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Questions tagged [rovers]

Questions about vehicles sent to extraterrestrial bodies, generally for use in data collection.

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What was NASA's “LUROVA” Operational Thermal Computer Model analog or digital? How were capacitors used?

@GremlinWrangler's answer links to Apollo Rover Lessons Learned Applying Experiences on the Apollo Lunar Rover Project to Rovers for Future Space Exploration by Ronald A. Creel, Space and ...
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1answer
116 views

How much wax is on the Moon? (Lunar Roving Vehicles)

I found the Cody's Lab videos from Scott Manley's video as described in this answer. Browsing through I learned from the first 30 seconds of Hot Wax Bottle? that the phase change of wax was used on ...
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1answer
90 views

How does the hopping mechanism of the Minerva II rovers work?

The Minerva II rovers deployed to Ryugu by Hayabusa 2 have gotten a lot of news coverage for their hopping method of locomotion. Is there public information on exactly how this works? I seem to recall ...
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1answer
77 views

Have any systems on any Mars rovers failed (even partially) as a result of a dust storm? (besides loss of solar power)

Have any systems on any Mars rovers failed (even partially) as a result of a dust storm? There is the obvious problem of loss of solar power, but the failures there are the result of loss of power. ...
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1answer
132 views

Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?

In the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? I show an image of the hexagonal, articulated high gain antenna on the curiosity rover, as well as ...
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2answers
77 views

Has a lander/rover ever examined or photographed another mission?

Occasionally a lander or rover (manned or unmanned) will land close enough to a previous mission to enable examination or photographs of the previous mission to be taken by the new mission. What are ...
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86 views

How quickly might a Titan rover get covered in oil and dirt? Will it need windshield-wipers?

These questions and their answers address some potential aspects of a rover on Saturn's moon Titan. Titan rover survival challenges What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that ...
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What criteria was used to select potential landing sites for Hayabusa-2's rovers on Ryugu?

The NYTimes' article Hayabusa2 Prepares to Drop Rovers on Asteroid Ryugu says Sept. 19 Rock Hoppers Hayabusa2 is preparing to deploy two small rovers this week, each about 7 inches wide. Ryugu’...
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1answer
118 views

What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that didn't need heating?

In the discussion of this question it is assumed that we would need to heat the rover so that (most of) it's components were operating at temperatures much hotter than ambient (about 90K). Current ...
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243 views

Would a circular saw on one arm and a trowel on another on the Mars 2020 rover add scientific value? [closed]

Edit: I changed the question from one arm with a shovel to two arms, with one with a circular saw and the other with a trowel, some time after the first answer of @Hobbes. I did this because in his ...
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1answer
137 views

How will the Exomars rover communicate back to Earth?

I see here that the Exomars rover has only two UHF monopole antennas. Two UHF monopole antennas are used to communicate with Mars orbiters, including the Trace Gas Orbiter. Does it mean that it ...
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1answer
50 views

Is it practical for HF skywave propagation to be utilized for space exploration robot telecommand when outside of microwave/mm wave range?

Is it practical for HF skywave propagation to be utilized for space exploration robot telecommand when outside of microwave/mm wave range? Currently it appears that only the C band and UHF is used in ...
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1answer
58 views

How does the contest for naming ExoMars work?

ESA is holding a contest to collect suggestions for a proper name for what is currently referred to as the ExoMars rover mission to Mars (mission page). Apparently, Rovy McRoverface and Marsy ...
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1answer
137 views

Why not a landing platform with solar cells on the Mars 2020 rover for the helicopter scout?

In May 2018 the Mars Helicopter Scout (MHS) was approved to fly on the Mars 2020 mission. Author: NASA/JPL-Caltec. It's a solar powered helicopter drone with a mass of 1.8 kg and a coaxial rotor ...
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3answers
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What is the fastest rover that has ever traveled on the surface of an extra-terrestrial body?

What is the fastest rover currently moving on the surface of another celestial body? At what speed with our technology currently does physics restrict our speed limits on the surfaces of solar system ...
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2answers
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Differences in the design of a commercial Moon rover and a commercial Mars rover?

