Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover?

1. Mar 26, 2009

SAZAR

Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

All I see are computer animations, photos and low-res low-fps black&white clips.
Can anyone point to some link where any Mars rover recorded a hi-res video?

2. Mar 26, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

It did not. More to the point, of what would it have recorded video? There isn't anything to video there!

3. Mar 26, 2009

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

If you go to www.nasa.gov you will find pictures but no videos. They have created what appears to be video by stringing sucessive stills together. An example is the sun rise on Mars.

4. Mar 28, 2009

SAZAR

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

The thing is -
1.) photos can be more easily manipulated than videos (which contain a huge number of pictures and can give you more perception of space).
2.) low-res videos (like 160x120 or less) - you can;t see details on it

One can stage it all. It's like it never landed on Mars...

5. Mar 28, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

Huh? Are you saying you think the mission was a hoax?

6. Mar 29, 2009

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

No I am not saying the mission is a hoax. To my knowledge the rovers do not have video capability. An apparent video of the Sun rising on Mars was, as stated by NASA, created using still images from Spirit. You can see this on NASA’s site.

Being able to create moving pictures from still images is nothing new. That is how the first motion pictures were produced. To my knowledge, this is still a grade school science project.

You can find this material on NASA’s website. If you go to the site and look up the technology section you will find there is no discussion of video images. All data indicate still images.

Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
7. Mar 29, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

That question was not directed at you...

8. Mar 30, 2009

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

I did not feel your question was directed at me. If my response sounded harsh, please forgive me. There are times I unwittingly use to strong of a word. This seems to be one of those times.

9. Mar 30, 2009

SAZAR

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

It could record a video of it moving across the surface of Mars, and maybe a sound of environment (the atmosphere is thin but something would be heard - at least the sound of rover's motors and other equipment).

It could record a video (and sound) of some storm - dust going around etc.

It could record a better sunrise (time-lapse video) - how color of the light changes, and shadows move on ground -- that would be more effective than an underexposed slideshow on which you can't see ground because light from the Sun is too bright.

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Those are interesting things to see.
...I mean - photos were fascinating at first - but those are just still images - and surely one would be more impressed with something which can't be manufactured here on Earth and/or our computers - something you see is vast and different and in motion. I mean - you can take a photo of some desert with some red dirt (full of aluminum or iron) and rocks, and then say "O' there's a piece of straw, let me erase it... Oh, a cactus there, darn it... and make the sky a bit different color..." then open it in 'Photo Shop' and make it -- so surely video would be more impressive than something one might MAKE TO SEE it although it isn't real - that's what I'm talking.

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They make submarines with nuclear reactors, and hundreds of tanks that can land (on Earth!) with parachutes, yet they can't send a Mars vehicle with capability to record and broadcast live video using nuclear energy source.

No. I believe those are real shots, but there's not much things about it that can make me say: yes, it can't be manufactured on Earth.

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Whole another issue: maybe they made videos (with sound even), but they don't want to show it because they are selfish or they say "Yeah, it cost us arm and a leg to get there, pay us and we'll show you, HA!"... or something.

Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
10. Mar 30, 2009

mgb_phys

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

The Mars explorers data rate direct back to the Earth by it's high gain antenna is around 10Kbits/sec, it can do 128Kbaud to the orbiter twice a day when the orbiter passes overhead.
Uncompressed 1080p is around 200M BYTES/s so it could grab a few seconds of HDTV of an non-moving scene and then spend a month relaying the data back.

11. Mar 30, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

Making video doesn't make sense. You can get much more information from hi-res stills, than from lo-res video. It would be a waste of bandwidth.

Edit: mgb was faster, and he points at exactly the same problem.

12. Mar 30, 2009

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

If the lack of video bothers you. You may want to consider some other endeavor than science. Read the following.

