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#326 2006-02-19 05:22:45

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

helvick updated his power-predictions...
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/inde … entry42243

Spirit's normal power generating capability will drop below 300whr per sol on Sol 865 (June 9th) and stay below that until Sol 997 (October 22). Those power levels effectively eliminate any significant mobility unless she has a very favourable location.
The worst period is from sol 919 to Sol 943 when power will be no more than 275whr per Sol unless she is oriented towards the Sun.

So IMO, chances of Spirit dying during that period are quite high, unless some magical cleaning occurs... Or if JPL dares to gamble, get it into some kind of extended very limited operations/hibernation shedule, hoping it will survive winter.

Opportunity looks good for the next winter, nowhere near the 300Whr mark.
BTW, the batteries are good for a theoretical 6 to seve years.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#327 2006-02-23 12:44:26

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Aldo made a *very nice* summary of the comments/theories re: Homeplate, as discussed on unmannedspaceflight.com: http://www.marsgeo.com/Spirit/HomePlate.htm


(yea,yea: I know, touting other discussionboards is 'bad'. But this is so good, it would be a crime to not mention it. )


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#328 2006-02-23 14:25:47

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Aldo made a *very nice* summary of the comments/theories re: Homeplate, as discussed on unmannedspaceflight.com: http://www.marsgeo.com/Spirit/HomePlate.htm

Thanks for the link, yes it's very readable. Mars will keep us busy for a long long time and we're not even there yet.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#329 2006-02-23 15:08:42

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Aldo's site is a great site overall, I keep coming back to it, the guy's doing an amazingly good job.

JPL should hire him to synthesize their stuff.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#330 2006-03-11 07:56:56

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

New face on Mars?  wink

*Also contains link to special report about the MERs at article's bottom.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#331 2006-03-11 08:40:27

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Okay...

I've had it.

That's the *VERY* last time I wil EVER visit space.com.com.com.com's script-laden, monstruosity of a site.
How dare those stinking fucktards link a NASA pic to an ad? Isn't it enough they have the guts to 'offer' desktop pictures with their fugly logo added?

Stuff like this makes me soooooo mad....

(And then I'm not even commenting on the popups (long live the popupblocking abilities of modern browsers.) the scripts, blaring ads and gazillion ad-related cookies they try to ram through one's throath, Ugh.

Obnoxious assholes.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#332 2006-03-17 18:43:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Back on topic it will be winter soon [url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11878414/from/RS.3/]It’s ‘drive or die’ time for Mars rover
After exploring enigmatic Home Plate, Spirit robot must ride out winter[/url] can they make it though another????

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#333 2006-03-18 13:08:55

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

*In conjunction with SpaceNut's post:

Read me

One of the six wheels on the Mars rover Spirit has stopped working and the solar-powered robot must propel itself up a slope to catch enough sunshine to keep operating, NASA said Friday.

The right front wheel previously had an episode of balkiness but this week the motor that turns the wheel stopped working

Not drawing any current.

Spirit is trying to reach a position where it can get as much sunlight as possible during winter. But while the point of minimum sunshine is more than 100 days away, there already is only enough to power about one hour of driving on flat ground per day, JPL said.

The rover was 390 feet from a spot on the north-facing side of a feature called McCool Hill on Friday, where it could spend the southern-hemisphere winter with its solar panels angled toward the sun, JPL said.

The solar panels have been producing 15 percent less electricity since February and are at less than half of their output during summer. JPL said Spirit would make about 40 feet a day under the current conditions.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#334 2006-03-19 22:06:25

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Lets just park it over here on "McCool Hill" sounds ok if you were already there with hop along lol (Spirt) but hopefully it can and will make it to survive another year...

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Status: 16 March 2006

Spirit continued to make progress toward "McCool Hill" despite a reduction in solar energy and problems with the right front wheel. The team plans to have the rover spend the winter on the hill's north-facing slopes, where the tilt toward the sun would help maximize daily output by the solar panels. Engineers conducted tests on sols 781 and 782 (March 15 and 16, 2006) on a testbed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as remotely on Spirit. Further analysis is needed to determine what caused the right front actuator to stop working. Meanwhile, the operations team has successfully commanded Spirit to drive using only 5 wheels. Engineers plan to have Spirit continue driving backward with five healthy wheels while dragging the right front wheel.

2F195787507EFFAQ67P1209L0Ms.jpg

Really shows how much it is dragging...

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#335 2006-04-07 13:13:15

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Spirit isn't going to make it to McCool Hill.

They have redirected the rover to a closer slope due to an impassable patch of sand between Spirit and McCool.  It's still 20 meters, though.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#336 2006-04-07 13:29:13

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Yeah.

I've been following its painful limping for some time, and it's heart-searing...
How hard the little rover has to fightto get to a good spot, racing on five wheels against time.

Well...

Racing is exactly the thing it isn't capable of anymore... .
That getting mired in that pool of dust didn't help either,
Spirit now down to about one hour activity per sol, and around 10 meters (about 30 feet) travel a day sad

And the coldest-shortest days are still about 100 days off, sigh...

II's like watching a wounded, dying animal, hauling its own broken body to a place to rest.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#337 2006-04-13 12:39:08

Julius Caeser
Member
From: Malta
Registered: 2004-03-25
Posts: 105

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

From orbital pics of Victoria crater at Meridiani,I am tempted to say that it wont be an easy task for Opportunity rover to get to the crater given the lack of outcrops in its final approach to Victoria.It seems like it could almost be another purgatory dune field surrounding Victoria.Hope not!Also,there is not much evidence of layered outcrops within the crater walls like in Endurance crater.It more looks like  it could be another Bonneville to me! :?

