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Supreme Cmdr

Latest Mars rover report

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A friend of mine designed the navigation system on the original Mars Rover, (the one that they ran into a rock and it got stuck for a while.)

Poor Larry was freaking out, because they were calling him and trying to get info on the programming so that they could make it do what it was never designed to do. It was pretty wild stuff.

It was exciting though, to know someone who actually helped in the designing and had a piece of their stuff actually touch down and explore Mars.

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Latest news I'm sure you have all heard.

Solar panels operating at 70% efficiency due to extra dust. Running warmer than expected. Main ramp blocked due to air bag. Will use secondary ramp.

The shocker? They are like kids in a candy store. Spirit was designed to go like 900 ft ( ); Now they want to go like 2 miles to some hills. Hehe. That's funny.

I really do wish them the best.

One thing has always boggled my mind. The thing has solar panels. What is to keep it from operating indefinitely? Seriously. Give the motherboard a ten/twenty year battery so that when the main batteries give out and they can't do experiments they can still drove around and take pics. Or maybe the panels do give enough juice to run some other things.

Personally I think they ought to keep Hubble flying too. To paraphrase a colloquialism "drive it till the wheels fall off". When the instruments go bad it still has a lens right? Let universities or even grade schools use it.

Best of luck to Spirit team. I hope they achieve all their goals and the extra stuff they want.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cmdr Chavik:

One thing has always boggled my mind. The thing has solar panels. What is to keep it from operating indefinitely?

Nothing really in a utopian eviornment but we are talking about Mars here. Month long planetary dust storms, lots of rocks to crawl over adding wear and tear to it's suspension system, no magnetic field so the planet and anything on it is bombarded by solar radiation, did I mention the dust, no repair shop, no spare parts, did I mention the dust.

As you can see that's why they've given the little buggers a 90 day life span. Of course they may well indeed exceed that but there are no guarentees.

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quote:

LostInSpace countered with:

lots of rocks to crawl over adding wear and tear to it's suspension system,

It's not a dune buggy; I dooubt they are going to take it rock jumping. What is the top speed anyway? And it steers.

quote:

then added:

bombarded by solar radiation,

Ya got me there.

I'm just babbling. Ok 90 day life span for "must do" experiments then everything else is freebies. I'm just saying that with a motherboard, a BIOS, and a 20 year James Bond/Military/Nasa grade battery (and it probably already has all this, well maybe not the battery) they could do all they want then when the main rechargeable batteries give out it would boot up every morning and they could go driving around and do whatever the solar panels would allow them to do.

The only problem with this is that the panels may not have enough juice to actually drive the thing. I will admit that.

But it's a nice thought and a bang for buck kinda thing. Like I said about Hubble; Drive it till the wheels fall off.

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Maybe NASA is hoping that, after the second one lands and does its stuff, they can sell both of 'em to Tech TV and use 'em as battle bots.

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I go to NC A&T SU (http://www.ncat.edu) and a former student (who graduated) built a part for the first rover, kinda said to see that work lost for nothing.

NASA has a long relationship with A&T since Ronald McNair (another A&T grad), who sadly died in the Challenger.

NASA devotes money to A&T to help them with coming up with new ways to help them.

I'm probably not going be doing that, but I am a programmer and it could be possible. However I doubt I'll work for NASA. I'm aiming for the Air Force.

It's an amazing experience to even think something man-made has touched another planet.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cmdr Chavik:

It's not a dune buggy; I dooubt they are going to take it rock jumping. What is the top speed anyway? And it steers.

Watching CNN in the wee hours of this morning

that the rover has made it off the platform. They did mention that it's top speed is 9 mph. As for the rocks I meant fist size rocks that it would have to crawl over from time to time. I've watched on Discovery science channel an hour program that is suppose to update on the rover progress and on it Nasa has twin rovers here they use to test going over and around obstacles before doing them on Mars so they do plan on having the rover do some form of mini rock climbing and seeing the pictures of Mars that's just unavoidable.

quote:

Originally posted by Cmdr Chavik:

The only problem with this is that the panels may not have enough juice to actually drive the thing. I will admit that.

