If you have Quicktime, here's a 3D movie of Mars by CNN.
And check out the Mars Smiley Face Crater!
For all the latest information on MGS and MOLA, visit the new MGS Web Site.
For the latest information on all the NASA Mars spacecraft, Visit the Mars Missions Web Site.
||The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, or MOLA for short, is being built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. It is one of four instruments on the Mars Global Surveyor. Some of you might recall the Mars Observer that was lost in '92 just after it went into orbit around the planet (those pesky Martians!). Well, this is the second attempt to get there and take some pictures. MOLA will send back to Earth such information as mountain heights and valley depths, as well as information on the surface reflectivity. It will do all this with a laser beam. If you care to learn more about MOLA, just send me a message at the address below. Or better yet, keep reading.|
The four pictures to the left are of the actual MOLA instrument as it was going through testing here at Goddard. They show what MOLA actually looks like. The top three pictures show various views of MOLA, while the last picture is of the plaque that all the MOLA Team Members signed. All of our signatures will be traveling to Mars with MGS. My signature is somewhere very close to the upper left corner. Unfortunately it cannot be read. So you'll have to believe me that it's really there.
Here is a video scan (taken September 24, 1996) of MGS as it waits in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF). The PHSF supports the assembly and testing of payload components and systems. From here, MGS will go on to be integrated into the launch vehicle. MOLA is located somewhere on the top of the spacecraft. MGS is in its launch configuration. Click on the picture to see if anything has changed with the KSC video feed. (Eventually, the video feed will disappear.)
Jump to Goddard's MOLA page for another short description. Also, for more detailed information on the entire project, you can read the MGS home page, or go straight to JPL's own MOLA information page.
Above is also a picture of a finite element model of MOLA. Better and more detailed FEM views are available by clicking on this picture.
MOLA Finite Element Model Information and details are available for browsing.
If you know a little about NASTRAN finite element modeling and want to become really dangerous, then my Branch (Code 721 here at Goddard) has a group dedicated to increasing our modeling knowledge. It is called FEMCI (Finite Element Modeling Continuous Improvement) and it has its own home page. Check it out. Please note, this is not an introduction to finite element modeling, it if for regular users of NASTRAN.
Random information available includes:
NOTE: The FEM error detected and explained above would have had a major impact on the results of the random vibration analysis results and the random test specifications derived from them. However, because the random testing was completed (and the instrument survived easily) before the error was detected, there is no need to redo the random vibration analysis. The results presented are organized exactly as they would have been had no error occurred.
Frequency response information available includes:
NOTE: The FEM error detected and explained above would have had a major impact on the results of the frequency response analysis results and the sine vibration test specifications derived from them. However, because the sine testing was completed before the error was detected, there is no need to redo this analysis. The results presented are organized exactly as they would have been had no error occurred.
Pam Generie has completed a statistical analysis of the damage that could occur to the Primary Mirror due to micrometeor impacts.