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Thread: Curiosity Rover landing at the weekend

  1. #1 Curiosity Rover landing at the weekend 
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    I've got my fingers crossed already that all goes well. I was apprehensive before, but now having just watched the "7 minutes of terror" video I now feel incredibly nervous about the mission.

    Good luck!




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  3. #2  
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    NASA is doing a live broadcast of the landing in Times Square!

    NASA - Daring NASA Mars Mission Broadcast Lands In Times Square


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  4. #3  
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    Excellent.

    I think I might be able to get up that early on a Saturday (assuming my time zone conversion is accurate).
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    Fri, 03 Aug 2012 04:43:25 PM EDT


    With less than three days to go before touchdown on the Red Planet, Curiosity remains in good health, with all systems operating as expected. Given the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft's consistent and stable course, today the project decided that the planned Trajectory Correction Maneuver 5 (TCM-5) and its corresponding update to parameters for the autonomous software controlling events during entry, descent and landing will not be necessary. As of 12:35 p.m. today PDT (3:35 p.m. EDT), the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was approximately 468,000 miles (753,200 kilometers) from Mars, or a little less than twice the distance from Earth to the moon. It is traveling at about 8,000 mph (3,576 meters per second). It will gradually increase in speed to about 13,200 mph (5,900 meters per second) by the time it reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere.
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  6. #5  
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    I saw a documentary last week about the design/construction/testing of Curiosity: absolutely fascinating.
    Even my not-very-techy GF was enthralled.

    All my fingers are crossed for the landing...
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  7. #6  
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    Wow is that thing packed with sensors....

    Excited!
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  8. #7  
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    Curiosity Closes in on its New 'Home'
    Sat, 04 Aug 2012 07:20:24 PM EDT


    With Mars looming ever larger in front of it, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are in the final stages of preparing for entry, descent and landing on the Red Planet at 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6). Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected. Today, the flight team uplinked and confirmed commands to make minor corrections to the spacecraft's navigation reference point parameters. This afternoon, as part of the onboard sequence of autonomous activities leading to the landing, catalyst bed heaters are being turned on to prepare the eight Mars Lander Engines that are part of MSL's descent propulsion system. As of 2:25 p.m. PDT (5:25 p.m. EDT), MSL was approximately 261,000 miles (420,039 kilometers) from Mars, closing in at a little more than 8,000 mph (about 3,600 meters per second
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    I don't think I'll be getting up that early. I wish I could.
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  10. #9  
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    This just in:

    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  11. #10  
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    24 hours to touchdown...
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  12. #11  
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    12 hours...
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  13. #12  
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    2012 was getting so much hype for being the end of the world (even though accounting for leap years on the Julian calendar means we would all be dead by now if the Mayans were predicting cataclysm), however I think it will instead go down as one of the most fascinating years in science. First, significant findings regarding the Higgs boson and now we're putting a chemistry lab on another planet. The hairs on my arms stand on end just thinking about it. Maybe this will be the spark we need to reignite that intrepid explorer that the American spirit has seemingly forgotten. I mean, broadcasting in Times Square? Whomever came up with that deserves a promotion.

    For anyone else watching, I will be right there with you. Coffee next to me, tablet streaming crew audio, Xbox app enabled, and computer at the NASA live broadcast. I'm wired and wired in. NASA, I am go for entry.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  14. #13  
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    Curiosity Set for Mars Landing Tonight
    Sun, 05 Aug 2012 10:10:02 PM EDT