TAKE THIS FISH AND LOOK AT IT
Samuel H. Scudder

Most of us tend to look at things without really seeing what is there. In everyday life this lack of observation may not be noticed, but in science it would be considered a serious failing. Louis Agassiz (1807-73), the distinguished Harvard professor of natural history, knew this and used to subject his students to a rigorous but useful exercise in minute observation. One of his students was Samuel Scudder, who has left us the following account.
It was more than fifteen years ago that I entered the laboratory of Professor Agassiz, and told him I had enrolled my name in the Scientific School as a student of natural history. he asked me a few questions about my object in coming, my antecedents generally, the mode in which I afterwards proposed to use the knowledge I might acquire, and, finally, whether I wished to study any special branch. To the latter I replied that, while I wished to be well grounded in all departments of zoology, I purposed to devote myself specially to insects.
"When do you wish to begin?" he asked.
"Now," I replied.
this seemed to please him, and with an energetic "Very well!" he reached from a shelf a huge jar of specimens in yellow alcohol. "Take this fish," he said, "and look at it; we call it a haemulon; by and by I will ask what you have seen."
With that he left me, but in a moment returned with explicit instructions as to the care of the object entrusted to me.
"No man is fit to be a naturalist," said he, "who does not know how to take care of specimens."
I was to keep the fish before me in a tin tray, and occasionally moisten the surface with alcohol from the jar, always taking care to replace the stopper tightly. Those were not the days of ground-glass stoppers and elegantly shaped exhibition jars; all the old students will recall the huge neckless glass bottles with their leaky, wax-besmeared corks, half eaten by insects, and begrimed with cellar dust. Entomology was a cleaner science than icthyology, but the example of the Professor, who had unhesitatingly plunged to the bottom of the jar to produce the fish, was infectious; and though this alcohol had a "very ancient and fishlike smell," I really dared not show any aversion within these sacred precincts, and treated the alcohol as though it were pure water. Still I was conscious of a passing feeling of disappointment, for gazing at a fish did not commend itself to an ardent entomologist. My friends at home, too, were annoyed when they discovered that no amount of eau-de-Cologne would drown the perfume which haunted me like a shadow.
In ten minutes I had seen all that could be seen in that fish, and started in search of the Professor--who had, however, left the Museum; and when I returned, after lingering over some of the odd animals stored in the upper apartment, my specimen was dry all over. I dashed the fluid over the fish as if to resuscitate the beast from a fainting fit, and looked with anxiety for a return of the normal sloppy appearance. This little excitement over, nothing was to be done but to return to a steadfast gaze at my mute companion. Half an hour passes--an hour--another hour; the fish began to look loathsome. I turned it over and around; looked it in the face--ghastly; from behind, beneath, above, sideways, at a three-quarters' view--just as ghastly. I was in despair; at an early hour I concluded that lunch was necessary; so, with infinite relief, the fish was carefully replaced in the jar, and for an hour I was free.
On my return, I learned that Professor Agassiz had been at the Museum, but had gone, and would not return for several hours. My fellow-students were too busy to be disturbed by continued conversation. Slowly I drew forth that hideous fish, and with a feeling of desperation again looked at it. I might not use a magnifying-glass; instruments of all kinds were interdicted. My two hands, my two eyes, and the fish: it seemed a most limited field. I pushed my finger down its throat to feel how sharp the teeth were. I began to count the scales in the different rows, until I was convinced that that was nonsense. At last a happy thought struck me--I would draw the fish; and now with surprise I began to discover new features in the creature. Just then the Professor returned.
"That is right," said he; "a pencil is one of the best of eyes. I am glad to notice, too, that you keep your specimen wet, and your bottle corked."
With these encouraging words, he added:
"Well, what is it like?"
He listened attentively to my brief rehearsal of the structure of parts whose names were still unknowns to me: the fringed gill-arches and movable operculum; the pores of the head, fleshy lips and lidless eyes; the lateral line, the spinous fins and forked tail; the compressed and arched body. When I finished, he waited as if expecting more, and then, with an air of disappointment:
"You have not looked very carefully; why," he continued more earnestly, "you haven't even seen one of the most conspicuous features of the animal, which is a plainly before your eyes as the fish itself; look again, look again!" and he left me to my misery.
I was piqued; I was mortified. Still more of that wretched fish! But now I set myself to my tasks with a will, and discovered on new thing after another, until I saw how just the Professor's criticism had been. The afternoon passed quickly; and when, towards its close, the Professor inquired:
"Do you see it yet?"
"No," I replied, "I am certain I do not, but I see how little I was before."
"That is next best," said he, earnestly, "but I won't hear you now; put away your fish and go home; perhaps you will be ready with a better answer in the morning. I will examine you before you look at the fish."
This was disconcerting. Not only must I think of my fish all night, studying, without the object before me, what this unknown but most visible feature might be; but also, without reviewing my discoveries, I must give an exact account of them the next day. I had a bad memory; so I walked home by Charles River in a distracted state, with my two perplexities.
The cordial greeting from the Professor the next morning was reassuring; here was a man who seemed to be quite as anxious as I that I should see for myself what he saw.
"Do you perhaps mean," I asked, "that the fish has symmetrical sides with paired organs?"
His thoroughly pleased "Of course! of course!" repaid the wakeful hours of the previous night. After he had discoursed most happily and enthusiastically--as he always did--upon the importance of this point, I ventured to ask what I should do next.
"Oh, look at your fish!" he said, and left me again to my own devices. In a little more than an hour he returned, and heard my new catalogue.
"That is good, that is good!" he repeated; "but that is not all; go on"; and so for three long days he placed that fish before my eyes, forbidding me to look at anything else, or to use any artificial aid. "Look, look, look," was his repeated injunction.
This was the best entomological lesson I ever had--a lesson whose influence has extended to the details of every subsequent study; a legacy the Professor had left to me, as he has left it to many others, of inestimable value, which we could not buy, with which we cannot part.
A year afterward, some of us were amusing ourselves with chalking outlandish beasts on the Museum blackboard. We drew prancing starfishes; frogs in mortal combat; hydra-headed worms; stately crawfishes, standing on their tails, bearing aloft umbrellas; and grotesque fishes with gaping mouths and staring eyes. The Professor came in shortly after, and was as amused as any at our experiments. he looked at the fishes.
"Haemulons, every one of them," he said; "Mr. ---- drew them."
True; and to this day, if I attempt a fish, I can draw nothing but haemulons.
The fourth day, a second fish of the same group was placed beside the first, and I was bidden to point out the resemblances and differences between the two; another and another followed, until the entire family lay before me, and a whole legion of jars covered the table and surrounding shelves; the odor had become a pleasant perfume; and even now, the sight of an old, six-inch, worm-eaten cork brings fragrant memories.
The whole group of haemulons was thus brought in review; and, whether engaged upon the dissection of the internal organs, the preparation and examination of the bony framework, or the description of the various parts, Agassiz's traning in the method of observing facts and their orderly arrangement was ever accompanied by the urgent exhortation not to be content with them.
"Facts are stupid things," he would say, "until brought into connection with some general law."
At the end of eight months, it was almost with reluctance that I left these friends and turned to insects; but what I had gained by this outside experience has been of greater value than years of later investigation in my favorite groups.