News in May, 2018: Spaceflight Now NASA cancels lunar rover, shifts focus to commercial moon landers Washington Post Stunning scientists, NASA’s only moon rover just got canceled Space.com NASA Kills ...
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Are there any planned non-lunar, non-Mars rovers?

I've recently noticed that all the robotic missions to other planets except for Mars were either short-lived landers, orbiters or fly-by missions. Are there any planned rovers which would actively ...
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3answers
475 views

How many memory banks does Opportunity have?

Sparked by the comments to this answer, how many memory banks does Opportunity have? I'm specially interested in the flash memory but any other info is also welcome. According to this JPL press ...
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1answer
8k views

What was NASA's “Hack” to improve Opportunity's memory in 2015? Did it help?

The transcript of the 2015 NPR podcast NASA Hopes A Hack Will Overcome Mars Rover's Memory Gap says: You know how it goes - you're getting a little older, your memory starts to go, you forget where ...
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153 views

Significance of methane on Mars

Considering the audience of this site, many of you are likely aware that NASA has found methane on Mars. I've heard many people saying that this indicates that life is significantly more likely to ...
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1answer
328 views

What would happen if the Curiosity rover “flipped over”?

Just wondering if they have contingency plans for "flipping" or if the thought process was "nobody will jeopardize the mission by climbing a steep cliff". Given the massive size of the rover, I doubt ...
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104 views

Shock absorbing alternator possible for a rover?

Could replacing a Rovers struts (maybe a faster one that uses shock dampers in the future) with magnets similar to a shack flashlight but more heavier duty work well for recouping energy from movement ...
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1answer
133 views

Is Opportunity still in shape to explore the landing site of the Schiaparelli lander?

According to one of the answers to a question concerning Opportunity, the rover has a top speed of 180 meters per hour (no reference). Based on daily performances however a reasonable speed estimate ...
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3answers
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What is a gyrocompass and how might one be be used by a planetary rover?

In comments and links therein below the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? there is mention of a gyrocompass. I am aware that gyros can be ...
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1answer
223 views

How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time?

The Curiosity rover has a compact X-band high-gain antenna (HGA) that allows for low data rate communication directly with Earth, but is used mostly for higher data rates to spacecraft orbiting Mars, ...
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1answer
104 views

What are the geological features for a save place to land in the chaos terrains on Mars? [closed]

Chaos terrains on Mars generally consist of irregular groups of large blocks, some tens of kilometers across and a hundred meters high. The tilted and flat topped blocks form depressions hundreds ...
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1answer
83 views

Radioisotope thermoelectric generator vs Solar? [duplicate]

What circumstance would a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is better to use than solar cells in space probes and rovers?
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101 views

Why is it so important to visit Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater again?

One of the proposed landing sites for the rover mission Mars 2020 are the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater, where the Spirit rover landed and has been active there from 2004 to 2010. This was a very ...
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3answers
305 views

What are the drawbacks using an intelligent bulldozer on Mars for the assistance of a rover?

Already in 2011 NASA Ames Research Center proposed a Mars mission called Red Dragon that would use a Falcon Heavy. A SpaceX 2015 estimation was 2,000-4,000 kg to the surface of Mars with a soft ...
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1answer
136 views

Does the Mars2020 lander need a new parachute design?

The EarthSky.org article Supersonic parachute test off Virginia coast March 27 and the linked YouTube video NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute: Test Flight #1 describes a recent test launched by a ...
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1answer
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What would a “water” landing on Titan be like? How viscous is the liquid?

The abstract to the recent paper Never-EVER Land - A Titan Flyer Concept is shown below. I've asked about the need for the aircraft to remain in flight continuously and land only at the end of it's ...
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1answer
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Is there any way to tell which NASA rover this “rover” might be modeled after?

In the OK Go! YouTube video linked below, there is a generic model of a planetary rover with a NASA logo on it. It has six wheels, (four on one articulated carriage) a vertical mast with a T-shape on ...
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499 views

Is it possible for Curiosity to broadcast live HD television from Mars to Earth?

