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Old 01-28-2012, 07:46 PM
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Alien Robots on Mars, the second wave

From the archives for 18716.128 Barsoom standard (July 1997 Earth calendar)

News flash from Ares Vallis. A large, rubbery object fell from the sky today, squashing several culturally important sand paintings. Shortly after landing, the object shed its outer skin to reveal two alien robots inside. Recalling the events from 11 (Martian) years ago, authorities cordoned off the area. Reports from Marvin, our martian on the scene indicate at least one of the alien robots is moving. So far it has done little other than to get disturbingly familiar with a couple of rocks.
We'll provide regular updates - meanwhile, we return you to your regular program on Mars Mystery Theater ...

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-pfinder01.jpg

So, after 21 (Earth) years we made a third successful landing. Pathfinder proved out a radically simpler method of landing. While the Viking landers came down on rockets (rearranging and contaminating the soil under the landers), the Pathfinder mission used a big ball of airbags around the probe to cushion its landing. It literally bounced and rolled to a stop after being released from the descent parachute.

Yogi

Build notes - this one in 1:12 scale is in the downloads here and at Lower Hudson Valley. This particular build is another teacher workshop door prize. It has the same durable plywood base, but the lander is glued directly to 1/4" plywood shims that raise it slightly above the base. I figured the shape of the model does not encourage someone to pick it up so did not need to make a detachable arrangement.
The deflated air bags are not modelled since I figured they were adequately shown on the graphic under the model.
Nowhere near the artistic merit of P_K's diorama, but should make a good visual aid.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:30 AM
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Alien Robots on Mars - a third column

From the archives for 18720.053 Barsoom standard (January 2004 Earth calendar)

News flash from Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. Echoing the events of four short (martian) years ago, two more large, rubbery objects fell from the sky. As before, the objects shed their skins shortly after landing. Each contained another alien robot larger than the one that landed in Ares Vallis. Old martian Gusev reports the robot has made a real mess of his crater, grinding on his rock pavements and leaving tracks in the sand. The robot has so far missed his pond and garden.
As always, we'll provide you with breaking news as it happens - meanwhile, back to your regular programming on Mars Mystery Theater ...

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-mer01.jpg

After just 7 (Earth) years we returned to the red planet in spectacular fashion. The Mars Exploration Rover program successfully landed two solar powered Rovers. The Rovers used the same landing method as the previous Pathfinder mission. Unlike Pathfinder, each lander contained a single Rover (no base station needed as all the instruments were on/in the Rovers). The basic design of all three rovers (Sojourner, Spirit & Opportunity) is the same but these Rovers are over twice the size and 17 times heavier than the mini-rover.
While we haven't included any experiments to look specifically for life (not since Viking), the Rovers do have cameras and instruments to look very closely at the surface and analyze its chemical composition. What they've found indicates Mars may have been very hospitable for life in the past. The Rovers vastly expanded the area that can be surveyed, from a few square meters around the fixed Viking landers, past the tens of square meters within range of the Sojourner mini-Rover, to kilometers of terrain.
Designed for a 90-day (90 martian sols) mission, Spirit lasted until 2010 when mechanical wear and a soft surface finally immobilized it. Unable to position itself to catch the winter sun on its solar panels, Spirit froze during the martian winter, having covered 7.7 km across Mars.
Opportunity continues to roam the surface, having covered over 34 km.

Yogi

Build notes - this is Erik/Ton's Rover from the downloads at Lower Hudson Valley or Ton's home page. Another teacher workshop door prize, the model is glued to a plywood base. I have a couple more glued to card-box bases similar to this earlier build.

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-marsrover-display.jpg

The card base is probably more practical since it's light enough you can lift the display by the base or model without damage.

Last edited by Retired_for_now; 01-29-2012 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:58 PM
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Some very nice builds and great presentations...someones going to be very lucky to score one of these as a prize!

Cheers!
Jim
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:53 PM
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Thanks, Jim. Though the leaf blower powered hovercraft seem to be the most popular prizes (just a plywood disk, a hole, and some heavy plastic stapled on). If I can spark interest in a few of the kids I'll call it a win.
Yogi
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:29 AM
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Alien Robots on Mars - they followed our water!

