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View Full Version : Discussion: Opportunity Breaks Driving Records



Fraser
2005-Mar-03, 07:16 PM
SUMMARY: Even though they're well past their warranties, the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity are acting remarkably spry. Opportunity has just wrapped up three days of hard driving, covering more distance than Spirit made in its first 70 days on Mars. It set a one-day record, reaching 177.5 metres (582 feet) on a single day. The rovers have been using their autonomous driving mode to set their own routes around obstacles without micromanagement from controllers on Earth.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/opportunity_breaks_records.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

antoniseb
2005-Mar-03, 08:33 PM
It's interesting that this news story plays it as though there's some competitive feeling between the two rover teams about total driving distance. I wonder if that reflects the reality of the labs, or whether it is a journalistic creation.

Spacemad
2005-Mar-03, 10:16 PM
We are seeing the Rovers breaking their distance records constantly which is a good thing because they are showing their versatility & endurance &, most especially, they are showing they are able to cover greater distances autonomously thus giving their controllers some respite.

I suppose there is bound to be some rivalry between the teams responsible for Spirit & Opportunity - if there weren´t, knowing human nature, it would be very strange indeed!

TuTone
2005-Mar-03, 11:50 PM
:lol: People at NASA are placing bets on which rover will travel further before their life runs out. Gooo Opportunity!! (I got $5 on it, If I win, I take money via Paypal)

Eric Vaxxine
2005-Mar-04, 01:49 PM
This says to me that all the stories about how harsh and unforgiving Mars was were unreliable and inaccurate.
How unreliable and inaccurate is the information they are feeding us with regards to water and life on Mars?


I am beginning to feel like a self elected resident skeptic? Hopefully not pariah.

dave_f
2005-Mar-05, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by Eric Vaxxine@Mar 4 2005, 08:49 AM
This says to me that all the stories about how harsh and unforgiving Mars was were unreliable and inaccurate.
How unreliable and inaccurate is the information they are feeding us with regards to water and life on Mars?


I am beginning to feel like a self elected resident skeptic? Hopefully not pariah.
Oooooooookay if Mars is so great why not move there? ;)

Mars is plenty hostile. Rovers have the advantage of being able to operate in radioactive, nearly airless, and extremely cold environments. I'm not dismissing life and liquid water on this planet outright, but I think the skepticism you're displaying is probably misplaced. :P

burmese
2005-Mar-07, 02:33 PM
While I'm sure the media is more excited about a distance competition I suspect the rover teams are always aware of the mileage each has managed. Spirit got it's licks in early, now it is Opportunity's turn and I would expect that rover to eventually get much more mileage in the long run. All of that assuming they both keep chugging along, of course. I can't imagine them having Spirit disembark from the Columbia Hills so it's long-haul days are almost certainly over.

Spacemad
2005-Mar-08, 01:24 AM
Remember that Opportunity also spent most of its first year on Mars exploring a crater so its mileage would also be lower than Spirit's. Now that Spirit is up in the hills its mileage will decrease while Opportunity is on a plain with few obstacles.