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Mars Rover Controlled By Java

Java, the software developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s as a
universal operating system for Internet applications, gave NASA a low-cost
and easy-to-use option for running Spirit, the robotic rover that rolled
onto the planet's surface on Thursday in search of signs of water and life.

http://news.com.com/2100-1007_3-5142...l?tag=nefd_top

l8r, Mike N. Christoff

Jul 17 '05
198 18157
On a sunny day (Sat, 17 Jan 2004 12:32 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)) it happened
br******@cix.co .uk (Dave Harris) wrote in
<me************ ***********@bra ngdon.m>:
da*********@fe r.hr (Dalibor Hrg) wrote (abridged):
We can say that Java is most useful language on Mars today :)))


Err, I read him as saying Java is /not/ on Mars today.

Correct, and the fact that we already have pics proves that.

Jul 17 '05 #11
> No, even if it were possible to make
a craft that could fly in Mars' atmosphere,
that would not be controlled by Java either
as it would violate Sun's license.


Is the java License valid in other planets? :-)
Jul 17 '05 #12
In article <40************ ***@hate.spam.n et>, Uncle Al
<Un******@hate. spam.net> writes
Dalibor Hrg wrote:
[snip]
I was also thinking why all robots or searchers have wheels, I mean if they
are doing some research on land ok than, but it will be easier to use some
flying robot like small helicopter or something for making map. It will have
its platform with solar panels, it can go faster and I think travel lot more
distance. The platform can have wheels so it can move. The helicopter can be
useful to analyze around the platform and navigate platform. Let's say Sprit
and small robo-copter will be ideal combination. It's just suggestion.

[snip]

Local atmospheric pressure is 7-10 torr. Earth sea level is 760
torr. How many planes do you know that cruise at 100,000 feet absent
any oxygen at all? Martian aircraft are a bad dream.

That's as maybe, but ESA (European Space Agency) are dreaming of putting
Aerostats on Mars. I heard a talk from someone involved in this. See
also http://users.aber.ac.uk/dpb/aerobots.html. From what I remember,
they are balloons with fan motors. Much R&D will go into interpreting
the pictures they take well enough to only send back the interesting
bits. They illustrated the talk with a radio-controlled helium balloon
they have been using to learn the practicalities. Don't know the
programming language, but those involved have experience in Ada and
Matlab.

(cross-posting trimmed to only moderately insane).
--
A. G. McDowell
Jul 17 '05 #13
On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 16:52:45 GMT, Jan Panteltje
<pN************ *@yahoo.com> wrote:
On a sunny day (Sat, 17 Jan 2004 10:53:34 +0100) it happened "Dalibor Hrg"
<da*********@f er.hr> wrote in <bu**********@l s219.htnet.hr>:
We can say that Java is most useful language on Mars today :))) You know,
the time of .NET is coming while Java has already took its place in
history. Nothing can change that, Java is simply great thing!

Java is the worst thing that could happen to computing since the
invention of the chuwing gum hard disk.
It is slow, slow, slow, slow, SLOW, and not to mention slow.
And on top of that it is slow.


You know, believe it or not, Java isn't all that slow. Here are a
couple of tests comparing different languages for very simple
algorithms:

http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/index2.shtml

http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=5602

While these simple tests might not hit on some of the weaknesses of a
JIT language like Java, they do tend to indicate that the performance
for most tests isn't all that bad.
That being said, the fact remains that Java is NOT being used on Mars
today. The Java stuff the original article talked about was all
earth-based stuff. In fact, it wasn't even the thing that was getting
the data from the Mars rover, simply the component that let people
view the data after it had been received.

The code on the rover wasn't specified, but it's most likely C/C++ as
that is the primary development language for Wind River VxWorks. I'm
not even sure if that OS has Java support, though even if it did it
would be a BAD choice. Java is NOT designed with real-time operating
systems in mind. It's a fine language for what it is, but it's not
really a suitable choice for this application. Ada might actually be
the best choice, as this is the sort of thing that language was
designed for, but C/C++ is a good alternative that is widely supported
and well known.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Jul 17 '05 #14
Andrew Thompson wrote:

No, even if it were possible to make
a craft that could fly in Mars' atmosphere,
that would not be controlled by Java either
as it would violate Sun's license.


Irrelevant. If you really do see Java in space, it won't be made by Sun.

http://www.aicas.com/press/pr_12_en_24-Oct-03.html

[sci.physics deleted from X-postings]

--
Chris Gray ch***@kiffer.eu net.be

Jul 17 '05 #15
Uncle Al wrote:

Local atmospheric pressure is 7-10 torr. Earth sea level is 760
torr. How many planes do you know that cruise at 100,000 feet absent
any oxygen at all? Martian aircraft are a bad dream.


Hmm. Then the test of a Mars glider plane back in August of 2001 was
just a bad dream? ;-) Work has begun on a propellered version of the
glider cited below. Enjoy.