    Its approximately 352 million mile (567 million kilometer), 36-week journey from Earth nearly complete, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are "all systems go" for touchdown in Mars' Gale Crater tonight at 10:31 p.m. PDT (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6). This morning, flight controllers decided to forgo the sixth and final opportunity on the mission calendar for a course-correction maneuver. The spacecraft is headed for its target entry point at the top of Mars' atmosphere precisely enough that the maneuver was deemed unnecessary. In addition, this afternoon, mission controllers determined that no further updates are necessary to the onboard information the spacecraft will use during its autonomous control of MSL's entry, descent and landing. Parameters on a motion tracker were adjusted Saturday for fine-tuning determination of the spacecraft's orientation during its descent. As of 6:18 p.m. PDT (9:18 p.m. EDT), MSL was approximately 36,000 miles (57,936 kilometers) from Mars, traveling at a speed of about 8,400 mph (about 3,755 meters per second).
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    If you haven't downloaded the Eyes on the Solar System program, I recommend it. Very cool simulation of what is currently happening and it lets you zoom in on the different probes and vehicles in orbit as well as feeding your a stream of data related to the mission.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Touchdown confirmed!!!
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    Anyone else finding the live video completely unresponsive?
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  20. #19  
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    A friend in contact with JPL has said they are reporting it landed within 2 meters of the center target. The revised landing ellipse was 20 x 7 km.
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    I watched their website live video and it was quite exciting to watch it! We need to write our reps to increase their budget.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    A friend in contact with JPL has said they are reporting it landed within 2 meters of the center target. The revised landing ellipse was 20 x 7 km.
    A great achievement!
    Hope it gives a boost to the US space programme. I would also like to see an increasing level of international co-operation in this field.
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  23. #22  
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    Yay!
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  24. #23  
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    This is great stuff - well done to all involved
    I'm looking forward to some great pictures and all the discoveries that may result.

    I can't understand why folks would think this a waste of money - this extends human knowledge.
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  25. #24  
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    For MeteorWayne. Could you give information regards Australia's role in receiving and processing signal transmissions from Curiosity? westwind.
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  26. #25  
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    It's probably to do with Pine Gap. Joint Australia-USA intelligence communications base near Alice Springs. Pine Gap - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I
    f you hope to find out "details", I fear you might be disappointed, since everything that happens there stays there.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    For MeteorWayne. Could you give information regards Australia's role in receiving and processing signal transmissions from Curiosity? westwind.
    During the 7 minutes of Terror, Canberra was the earth contact point with Mars in it's sights receiving the data.

    Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  28. #27  
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    Great accomplishment!

    Though I have to wonder why NASA still doesn't get it. The first pictures shouldn't be a grainy black and white fish-eye picture no one but an engineer or a sciforum geek could appreciate. It should be a dramatic HD quality picture taken during the optimum lighting as guided by a professional nature photographer hired for the task. I hope they put some eye candy up to excite Joe Sixpack the taxpayer and voter (who failed algebra) in the next 24 hours. NASA needs good PR....the PR is just as important as the science and they should never ever forget that if they want support.
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  29. #28  
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    I think the people they aim to impress are not the ones that will ask for a sci-fi boom boom pow pow HD graphics photo. Because those people you will never impress with actual science. NASA might need some sort of PR, but they are not Hollywood. There is such a thing as selling out.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Great accomplishment!

    Though I have to wonder why NASA still doesn't get it. The first pictures shouldn't be a grainy black and white fish-eye picture no one but an engineer or a sciforum geek could appreciate. It should be a dramatic HD quality picture taken during the optimum lighting as guided by a professional nature photographer hired for the task. I hope they put some eye candy up to excite Joe Sixpack the taxpayer and voter (who failed algebra) in the next 24 hours. NASA needs good PR....the PR is just as important as the science and they should never ever forget that if they want support.
    Well here's your options. That image will be taken this week after the mast is deployed. Would you rather have nothing in the meantime? Me, I'll take a grainy black and white fish-eye picture no one but an engineer or a sciforum geek could appreciate until then.

    There was about 5 minutes after landing of communication time left (and that was more than expexcted). In that time, while checking on and reporting spacecraft health they managed 3 images; a 64 x 64, a 256 x 256, and a 512 x 512 pixel image.

    Today, with some time they have processed some images and now have one showing Mt. Sharp:

    NASA - Behold Mount Sharp!

    And a 297 frame animation from the descent imager thumbnails (64 x 64 pixel):

    NASA - Multimedia - Video Gallery

    They are getting down what they can and what they have time for, while checking on the spacecraft and slowly waking it up so they don't break anything and trash the whole 2 year mission.
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  31. #30  
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    I think people are getting spoiled by modern technology somewhat if you expect it to be deployed on another planet the instant we've landed there. One of my friends on Facebook complained that they could have taken a better picture with their iPhone. I found the 'poke' button, where's the 'slap' button?

