilities to do so, makes me proud to be human, even if only as an interested bystander in this case.

My apologies for my swipe at the "uniforms" but I was motivated primarily by my reaction to the design of these particular ones; if they were just wearing the typical T-shirts with the mission logo I would never have bothered to mention it. I do admit to a modest general aversion to attempts by higher level administrators to impose unnecessary "uniformity" on those below them, but it depends on the nature of the teams and on who initiates and buys into the idea. My only reason to post again on this topic was the suggestion that my reaction to these uniforms somehow implied that I was insulting the military.

I agree with Bluesjnr that the uniforms were 'Maybe to ensure that nobody wears, let's say, an inappropriate shirt then goes on TV to give an interview and the whole thing becomes about THAT shirt."

Enough on uniforms. Sorry! I too await the data.

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Old 27th November 2018, 12:22 PM   #30
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First things first, its good to see that "EVE" and "WALL-E", two experimental cubesats that tagged along with InSight for the whole seven month journey, operated perfectly and sent real time data back to mission control during the landing. The CubeSats provided information to InSight's landing team in just 8 minutes — the time it took for radio signals to travel from Mars to Earth. That was much faster than waiting on NASA's Mars orbiters, which weren't positioned to be able to observe the entire event and send data back to Earth immediately.

Its a great proof of concept - cubesats can add a lot of flexibility to missions without a huge payload penalty.

WALL E sent back this photo after the landing





Neither of the MarCO CubeSats carry science instruments, but that didn't stop the team from testing whether future CubeSats could perform useful science at Mars. As MarCO-A flew by, it conducted some impromptu radio science, transmitting signals through the edge of Mars' atmosphere. Interference from the Martian atmosphere changes the signal when received on Earth, allowing scientists to determine how much atmosphere is present and, to some degree, what it's made of.

"CubeSats have incredible potential to carry cameras and science instruments out to deep space," said John Baker, JPL's program manager for small spacecraft. "They'll never replace the more capable spacecraft NASA is best known for developing. But they're low-cost ride-alongs that can allow us to explore in new ways." said MarCO chief engineer, JPL's Andy Klesh


https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8394/nasa.../?site=insight
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Old 28th November 2018, 08:48 AM   #31
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I find the engineering of the heat probe (HP3) interesting. It will be placed on the Martian surface by the lander's arm and then the probe will hammer itself 5 meters below the surface. It only weights 3 kilos and will use some 2 watts. Being so light what will hold the "hammer" down while the probe itself is pushed through the Martian soil? Does the lander arm serve that purpose? What if it encounters a rock on the way down?

I've tried to drive garden stakes a meter or so down in the soil around my house and it is not easy!
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Old 28th November 2018, 12:31 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I find the engineering of the heat probe (HP3) interesting. It will be placed on the Martian surface by the lander's arm and then the probe will hammer itself 5 meters below the surface. It only weights 3 kilos and will use some 2 watts. Being so light what will hold the "hammer" down while the probe itself is pushed through the Martian soil? Does the lander arm serve that purpose? What if it encounters a rock on the way down?

I've tried to drive garden stakes a meter or so down in the soil around my house and it is not easy!

There are some clues in the article here.

- "There will a 30-day period where the mole will be hammering for a couple of hours a day every four days"

- "The HP3 mole can simultaneously produce intense hammer strikes of over 10,000 g’s, can survive tens of thousands of those violent shocks..."

- "...a self-contained drilling mechanism less than 1-kg (2.2 lbs.), able to function on 10 watts of available power..."

- contains "orientation sensors."

- two meters depth is a workable minimum for the experiment, but they're aiming for five meters for cleaner data

That works out to be about sixteen hours of hammering, or about 60,000 seconds, which agrees with "tens of thousands" of strokes if it runs a one to three second duty cycle for the hammering. High g's are not that hard to achieve for very short periods of time and short distances of movement. (I used to test failure-prone accelerometers, that had a detection threshold of 0.1g, by placing them on a sturdy tabletop and tapping very gently on the tabletop a few feet away with one finger. That signal was well above their detection threshold; if they didn't detect it, they were broken.)

Most likely the hammer mechanism stores energy for most of the interval and then releases it rapidly to strike two very hard surfaces together. Something having the effect of a motor slowly compressing a strong spring and then triggering a mechanical release, though more likely they're using currents in solenoid coils instead of a spring. The orientation sensors suggest that the mole is at least a little bit steerable. I'm imagining the hammer driven by multiple solenoids around a horizontal ring at the widest part of the mole, and controllable so as to be able to strike harder on one side of the ring than the other.

Unlike the garden stake, the mole's contact area with the ground doesn't increase as it goes deeper (once it's fully immersed). It does have to drag its tether behind it, which will add increasing additional drag at depth. I assume the tether is covered in slippery sheathing which might also be greased. I also assume the Mars geologists are confident in the surface composition of the landing site, so it's not going to find bedrock or boulders a few centimeters down.
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Old 28th November 2018, 09:03 PM   #33
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I remember seeing a diagram and I believe it had some sort of screw drive and a spring, and it would slowly push the "hammer" forward into the spring to store up energy, then release it. Hammer goes up, mole goes down.
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Old 29th November 2018, 02:02 AM   #34
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Here what HP3 looks like...



...and here is a 3:26 video animation about it, including a cutaway showing how it hammers its way down...

https://vimeo.com/267786125
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Old 29th November 2018, 10:02 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
I remember seeing a diagram and I believe it had some sort of screw drive and a spring, and it would slowly push the "hammer" forward into the spring to store up energy, then release it. Hammer goes up, mole goes down.
I remembered wrong, ignore me.
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Old 29th November 2018, 10:09 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
I remembered wrong, ignore me.
On ignore you go.

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Old 29th November 2018, 11:40 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Here what HP3 looks like...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yvzduiqb67..._HP3.jpg?raw=1

...and here is a 3:26 video animation about it, including a cutaway showing how it hammers its way down...

https://vimeo.com/267786125
Thank you! It's very clear to me now. And very clever.
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Old 30th November 2018, 06:12 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Thank you! It's very clear to me now. And very clever.
We really can be ingenious monkeys when we put our minds to it.
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Old 30th November 2018, 07:25 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Here what HP3 looks like...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yvzduiqb67..._HP3.jpg?raw=1

...and here is a 3:26 video animation about it, including a cutaway showing how it hammers its way down...

https://vimeo.com/267786125

Thanks!

So, I guessed wrong about it being steerable; it's just elongated enough to tend to go straight. If it goes a little crooked it won't matter for the science, as long as the researchers know how crooked so they can calculate the actual depth of each thermal sensor; hence the tilt sensor.

Also wrong about electromagnets. A spring and a motor it is, after all. KISS.
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Old 30th November 2018, 10:11 AM   #40
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