Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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Rover wheel placement

Why are the center wheels of the Curiosity rover not in line with the chassis? I understand when turning, one side is in line with an arc it will make. Would the other side's wheels not be on the same ...
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3 votes
0 answers
20 views

How to obtain 3d data from MER Spirit "Planetary Data System" products/files?

TL;DR Given products available in this page, how can I get a 3d model, or at least a point cloud, or as a last chance just a suitable depth map for depth map viewer, for this image? What I tried I ...
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11 votes
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Why wasn't robotic arm used to free Spirit rover from sand trap? (and other things...)

On Sol 1892 of its mission (01/May/2009) Spirit rover stopped its travel on Mars surface due to a "sand trap", initially (optimistically) defined as "difficult terrain". I have ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is the Beagle fixable?

We have since learned that Beagle 2 failed to operate successfully, potentially because its solar panels didn't open properly. Now, a collaboration between De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and ...
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5 votes
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What modifications would be necessary to make to a Mars rover to let it land on Phobos or Deimos?

What modifications would be necessary to make to a Mars rover to let it land on Phobos or Deimos? In this question, I found out that a Mars rover would need a host of modifications to land on Phobos ...
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12 votes
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Could a Mars rover go to Phobos or Deimos instead?

Could a Mars rover go to Phobos or Deimos instead of going to Mars? The choice is made after launch, and no further modifications can be made to the rover. Could it land safely? Up to what point could ...
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1 answer
162 views

Has there ever been a dish antenna on a lander? If so, which was the first? How about rovers?

At about 04:49 in Scott Manley's January 30, 2022 video Deep Space Radiation, Black Holes And Other Questions - Episode 14 a painting by the science fiction and ...
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2 votes
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What would have to be done to Perseverance's twin rover Optimism to make it capable of a limited Mars roving mission?

A comment under If the James Web Space Telescope goes up in smoke, is there a backup? mentions that the Perseverance rover has a twin and supports that with a link. I looked, expecting to see some ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Fancy locomotion for rovers

For its upcoming ExoMars mission, ESA's rover "Rosalind Franklin" can use its wheels like legs in an insect-like gait, to walk out of deep sand that it can't drive out of. A brief video ...
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3 votes
1 answer
92 views

Long lived solar powered rovers without radioisotope heater units (like Zhurong), for use beyond Mars

The Yutu rovers use RHUs to stay warm and survive the two week long lunar nights, every other rover uses nuclear material as well (except Sojourner), but the Zhurong rover uses a novel storage-heating ...
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How many solar system bodies have had their magnetic fields directly measured?

Discussion below this post lead me to wonder: Question: How many solar system bodies have had their magnetic fields directly measured? Inferences from radio or spectroscopic observations don't count ...
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Do Curiosity and Perseverance have gyrocompasses? Has any rover had one? If so, what kind and how do they work?

There is discussion of a gyrocompass in comments on the page How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? but so far I don't think there is a hard "Yes&...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is lunar exploration going to need a whole heck of a lot of RTGs? If so, have they started firing up the RTG-making reactors yet?

The November 16, 2021 Northrop Grumman Press Release Highly specialized team to design vehicle for sustainable lunar surface mobility operations begins Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), is ...
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5 votes
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Were there backup routes planned for the Apollo LRV?

I just finished reading "A Man on the Moon" by Andrew Chaikin, an amazing read. For the missions involving the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV, Apollo 15-17), there are some mentions of astronauts ...
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Did Perseverance visit South Seítah?

This summer, Ingenuity found a track that could yield interesting science results. Has Perseverance driven down South Seítah yet? If not, has the possibility of sending Perseverance there been ...
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5 votes
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What are the maximum data capacities of the active rovers on Mars?

Many rovers have been sent to Mars and, as now, some are still working there. Does anyone know the maximum data capacity of each active rover? Curiosity Perseverance Zhurong
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where will the sample tubes on Perseverance be stocked?

Will these sample tubes stay on the rover itself? Or will they be put on the surface of Mars? This latter way does not make sense to me. Squirrel effect: how could a future rover find them? Storms on ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Why did the last two NASA rovers land in craters?

