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I think NASA engineers have created a monster [rover update]

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I think NASA engineers have created a monster [rover update]

Old 11-05-04, 01:12 PM
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I think NASA engineers have created a monster [rover update]

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp.../mars_rovers_3

Mars Rovers Get Mystery Power Boost

By JOHN ANTCZAK, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - As NASA (news - web sites)'s Mars rovers keep rolling past all expectations of their useful lives, scientists have a happy mystery: For some reason one of the vehicles has actually gained power recently.



Opportunity recently experienced an unexplained rejuvenation from what can so far be described only as two or three significant "cleaning events," said Jim Erickson, the rover project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

"Now we're assuming they're cleaning, but all we can really say is that overnight the solar panels produced between 2 and 5 percent additional power immediately," he said. "We're surmising that for some reason dust is being removed from the solar panel and that's increasing the efficiency of the sunlight being converted to electricity."

The rover team has been bandying about theories, but hasn't figured out the cause.

"One favorite is that a dust devil happened to pick the vehicle to go through and go over the surface of it and clean it off a little bit," Erickson said.

Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, parachuted to opposite sides of Mars back in January, but they remain in good shape after enduring the worst of the Martian winter, which cut down on the amount of energy reaching their solar panels.

Both six-wheeled rovers have discovered geologic evidence of past water activity on the Red Planet and are continuing to send valuable data.

"We are pushing these vehicles to their very limits," said Steve Squyres, the rover principal investigator from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "In many ways they are performing better in some sense just because we've gotten better at operating them and we are in this much more challenging and geologically rich terrain."

Spirit has had several minor problems, indicating that various parts may be showing their age, Erickson said.

Spirit, having trekked nearly two miles across the flat terrain of the vast Gusev Crater region where it set down, is zigzagging up the rugged Columbia Hills and is now nearly 200 feet above the surrounding plain.

The intriguing layered rocks of the hills are much different than the plain below, and scientists are working on multiple hypotheses to explain how they formed.

The leading theory is that the rocks began as volcanic ash that fell out of the sky or moved along the ground in ash flows, and minerals inside them were subsequently altered by ground water, said Ray Arvidson, the rover deputy principal investigator from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Opportunity is nearing the end of its exploration of stadium-size Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region and may claw its way over the rim.

The rovers had available about 1,000 watt-hours a day when they arrived on Mars, but dust on their solar panels and the seasonal decrease in solar energy have limited their power, and therefore their activities.

Opportunity is now at about 820 watt-hours and remains very close to full capability. Spirit, which is in a less advantageous position to point its arrays toward the sun, has 350 to 400 watt-hours daily.
Old 11-05-04, 01:15 PM
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I wish I had the photoshop skills to draw a little green martian sweeping the solar panels in that pic. Anyone?
Old 11-05-04, 01:17 PM
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Old 11-05-04, 01:23 PM
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Who'd have thought that a fear of martians could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Old 11-05-04, 01:29 PM
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Martian Squeegee Guys!
Old 11-05-04, 01:30 PM
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Old 11-05-04, 01:43 PM
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"I am Nomad ..."

das
Old 11-05-04, 01:56 PM
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Has SkyNet become self aware yet?
Old 11-05-04, 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by wabio
Has SkyNet become self aware yet?
Didn't you see Terminator 3?!?!
SkyNet was
Spoiler:
the internet!
Old 11-05-04, 02:51 PM
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"Hideous martian creature lumbers up to rover for photo op"

Old 11-05-04, 03:15 PM
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Oh no, V'Ger is looking for the Creator again.
Old 11-05-04, 09:33 PM
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Old 11-06-04, 02:37 AM
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Old 11-06-04, 02:48 AM
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raa raa ra raaaaa raaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!
Old 11-06-04, 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by SlartyBart
Old 11-06-04, 05:21 PM
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Good stuff guys.
Old 11-07-04, 12:33 PM
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Umm, hello? What do you think the brush on the helmet is for?



Old 11-07-04, 02:01 PM
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Old 01-02-06, 06:47 PM
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They're still at it!!!!!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/0....ap/index.html

I think Energizer should drop that stupid pink bunny and sign these robots!
Old 01-02-06, 07:23 PM
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Old 01-02-06, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wabio
They're still at it!!!!!
Yeah, pretty crazy. I check in on them every month or so to see what's been going on.
Old 01-02-06, 09:54 PM
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Its a shame they dont show any of the pyramids or martian cities to the public



http://www.mactonnies.com/dmphotos.html

Last edited by enrage; 01-03-06 at 09:31 AM.
Old 01-02-06, 11:46 PM
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There are aliens on the moon!

Old 01-03-06, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
I wish I had the photoshop skills to draw a little green martian sweeping the solar panels in that pic. Anyone?
Google has yah covered coming up on the next Mars Anniversary.
Old 01-03-06, 02:15 AM
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These two golf cart-sized vehicles were only expected to last three months.
I had no idea they were so big. I always thought they were, like, go-cart size. Hmmm, I guess that's close...

Anyways, this is kind of cool.

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