Mars Phoenix Lander On Wide World Of Mars

When I was a kid growing up in the 1960's, one of the most amazing things to me was the live coverage from multiple cameras of world events, like the Winter Olympics. When they talked about "spanning the globe" to bring you a "Wide World of Sports," they weren't kidding around.


(Phoenix lander schematic)

NASA's Phoenix Lander is going to get a similar treatment from the many correspondents on Mars. Correspondents on Mars? That's right - the three orbiters, NASA's Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Europe's Mars Express are all getting themselves into position.

Even better, NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been helping out by simulating transmissions from Phoenix to rehearse the orbiters' operations.

Phoenix will enter the Martian atmosphere at a speed of 20,519 kph.

On that day, Odyssey will turn its robotic eyes from the heavens to point an ultrahigh- frequency antenna towards the descending Phoenix. A high-gain antenna will stream information back to Earth as Odyssey watches Phoenix slow itself through heat-shield friction, a parachute, and then firing descent rockets. That allows the lander to hit the Martian surface on three legs at just 5.4 miles per hour (2.4 m/s).

MRO and Mars Express will start recording Phoenix transmissions as backup data "about 10 minutes before landing," according to Ben Jai, mission manager at JPL for MRO.

Sooner or later, the world's planetary explorers will realize that we need a rock-solid, high-capacity data network for the solar system. George O. Smith, an engineer by trade and sf writer by avocation, wrote about this idea in an excellent set of stories in the early 1940's.

The Venus Equilateral Relay Station was a modern miracle of engineering if you liked to believe the books. Actually, Venus Equilateral was an asteroid that had been shoved into its orbit about the Sun, forming a practical demonstration of he equilateral triangle solution of the Three Moving Bodies. It was a long cylinder, about three miles in length by about a mile in diameter...

This was the center of Interplanetary Communications. This was the main office. It was the heart of the Solar System's communication line, and as such, it was well manned. Orders for everything emanated from Venus Equilateral.
(Read more about the Venus Equilateral Relay Station)

Update 14-Jun-1986 Here's an earlier reference to this idea; take a look at the Interplanetary Radiograph Station from On The Martian Way (1907) by Harry Gore Bishop. End update.

Via Mars Orbiters Prepare to Watch Phoenix Landing.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/3/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K Dick, 1955.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...' - Larry Niven, 1970.

The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System call it artificial telepathy, if you like.' - Richard Meredith, 1969.

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
'had he not been talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.'

Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'

CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater
'...in the midst of this fluid, which is very dense compared with the atmosphere, shots could not go far.'

Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...'

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

Autonomous Wheelchairs Improve Airport Mobility
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.

Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...'

Viisights AI Hones Video Surveillance
'The math boys worked it out...'

Cybertruck The Solar-Powered Steel Tortoise
'It drew its power from... sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.