@JimT- The insurmountable problem (at least with current understanding of physics) is the 14 minute travel time for signals. That's a 28-minute control loop delay if Earth is involved. It would be almost impossible to close the loop in a stable manner with Earth-based control unless the descent time is many times longer. A slower descent requires more weight to provide deceleration which eats into useful payload. Giving the lander more autonomy allows a faster descent time and NASA went for 100%.
More important in my mind is to push the envelope of autonomous control...the farther space probes range in the future the more necessary it will be.
True, the suspense is a big negative but that's just an issue for us humans....
Thanks, kenish, Good explanations, I concur with both points. Full autonomy will be absolutely essential as un-manned craft continue reaching deeper into space. And your logical explanation of (Slower Descent) = ( More Fuel) = (Heavier Payload) makes complete sense, which I failed to consider. Thanks for keeping me clear!
@nitpicker: I think this mission actually did a lot to showcase modern-day engineers and their work. There's a young guy central to this mission (I think I read he's been working at NASA for nine years) who's become an Internet sensation and the rock-star equivalent in the world of engineering and space exploration. They call him Mohawk Guy, but in real life, his name is Bobak Ferdowsi, a native of Oakland, CA, and graduate of MIT, who is a flight engineer on the Curiosity mission.
I agree with you completely. The act of "invention" is why I became an engineer. I can't sing, can't dance, have no real musical abilities but I can design components and ( eventually) make them work. I definitely applaud the NASA team and wish them more success and many more landings. One question--does the NASA team for Curiosity ramain in place for the duration of the program or is the team reduced in size, consequently going on to other projects? Always wanted to know this one.
Digital healthcare devices and wearable electronic products need to be thoroughly tested, lest they live short, ignominious lives, an expert will tell attendees at UBM’s upcoming Designers of Things conference in San Jose, Calif.
Designers of electronic interfaces will need to be prepared to incorporate haptics in next generation products, an expert will tell attendees at the upcoming Designers of Things conference in San Jose, Calif.
The company says it anticipates high-definition video for home security and other uses will be the next mature technology integrated into the IoT domain, hence the introduction of its MatrixCam devkit.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.