Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
Life is sweet. Have you tasted it lately?

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News 11th Feb 2021

My internet connection has now been established in my new home, and the Raspberry Pi's are working their hearts out to update the pages containing NASA data. There is a brief period that Mars Weather data is temporarily lost (I assume I'll be able to recover it when the data is next uploaded to the PDS repository in about 6 months time).

Meanwhile, it is just a week until Perseveranceplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigPerseverance Rover

Perseverance has launched succesfully and the clock is now counting flight and ETA time. It is due to land on Mars on (times and countdown timer based on NASA's timer):

* Feb 18th 2021. * * * * * * *
makes its guided landingplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigLanding the Mars 2020 Rover Safely

Autonomous landings are always fraught with danger. One of the most dangerous terrains any landing might occur on is a boulder field. Not only would the impact of the landing on these hard objects be a threat, but the boulders are likely to be jagged too. Another threat are the steep cliffs of the crater - not falling off them (although that's a possibility), but crashing into them.
in Jezero Crater on the flanks of Syrtis Major in the northern hemisphere of Mars. I am assured that the rover will be sending back weather data which I'll be able to pick up from the NASA servers in the same way I've been picking up the weather data from InSight. I'll start a new section for Mars Weather with pages for InSight data, InSight data (recalibrated) from the PDS archive, and Perseverance (and later Perseverance recalibrated).

It'll be a while before Perseverance begins sending data back, but feel free to hold your breath!

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blog/articles/info/news_11_02_2021.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/11 14:14 by Phil Ide

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  • ISSplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigInternational Space Station

    This page has a portal through which you can view the current location of the International Space Station, updating in real-time. The tracker itself comes from the European Space Agency (ESA).

    There is also a handy link to get email notifications direct from NASA when the ISS is visible in your night sky.
  • Mars Weatherplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMars Weather

    Weather Reports Insight Lander Perseverance Rover Curiosity data to come [Current positions of Earth and Mars] Image courtesy of and © Dominic Ford

    This image is updated once per week. A daily update is available on the Mars Solar Conjunctions page when such events are active.

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    I needed to calculate orbital characteristics for any orbit around any gravitational mass (because I write sci-fi stories), so I wrote this program because I'm a programmer and I'm too lazy to do it by hand all the time. The program has expanded over the last few years, sometimes from suggestions by other writers. I make it freely available and as simple to use as possible. It now has a list of functions as long as your arm (assuming you're not a tentacle user), and the numbe…
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