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Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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Have lunar (or martian) rovers exploited shadows, perhaps for terrain comprehension or obstacle avoidance?

This answer proposes that light bars would be better than a single headlight for night time navigation on the Moon because a single headlight will generate hard shadows. Considering this is exactly ...
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Do the Mars rovers have to be stationary to turn?

I saw a video of the mars rover curiosity turning in place. It seemed really stable by turning its wheels it was able to easily reorient itself even on a slope while not moving forward. This made me ...
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Could the bright spot on the image captured by Curiosity have been caused by a data transmit or storage failure?

The image above, one of a total of 21 images shot over a 4 minutes span, was captured by Curiosity on June 16,2019 or sol 2438 on Mars. Only in this image a bright spot shows up, while the next and ...
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What was the driving record of each rover on Mars in one sol, and when?

Both Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit had a top speed of 180 meters/hour on flat hard ground, but their hazard avoidance software caused them to stop every 10 seconds for 20 seconds to observe and ...
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338 views

Rover vs pathfinder vs lander?

I am confused in difference between rover and pathfinder and lander I have often read/heard all these three terms when searching/studying about Mars Although all 3 of these are parts of space craft ...
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Why does Curiosity have two images of itself on itself, or is one a QR-code?

The first image in CNN"s New images show Mars as you've never seen it before shows a partial "selfie" by the Curiosity rover which includes what looks like two images on the rover itself. The one on ...
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Why a rover bumps after landing on Mars?

Sometime ago I was watching a video which showed that when a rover lands on mars surface it will keep bumping on mars surface like a ball until it gets rid of stored energy and then it becomes static. ...
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Is there any way to land a rover on the Moon without using any thrusters?

Is there any way to land a rover on the moon without using any thruster, with the help of Thermocol, Cotton, Bubble wrap or any other packaging material, like we can receive from online shop?
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OTS rechargeable battery for a lunar rover

I've been playing around with ideas for an open source lunar rover. It's based on the Stanford Doggo (video) robot. Are there commercial off-the-shelf rechargeable batteries that might work for such ...
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1answer
127 views

Will the Rosalind Franklin (ExoMars) rover solar panels be able to clear themselves of dust by tilting?

The BBC News item 'Rosalind Franklin' Mars rover assembly completed contains a short video, and I show some screen shots below. It looks like the panels unfold twice, from two stacks of three, to six ...
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Where on Mars will China's rover land?

Inspired by this question about all the missions to Mars in 2020, where on this planet will the rover of the mission that China has planned, land and operate ?
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How did astronauts using rovers tell direction without compasses on the Moon? [duplicate]

I read that the astronauts who used Lunar rovers used heading indicators, which typically use compasses, for direction. How, on the Moon, did their equipment tell the direction of travel, presuming a ...
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Why was the LRV's speed gauge displaying metric units?

In the question Why did NASA use U.S customary units? it was basically stated in the answers that even when metric units were used "internally" (e.g. the AGC), the units presented to the astronauts ...
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Why do we not have ten small rovers on the Moon already? [closed]

We already did the develop and testing of Opportunity and Curiosity for 15 years. Why not crank out ten more, and put them on a Falcon heavy for the Moon's south pole?
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Have any lunar probes used a cold shield?

I was reading this question and wondered if there has ever been a design idea which could shield a rover from the 14 day heat and cold cycle when on the surface of the moon. I was imagining some sort ...
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How can electronics on board JWST survive the low operating temperature while it's difficult to survive lunar nights?

Compared to the temperatures encountered in lunar nights, the desired operating temperature of the James Webb Space Telescope is very low. Lunar nights are typically -170°C while the operating ...
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How would wheel attrition of MSL Curiosity play out to end of mobile mission?

Let's assume a scenario where wheel damages is what ends Curiosity's mobility on Mars. What kind of damages to the wheels would cause immobilization? For example, would a wheel collapse (i.e. become ...
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Why isn't there research to build a standard lunar, or Martian mobility platform?

While many terrestrial mobility platforms have been very successful, why are we spending millions to every rover device making it unique? Sure enough, different worlds offer different conditions, but ...
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1answer
186 views

Where exactly on Mars was Curiosity when this image was taken?

The BGR article NASA’s Curiosity rover saw something flash on Mars, and people are freaking out is one of many nearly identical clickbait articles about a recent image that contains a bright spot. ...
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How does the Mars 2020 rover's suspension and center of gravity compare to Curiosity's?

Gizmodo's NASA Put Wheels on Its Mars 2020 Rover and Holy Crap This Is Actually Happening says: The tube-like legs that support the wheels are constructed from titanium, and they’re similar to high-...
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How many motors on the new Mars 2020 rover? (and other questions)

With so many different motors on the new Mars 2020 rover, I'd like to ask if each motor programmed to operate independently or can the different motors operate in sync with each other? Also, as a ...
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119 views

Does anyone have pictures of the “lunodrom” that Russia constructed to test the first rover?

Was reading another question involving the Lunokhod missions and then I stumbled across this wikipedia page which stated: In mid-1968, at the facility KIP-10 or NIP-10 (КИП-10 or НИП-10)[3] in the ...
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Could a solar panel be modified to also collect a static charge on Mars?

I was waiting for someone to piece both of these questions together into another question. @Dragongeek was the first, Could a solar panel be modified to create a static charge while spinning to remove ...
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Which would be more prone to regolith-ice-melting issues, a rover's wheels or an astronaut's boots?

This answer to Has NASA “gone south”? Why are astronauts needed to explore the Moon's south pole? and the question What would happen if an Apollo astronaut landed on Pluto? both touch on issues of ...
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Do Mars rovers have irises? How do they safely look at the Sun?

This excellent answer by @MarkAdler to the question Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured? explains that Curiosity uses its PanCam to image the Sun's ...
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182 views

How high could a weather balloon be used on Mars without rupturing? [duplicate]

What is the maximum height could a weather balloon achieve on Mars without rupturing? Assume that the balloon is adapted for Mars' atmosphere and gravity from standard high altitude balloons used on ...
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1answer
162 views

Have the rovers on Mars encountered anything unrecognizable to geologists?

We have quite a few rovers trundling around Mars. Just from reading the popular news, I get the impression that everything encountered so far (minerals, rocks, strata, formations, structures, etc.) ...
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Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging?

In this answer I link to the Phys.org article Researcher sets eyes on Saturn's largest moon which describes the Dragonfly project, a way to explore extended areas of Titan's surface difficult to probe ...
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Pictures from Mars

How is it that NASA receives broadcasts from 300 million miles away but Sprint needs to install transmitters every 500ft for 5G wireless?
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560 views

Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured?

@ahiijny added a direct link to the Sol 5110-5114 MER B Downlink Report. These are the final days that signals were received from Opportunity. The message "Tau Value is NOT a Typographical Error" ...
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72 views

Fate of human-made objects on mars

Now that Opportunity is dead, and since there are ideas for future human missions to Mars, I wonder if there is a project to collect all our rovers and landers or at least label as historical sites ...
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What will happen to space machines if Earth is destroyed?

What will happen to rovers, satellites, and probes if Earth is destroyed? What will their behaviour be like? How long will they keep functioning? Do they have any programmed actions to take in case of ...
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Why do most space probes survive for far longer than they were designed for?

Looking back to Opportunity (Rest In Peace, little friend), it was apparently designed to operate for 90 days but it ended up going for 16 years which is approximately 64 times longer than the ...
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328 views

Is there any chance that Opportunity might still recover from the dust storm?

So, with today's announcement, Opportunity was basically declared dead When the dust storm originally engulfed Opportunity last year, mission scientists were hopeful that they might yet recover the ...
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1answer
100 views

What launch vehicle will be used for Exomars rover Rosalind Franklin?

I know that for TGO/Schiaparelli, Proton was used, but I don't know what will be for Rosalind Franklin.
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Why is Curiosity's rocker-bogie mounted in it's current configuration

In this question, it is stated that by driving Curiosity backwards they could get more mileage out of it's wheels, as the rocker bogie puts less pressure on them that way. Now, the obvious question ...
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348 views

Has Curiosity started driving backwards yet?

I'm curious if curiosity has started to drive backwards, at least occasionally, as part of an effort to reduce the rate of damage to the wheels. This has come up after writing this answer to the ...
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How did Lunokhod 1 become “lost” in 1971; in what ways did astronomers “look for it” after that?

The Smithsonian Magazine article Lost Soviet Reflector Found on the Moon says: There are actually five retroreflectors on the Moon: three placed by Apollo astronauts and two that sit atop Soviet ...
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1answer
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What can cause grooves (stairs like) features on Mars's ground that is opposite to water flow direction?

Looking at an image taken by Mars Odyssey THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) camera of an unnamed crater in Aonia Terra region I noticed what looks like grooves or ridges that resemble a stair ...
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267 views

What is a secondary thwack arm, and what gets thwacked?

@Hobbes's answer calls attention to Emily Lakdawalla's book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity : How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job which led me to reading excerpts in several Planetary Society ...
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1answer
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How exactly does Curiosity's floating bus work, and how does it continue to operate when voltage drops from 11 to only 4 volts?

@Hobbes's answer calls attention to Emily Lakdawalla's book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity : How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job which led me to reading excerpts in several Planetary Society ...
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2answers
114 views

Do moon rovers on near side need a relay communication satellite?

Wikipedia says direct communication is not possible from the far side of the moon. So I'm guessing it should be possible for the satellite to communicate directly without relay satellite from the near ...
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Why did China land a rover on the moon?

Why did China land the Chang’e-4 rover on the moon? What was it supposed to accomplish or explore?
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3answers
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Why are the rovers finding the long Lunar night difficult to overcome?

Compared to Martian nights, Lunar nights are long and cold. This has posed a lot of challenges in the past. What specific challenges does long duration night pose? What are the methods to over come? ...
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381 views

Are rovers useful on low gravity, low atmosphere bodies?

Are rovers useful for exploring low atmosphere, low gravity objects? Are there more appropriate exploratory vehicles being proposed? If I am interested in taking geological samples from a region ...
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1answer
86 views

What are the advantages to sending a person vs robotics to Mars?

Why is it needed to send a person to Mars one day when we have Rovers? What not obvious advantages do humans have in space exploration over Robotics and vise versa?
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Has anything close to video (“live” or otherwise) been shot in space from beyond the Moon?

It would be cool to see a short video clip of a rover's eye view of driving across mars. Just a few seconds even. In general, due to limitations in data storage space, bandwidth, and limited ...
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1answer
314 views

How do the Mars rovers sleep through the night on Mars?

With reference to Mark Adler's response regarding to Curiosity rover (MSL) on this great & interesting question, this statement strongly caught my attention: The rovers are designed to be ...
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1answer
129 views

How to waterproof a rover?

What changes would be needed to a late model rover to enable it to function under water? What would prevent a rover from functioning under water as is? related: https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/...
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1answer
123 views

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 ...