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NAVTEQ offers European astronauts complete map of Mars

 
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MikeB
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:28 am    Post subject: NAVTEQ offers European astronauts complete map of Mars Reply with quote

NAVTEQ confirms its position as a front runner and is now offering detailed and complete map data for the red planet

NAVTEQ (NYSE: NVT), a leading global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has become the first map data supplier in the world to offer data for another planet. As a result of a strategic partnership, kept secret for more than 6 years, with the European Space Research Agency (ESRA), NAVTEQ has developed, as part of the NAVMARS project, a complete range of detailed maps of the planet Mars, intended to support space research though advances in navigation.

NAVMARS - A dangerous mission and an outstanding challenge

For almost five years, including four for the journey, a six-man team made an exceptional voyage to the heart of the solar system. Comprising four NAVTEQ field researchers trained at the Baikonur centre in Kazakhstan and two experienced members of ESRA (a pilot and a co-pilot), the team spent 11 months on Mars gathering Martian map data. In parallel with the NAVTEQ mission, the ESRA team gathered and analysed soil samples to identify fossil traces.

The preparations for the NAVMARS mission took over a year. A vehicle and spacesuits were specially designed for the extra-vehicular excursions of the field researchers. The vehicle, named the NavMobile by crew members, was developed in collaboration with leading car manufacturers, all of whom participated in this challenge.

Proven techniques on Earth and on Mars

To gather the map data for Mars, NAVTEQ used a process which has proved itself on Earth: preparation and the right equipment. With this in mind, the team prepared throughout the journey in order to fully understand the special geographical features of the red planet.

The field researchers worked in teams of two and were equipped with highly accurate GPS receivers mounted on the roof and rear of their vehicle. The receivers were connected to a new-generation portable computer and software specially developed to receive the Martian data. The NAVTEQ tools were easily transported, allowing the teams to cope with all terrains and all situations. The co-pilot of the NavMobile, using a helmet fitted with a microphone, dictated the data he observed during the journey. This data was then automatically integrated into the software.

The moment I will never forget was when I had to climb Mount Olympus to describe its circumference, depth and points of interest, explains Vincent Astorri, DMO, member of the NAVMARS mission. I had never seen anything as enormous and I was the first person to see it from this angle. Before, to observe it, you had to stay in orbit!

The NavMobile

When we made our first extra-vehicular excursions, we were overcome with emotion. We were the first to set foot on Mars to measure, describe and annotate the smallest details of the planet, reveals Vincent Astorri, DMO at NAVTEQ.

The team of four NAVTEQ field researchers traversed the surface of Mars noting its smallest details for over a year. The mission started with the northern hemisphere of the planet, a large part of which lies below mean ground level, followed by the southern hemisphere, which is higher.

During its expedition, the team was able to record the surface of the planet in detail and define special attributes for astronauts, such as canyons, crevasses, different rock types, and so on.

NAVTEQs team of field researchers was amazing! Their extensive experience of terrestrial mapping allowed them to rapidly adapt to weightlessness and the special characteristics of life in space, explains Vladimir Martonacev, pilot of the NAVMARS mission. They taught us a huge amount about map-making, its value and its different applications. We are now convinced that this data will be useful to all astronauts and all the teams working on and for Mars.

NAVTEQ wants to continue its conquest of space and is already preparing a mission to Pluto, the dwarf planet. With the benefit of its Martian experience and due to the small size of the planet, NAVTEQ is hoping to reduce the mission time to 4 years (5 months mapping and 42 months for the journey). Departure for Pluto is scheduled for 1 April 2009
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UsuallyLost
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any truth in the rumour that the PGPSW team plan to take off before mid-day today to plot the positions of the Martian speed cameras?

Regards,

UL
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Stanley_Tweedle
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No they are busy doing the Crunchy Nut Lane cameras today.
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UsuallyLost wrote:
Is there any truth in the rumour that the PGPSW team plan to take off before mid-day today to plot the positions of the Martian speed cameras?

Regards,

UL
Joker


Sorted: http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=306209&highlight=operates+tuesdays#306209 Rolling Eyes
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gpssparky
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course as Europeans we should call the responsible party
Agency Research Space European
:P
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Gee-Pee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Missed this post yesterday, but truly amazed that the Europeans have beaten the US on this historic mission. Just one tiny correction, Mike, Pluto is not longer a planet having been downgraded to an asteroid or a dwarf planet, depending upon who you believe, in August last year.

I think this important error calls for a correction.

GeePee 1/4/2007 + 1 Clap
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bedbug
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has that had any effect on Pluto's Congestion Charging Scheme?
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Gee-Pee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bedbug wrote:
Has that had any effect on Pluto's Congestion Charging Scheme?


I think you will find that it was the raison d'etre for its original introduction.


(Just showing off - using a bit of Plutairian I picked up from somewhere)
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