Perseverance landed in Jezero crater, Curiosity in Gale crater. Do craters have any specific properties that make them desirable landing sites for rovers?
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2 votes
1 answer
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What connection do Mars rovers use to send data to Earth?

How do Mars rovers send data back to Earth? Do they have some kind of built in WI-FI routers or is there any other connection?
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1 vote
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Moon Buggy Can Ride again? [duplicate]

we all know on the moon there are 3 Moon Buggy's. If we go back to moon again some how find one of Luna rovers from 3 in moon will it be running condition if we give some Repairs?
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8 votes
2 answers
509 views

What was it actually like driving the Lunokhod lunar rovers live from the ground? What were some of the biggest challenges?

This answer to How (the heck) did Lunokhod 2 drive, navigate and survive a ~40 kilometer drive over four months on the Moon using 1970's technology? discusses some of the technologies that made this ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Have various lunar rovers known their own position on the Moon? If so, how?

Given that there is no satellite navigation on the Moon, have lunar rovers figured out their current location on the surface of the Moon? If so, how? For the ones that have, did they send pictures ...
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9 votes
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After nine years on Mars, has anything on Curiosity broken yet?

As per Wikipedia's Curiosity (rover), it landed nine years ago today at 6 August 2012, 05:17:57 UTC. This is yet another testament to NASA spacecraft reliability. Since landing, has anything actually ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Which is currently further from their landing site: Ingenuity or Perseverance? How far away are they from each now?

Ingenuity has flown seven times now and I'm not certain but I think for at least one of the flights it traveled some distance and landed in a new site. Perseverance has done some traveling as well. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does curiosity's RTG generate neutrons as this NASA CheMin X-ray detection system webpage suggests? If so, how?

mars.nasa.gov's CheMin for Scientists (found here) says (about half-way down): Detection of X­-ray Photons by the CCD CheMin will use a 600 × 600 E2V CCD-224 frame transfer imager operated with a 600 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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In their first 100 sols which NASA Mars rover drove the furthest and which one the least?

It seems we've passed the 100 day/sol mark for Perseverance. Perseverance and Curiosity are comparable in designs but have had significantly different short term goals; Curiosity was the first of it's ...
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5 votes
2 answers
480 views

What are these details on (renderings of) the Zhurong rover's wheels?

Looking at some renderings of the CNSA Zhurong rover I noticed some curious (pun intended) details on the wheels: This Newsy Today article: In this The Conversation article: seen in some clips of ...
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why don't we send a rover to a pole of Mercury?

Mercury is among the least explored planets, despite its vicinity to Earth. Just two probes have been sent to Mercury, a third one is underway and no probe landed softly on Mercury so far, Messenger ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Has any rover dragged a magnet across any solar system body to see what gets picked up or made magnetic measurements of specific rocks or particles?

On Earth, amateur and sometimes professional scientists collect dust from the tops of buildings or mountains (see also) and separate it with a magnet to obtain meteoric material. Not all meteoric ...
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1 answer
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How cold do Curiosity's & Perseverance's appendages get at night with all those sensitive cameras and lasers?

cropped from PIA19920: Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Big Sky' Drilling Site MastCam-Z, ChemCam/SuperCam and MAHLI are optical systems and ChemCam includes a telescope and a pulsed laser, but the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
559 views

Are Perseverance's wheels really this big?

Business Insider's What is it like to drive the Perseverance rover remotely? A NASA engineer explains the challenges of piloting the vehicle's journey across Mars. includes the following: (Heather ...
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27 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why exactly do robots freeze? How could we engineer around it?

Moon and Mars rovers go through a lot of trouble to keep themselves heated to avoid "freezing to death". My question is why exactly are all these measures necessary? As in, which components ...
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2 votes
2 answers
278 views

What is inside Perseverance? Is the only scientific payload the bunch of instruments hanging from the arm?