--mitch
----------------------------

http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2001/01_58AR.html

Michael Mewhinney Aug. 13, 2001
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
Phone: 650-604-5026 or 604-9000
jb****@mail.arc .nasa.gov or mm********@mail .arc.nasa.gov
RELEASE: 01-58AR

AMES COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL TEST OF MARS AIRPLANE PROTOTYPE

Soaring gracefully down to Earth from a balloon floating 101,000 feet high
above Oregon, a NASA prototype of an airplane that someday may fly over
Mars successfully completed a high-altitude flight test this week.

Conducted at Oregon's Tillamook airport by the Kitty Hawk 3 project at NASA
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, the test was designed to validate
the aerodynamic performance of the prototype. Nicknamed "Orville" after
one of the famed Wright brothers who first flew on Dec. 17, 1903, the NASA
731 glider was dropped from a helium-filled balloon that towed it up to an
altitude of 101,000 feet - the highest ever for such a test - before
releasing it. Engineers and scientists hailed the test as a great success.

"It was a great flight and everything went really well. It appears that we
realized all of our test objectives," exclaimed a jubilant Andy Gonzales,
an Ames aerospace engineer who served as the flight test director.
Low-altitude tests of NASA 729, another prototype called "Wilbur," were
conducted last month at Ames.

"Mars has always fascinated people," said Larry Lemke, an aerospace
engineer at NASA Ames who serves as Ames' project manager for advanced Mars
mobility concepts, which include airplanes as well as other systems.
"Every time we send a mission up there, we come back with fascinating
discoveries."

According to Lemke, a Mars airplane is an idea whose time has come. "The
Mars airplane is an idea that has been around for about 25 years, and over
the past five years or so, it has been growing in popularity," he said. "I
think a Mars airplane will play a role in exploring the Red Planet."

Conventional in appearance, the Mars airplane concept developed by Ames
engineers features a long, straight wing and twin tails in the rear. The
remote-controlled glider tested in Oregon featured an approximately
four-foot-long fuselage and an eight-foot wing span.

"The flying we have successfully completed in Oregon is very similar to the
flying that we will be doing over Mars during a productive exploration
mission," Lemke said. "One unique aspect of flying a Mars mission with an
airplane is that it must be constructed in a fold-up configuration in order
to fit inside a spacecraft."

In its future configuration for Mars, the aircraft is expected to have its
own propeller propulsion system capable of operating in the Mars
atmosphere, which is comprised mostly of carbon dioxide. It will also
carry a variety of sophisticated instruments to observe and conduct science
experiments.

"The possibility of life on Mars is a very hot topic and an interesting
question, so I'm sure you will find instruments on board that are designed
to find signs of water on Mars, which is necessary for life," Lemke said.

"In addition, we would have a large array of cameras on the airplane to be
able to see large areas of the Mars terrain in very high resolution," Lemke
said. He said the cameras aboard the aircraft would be so precise, they
could see objects on Mars as small as the size of a quarter. "I think the
images will be stunning," he said. "During a Mars airplane mission, we will
be able to view the planet at very close proximity and this will convey to
the public that there is a real planet there, not just an abstract."

"Our test flight at Tillamook airport showed the airplane's flight was very
smooth and stable which makes for a good platform for science instruments,"
said Gonzales.

Ames engineers predict the next few years will be challenging, as they
prepare for a potential mission to Mars. "We will be expanding the envelope
and developing a much more complex aircraft for exploring Mars," Lemke
said. The next step will be to develop a Mars airplane model with folding
wings and later, one with a propeller propulsion system.

-- end --

Note to Broadcasters: A video file related to this news release is
scheduled for distribution via satellite on NASA Television on August 14,
2001. Because feed times and the schedule are subject to change, please
check the NASA TV video file line-up on the web at
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/tv-advisory/nasa-tv.txt

NASA TV is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude,
with vertical polarization; frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on
6.8 megahertz. For general questions about the video file, call NASA
Headquarters, Washington, DC: Fred Brown at 202/358-0713

Jul 17 '05 #16
mitch wrote:

Uncle Al wrote:

Local atmospheric pressure is 7-10 torr. Earth sea level is 760
torr. How many planes do you know that cruise at 100,000 feet absent
any oxygen at all? Martian aircraft are a bad dream.
Hmm. Then the test of a Mars glider plane back in August of 2001 was
just a bad dream? ;-) Work has begun on a propellered version of the
glider cited below. Enjoy.

AMES COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL TEST OF MARS AIRPLANE PROTOTYPE
The empirical fact is that lowland Martian air pressure is 7-10 torr.
The is equivalent to 120,000-100,000 feet terrestrial altitude. If
the silly thing will be diddling at even 1000 ft altitude Martian, the
air will be thinner. I don't care if Hillary Ramrod Clinton left a
big warm wetspot on the chute prior to deployment. Stuff doesn't fly
that high - certainly absent oxygen in the intake.