    I hope I'm not the only person under 30 who got chills when they saw the picture of the rover's shadow on the surface of Mars.

    For me, the idea that we had multiple craft working together around Mars and now multiple rovers on the surface is mind boggling. I remember when we were just LOOKING at the planet. Now we have a network of machines studying it. I feel like a parent who says their kid grew up overnight. I'm completely enthralled by this whole process. I'd give anything to be a member of that crew. If only they needed an ecologist on Mars.
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  32. #31  
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    Well here's your options.
    Design it from the start with PR in mind. NASA has a bad habit of ignoring what side its bread is buttered on--and this is yet one more example.

    One of my friends on Facebook complained that they could have taken a better picture with their iPhone.
    There area lot more people like your friend than there are science/space geeks--we might not like it but that's simply a fact of life. And I wouldn't' say they are spoiled at all--their expectation for a good first set of pictures, the all important "first impression!" aren't all that unrealistic; now we're stuck with the first impression in the minds of 10s of millions of potential NASA supporters (voters, politician letter writers, hearing attending citizens..etc etc etc), is of a picture that looks like someone's driveway taken during the American Civil War. NASA PR sucks.

    --
    It's an amazing mission though, and I hope we find life there--that would be a game-changer.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    There area lot more people like your friend than there are science/space geeks--we might not like it but that's simply a fact of life. And I wouldn't' say they are spoiled at all--their expectation for a good first set of pictures, the all important "first impression!" aren't all that unrealistic; now we're stuck with the first impression in the minds of 10s of millions of potential NASA supporters (voters, politician letter writers, hearing attending citizens..etc etc etc), is of a picture that looks like someone's driveway taken during the American Civil War. NASA PR sucks.
    I don't really think that NASA PR is poor. They used a contest among grade-school kids to name the rover. That's pretty cool. They held press conferences and educational segments during the program (even including celebrities like Will.I.Am reaching out to communities and kids) for everyone to see.

    The problem is that people have no attention span. They want live video feed of the rover approach and landing, but they don't consider the feasibility of that idea. They want Hollywood-quality photos the second the rover touches down without considering the weight, power requirements, and technical issues associated with that. When we land on Mars for real, it won't look like it does in a movie. The unrealistic expectations of missions like these end up leaving people slightly disappointed.

    Consider what that grainy photo actually IS. That is the surface of another planet. The fact that we have the photo at all should be enough to give people goosebumps.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; August 9th, 2012 at 09:06 AM.
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    It seems inevitable that man will eventually walk on Mars. I wonder about the first men who will make that trip. They will be special people whose whole existence has been geared to that purpose. Our psychology evolved on planet Earth for the purpose of survival here. We are not by nature prepared to spend 18 months in a cramped capsule away from home. There could be serious psychological problems. There will be bone loss and danger from cosmic rays, meteoroids, etc. The astronauts will watch as Earth shrinks to become a dim light in the darkness. Apollo astronauts did not have that problem. From the moon, Earth retained its identity even though Buzz Aldrin said he held his thumb up to completely cover it. The first man on Mars will be a hero. He will travel the world, lead parades and appear in newspapers and on television in every country. When it is over he will seek seclusion, shunning the public the rest of his days. After some years there will be oddballs like Nashville's own Bart Sibrel claiming that man never went to Mars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Well here's your options.
    Design it from the start with PR in mind. NASA has a bad habit of ignoring what side its bread is buttered on--and this is yet one more example.
    Do that and the mission will be so expensive it will never get funded....end result, no pretty pictures at all.
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    Do that and the mission will be so expensive it will never get funded....end result, no pretty pictures at all.
    au contraire, do that and they'd have enough money to do these types of missions every month all over the Red planet...

    But I won't belabor the point, they blew their first impression--perhaps they do have plans to put something worth a glossy big-picture book cover and generate social media (angry birds---Curiosity edition!) to remind people of its accomplishment every time they sit in a waiting area--we'll see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Do that and the mission will be so expensive it will never get funded....end result, no pretty pictures at all.
    au contraire, do that and they'd have enough money to do these types of missions every month all over the Red planet...

