Phoenix Lander

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by jparenti, May 25, 2008.

  1. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    As you may already know, the Phoenix Mars lander is set to touch down later today. I was surprised that a card model of the spacecraft wasn't released, as NASA had previously released models of other Mars spacecraft, such as the Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander.
    Well, the lander itself may not be available (yet), but the cruise configuration is. The failed Mars Polar Lander used the same basic equipment design as the Phoenix mission.
    Mars Polar Lander 1/24 Scale Model
    If you build it without the Deep Space 2 probes, it's the same spacecraft. :thumb: I'm planning on building one and modifying it slightly with thermal blankets and such. I'll post a build pic when I'm through.
    Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for the lander. Maybe it'll turn up eventually... :mrgreen:
  2. Patty

    Patty King of Swaziland

    Even though some of the technology is somewhat similar, their missions are fairly different. The landers also look different and have different mission objectives. By the way, the lander landed safely. It would be nice if somebody (Ton, perhaps?) designed a Phoenix Lander.
  3. Niels

    Niels Member

  4. Patty

    Patty King of Swaziland

    The site does not appear to be up.
  5. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Simple Phoenix Mars Lander Model

    Hi Niels,

    Thanks for the tip. I got the model - although very simple and basic (intended for balloon powered flight and descent!), Version 1 is the more elaborate model.
    I have printed it in regular size and will build it later this evening. It will be fun to try a descent with a small inflated balloon - check out the YouTube video link!

    Bengt :thumb:

    Yesterday - the third successful jet propulsion soft landing on Mars in over thirty years:

  6. falcon68

    falcon68 New Member

  7. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Simple Phoenix Mars Lander Model

    Hi all,
    Hi falcon68,

    The Phoenix lander model in your link above is the same model as in Niels´ link, by the same model designer - Steve Widmark, although the colors are a bit different. It struck me that it would be possible to do a 'kit-bash' model, selecting the colored parts that you like best in both models - I have done this before, with Erik te Groen´s excellent Mars Rover model and Ton Noteboom´s improvements and variations of this model.

    Yesterday evening, I started cutting out the little Phoenix lander model - this is what the parts look like (there aren´t many):


    I have scored all the parts on the backside, to prevent the printed surface from cracking and chipping. I do this a lot these days and it has improved the overall look of my recent models. Furthermore, you don´t have to color the folded edges, which speeds up the process.

    Here is a close-up of the lander´s three 'legs' or landing gear - I did multiple scores on the backside with an old ball point pen, to get a nicely rounded shape. I plan to strengthen the legs further, by CA-glueing round wooden tooth picks on the back side - this will also add some weight to the legs and, hopefully, improve landing characteristics when it is used with a balloon. I have got to try that!


    I think I will print out the other model, too (the one in falcon68's link) and see what parts can be combined for a good overall appearance. More photos later this evening!

    All the best from Stockholm,
    Bengt :thumb:
  8. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

    Space Modelers Yahoo Group

    I just found this Phoenix Files folder at Space Modelers Yahoo Group provided by Robspace45. In the folder, between many pictures and diagrams there are the .pdf original files of the unlucky 98 Mars Polar Lander. And here Ton's has just posted the Orion's Round Solar Array that you can fit at the correct scale.

    I hope that this can help You.

    Best Nando :mrgreen:
  9. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Looks like you're off to a great start, Bengt. That's a good idea about mixing-and-matching the kit parts.

    I've got the Mars Polar Lander kit offered by Spacecraft International (you can check it out here: Mars Polar Lander Kit and I'm planning on adding some tweaks, i.e., making the necessary scientific equipment changes, adding the UltraFlex Solar Arrays, etc.

