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Thread: Mars rover news

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis12
    Why does the marshorizon not look shorter than here on earth?
    Mars, with a diameter of about half that of Earth, would have a horizon about the square-root-of-1/2 away, about 70%. If the horizon is 5 km on Earth for eyeballs 2 m high, it would be about 3.5 km on Mars. That's not dramatically different.

    I doubt you could notice such a difference in pictures. The apparent distance on Mars would be further influenced by different atmospheric conditions, different height of the rovers' pancams from your eyes, and a lack of recognizable depth cues given by familiar objects of known size.

    Straight answers from NASA: Earth's horizon and Mars' horizon
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  2. #32
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    interesting one.

  3. #33
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    Nice article on CNN.com about the two (Earth) year anniversary of the rovers.
    The warranty expired long ago on NASA's twin robots motoring around Mars. In two years, they have traveled a total of seven miles. Not impressed? Try keeping your car running in a climate where the average temperature is well below zero and where dust devils can reach 100 mph.

    These two golf cart-sized vehicles were only expected to last three months.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  4. #34
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    What was the topspeed of the marsrovers? And why are they driving so slow?

  5. #35
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    What is the top speed.

    They are solar powered, and controlled by AI and non-realtime commands. The solar power means little power is available to use on driving (you need energy to perform science, power the cameras to see where you're going, power the onboard computers, power your heaters etcetc), the control means that there's nobody around to quickly change route when dangers suddenly lies ahead of the wheels.

    Consider the moon rover from the apollo missions: it had precharged batteries, was used to drive and was controlled by the astronaut. (almost) All power could be used to propell the rover, and the astronaut took care of avoiding danger. Furthermore, large precharged batteries were available from which the motor could drain energy, not small solar powered batteries that need to find time to charge themselve somewhere during being drained .

    I'm sorry this explanation isn't too good, but the fact that they're solar powered, energy is needed for a lot of things and they aren't human controlled in real time limits speed.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis12
    What was the topspeed of the marsrovers? And why are they driving so slow?
    From here
    The rover has a top speed on flat hard ground of 50 mm/s (2 in/s). However, in order to ensure a safe drive, the rover is equipped with hazard avoidance software that causes the rover to stop and reassess its location every few seconds. So, over time, the vehicle achieves an average speed of 10 mm/s. The rover is programmed to drive for roughly 10 seconds, then stop to observe and understand the terrain it has driven into for 20 seconds, before moving safely onward for another 10 seconds.

  7. #37
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    The rover has a top speed on flat hard ground of 50 mm/s (2 in/s). However, in order to ensure a safe drive, the rover is equipped with hazard avoidance software that causes the rover to stop and reassess its location every few seconds. So, over time, the vehicle achieves an average speed of 10 mm/s. The rover is programmed to drive for roughly 10 seconds, then stop to observe and understand the terrain it has driven into for 20 seconds, before moving safely onward for another 10 seconds.
    10 mm/second is 0.036 kilometer/hour or 0.022 miles/hour
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  8. #38
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    Scientists relish Mars' images

    After 2 years, rovers continue to beam back data


    For two years, the Mars rovers' cameras have let us share their journey, their discoveries of past water and their struggles in the red dirt.

    Since their January 2004 landings, NASA's twin robots have sent back more than 134,000 images, which have been assembled into mosaics and movies.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  9. #39
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    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  10. #40
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    134000 images, 16GB of data, super high-res pictures, moving robots, working for 2 years, climbing hills, descending into craters, investigating fresh meteorites...

    I wonder if ProjectOrion still thinks the Viking landers were so much more potent than the twin rovers.

    **********
    What's the consensus on finding evidence of water in the past now? Recently there were some claims that there is no such conclusive evidence.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  11. #41
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    NASA Opportunity Mars Rover Image: 'Festoon' Pattern in Meridiani Outcrop

    This image from the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the best examples yet seen in Meridiani Planum outcrop rocks of well-preserved, fine-scale layering and what geologists call "cross-lamination." Opportunity acquired this image of a rock called "Overgaard" at the edge of "Erebus Crater" during the rover's 690th Martian day (Jan. 2, 2006).
    This is considered a strong sign of past water.
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas
    134000 images, 16GB of data, super high-res pictures, moving robots, working for 2 years...
    Wow. The technological feat is magnificent but this sure does illustrate how time goes by so very fast. I can't believe it has been that long already!

  13. #43
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    I am following the Mars Exploration Rovers -- and this thread! -- with interest.

    I remember jumping for joy as I watched the respective Rovers successfully land, unfold, and roll off their base stations. I can hardly believe it's been so long since these plucky robots first began their sojourn on Mars. How times flies!

    The science that the Rovers has produced is nothing if not astounding to me. Looking at the photographs beamed back to Earth, I find myself marveling that they are of an alien planet millions of miles away, and yet crystal-clear and magnificent in every way. And the fact that scientists have discovered from the Rovers' journeys strong indications that areas of Mars were once covered with a shallow, briny sea only makes me wish we could do even more to explore the Red Planet. And, if our luck holds, we may, yet. We might soon explore it in person.

