The Soujourner rover operated with the Pathfinder lander, but when pathfinder's mission was declared to be completed, the rover's was too. Why?


1 Answer 1


The only way for the Soujourner rover to transmit data to Earth or receive commands from Earth was through the Pathfinder lander. If Pathfinder died, Sojourner was also essentially dead.

  • $\begingroup$ So, in theory, could a new device be sent to Mars (either an orbiter or a lander) to the last known general location of Sojourner, to take the place of the defunct Pathfinder as a transmitting relay? (Not asking if it'd be worth the effort, just if it'd be possible...) $\endgroup$ Jun 16 at 14:25
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman Not likely. The rover is almost certainly dead by now -- and almost certainly nearly useless as well. That was 25 years ago, meaning many dust storms rained dust on it. Moreover, it was very light on capability. $\endgroup$ Jun 16 at 15:28
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen Well, we could send Mark Watney to fix it (and put it to good use) :-) $\endgroup$
    – TooTea
    Jun 17 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ @TooTea, yup, just give him enough potatoes and he'll get the job done. $\endgroup$ Jun 25 at 0:56

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