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Questions tagged [rovers]

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

14
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1answer
319 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 ...
9
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1answer
216 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 ...
7
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1answer
395 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 ...
2
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0answers
107 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
645 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 ...
5
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1answer
252 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
121 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
277 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 ...
2
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3answers
207 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/...
2
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0answers
69 views

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 ...
14
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3answers
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 ...
8
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1answer
274 views

With the correct antenna and transmitter, could the Sojourner rover be reactivated?

The Sojourner rover was deployed as part of the Mars Pathfinder mission. At the end of the mission, the Sojourner rover was still operable. But the base station that the Mars Pathfinder carried failed....
1
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3answers
394 views

Why don't signals from rovers on Mars get lost on the long trip to Earth? [duplicate]

I read that there is a satellite orbiting Mars that the rovers send data to but I still find it amazing how that satellite can send signals tens of millions of miles to earth without any ...
5
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0answers
86 views

Which robotic spacecrafts have autonomous operation capabilities?

I am searching for an overview of autonomous space robots integrating motion planning capabilities, such as a list of robots (past and present). So far, I have found these robots: Mars exploration ...
39
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5answers
14k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
116 views

Will the ExoMars rover offer some unique science capability?

The BBC article Europe's science ministers to decide on ExoMars rover describes a substantial amount of discussion and soul-searching about the level of funding and capabilities for the rover part of ...
27
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2answers
4k views

Planetary rovers - six wheels vs four?

Just wondering, why are unmanned rovers almost always using six wheels (adding more weight) as opposed to four wheels? Is it for added traction, redundancy, balance, or a combination of these factors?
11
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2answers
1k views

How will the ExoMARS Rover keep it's solar panels dust-free and collecting maximum 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 ...
18
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
123 views

Which images were used primarily for navigation algorithms on the Spirit rover?

I've noticed a lot of variations on the MER image data: we have RDR, EDR, and a whole lot of images that haven't been corrected yet (which appear mostly black in colour). On top of this, in the PDS ...
4
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3answers
284 views

Are there “rover-friendly region maps” for Mars? What about 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. Future rovers may have legs as discussed in ...
8
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2answers
542 views

Does new technology make it advantageous to have walking rovers?

Watching Boston Dynamics progress with their walking robots makes it seem like maybe a version adapted to function off-world could compete with wheeled rovers now: ...
5
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2answers
367 views

What happens to spare rovers?

I found a picture on Wikipedia that seems suggest that NASA is keeping rovers from previous missions for testing and flight spares. Do they have full set of science instruments or are they stripped ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How did the spirit rover land right way up after bouncing

After watching an animation of how the Spirit rover landed on Mars, I was wondering how the rover managed to end up the right way up after bouncing around?
8
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
3
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0answers
388 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
386 views

Can a lander on an airless body BE a rover?

Rovers normally roll off a lander, or are otherwise deployed by one. When I look at the design of ATHLETE, it isn't hard to imagine a rocket engine bolted underneath it, and ATHLETE's legs doing the ...
18
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3answers
3k views

How did astronauts navigate the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) over the surface of the Moon?

The Lunar Roving Vechicle (LRV), also known as Moon Buggy, was used as a form of transportation on the surface of the Moon during the Apollo program. What system did the astronauts use for ...
4
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1answer
3k views

The types of motors used on the Martian rovers?

I have a question regarding the types of motors that were used on the Martian rovers, specifically the Mars Exploration Rovers and Curiosity. I am wondering about the main 6 motors that turn the ...
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2answers
131 views

How can a hedgehog rover be used to explore an asteroid, wouldnt it just fly away?

I was reading about a rover concept ' Hedgehog ' which operates by spinning flywheels very fast and then braking quickly which transfers the momentum thereby causing the rover to move by tumbling. My ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Are there currently any plans for a Venus lander?

I am interested in what the surface of Venus looks like in true color, but have discovered that true color images of Venusian surface are rare, and am hoping that a lander mission is planned to take ...
28
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5answers
5k views

Why are there so few lunar rovers?