    With all these kits available and some real things happening in space exploration, it's an exciting time to be a card modeler....
  10. Patty

    Patty King of Swaziland

    Thanks for the find, looks to be a nice build.
  11. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    Hmm... anyone know what scale the lander model is in? I think I may try modifying it to fold up and fit inside my aeroshell. :twisted: I'd also like to scratchbuild some of the boxes on the science deck to represent some of the instruments.
    I've got Ton's Orion model, so I'll figure out how to scale that for the Phoenix lander. I really want to do the whole spacecraft, from cruise stage to lander. We'll see if I can make it work... :mrgreen:
  12. aphelion16

    aphelion16 Member

    Mars Polar Lander, the aeroshell and several other Mars orbiters were in 1:24. Im building the Mars Odessey to go with my Phoenix, it acts as a radio relay since Phoenix cant communicate directly with Earth.
    Im also thinking about pulling my Mars Recon Orbiter out of the on hold drawer.
    With a few small mods the super detailed Delta II, in 1:72 scale, from Phillipus Landsbergen makes an excellent Phoenix launch vehicle. Phoenix was Delta #325 I believe.
    Consequently my work area has a very Martian look to it. One of my cats was intrigued enough to step on a prototype of the lander backshell. Now they go in a box at night, ( the parts, not the cats ! ).
    Does anybody have any suggestions for how to make the lander parachutes, inflated and post landing. I cant seem to make anything even close.
    Hopefully I can have some pics up in a day or two.
  13. dhanners

    dhanners Member

  14. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Phoenix Lander Martian Panorama Photo

    Hi all,

    Yesterday, the Phoenix lander took this amazing black & white panorama photo of itself in the glaring Martian sunshine. The original image is a 360° panorama but I have taken the liberty of cropping it somewhat on the sides for this post. This is an excellent photo for further detailing of Phoenix lander models. You can clearly see what the elongated protective 'coffin' for the robotic arm looks like, as well as other scientific instruments. The photo also shows both solar arrays in position and you can clearly see where they were originally folded before extraction. Go to the NASA Phoenix site for a remarkable hi-resolution image of the full Martian arctic panorama and all the tiny little details of the Phoenix lander: NASA - Sweeping Martian Plains

    Bengt :thumb:

    NASA image (partly cropped):

    PS. Yesterday, I was doing some outdoor large format photography, so I wasn´t able to continue with the lander model. I hope to have some time later this evening to do a 'kit-bash' assembly - I have 'borrowed' some parts from the 'older' version of the model, such as the tanks (which are represented as discs) and some other parts, which can be used on top of the model to simulate a 3-D effect. Adding small 'globes' wrapped in thin gold foil for the two tanks would be a great addition . . .
  15. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    First I would like to say that the model looks good and the mods being done and proposed seem good too. Looks like a lot of fun with the balloon.

    Since the actual mission has been discussed I would like to point the folks here to some interesting websites where you can manipulate the photos coming from the lander to get them to be 3D anaglyphs, which are those photos you can view through those red and blue lensed glasses to get a 3D image.

    The first is a NASA website and explains the process using two photos of the same scene taken at slightly different positions and Photo Shop. I am not sure which version of Photo Shop.
    NASA 3D Anaglyphs and Photo Shop - two photos

    The next shows how to use two photos of the same scene taken at slightly different positions and Paint Shop Pro 7. The commands should be transferrable to other versions of PSP.
    PSP7 Anaglyphs - one photo

    The last one uses Paint Shop Pro 5 and shows how to manipulate one photograph to get the 3D image. It does not work as good as the other two where two photos are used, but you can get some interesting results.
    PSP5 Anaglyphs - one photo

    I have used the PSP techniques on photos fro NASA and some I have taken myself and the results are neat. :)
  16. Patty

    Patty King of Swaziland

    Well i dont think this is relevant to cardmodeling, BUT, since this is on the Phoenix lander, NASA thinks there is permafrost underneather the lander, probably containing frozen water. There also appears to be a short circuit in the lander, but it shouldn't cause many problems.
  17. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    Apparently they knew about the short circuit ahead of time. They know what causes it and how to avoid it, so I hope they're able to get some ice scraped up soon! Wouldn't it be great if they landed right on a patch of ice? :)

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