But it's a nice thought and a bang for buck kinda thing. Like I said about Hubble; Drive it till the wheels fall off.

The panels will give it enough power on their own the problem is the dust that's on the panels now cutting power down to 70% a loss of 30% power.

To lose the rover because of over dust on the solar panel would be, in my opinion, more embarassing that lossing the thing on actual landing. Someone should have put window wipers on the damn thing.

Yup you bet they will at least do that drive it till every nut and bolt decompose . Again that all depends on how cooperative the rover will be on that issue.

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quote:

Wherever Spirit goes, it will take its time getting there. The craft's top speed is about 2 inches per second, which works out to roughly one tenth of a mile, or 528 feet, per hour.

From Yahoo: Reuters article by Steve Gorman .

And CNN quoted 9 mph? Certainly more flashy.

quote:

To lose the rover because of over dust on the solar panel would be, in my opinion, more embarassing that lossing the thing on actual landing. Someone should have put window wipers on the damn thing.

Hehe. Bet they will next time.

Here is a nice article . I like the one guy's idea for sending modules to mars and having them connect robotically so that the habitat will be prebuilt for astronauts.

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Read a story today that they figured out it's the flash media. the same as in your digi camera. (they didn't say what flavor but there aren't that many)

They put it in cripple mode and are getting more out of it.

Also I went to the rover home page and found out under perfect conditions it generates 140 watts of power and needs 100 watts to drive.

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Does anyone know what OS the landers are using? They've been keeping awfully quite about it. Makes me wonder if they are using a Windows OS!!

Maybe it's Windows ME (Mars Edition). And if that's the case, be prepared for many crashes and lock ups.

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Its probably their own concoction. I think NASA also might use UNIX or NextSTEP for most of their base OS's on everything, but I haven't heard much about that for a while.

I have a funny feeling they just made their own OS.

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Guest

quote:

Originally posted by DREADA:

Found this on sci.space.science newsgroup:

quote:

This is what NASA does not want you to know, this picture was stolen by a "rebel" scientist who wants to let the World know the truth


http://www.rense.com/1.imagesF/marmart.jpg


ROFLMAO!! no longer international, now they are interplanetary.

Darn Megacorps anyway!! LOL

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Spirit much healthier now

quote:

SPIRIT RETURNS

Spirit short-circuited on Jan. 22 while preparing to grind the surface of a football shaped rock called Adirondack that lies on the floor of the massive Gusev crater where the rover landed on Jan. 3.

The problem arose after the rover's flash memory -- similar to a digital camera's memory sticks and used to store photos taken by Spirit's nine onboard cameras -- had trouble handling the large files, mission manager Jennifer Trosper said.

By Monday, the NASA team had the rover back in working order.

quote:

LostInSpace

Makes me wonder if they are using a Windows OS!!

Maybe it's Windows ME (Mars Edition).

Silly scientists. Don't they know you have to clear the cache every so often?

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Opppurtunity to research discarded heat shield

quote:

Fresh from exploring the remarkable Endurance Crater, the Opportunity rover is now rolling toward the beat up heat shield that's been sitting on Mars for nearly 11 months.

Steve Squyres, scientific Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover effort from Cornell University, said the Opportunity assessment of the heat shield offers a double-bonus.

For the scientists, it may be a chance to look at the deepest fresh hole in the ground that we'll ever see on Mars.

There's almost a "well duh!" in there. Now they go to look at it.

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Mars scientists and engineers are elated about a dust-busting blast that has struck the Spirit rover at its Gusev crater exploration site.

Turns out that a martian whirlwind - dubbed a dust devil - likely zoomed over the robot high up in the Columbia Hills. That fleeting flyby effectively cleaned Spirit's solar arrays, giving the robot a new lease on life.

"The noon solar output from the panels went from a 40 percent loss to just 7 percent," said rover science team member, Larry Crumpler,

To be fair, Jaguar reported Something cleaned Opportunity

And Lostinspace reported Rover's one year anniversary

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