    But I won't belabor the point, they blew their first impression--perhaps they do have plans to put something worth a glossy big-picture book cover and generate social media (angry birds---Curiosity edition!) to remind people of its accomplishment every time they sit in a waiting area--we'll see.
    In today's anti-tax environment, I find that highly unlikely. It would raise the cost of the mission by an order of magnitude.
    To me, it's one of the best $7 in taxes I ever spent, but that's just me.
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  38. #37  
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    For MeteorWayne. Looking at one of the first two pictures received here and shown, Isee the image(s) of a Mars Dog and what looks like an Australian Kangaroo. All I've had is a cupof weak tea. It's in the shadow of the vehicle image. Can anyone else see this? Study it lightly from normal viewing distance, the Mars Dog is a negative and the kangaroo is part of the shadow on the RHS of the shadow. westwind.
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    What kinds of sensory technology do they have on curiosity?
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  40. #39  
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    Look Here (It's too long to desribe them all):

    Curiosity rover - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Look Here (It's too long to desribe them all):

    Curiosity rover - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thanks, Have they got any photos back yet? can't wait to see what it finds
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    :It never happened" posts have been moved to a conspiracy thread in Pseudoscince. Please place all such new posts on the subject there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Look Here (It's too long to desribe them all):

    Curiosity rover - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thanks, Have they got any photos back yet? can't wait to see what it finds
    Dozens of photos have been returned so far, including the first black and white 360 degree panorama. The color one from the Mastcam should come in the next day or two.

    NASA - Mars Science Laboratory, the Next Mars Rover
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Do that and the mission will be so expensive it will never get funded....end result, no pretty pictures at all.
    au contraire, do that and they'd have enough money to do these types of missions every month all over the Red planet...

    But I won't belabor the point, they blew their first impression--perhaps they do have plans to put something worth a glossy big-picture book cover and generate social media (angry birds---Curiosity edition!) to remind people of its accomplishment every time they sit in a waiting area--we'll see.
    I see where you're going with that. My guess is that our first real "Hollywood" moment with Mars will come from boots touching the surface. Until then, I think we need to stick with general-public-yawn-inducing science.

    Also, if you look at some of the color panoramas the other two rovers have compiled (the Martian sunset and Victoria crater come to mind) they are astonishingly beautiful. They just took a little time.
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    For MeteorWayne. Is it possible that Curiosity made a hard landing? I say this because it seems to me that the need to test out functions and functionability before doing science may not have been scheduled into the landing programme.? Or am I getting fidgety? Looking at the thruster disturbance of the Martian Landing Site it appears to me that it would have been a hard landing without more topsoil?.....westwind.
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    The landing was exactly as planned, at 0.75 meters/sec vertical. Amazingly, the horizontal movement was only 4 cm/sec.

    All checkout activities proceed exactly as planned. Almost al instrument checks have been completed except for firing up the chemcam laser. That should happen shortly as it tests pointing on the 10 test targets mounted on the outside of the rover. The first scheduled short test drive will occur early next week. Followed shortly by the chemcam tests on the thruster pits

    The thruster marks were most liklely dug deepest after the bridle was cut as it powered away.
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    Thanks MeteorWayne. Just Checking. westwind.
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    Today, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity fired its laser for the first time on Mars, using the beam from a science instrument to interrogate a fist-size rock called "Coronation."

    The mission's Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, hit the fist-sized rock with 30 pulses of its laser during a 10-second period. Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second.

    The energy from the laser excites atoms in the rock into an ionized, glowing plasma. ChemCam catches the light from that spark with a telescope and analyzes it with three spectrometers for information about what elements are in the target.
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    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Thanks KALSTER. Clicked your Referenced Site. Up to date as MeteotWayne indicated to me. Am very interested in this type of Science and Physics. I promise I will not break into Public Poetry concerning the Mars Rover, Curiosity, but, believe me, I am tempted to. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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  51. #50  
    Comet Dust Collector Moderator
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  52. #51  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Can't wait for the results!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  53. #52  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I predict unusually high silica and alumina content.
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  54. #53  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Probably, with some iron oxide.
    dmwyant likes this.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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