"Ye canna break the laws of physics."

The Concorde flew at 60,000 feet and gulped air like a madman. The
U-2 did 75,000 feet, breathed air, and it was a bitch to fly. The
SR-71 Blackbird could barely do 100,000 feet while at Mach 3+ with its
cockpit windshield simmering at 620 F. It drank 8000 gallons/hr of
fuel. It breathed 6 million ft^3 of air/minute.
Soaring gracefully down to Earth from a balloon floating 101,000 feet high
above Oregon, a NASA prototype of an airplane that someday may fly over
Mars successfully completed a high-altitude flight test this week.


Yeah, right. They have an airfoil that works in vacuum. What is its
payload - one NASA decal? Learn the difference between Official Truth
and real world truth.

[snip]

--
Uncle Al
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz.pdf
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/eotvos.htm
(Do something naughty to physics)
Jul 17 '05 #17
"Uncle Al" <Un******@hate. spam.net> wrote in message
news:40******** *******@hate.sp am.net...

[SNIP]
The empirical fact is that lowland Martian air pressure is 7-10 torr.
The is equivalent to 120,000-100,000 feet terrestrial altitude. If
the silly thing will be diddling at even 1000 ft altitude Martian, the


According to that link they've tested it at over 100,000 ft
already. Cute idea, but I figure the air-ship type option
may be more robust and easier to deploy - plus if something
momentarily breaks it's less like to fall out of the sky.

Cheers,
Rupert
Jul 17 '05 #18
"Rupert Pigott" <ro*@dark-try-removing-this-boong.demon.co. uk>
wrote in message news:10******** *******@saucer. planet.gong...
| "Uncle Al" <Un******@hate. spam.net> wrote in message
| news:40******** *******@hate.sp am.net...
|
| [SNIP]
|
| > The empirical fact is that lowland Martian air pressure is
7-10 torr.
| > The is equivalent to 120,000-100,000 feet terrestrial
altitude. If
| > the silly thing will be diddling at even 1000 ft altitude
Martian, the
|
| According to that link they've tested it at over 100,000 ft
| already. Cute idea, but I figure the air-ship type option
| may be more robust and easier to deploy - plus if something
| momentarily breaks it's less like to fall out of the sky.

This topic was discussed recently on sci.space.tech.
One of the problems identified for heavier than..
atmosphere craft was the *runway length required
to take-off or land.

[ And to those that would jump in and suggest
keeping it aloft continuously, that is impractical
with sandstorms, ..even assuming you could squeeze
a 'little' RTG into it, and still get it off the ground. ]

Balloon, or better still, orbiter with a bloody
good telescope. No dust, no sand, no runways
to deal with and you can cover far more area.

* Well, of _course_ they would be using all
those really _long_ runways built on Mars
during WWII. ;-)

--
Andrew Thompson
* http://www.PhySci.org/ PhySci software suite
* http://www.1point1C.org/ 1.1C - Superluminal!
* http://www.AThompson.info/andrew/ personal site
Jul 17 '05 #19

"Tony Hill" <hi************ *@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:67******** *************** *******@news.1u senet.com...
On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 16:52:45 GMT, Jan Panteltje
<pN************ *@yahoo.com> wrote:
On a sunny day (Sat, 17 Jan 2004 10:53:34 +0100) it happened "Dalibor Hrg"<da*********@f er.hr> wrote in <bu**********@l s219.htnet.hr>:
We can say that Java is most useful language on Mars today :))) You know,the time of .NET is coming while Java has already took its place in
history. Nothing can change that, Java is simply great thing!

Java is the worst thing that could happen to computing since the
invention of the chuwing gum hard disk.
It is slow, slow, slow, slow, SLOW, and not to mention slow.
And on top of that it is slow.


You know, believe it or not, Java isn't all that slow. Here are a
couple of tests comparing different languages for very simple
algorithms:

http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/index2.shtml

http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=5602

While these simple tests might not hit on some of the weaknesses of a
JIT language like Java, they do tend to indicate that the performance
for most tests isn't all that bad.
That being said, the fact remains that Java is NOT being used on Mars
today. The Java stuff the original article talked about was all
earth-based stuff. In fact, it wasn't even the thing that was getting
the data from the Mars rover, simply the component that let people
view the data after it had been received.

The code on the rover wasn't specified, but it's most likely C/C++ as
that is the primary development language for Wind River VxWorks. I'm
not even sure if that OS has Java support, though even if it did it
would be a BAD choice. Java is NOT designed with real-time operating
systems in mind.


That is correct. However, standard Java is also not a good choice for cell
phones. You need Java Micro edition (J2ME) for this. On that note, there
is much work being done on developing a version of Java for real time
systems.

l8r, Mike N. Christoff

Jul 17 '05 #20

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