Perseverance weighs about one ton, it is as big as a car. But what is inside the vehicle that weighs so much? Is the payload only the instruments hanging from the arm? Is all the remaining hardware (...
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3 votes
0 answers
50 views

Could a Mars rover reliably navigate using the local magnetic fields?

Mars does not have a global magnetic field which guides charged particles entering the atmosphere. Mars has multiple umbrella-shaped magnetic fields mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, which are ...
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8 votes
1 answer
721 views

Sending Mars rover to the Moon

What would happen if a Mars rover (let it be Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity or Perseverance) would be sent to the Moon instead of the Mars? Let's not deal with the landing and let's ...
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9 votes
1 answer
251 views

What are those plastic hoses on Perseverance used for?

I've been trying to find out what this plastic tube is for that got cut during descent. It's a single tube so as far as l can tell not a loop. It ends in the lower right corner of the body (in the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Perseverance drove for the first time on Mars ! (on Sol 14) Can I find somewhere how much and in what direction?

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. The image was acquired on March 6, 2021. (Sol 15) Click on the image, and then again, for a closer view. Is there an (interactive) map that shows the route the ...
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9 votes
4 answers
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Is Perseverance unable to move?

The wheels show no sign of use, there are no wheel tracks in any of the raw images, and the where-is-the-rover page shows no movement from Sol 0. Why not?
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6 votes
1 answer
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How long will the "Send Your Name to Mars" chips aboard the Mars Landers and Rovers last?

I'm talking about the Chips NASA has placed on Curiosity, InSight and Perseverance: You could enter you name on https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/future and NASA etched your name on ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What is all this about? (photo of several small cup-like structures on top of Perseverance)

I have been trying to figure out what this arrangement is for. Could it be where the mast had its 'face' buried prior to deployment? The various cups seem to fit exactly with lenses and positioning ...
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28 votes
7 answers
6k views

Curiosity and Perseverance landing - with so much dust blown everywhere, what's the point of the skycrane?

Curiosity and Perseverance were landed using the rather complex skycrane system because it would prevent the rockets from contaminating the landing site. But the video shows a great deal of dust being ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Perseverance landing and the skycrane [duplicate]

I have a question about the skycrane which helped Perseverance NASA landing. In the image below, why there is not something like fire at the mentioned exhausts (I don't know whether exhaust word is ...
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4 votes
1 answer
389 views

Download all Perseverance Raw Images

I want to make an archive of all the Raw Images Percy will make during her mission. I would love to have separate folders for each Sol. The plan is to run a script which then grabs the images from the ...
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62 votes
4 answers
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How were Perseverance's cables "cut" after touching down?

In the NASA conference today regarding Perseverance's successful landing on Mars, they talked about how you can see the cable that held the rover in this picture below (I circled the cable). I'm ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Venus probe with refrigerated electronics powered by an RTG (more like the Mars rovers)

Because of the very high surface temperatures on Venus (~450 oC) conventional semiconductor electronics will not work. Discussion of surface probes to Venus talk about using vacuum electronics, ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could a Mars surface rover/probe be made of plastic?

I wonder whether the structure of a Mars surface rover or probe could be 3D printed from plastics on Earth and then shipped to Mars for its mission. That is, 3D printed from the common materials used ...
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3 votes
1 answer
185 views

How do they make sure parachute won't fall on the rover?

Here is the picture of timeline of Perseverance (rover) landing: How do they make sure parachute won't fall on the rover?
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4 votes
1 answer
58 views

When will SuperCam examine its first target?

The Perseverance rover just landed yesterday. I'm guessing that there first are some checks to do on the rover itself before it starts to do any science, so the science instruments like SuperCam might ...
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5 votes
0 answers
232 views

Open source hardware at NASA

Given NASA has its open source software repository, I can not really find its open source hardware counterpart so I suppose such a thing does not exist. Is that true? The 3D models site (GitHub mirror?...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Will Perseverance be captured into Mars orbit before descent or would it be a direct descent into the atmosphere?

Will Perseverance be captured into Mars orbit before descent or would it be a direct descent into the atmosphere similar to an aerocapture maneuver? It would be helpful if someone could add any ...
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