Friday, November 18, 2011

Mars Science Laboratory 1

Next friday, when all of us are relaxing after a fine day of turkey, the guys in Florida will be launching the Mars Science Laboratory.
Back when Phoenix was launched, the guys in Arizona put together a great video showing entry, descent, and landing with various events, all in real time. After the landing occured, the guys at JPL put together a reconstruction of the entry trajectory and orientation, and posted them as a pair of spice kernels. I was able to use this data and put together a cool video, showing the events in real time in proper scale. I had a model of the lander, its aeroshell and parachute, and the topography and map of the area around the landing site. The results came out pretty good:

So, of course I am going to do one for MSL. But, MSL hasn't flown yet and Absurd Accuracy is Our Obsession. So, I have to generate the trajectory and event data myself. I will document what I have done and what I am doing, building up hopefully to the release of this video on or before landing launch.

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