View Full Version : Discussion: Testing Strategies to Get ...

2005-May-13, 05:46 PM
SUMMARY: NASA engineers are using a duplicate version of the Mars rovers here on Earth to try and test strategies Opportunity could use to dig its way out of a sand dune. The rover bogged down during a drive on April 26, and controllers have asked it to just stay put while they work on the best way to escape. The team is experimenting with a mixture that they think mimics the composition of the sand in the dune, and hope to put what they've learned to the test next week.

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

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2005-May-13, 06:07 PM
Very interesting! And kind of funny in a way, you know... Opportunity getting bogged down, don't think you'd have this problem with a manned mission though!

2005-May-13, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by tyrie2001@May 13 2005, 06:07 PM
don't think you'd have this problem with a manned mission though!
With a manned mission, you might get this problem, but you'd be motivated to solve it faster. Currently, there's not much hurry to solve it. Opportunity is not running out of air or water (it doesn't need either). Eventually it will be summertime, and the global dust-storms will happen, potentially leaving the two rovers with dust covered solar panels, starved for power.

Also, if we had sent men to the place Opportunity is, I suspect they'd have had some trouble walking on the very soft surface, and it might not take them long to have serious health issues from the microscopic sized dust that would be everywhere. It is good that we are sending these robotic missions to Mars so that when we finally DO send humans there, we can properly equip them.

2005-May-13, 08:01 PM
Just went on a safari in 4-wheel drives through Morocco and Mauritania and wiggling the wheels back and forth was very useful in navigating through the sand. The next rover generation may need to be equipped with ladders next time and balloon, duning tires, eh? Or program avoidance of them altogether! :ph34r: