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Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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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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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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Were the Lunokhod Lunar rovers remote controlled in real time?

How were the Soviet Lunochod rovers during the 1970s controlled from Earth? Did they take images on the fly and a guy with a joystick steared it around to reach targets of opportunity? Well, probably ...
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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 is a gyrocompass and how might one 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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About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power?

Curiosity, we know, has no little nuclear reactor, it has a RTG. Great! But how long will it last? For how many years will our little 1-ton friend be roaming around another planet?
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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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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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Why aren't we sending quadcopters to mars?

After watching the MARS series on National Geographic I noticed that they sent one of their crew members down a chasm to check for ice. I wondered, why they did not just take a regular commercial ...
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1answer
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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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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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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
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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2answers
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How does the Curiosity rover survive dust storms on Mars?

According to the answers to this question, a dust storm on Mars can last for many days. Dust is a serious problem for mechanical joints if they use lubrication, because it may stick to the lubricant ...
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2answers
132 views

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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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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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
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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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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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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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Can either Opportunity or Curiosity explore the state of Spirit?

If you have a rough map of Mars a picture would help, but how far away are the three big rovers on Mars from each other? Is there any possibility of "roadside assistance" on Mars to "unstick" and ...
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Curiosity is still dirty! How will the ExoMARS Rover keep its solar panels dust-free and collecting sufficient power?

update: Current events makes this question even more poignant sols 5183 to 5189, Aug. 23, 2018 - Aug. 29, 2018: Team Continues to Listen for Opportunity Curiosity selfie has been released just a few ...
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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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1answer
162 views

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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1answer
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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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Is there night photos from rovers of Mars? Specially sky of Mars with two moons [closed]

Is there night photos from curiosity or early of mars's skies. Two moon on the sky. Photos from ground. From rovers. Like this: Not a 50px white circle on the black background. Like this: But ...
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124 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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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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How much can the Mars rover Curiosity do autonomously, after four years of operation?

I was under the impression (when asking this question) that over the past four years that experience by ground operators and programmers had lead to a configuration where the Mars rover Curiosity ...
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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
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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
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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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How are composite materials most frequently or most prominently used in satellites and rovers?

I'd like to understand how composite materials (CMs) are used on satellites and rovers. Which parts are made of CMs? If there are numerous examples, then the ones which are particularly large, or ...
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Why is Curiosity so light compared to Opportunity?

Look at that: ...and now tell me how comes Opportunity weighs 530kg and Curiosity 900kg. It looks, like by volume, Curiosity is good 4x larger, if not more. Plus it contains heavyweight RTGs, its ...
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1answer
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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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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 ...