Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - camera resolution

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becarlson

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What is the resolution we can expect from the most powerful camera on the MRO? Any chance they could photograph the landing site around Beagle 2 in order to see what happened to that lander?
 
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mrmorris

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MRO is supposed to be able to get (at max) a pixel size of 10 inches. This gives an image resolution of approximately 1 meter. Beagle will still be little more than a few bright dots, but an image from MRO of the spot where Beagle is would almost assuredly allow it to be recognized.<br /><br />However -- that trivializes the larger problem. Since we don't know where Beagle is -- finding the right spot to photograph would be a little tricky. You could certainly take photos of a few hundred square miles of the approximate landing footprint -- but then some poor schmuck is going to have to pore over huge numbers of photographs searching for 'Beagle-ish' looking dots. I don't know the likelyhood of this happening, since the lander is dead; finding it's gravesite won't change that; and by the time MRO gets there, the reasons for the Beagle failure will be of historic interest at best. In any event -- a photo wouldn't provide that information, but only limit the range of possibile causes. Maybe.
 
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becarlson

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I realize the camera on-board the MRO will be the most powerful sent into orbit around another planet, but a resolution of 1 meter is still "fair", at least according to spy satellite technology.<br /><br />Why not utilize some spy satellite technology to get resolution down into the 3 inch area? Is this too much to ask?
 
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mikejz

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I bet it was a weight issue. Bigger Cameras, Bigger Lens, More Data so bigger Telecom system, etc.
 
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astrophoto

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Does anyone have a breakdown of currently planned Mars missions and their launch dates? I am curious how we will first put this orbiter to work.
 
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thalion

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Not to mention the fact that I think much information on how detailed spy photos are made is still classified. Let's not forget that adaptive-optics itself was originally a military technology, IIRC. <br /><br />But as was earlier written, we don't exactly where Beagle landed, so finding with such a narrow-angle instrument would be virtually impossible. Pinning down exactly where a probe lands is still a tricky business even with successful missions, and is done with a combination of ground-based and satellite data. We still don't know *exactly* where the Viking 2 is, because IIRC it was impossible to correlate the lander imagery with anything visible from orbit.
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="yellow">"Beagle will still be little more than a few bright dots..."</font><br /><br />What about its parachute? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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Yep, thats if it opened sucessfully.<br />It would be cool to find out what happen to beagle. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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If the parachute didn't open, I guess we'd be looking for a fresh, dark impact mark. On the bright side, that would also be larger than the lander alone.<img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <br /><br />Maybe we could use Opportunity's heat shield impact as a guide to what to look for. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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the_ten

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I would like to offer another alternative to finding the remains.. How about we send a manned mission to Mars, give the guys a couple of buggy's to cruise around in, allow them to use nuclear power, and do some bad ass science while searching for the wreckage?<br /><br />Who's with me?
 
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becarlson

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I'm definately with you there. Let's send a manned mission to Mars! Now we just need to convince congress to open up the purse strings.
 
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najab

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><i>Why not utilize some spy satellite technology to get resolution down into the 3 inch area? Is this too much to ask?</i><p>You do realise that the KH-11 satellites weigh about 15 tons and are the size of a school bus?</p>
 
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