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#338 2006-05-31 09:57:30

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity is stuck in another patch of powder.  It's not dug in as deeply this time, and they anticipate having it out in a few days.  However, this patch was encountered in a trough between dunes, not piled up like before. 

I was expecting this would happen, and it will give us a second look at this type of feature.  The wheel trenches are displaying the same sharp edges and minimal debris ejection as we saw the last time Oppy got stuck. 

I hope the rover team spends more time on soil targets this time.  (I also hope we start seeing fog from the water source I suspect is there, too, but we can't have everything... can we?)


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#339 2006-05-31 10:57:40

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

(I also hope we start seeing fog from the water source I suspect is there, too, but we can't have everything... can we?)

Why should a water source be associated with these "wheel-embedding hazards"?


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#340 2006-06-05 08:17:21

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

(I also hope we start seeing fog from the water source I suspect is there, too, but we can't have everything... can we?)

Why should a water source be associated with these "wheel-embedding hazards"?

I've discussed the idea earlier in this thread, on pages 6 through 10. I've also got some comments in this thread on a similar deposit discovered by the Spirit rover.  (Takes a while to dig them out, though.)

My reasoning regarding the Purgatory dune deposit being an indication of water comes down to three speculations: 

1. The process that created the purgatory dune deposit probably involved freeze drying.  (This explains why Opportunity displaced so little dust digging itself in; and why simply using a fine - but loose - powder as a soil simulant was only adequate for modelling the rover's ability to dig itself out, not its tendency to dig itself in.)

2. Dust deposition patterns indicate that the high albedo duricrust patches observed around Purgatory Dune are very recent - possibly younger than a year, certainly less than a decade.  Examinion of other soil targets using the microscopic imager indicates that they would likely have filled in otherwise.

3. The pattern of cracking in those high albedo duricrust patches indicates outgassing.

It's all speculation at this point.  But I'll keep watching.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#341 2006-06-06 17:32:09

RedStreak
Member
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Yeah.

I've been following its painful limping for some time, and it's heart-searing...
How hard the little rover has to fightto get to a good spot, racing on five wheels against time.

II's like watching a wounded, dying animal, hauling its own broken body to a place to rest.

:?  Space-enthusiasm aside you realize you're talking about a mechanical million-dollar wind-up toy?

Spirit and Opportunity both had a decent run and both have found some evidence of water, their objective.  I was thrilled both landed and rolled farther than any probe before and demonstrated abilities that, likely, only a human geologist will exceed.

If they conk they conk out, but at least its encouraging to know their warranties were quite good.

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#342 2006-06-06 23:25:42

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

I've been following these rovers day by day since day one. They have become part of my world. I spend at least 30 minutes a day looking at the imagery coming down, via the excellent-stunning Midnight Mars Browser. (http://midnightmarsbrowser.blogspot.com/ ) The first months that were several hours a day, including missing classes to 'wait up' if I knew something special was being sent down. (I'm 36)

For me they've become much much more than 'mechanical million-dollar wind-up toys', they've become a set of new eyes. I even feel strangely offended by your remark. You make it sound as if you don't care for the technological marvels these machines are and the wonderful effort people put into this awesome mission that made this happen.

BTW: if you ever visit unmannedspaceflight.com, and would say the same thing there, I bet a lot of people there would be really really upset by such a remark, heh.

Of course I understand your comment in the vein that humans would be much more worthwile on Mars, and I fully, utterly agree, it's just that I'm a total incurable  Mars junkie, and this is the closest we'll get for awhile, so I really value these remarkable rovers...


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#343 2006-06-07 04:17:40

RedStreak
Member
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

For me they've become much much more than 'mechanical million-dollar wind-up toys', they've become a set of new eyes. I even feel strangely offended by your remark. You make it sound as if you don't care for the technological marvels these machines are and the wonderful effort people put into this awesome mission that made this happen.

Of course I understand your comment in the vein that humans would be much more worthwile on Mars, and I fully, utterly agree, it's just that I'm a total incurable  Mars junkie, and this is the closest we'll get for awhile, so I really value these remarkable rovers...

Don't worry - I didn't intend offense; just a quick reality check.  wink

No problem with the Mars junkie thing.  Same with be although I looking into all the space stuff.

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#344 2006-06-07 06:25:17

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

No offence taken, *TWITCH*
I don't take such stuff personally *AXE_WIELD*

So don't worry  :evil:


( wink )


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#345 2006-09-06 22:18:10

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Yes Opportunity is almost at Victoria crater ... any sol now expect yet more stunning images ... overview of Oppy's status and journey

"We have a fully functional vehicle with all the instruments working. We're ready to hit Victoria with everything we've got," said Byron Jones, a rover mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#346 2006-09-07 01:44:33

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

And spirit experienced a software reset. Apparently they thasked the poor thing with too much stuff at the same time...


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#347 2006-09-12 02:42:41

Stu
Member
From: Kendal, Cumbria, England
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 318
Website

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

While we're waiting to actually look over the edge... "Victoria"

http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVe … ctoria/573

smile


Stuart Atkinson

Skywatching Blog: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/Cumbrian-Sky

Astronomical poetry, including mars rover poems: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVerse

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#348 2006-09-16 06:54:27

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

In a 15 Sep 2006 radio interview (7MB) Steve Squyres talks about the current status of the rovers. He says that the highly awaited arrival of Oppy at the rim of Victoria will not happen for a week or two because of software updates ... huh?


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#349 2006-09-27 07:15:28

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity is edging closer to Victoria Crater.  We should be peering in over Duck Bay within the next couple of weeks.

There are already a few features of interest in the panoramic camera images.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#350 2006-09-27 07:46:57

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

1N212612143EFF76EKP0673L0M1.JPG
Opportunity image of the inside of Victoria crater, taken today.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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