Honestly, it almost happened by accident that this news came the beginning of April and Cosmonautics Day. Today I will talk about how the story that began and broke more than 40 years ago, suddenly was continued today. About how simple yuzerneym VKontakte, in their own interest to Mars came to NASA. The fact that the international solidarity of scientists - not an empty phrase. And that space is closer than it seems.
We were looking for Mars 3
And we found it! Right on Mars, at the bottom of the giant crater of Ptolemy, among the barren wastelands and boulders.
About how we did it, today's story.
It all began on Habre ...
No, it started, of course, May 28 distant 1971, when Mars was launched Soviet research station Mars-3. But for me it all started Habré in late November 2012, with a half-joking
comment about NASA: «They are there old Soviet rover found ... "At that moment I was sure that all the" old rovers "have long been found, it is well known as the place of their landings. But to test your knowledge, I went to the website HiRise
and was surprised to learn that nothing was found! That is the location of all known successful devices, and they all photographed HiRise camera on the satellite NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with a detailed 30 cm per pixel. But with Feil situation is more complicated. The Americans dropped to Mars Mars Polar Lander, the Europeans - Beagle 2, USSR - Mars 6 and Mars 2 and none of this has been found, although sought. And what about the Mars-3? It turned out that he, too, has not been seen.
Our machine, which makes a phenomenal, the first ever successful landing on Mars more than 40 years ago! He proved that it is real, and it's almost done in the same sequence in which in 2012 the Americans landed Curiosity. In general, look for yourself:
( I love this video. It could in fact start and ship and shoot a movie i>)
So, Mars 3 villages successfully - is known exactly, because he started a radio program, but it is impossible without the antenna aperture. But after 14 seconds of the broadcast was cut short, leaving designers to puzzle about the causes of tripping and Space enthusiasts and Photoshop - the first ever photo of Mars.
With only it did not, what filters do not overlap, if only to play up your imagination and see it on the horizon, mountain slopes and the Martian clouds or clouds of dust from the raging storm.
But the trick is that it's part of panorama photo, and to see that perspective in which shoot camera, the frame must be rotated 90 degrees. Designed designers, photography was supposed to get here is the plan:
( This is the frame with the moon-9, in which Mars-3 is very much in common i>)
Ie if we impose on one another, it will look like this:
In general, valuable information from the surface was not transferred, the first rover has not set foot on the surface of Mars, as attached to the top of the module, but the psychological victory was achieved - planted his first machine to another planet! Cause of the shutdown has not identified. Someone suggests a corona discharge in antennas and sins of the storm, someone suspects battery. In general, the future settlers will be something to do.
Then there were other expeditions, others successes and failures, and a metal "flower" is gradually disappearing into oblivion. Generational change and the state, appeared online, Habr and VKontakte. And there was my interest in the Mars-3.
Refer to the website HiRise, I found only a snapshot of 2007 called Center of Soviet Mars 3 Landing Ellipse . It was a discovery for me, because I was so confident in the omnipotence of NASA and HIRise, I expected to see an accurate indication of where there is our station. A quick web search also returned no results. Ie it was obvious that the Mars-3 and has not been found. I downloaded a full-length shot (1, 3 GB), opened it and realized why for 5 years so no one has found a station.
Imagine the search box on the 6 to 20 kilometers circular object width of 1, 5 meters. I know that many now think that it was necessary to write a program that she would seek a station. But I think, such a search is not possible until you create artificial intelligence. Yes, the program could highlight interesting boulders of appropriate size.
But there are such objects - thousands, as near the crater from which the fan flew breed.
2 billion. Pixels, among which it is necessary to find an object 8 by 8 pixels.
Here is a fragment of the original value:
I looked at the volume of work and realized that without the collective wisdom can not do here. By the time the group of VC & quot; Curiosity - rover & quot; there were about 4 thousand. man, and I offered to members cosmic-patriotic quest: to find the Mars-3. For this, I cut a big photo of 20 strips, loaded them into the network and invited all interested to take part in the search. Recalled more than a dozen enthusiasts, they began to view the fragments and loaded into a separate album most interesting finds. It was found a lot of curious, but an exact match is not nobody showed:
According to its location and shape of the object in the lower right corner with some confidence can be called a brake cone or, in the terminology of NASA, - the heat shield. With this and Americans agreed with the caveat "best candidate we still do not find." He was found two Members Search: Zaero Ya and Aku Neko a >.
