The Curiosity Mars rover status: 198M miles on the odo, 56,000mph on the speedo.

The Curiosity Mars rover status: 198M miles on the odo, 56,000mph on the speedo.

Joined: May 12th, 2001, 1:29 pm

March 30th, 2012, 11:10 pm #1



Steve
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Joined: April 28th, 2010, 12:23 am

March 31st, 2012, 3:00 am #2

And why the slingshot like trajectory.seems like the longerr path.


<span style="font-family:Verdana;font-size:14px;font-style:italic;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:underline;text-transform:none;color:#000000;">"i never was much for book learnin"</span>
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Joined: April 1st, 2009, 3:18 am

March 31st, 2012, 5:32 am #3

There is a window of opportunity to launch from Earth to a given planet, Mars being this example (the transfer orbit). The position, or orbit, of Earth in relation the the Mars orbit, is the least energy orbit. Our planets orbit in an ellipse. There are two points in space where Mars and Earth's orbit intersect, not at the same time, of course.

From the moment the craft leaves Earth bound for Mars, the craft itself is launched into its own orbital path through space (around the Sun). This approach to meet up on the celestial date with Mars requires the craft to be put in the Mars interplanetary trajectory.

All this requires perfect timing from launch. If not, the craft will simply be on an orbit itself never to get to the final destination.

Think of the planets like gears rotating, or a clock mechanism. You draw a dot on one tooth of the gear, you can then calculate with absolute certainty where it will meet up on the next gear every rotation.

"The majority of things in our lives are created by folks no smarter than the rest. Afterall, the world is comprised, and operated by C average people intellctually, academically, and morally. These people are often the great pioneers that set the precedent for what excellence should be."
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Joined: October 28th, 2003, 9:58 pm

March 31st, 2012, 2:02 pm #4

......you shoot it toward the point where Mars will be, not where it is.

Like leading a deer a couple years! LOL
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Joined: May 12th, 2001, 1:29 pm

March 31st, 2012, 2:40 pm #5

And why the slingshot like trajectory.seems like the longerr path.


<span style="font-family:Verdana;font-size:14px;font-style:italic;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:underline;text-transform:none;color:#000000;">"i never was much for book learnin"</span>
...given the Sun's gravity and Curiosity's measly "muzzle" velocity of "only" 56,000mph = 82,000fps.

Steve
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