From the archives for 18722.167 Barsoom standard (May 2008 Earth calendar)

News flash from the north pole. Today another alien spacecraft landed, this one threatening our critical ice/water supplies. While the robot did not make off with any precious water, it did dig several trenches - fortunately missing any collection machinery. Authorities continue to monitor the robot's activities, but it is not expected to survive the winter snows.

That's it from your news authority - now, back to your regular programming on Mars Mystery Theater ...

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-phoenixlander.jpg

The Phoenix lander was a redo of the failed Mars Polar Lander mission. Phoenix used surplus hardware, some new experiments, and new landing software (the 1998 Polar Lander was lost when software mistook the vibrations from the lander's leg deployment for surface touchdown and cut the rockets while the lander was still in the air). Phoenix carried several experiments to look for conditions that could support life,though it was not equipped to directly detect life. Phoenix did give us the first direct look at water ice on Mars. The lander completed its mission and hunkered down for the winter; however, the mission could not be extended as the lander did not survive the Martian winter. High resolution pictures from the MRO satellite indicate snow collapsed the solar arrays - though the cold temperatures were equally deadly to the lander.

Yogi

Build notes - this is a modification of the NASA/JPL model of the Mars Polar Lander. The instruments, sampling arm, and top deck have been redrawn to reflect the Phoenix probe. In addition, solar panels from Ton's Orion capsule model have been used. Like the Viking model, the lander sits on a paper "cube" and is secured with two tabs on the block that fit into slots in the bottom of the model. So, the model is secure but if someone in the classroom picks it up the model it will come free without damage.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:43 PM
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So, unless I mis-counted that's it for successful missions to the surface of Mars. Others include landers from:
Mars 2 in 1971 (USSR) - never made it to Mars to deploy its lander;
Mars 3 in 1971 (USSR) - 20 seconds of lander operation after touchdown;
Mars 6 in 1973 (USSR) - failed just before touchdown;
Mars 7 in 1973 (USSR) - lander separated early and missed the planet ....;
Phobos 2 in 1989 (Russia) - lost contact before deploying lander toward the moon Phobos;
Mars 96 in 1996 (Russia) - orbiter, lander, and two surface penetrators never made it out of Earth orbit;
Mars Polar Lander in 1999 (USA) - premature engine shutdown before landing, crashed;
Mars Express/Beagle 2 in 2003 (ESA) - orbiter still on station but lander failed (used some design/instruments from Mars 96);
Phobos-Grunt in 2011 (Russia) - upper stage failure, never made it out of Earth orbit.

So, from the Planetary Society (www.planetary.org) the score, including all Mars missions, stands at:
Humans - 13
Mars - 20
and 6 ties (partial successes)

Yogi
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:38 AM
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Clearly the handiwork of the Great Galactic Ghoul:

NASA unleashes the Galactic Ghoul? : Discovery News

Les (Friendly Airplane Asylum & ex-NASA flack)
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:51 PM
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Les, and here I thought it was just the LGM!

Bottom line, deep-space travel is hard. All the more reason for NASA to quit running stunts and get with Russia, Europe, China, Japan, India, and all the other space programs to loft the bits to make a real "cruiser" (see Deep Space Cruiser - off the shelf for the near term for the rest of the rant).

Yogi
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired_for_now View Post
Les, and here I thought it was just the LGM!

Bottom line, deep-space travel is hard. All the more reason for NASA to quit running stunts and get with Russia, Europe, China, Japan, India, and all the other space programs to loft the bits to make a real "cruiser" (see Deep Space Cruiser - off the shelf for the near term for the rest of the rant).

Yogi
Indeed! I full heartedly agree.
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PK - Dij t dut mout t waiten!
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:02 PM
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2012 Teacher Workshop

Another teacher workshop completed (whew - sigh - snore ...). Passed on the various Mars landers, 20 or so airplanes (various FG, Paragon, Ojimak, etc.), four classroom hot-air balloon inflators,

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-p1160010.jpg

four more straw rocket launchers,

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-pb130047.jpg

and an Estes-type launch site (four rails to speed up the classroom event).

Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-p1010011.jpg
Yogi's builds - to boldy glue, where ...-p1010014.jpg

Yogi
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