As soon as we start the search, as there are people in guglinge more sophisticated and they quickly found a link on the forum " Space News "theme, in which the user Imhotep posted image fragment, which likely depicts parachute Marsa- 3.
But we finished watching the entire field of the picture, and the most Mars-3 was never found. To test, I placed all the interesting finds on the map small scale in order to understand whether there is any connection between them. And almost all the past. Relatively coincided only parachute and brake cone, but I did not attach any importance.
Then I decided to "dance on the stove" and focus on a parachute. So I took as a basis the hypothesis that this is exactly what he is. Search problem was that I did not know at what could scatter radius design elements. So I took the materials on the American mission: Viking-1-2, Phoenix Lander, Mars Pathfinder, imposed on the landing site of Mars-3 and drew a maximum radius, which flew NASA's from his parachute. The most interesting objects I endured on a separate circuit, which places them in the example according to their position on the ground. The result was such a picture here:
( The scale is reduced. I>).
But the time and effort to find missing. Scheme I never finished, and, as it turned out, I scheduled a radius not included planting elements - our unit is "shattered" stronger US.
In my search and Martian interests I went to the Canadian scientist Phillippe Stuk ( Philip J Stooke ). At one time he was looking for (but mistakenly identified) Луноход-2 in images LRO. He suggested the most important moment that proved decisive - the direction of flight of the descent module. He said: "The flight was to the east." This will immediately cut off 50% of the unnecessary fields and concentrate the search in the optimal direction.
I have highlighted the sector, which covered four times larger radius than the American experience has shown, and proceeded methodically browse the frame. It took a couple of evenings, and, frankly, I am desperate to find anything, but simply from a desire to continue to pursue the case. When I announced a massive search, it actually has pledged that the efforts of the people will not be spent in vain (though warned that the probability of detection of extremely small ). In any case, I had to check to say with confidence "can not be found" or "Found!»
Obtained as a result - "Found!».
Originally, I was concentrating their search on the module, which was to decide on its cruciform "petals". According to him, I just identified this object. A soft landing engine, coupled to the parachute container that was discovered nearby, proved a valuable bonus. I relied on the film, and there is this item "disappears" before planting, so I was not looking for it and. In fact the final stage took place in the following sequence:
So found! But what next?
I could write about that Habré or write to the same forum "News of Cosmonautics", but there is already enough of these seekers who each hummock see Mars-3, and in each sand dune - parachute. Proof were needed.
Here again Phil helped knock. He looked my discovery, agreed that it is very interesting, and advised to allocate around a few objects, which in size and shape similar to the descent module. This should have been done in order to show that my discovery - the most convincing.
I did it, and got this sheet:
( clickable. 1 mb i>)
More specifically, there were two, but I think for example, and one is enough. The first number is very Mars-3 (the most convincing candidate). Of course, this sample is not entirely representative, since it amounts to, when I already knew the correct answer, but I tried to select the most similar. Fortunately large heaps of stones, as pictured above, in the sector of the search was not.
But this is only one argument in favor of my findings. It was necessary to find a more conclusive evidence, but to make them on their own, I could not. It was necessary to make another picture area at a different time of day, to change the character of the shadow to define the shape of objects. It was necessary to obtain information on the length of the cable that connected the parachute container and motor soft landing. Last time could not only confirm, but also to refute my conjecture, which agrees well with the критерием Popper , which must conform to all scientific theories. Length, which is observed in the image corresponds to the 4, 8 meters. If a discrepancy was found in at least a meter, the honor of the discoverer could forget.
This raises the question: how thin rope could be visible in the photographs with details of 25 cm per pixel?
If you look at the photo and Opportunity, you can see the shadow of his mast.
Although in reality, its thickness does not exceed 15 cm
Ie HiRise sees even that should not be visible.
But even a 15 cm cable itself is hard to imagine in this role, but I figured it could along namesti sand, and we see no rope, and a small ridge along it which arose under the influence of wind. Further investigation revealed that even in such assumptions is not necessary.
HiRise filmed this site only once, and the information on the length of the cable in the few open sources. The most informative source - the book & quot; Hard Road to Mars & quot; VG Perminov (incidentally published on funds NASA and in English). But there was not found the right information.