Current Mars rovers collect large amounts of data and image sequences on Mars and store them in memory, and usually they then transfer the data to a spacecraft in Mars orbit for rebroadcast to Earth ...
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1answer
108 views

Microscopes in space?

There are a lot of telescopes in space (optical, radio, X-ray and Gamma-ray), but how about microscopes? Does the ISS have a general-purpose microscope? It could come in handy for failure analysis or ...
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1answer
146 views

Why doesn't the perchlorate on Mars' surface oxidize metallic meteorites?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet Report website: Curiosity:...
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1answer
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Who discovered “Egg Rock”? The Curiosity rover or people?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on Curiosity's Sol 1505, or 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet ...
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1answer
1k views

What inspired the circular panels on the Phoenix Lander and InSight rover?

The solar panels on the Phoenix Lander and InSight rover seem to take on an iconic new look of circular solar panels. As far as I could see solar panels on landers and rover took up the maximum ...
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1answer
225 views

Segways on the Moon?

Looking through NASA Johnson's Flickr I saw this photo. The complete caption is shown below. What are these? How do they work? Are those tractor wheels at the bottom? Why are they orange and so ...
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Reasons why the Lunar Rover DID NOT become “a jumble of loosely assembled broken parts on Launch”?

A number of comments and some answers at the question Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla in 100 Years? suggets the Tesla Roadster "would not survive launch... it would be a jumble of loosely assembled ...
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1answer
314 views

What was the solution to the half-amp the heater on Opportunity was drawing?

I'd recently read Roving Mars by Steven Squyres and in it he talks about how one of the heaters in the arm of the Opportunity Rover was drawing a half-amp over night and it was severely costly to it's ...
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1answer
200 views

What's the record for the longest time a deep space craft has functioned without a reboot?

The question How is Voyager 1 still operating? and the interesting comparison to the record times that Earthbound servers have run without reboot got me thinking about deep space spacecraft. I'm ...
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336 views

Are these experimental stoichiometric NiTi wire mesh wheels made from “memory alloy”? Need to run at certain temperature?

I just looked at this NASA "specials" page; https://www.nasa.gov/specials/wheels/ and watched the two videos linked below. These experimental wheels use a special stoichiometric Nickel Titanium alloy ...
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Would the lunar rovers work (again) today? What would be needed? [duplicate]

3 Apollo missions brought their lunar rovers (Lunar Roving Vehicle) LRV with them, and they remained on the moon. Some of them have broken parts, and their batteries seem to be emtpy, according to ...
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498 views

Does the Curiosity rover really have a chance of driving to the top of Mt. Sharp?

This great answer suggests the limiting high altitude to which the Curiosity rover on Mars could drive would be the top of Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons) - in the center of Gale crater. I'm wondering, is ...
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Is there any chance Mars-3's Prop-M rover deployed automatically and “roved”?

Mars-3 landed on the surface of Mars and began transmitting. It carried a Prop-M rover. The lander started transmitting from the surface but went silent about 14 seconds later. Did rover deployment ...
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Since the Prob-M Mars Rovers had a motor for locomotion, why not use wheels?

This answer mentions that the Prop-M rovers that were carried to the surface of Mars by the Mars-2 and Mars-3 missions used "skis" for propulsion, rather than wheels. Looking at the GIF below frame ...
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2answers
262 views

Which rover didn't have wheels?

The question Wheels vs. tracks for rovers and Does new technology make it advantageous to have walking rovers? ask about the possible use of treads or legs instead of wheels on rovers from a ...
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1answer
157 views

When was stereoscopic photography first used intentionally on solar system body?

I have stumbled across the fascinating page Photogrammetric Analysis Of Apollo 11 Imagery: New camera-station map with improved locations at the following website: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/...
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Are there “rover-friendly region maps” for the Moon?

Rover missions are hard - you need to put them down somewhere where they can safely drive around and measure (hopefully a variety of) interesting things. While there has been quite a laps in wheeled ...
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3k views

a “speedy” lunar rover?

Moon's synodic day is 2551443 seconds. Its circumference is 10921 km. At sustained 15.4km/hour a rover traveling along its equator would retain full sunlight at all times; at higher latitudes that ...