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Thread: Mars rover news

  1. #1
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    Mars rover news

    Mars rover bids farewell to Husband Hill

    The Mars rover Spirit is heading downhill after spending over a month on top of Husband Hill.
    ...
    Spirit will now carefully make its way down the hill via Haskin Ridge. But images beamed back to Earth reveal a fairly steep path. Spirit will have to traverse back and forth across the slope in order to get down this way. Controllers will send Spirit part of the way down to get a better look before making a final decision.
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    Wow!

    How many years will these things go? Energizer batteries perhaps? This is quite possibly the most successful mission NASA has ever had in remote robotics.

    Incredible.

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    The engineering folks are trying to do some sort of extrapolation on how long Spirit might live if there were no sudden catastrophic failures, and it just “wore out”. They have come up with a 25% chance that it might live 6 years at the current “wear rate”. The general talk is “several years” of life at any rate. The main point is that as long as the wheels turn, the mission will continue to be funded.
    From here.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinito
    Energizer batteries perhaps?

    Incredible.
    They should have built them to look like bunny rabbits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    The engineering folks are trying to do some sort of extrapolation on how long Spirit might live if there were no sudden catastrophic failures, and it just “wore out”. They have come up with a 25% chance that it might live 6 years at the current “wear rate”. The general talk is “several years” of life at any rate. The main point is that as long as the wheels turn, the mission will continue to be funded.
    That is truely amazing and I don't think NASA gets enough credit for what an amazing piece of engineering that is.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Airbags

    I was kind of surprised (laughed at) that they actually used airbags to "soften" the landing . . . but it actually was pretty ingenious indeed.

    Go NASA!

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    Well they better make sure that wherever they go there those handy martian tornados to keep the panels clean or it could come to a screeching halt one day. I was wanting to get one of these babies down in that huge canyon one day but I think now the dust devils have to be taken into concideration. (At least I think that's still the current theory.)

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift
    That is truely amazing and I don't think NASA gets enough credit for what an amazing piece of engineering that is.
    JPL

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    NASA's Spirit Rover Descends From Martian Hilltop

    After nearly one year of rolling and scrambling up Husband Hill, NASA’s Mars rover Spirit is headed back down towards new and rocky pastures.



    The rover is making its way down Husband’s slopes toward a basin to the south, where a science target known as “Home Plate” awaits.



    “It is a big step,” said Steve Squyres, principal investigator of the rover’s science mission at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “We’ve really switched gears.”
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  10. #10
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    The general talk is “several years” of life at any rate. The main point is that as long as the wheels turn, the mission will continue to be funded.
    I would hope that as long as they can receive data they should continue. Now obviously if the rover becomes immobile, there will be quite a bit less science that can be done. But some can still be done. Certainly observations of weather and if anything changes over time can be done. Take a few observations and transmit them every couple of weeks or so.

    Of course, that would only make sense. But given the ax given to other older probes...

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    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    Any chase they will get caught in that big dust storm?

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    NASA Mars Spirit Rover "Everest" Panorama

    If a human with perfect vision donned a spacesuit and stepped onto the martian surface, the view would be as clear as this sweeping panorama taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. That's because the rover's panoramic camera has the equivalent of 20-20 vision. Earthlings can take a virtual tour of the scenery by zooming in on their computer screens many times to get a closer look at, say, a rock outcrop or a sand drift, without losing any detail. This level of clarity is unequaled in the history of Mars exploration.
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    Meet the First Woman to Drive on Mars!

    If it weren't for severe motion sickness, Dr. Ashley Stroupe might already have several space shuttle flights under her belt. The child of a NASA engineer, Stroupe devoured all things space-related during her childhood. Her higher education path literally led to the stars; astronomy was her first choice as an undergraduate, but the solitude of that profession lost out to the lure of robotics, where she would have the opportunity to help build and operate spacecraft that might one day visit the planets she studied through telescopes.
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    'Mars-shine'



    Recently, Spirit observed a "lunar" eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a "Phobal" eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow.
    Labeled image:

    Phobos "lunar" eclipse

    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

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    I remember a thread back when BABB was independent that someone said to me there was no chance that Spirit or Opportunity would make it to two years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler
    I remember a thread back when BABB was independent that someone said to me there was no chance that Spirit or Opportunity would make it to two years.
    I think most have been a bit surprised. But sometimes one wants to be surprised.

    It has been suggested thta those engineers pulled off a "Scotty".

    (Think of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with Scotty where he admitted to giving exagerated estimates of how long things would take to fix in order to keep up a reputation of being a miracle worker.)

    For the record I think that there is no chance that Spirit or Opportunity will make it to 20 years.

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    Ninety days was just the minimum amount of time to accomplish the basic science objectives. Anything else was just gravy, and we're getting alot of gravy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001
    great picture from the MER !!

  20. #20
    The chances are low of being able to do it, but it would sure be neat for one of the rovers to capture entry of the next mars lander in a picture. That's be a first -- the entry of a planetary lander from the ground.

    But you wouldn't want it to land near where the rovers are. Too much Mars we have to explore still.

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    NASA Rover Helps Reveal Possible Secrets Of Martian Life

    Life may have had a tough time getting started in the ancient environment that left its mark in the Martian rock layers examined by NASA's Opportunity rover. The most thorough analysis yet of the rover's discoveries reveals the challenges life may have faced in the harsh Martian environment.

    "This is the most significant set of papers our team has published," said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He is principal investigator for the science instruments on Opportunity and its twin rover, Spirit. The lengthy reports reflect more thorough analysis of Opportunity's findings than earlier papers.
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    Here's a bit of description of the Rio Tinto mentioned in the article, and details on some of the microorganisms found there.

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    A Jekyll-and-Hyde View of Mars

    Nearly two years after NASA's twin rovers parachuted to Mars, a Jekyll-and-Hyde picture is emerging about the planet's past and whether it could have supported life.

    Both Spirit and Opportunity uncovered geologic evidence of a wet past, a sign that ancient Mars may have been hospitable to life. But new findings reveal the Red Planet was also once such a hostile place that the environment may have prevented life from developing.

    "For much of its history, it was a very forbidding place,'' said mission principal investigator Steven Squyres of Cornell University.
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  24. #24
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    If we do not find evidence of life ever on Mars, Mars may still be a very interesting data point. It may give us the lower limit, so to speak, that is, it was just too dry or not wet long enough for life to form. So, the other places in the universe to look have to be more "Earth-like" than Mars.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  26. #26
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    Anyone been to the Rover site recently? The new panorama from Spirit is IMHO the best so far, at giving you the impression of 'being there'. The combination of foreground, middle distance and objects on the horizone make it easier to relate the view to the only other planet we can know.
    See: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...A597R1_br2.jpg
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001
    Is it too late to ask Santa for one!
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Why does the marshorizon not look shorter than here on earth? If a planet is much smaller than earth,and mars is smaller ,i dont know how much smaller,then the horizon on the surface must look much closer than on earth,but i dont see that on the beautiful marspanorama. Why?

  29. #29
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    well, Mars does have a thinner atmosphere than we have here on earth. and certainly less pollution of various types, so we can probably see about as far on Mars as we can on earth.
    or something like that.

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    mars ice caps never melts ?

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