I'm a big fan of Curiosity and Opportunity, the Martian rovers. The science is over my head, but the images they've captured are mesmerizing. It seems unusual to me that we have two active Martian ...
6
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3answers
230 views

Disc mounted on lunar rover?

My father told me of a story that while he was young working at an electronics company, they all signed a disc that was shrunk down and mounted to one of the lunar rovers. Does anyone know anything ...
9
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7answers
1k views

How could a fast powerful rover on Mars be powered electrically?

Background The rovers on Mars are slow and weak. If I am to believe what I read, MSL Curiosity only produces 1/6th of a horsepower electric effect, 125 watt. In order to perform tasks like deep ...
33
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1answer
2k views

Have any of the rovers ever recorded a solar eclipse on Mars?

I've heard a rumor that Curiosity rover sent a recording about Phobos covering the Sun on the Martian sky. Did it happen? If yes, how frequently could such things be recorded?
8
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1answer
333 views

Why should the Mars 2020 rover drop drilled cores along its route to be picked up later?

The Mars 2020 rover will drill up real cores decimeter or so deep, in order for them to be returned to Earth by a follow up mission. I hear NASA people now seriously working on having that rover drop ...
11
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1answer
337 views

Who decides where Curiosity goes?

I've been wondering for a while who gets to decide where Curiosity goes. I'm not wondering so much about who gets to actually give it the commands (that seems fairly easy to find), but who decides its ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How will the Falcon 9 carry the lunar xprize rovers to the moon?

The Astrobotic team announced a while ago that they will launch their rovers on top of a Falcon 9. As I know the Saturn V rocket had a third-stage, which was used to redirect the spacecraft from Earth'...
4
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2answers
478 views

How large are the Curiosity rover's FPGAs which enable “dream mode”?

I read this article about "dream mode" in the Curiosity rover. In the article they mention: ... implemented on about 1.2 million logic gates ... How large would the avionics hardware need to be in ...
27
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Curiosity wheel damage

The surface of Curiosity's wheels have picked up quite a lot of damage with significant holes beyond the "JPL" holes that were designed in. By contrast the surface of Opportunity wheels have held up ...
3
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1answer
180 views

Would it be practical to use a rover with a cable to a power and communication station?

Geology Dr. Paul Spudis (who was on the Clementine Lunar orbiter mission) has an interesting step-by-step proposal for exploration of potentially extractable water ice at the Lunar poles. It includes ...
2
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2answers
138 views

Would the MSL rover copy work on the Moon?

In order to save development costs, Mars2020 will basically be the same rover as MSL Curiosity, but with another set of instruments. NASA's next big Mars ambition seems to be sample return. But after ...
2
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1answer
120 views

Next lander/rover mission

Beyond Mars and 67P, what is the next most viable mission for probe landing? How far are we from sending one to the Jupiter or Saturn system?
10
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2answers
530 views

Titan rover survival challenges

The Huygens probe didn't last long. What are the challenges of operating a rover on the surface of Titan for at least a few months and what technologies would be used to overcome these?
13
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2answers
1k views

Can the satellites in Martian orbit be put to use providing a rudimentary GPS system on Mars?

This website conveys the impression a rover on the Martian surface necessarily navigates by dead-reckoning. Stereo images are used to determine how far a rover has travelled; an advancement over older ...
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3answers
7k views

How do you 'make oxygen' on Mars?

This morning's BBC News says that a 2020 rover mission to Mars will "make oxygen". There is a brief line indication that it will extract it from atmospheric CO₂, but no other details. What process ...
12
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1answer
866 views

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 ...
23
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5answers
7k views

Why hasn't NASA planted a stationary lab on Mars yet?

Why does NASA send rovers such as Curiosity instead of remotely building a small building on the surface of Mars?
6
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2answers
2k views

How long might the Curiosity Mars rover last, and what would be the most likely cause to end its mission capability? [closed]

Given the life expectancies of all its components (mechanical, electrical, electronic, etc.), how long could the Curiosity rover reasonably be expected to continue performing useful science in an ...