My point is; What are you missing?

13. Mar 30, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

Well, the rovers average speed is 1cm/sec so you wouldn't even be able to see them moving in real-time in a video unless the camera was pointed straight down. Time lapse is all that is really needed for showing them moving.
At something like $40,000 per pound to get the equipment to Mars, I'm not sure why the sound of a whirring motor would be useful to pick up. Perhaps as one approaches, but once a dust storm hits, there isn't much to see. I'm sure they could do a sunrise time-lapse now if they wanted to. Thing is, though, the exposure issues you are talking about are probably due to the atmosphere, not the equipment limitations. On earth, you get a good half hour to an hour of interesting looking twilight, but that's because of the atmosphere. A thinner atmosphere means much less twilight and harsher, more directional lighting during the day. Technology has gotten to the point where literally anything is possible in computer animation. The purpose of the mission isn't to attempt to sway crackpots who are too nutty to be swayed anyway - the purpose is scientific research. They could, it's just that it wouldn't add much value to the mission. The pair of rovers and 4(?) years of tracking and control cost about$500 million, which is about the same as a single space shuttle launch. They got a tremendous bang for their buck.
Frankly, that's your problem, not theirs. They don't care what you believe (nor should they).
Um, no.

Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
14. Apr 1, 2009

SAZAR

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

I just thought - why should it be any problem.
All that fancy machinery and electronics, but no something as simple (yet amazing) as video recording from another world...
Odd even...

15. Apr 1, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

Naa, not so odd when you consider the goals, benefits, costs, and constraints.

16. Apr 1, 2009

mgb_phys

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

Coming soon - Hubble 3D! with Dolby surround sound

17. Apr 2, 2009

SAZAR

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

It IS odd that there is no real-time A/V recording of something as fascinating and scientifically valuable as dust storm developing on another world from ground perspective. Short recording, compressed (e.g. MPEG) and sent to Earth.

Also: why are existing time-lapse recordings in black&white?

18. Apr 2, 2009

mgb_phys

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

You generally want to avoid lossy compression like mpeg for scientific images.
If you saw a change in brightness in an image do you know if it is a real geological feature or an effect of the compression ?
Ironically JPEG was invented by Nasa to get images of minor moons back from a probe to the outer planets, but it was only necessary that an image ha an object in it or not, there was no detail in the image, JPEG is designed to conserve the total brightness in an image while losing fine detail.

I don't know the specifics of the mars rover camera but generally astronomical cameras are b+w with filters. A color camera has a filter mask over the pixels coloring groups of pixels red/green/blue so each pixel only records one color - you need to combine the signal from 3/4 pixels to get a point in the image.
Now imagine you have a star or other small object that was smaller than a pixel - it would record as a different color and a different brightness depending on which pixel it happened to hit. Instead you take an entire image through a red filter, then again through a green filter and so on - this assumes your scene isn't moving.

Alternatively you can have three separate cameras with red/green/blue filters, this is what professional TV cameras use - but it means 3x the weight and power requirements.

Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
19. Apr 2, 2009

SAZAR

Re: Is there actualy any hi-res footage made with MARS rover??

:)

OK... Well let's see what I'd need... a digital camera (OK, I already have that), a space suit with breathing equipment; water, food and all the necessities of life for the travel both ways and staying a bit on there; and a spaceship with technology to make it able to fly-off the Earth and land on it afterward, navigate through space billion kilometers (at least), land on Mars and fly off of it...

...Well, at least I have a digital camera...