    Every bit of news about the Rovers brings us knowledge of the previously unknown. But equally important is the effect that this continuing project has on many members of the public. Some people are inspired by poetry, some by music, and still others by song. Those things inspire me, too. But there is nothing quite so stirring as the realization that what we are doing now on Mars -- seeing strange places among the stars that no one in history has ever seen, almost as though we were all there -- is both the culmination of our pioneering spirit, and an evocation of the great things that may yet come to be.

    Bring on the news of what humanity has accomplished so well in the name of science. Bring on the news of Mars, and the future.

    Bravo, MER! Bravo, JPL! Bravo, NASA!

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    the orbiters have been great, Mars Odyssey, MarsExpress and MarsGlobalSurveyor
    http://themis.asu.edu/zoom-20060109a
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040124.html
    One Mars Orbiter Takes First Photos of Other Orbiters
    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pr...20050519a.html

    A lot of people use the NASA and JPL sites to check out the photos


    http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opp...CP1110L0M1.JPG
    http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/spi...WP1312L0M1.JPG

    but some fantastic pics can also be found here at the exploratorium page

  15. #45
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    The world used to get smaller due to technology, it seems like it is getting a lot bigger now
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  16. #46
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    Re: Mars rover news

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroReader
    I am following the Mars Exploration Rovers -- and this thread! -- with interest.[edit]Bravo, MER! Bravo, JPL! Bravo, NASA!
    Great post, AstroReader! I think it mirrored the ideas and feelings of a lot of us.

  17. #47
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    I think the big reason they're still rolling is the unexpected side effect of the dust devils/wind cleaning the panels off. Its been pretty remarkable how cooperative Mars has been while they've been in operation.

  18. #48
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    Indeed. I mean, what would have happened had the water risen again?
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  19. #49
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    Good summary of rover status from The Planetary Society:

    Spirit Heads to Home Plate as Opportunity Finally Roves On

    Spirit continued her hike down Husband Hill toward Home Plate and the Inner Basin of Gusev Crater this month, checking out bedrock, interesting soil patches, and rippled sand dunes along the way.
    ...
    On the other side of the planet, Opportunity finally got back to moving after suffering a “broken arm” late in November that left her at a standstill at the Olympia outcrop in Meridiani Planum until about a week and a half ago.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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  21. #51
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    When the rovers do stop operating, do you think they will recover them when we go to Mars and place them in a museum or anything? I would like that very much if they did, although it won't be in my life time.(likely)

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Star
    When the rovers do stop operating, do you think they will recover them when we go to Mars and place them in a museum or anything? I would like that very much if they did, although it won't be in my life time.(likely)
    I think they should be left where they belong.
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  23. #53
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    I think they should be left where they belong.
    yeah, i agree. samething with the voyagers, pioneers and NH (if we have technology to recover them in future)

  24. #54
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    Bountiful layering at Home Plate, seen by Spirit Navcam

    More at Exploratorium :: Spirit :: Navcam :: February 7

    A Pancam Shot of the Target-Rich Environment

    More at Exploratorium :: Spirit :: Pancam :: February 7

    It's too bad Spirit can't linger here for months of study, but before too long it has to head for the hills, out of the shadowy valley, and onto more energy-favorable slopes for the upcoming winter. I think they were planning to be at McCool hill in about 50-60 more sols.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  25. #55
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    Wow! That's some really interesting looking geology. (Marsology?) Anyhow, gorgeous rocks. It'll be interesting to see some commentary on this.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #56
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    ^
    Try "areology."

    Those are incredible rocks--check out that bedding! It could give Meridiani Planum a run for the money any day. I know Squyres is going to lose sleep over this; so many targets, so little time...

  27. #57
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    Notes from the Spirit World and the Land of Opportunity

    Late last year Spirit teamed up with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to study Mars’s atmosphere, taking an approach that was simultaneously local and global. The observations were timed to coincide with the opposition, when, from the rover's perspective, the Sun was almost exactly behind HST. At that moment, from HST’s perspective, observing conditions were optimal for determining the surface composition.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  28. #58
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    Spirit Mars Rover Reaches 'Home Plate': Formation Has Researchers Puzzled

    NASA’s Spirit Mars rover has arrived at a site dubbed "Home Plate" within Gusev crater. But what the robot found has left scientists puzzled.

    As the Mars machinery relays images of the area, the sightseeing has sparked healthy debate within the team running the mission.

    "Well, so far it has been great," said Steve Squyres, lead Mars Rover Exploration scientist at Cornell University. "It's the most spectacular layered rock we’ve ever seen at Gusev," he told SPACE.com.

    The images relayed so far by Spirit of Home Plate "really are stunning," Squyres added. "Many of us were pretty much reduced to incoherent babble…like ‘WOW!!’, ‘Holy Toledo!’ … in our emails to one another as the first good pictures were coming down."

    But, excitement aside, the real task ahead is attempting to figure out the true nature of Home Plate. "And that’s going to take a little while yet," Squyres pointed out.
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  29. #59
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    Is the speck in the "sky" in this photo an artifact or a moon (or comet/asteroid etc...)?

  30. #60
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    It's not in the right-hand image taken at the same time, so it has to be a camera artifact.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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