So I turned to Professor Head of the Laboratory of Comparative Planetology Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Vernadsky (Geochemistry) Александру Bazilevsky . He is mentioned on Wikipedia article on Lunokhod-2, so I thought it would be interesting and Martian theme. At first he was skeptical: & quot; need reasoning - why do you think that this object is what you think. The argument that used the one my friend: Blind, who does not see it - here is not i> & quot ;.
I have prepared a chart to display all that I "see" and I see:
And convinced yet! Of course, like any scientist, Alexander T. emphasized his doubt and always pointed in the correspondence "elements of the Mars-3, as it saw Vitaly." But it is written to the head of research group camera HiRise Альфреду McEwen .
American response was swift and unexpected for me: «We will re-image this location to see if we can learn more».
Whew! I do not know whether my illustrations were so convincing, or international authority Basilewski so high that just like that, on the first treatment NASA agreed to adjust the machine work on the Martian orbit, to shine in a place where something seemed just a boy from the Soviet Russia.
While NASA aim, Bazilevsky "infect" my discovery Arnold Selivanov , chief scientific and technical center and one of the PKC creators of Mars-3. He also quickly overcame initial skepticism and made efforts to cross-check information on their part. It was necessary to set the length of the cable on the proverbial soft landing engines. Make this could only be making his way into the bowels of NPO. Lavochkin. Since filing Selivanov this feat off one of the engineers of NGOs - Vladimir Molodtcov .
For me, in this case there was a lull: HiRise crisscrossing a Mars expanse, Vladimir - NPO Lavochkin expanses.
Trying to pull out at least some of the information available to the photos, I calculated the height of the intended module, based on the length of shadows and illumination angle. Turned 78 cm. The actual height of the Mars-3 - 75 cm (ratio of height to width in the unfolded state 1/2). Little argument in a plus, but the main evidence had to wait.
As the weeks passed, near April.
The first news came from our side, from Vladimir: & quot; The circuits connecting RDTT soft landing with parachute container, have a length of 4, 52 meters. I> & quot;
Bingo! 4, 8, Mars, 4 and 5 in the drawings. Deviation between 1 and 5 pixels. Especially visible 0 3 m times as appropriate for the engine. It was just a great gift. We hurried to share it with the Americans, and in return received the least positive news: We have a new image and are working on special noise removal and sharpening of both images i>.
After a few days and sent the finished result:
( clickable. 3 mb i>)
By the way, the picture that they have received, the quality is lower than the frame 2007, due to a higher amount of dust in the atmosphere, but the color field camera captures the module itself. However, no color information is not given to us, because if it was painted in any color, the paint would discolored under ultraviolet rays and the surface was covered with dust.
But now we can compare "was-was" and look at the field from different angles of illumination.
New pictures look even paler, and because the sun is higher in the zenith, the shadow is shorter and everything seems to be more flat.
Then we have another week to align the press release. This, incidentally, still emphasizes ethical NASA - they could quietly write myself, albeit with reference to us. However, perhaps it's just the international principles of cooperation. Unfortunately, they were not able to place the names of all who have helped me in searching the site NASA, but did so on the website NASA JPL .
Our results of operations, searches, evidence and archival excavation - the site NASA .
And now about the case: Mars 6 yet not found!
I would suggest the readers to make a contribution to the history of Soviet space exploration. One would rush the crowd on site Hirise, revise the pictures and find something suitable. But more efficient in terms of publicity, it would make the application on Android and iOs, which would allow you to view fragments of images and allocate the most interesting parts. Something like Project & quot; fourth planet & quot ;. And where they do not Habré handle such ideas? I figured that one picture 25Kpiks to give 80Kpiks 8333 600h400piks fragments. A Mars-6 have been several such frames, so that enough time. I think if you make such an application, it is useful for the search of the American Mars Polar Lander and the European Beagle 2.
In the end, than the birds in pigs to throw, it is better to look for the lost space station! I will try to draw any support from "Roscosmos" if there is generally someone thinks of publicity, or even NASA. Let us on this topic a separate branch in the comments open and discuss the details.
And, yes, none of this would have happened if it were not my employers, who called Mars and closed their eyes to the working time that I spent buried in gray field image HiRise.
PS In honor of Cosmonautics Day on April 12-13 at the Exhibition Centre (ex. ENEA) enthusiasts, the festival "Time in Space". There are many planned any activities, including, on April 13 in DC OCE will series lectures on astronomy and astronautics.