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Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Methane internal combustion engines for rovers on Mars and Moon. Feasibility?

It seems possible to produce methane and oxygen from the atmospheric CO2 and icy soil on Mars, and from icy regolith in the polar craters of the Moon. It has been suggested that CH4+O2 could be used ...
3
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1answer
824 views

Download all Curiosity photos?

I'm interested in downloading all of the Curiosity rover photos. Is there some sort of automated way to do this?
14
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1answer
3k views

Why are Curiosity's wheels aluminum rather than titanium?

I was just reading this article on how Curiosity's aluminum wheels are getting pretty dinged up. Usually titanium alloy is considered an upgrade from aluminum alloys in most applications, from ...
9
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1answer
742 views

How will the NASA 2020 Mars rover's instrumentation differ from Curiosity?

The Wikipedia page on the plans for NASA's 2020 Mars rover says that it will be designed similarly to Curiosity but will differ in scientific instrumentation because of its goal: to investigate an ...
7
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1answer
298 views

What does the Yutu rover need to do to prepare for night?

Twitter is abuzz with rumors of the Yutu rover being dead. This article mentions that it might not have been able to prepare for night properly: More details are available from the unofficial ...
3
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2answers
348 views

Is vibration useful in shaking off Mars dust?

I had just read this article about how they were trying to figure out how to make a vibrating superconductor move in 1 direction, for propulsion, but it didn't sound too promising. So I thought of ...
51
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3answers
16k views

Curiosity: Why did they “reinvent the wheel” instead of using pressure tires?

Curiosity rover's wheels seem a bit tired and show signs of wear and tear, as reported for example in this Discovery News article from May 22, 2013. This damage only increased since then and wheels ...
11
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2answers
679 views

What risk management options are available for Mars orbiters and rovers to mitigate threat of impacting with Siding Spring cometary debris?

I was reading this article on New Scientist titled Fiercest meteor shower on record to hit Mars via comet. Long story short, the Oort cloud comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring is predicted to near-miss Mars ...
9
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2answers
263 views

Could electricity propel Curiosity on Venus?

To-date the humans have dispatched surface missions to Mars Luna Venus Mars has a thin atmosphere. Luna lacks one. Venus has a soup-thick atmosphere. Landing a static craft on Venus is one thing. ...
16
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1answer
1k views

What are the black and white circular patterns on the Curiosity rover?

On the Mars Curiosity rover, there are black and white circular patterns or marks spaced around the rover, as seen here marked in lime green:     What are these? If I had to guess, ...
5
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1answer
231 views

Could the Mars One rovers be used to carry personnel?

In the Mars One roadmap, they are scheduled to land rovers on Mars in 2018 to search for possible colonization spots. But once that is done and the first settlers arrive will these rovers be usable as ...
8
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2answers
797 views

How do rovers brake/decelerate?

Going by known record the humans have, over the last few decades, started to look around in the Solar System. Apart from astronomy, and allied sciences - there have been space landing missions to ...
7
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1answer
315 views

Could Curiosity be used as a transportation device by future Mars explorers?

NASA's Curiosity rover is a 'car-sized, six-wheeled robot' on the surface of Mars. The phrase car-sized caught my eye - car... Hmm... Could future Mars explorers potentially find the rover and use it ...
29
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1answer
5k views

Who took the Curiosity rover's self-portrait photo from the surface of Mars?

Curiosity is missing an arm, can you help us find it? The self-portrait photograph of the Curiosity rover from the Gale Crater is probably one of the most well known ones of this particular rover of ...
11
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1answer
239 views

Can the rovers on Mars see the comet flyby?

Within a few days Comet ISON is going to make a close flyby of Mars. Will the rovers on Mars have a chance to take a look at the comet as it approaches Mars?
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
174
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6answers
14k views

Can I borrow a lunar rover?

According to Wikipedia there are 3 LRVs sitting on the moon, in very well defined locations. Would China, or whomever gets to the moon with a person next, be able to get in and drive around in an LRV ...
5
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0answers
395 views

What can an astronaut do better than the Curiosity rover? [closed]

Firstly, I want to say that I'd be the first person with their hand up when asked, "So who wants to go to space?". There's nothing I'd love more than to go. But from looking at the amount of ...
9
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1answer
404 views

Did Curiosity rover communicate to the ground station during its descent phase?

During descent phase and entering Mars' atmosphere, was the rover's descent controlled by the Earth based ground station, or by the rover itself? What are the technical challenges, when communicating ...
21
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1answer
2k views

Why do the Mars rovers move so cautiously?

All the Mars rovers tend to move very slowly. For example, Curiosity moves at an average speed of 30 metres per hour and a maximum speed of 90 metres per hour. Why is this so? Is it because of safety ...
8
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1answer
212 views

Have there been any recent lunar rovers?

It seems that most rover-related attention recently has been on Mars, with Curiosity recently getting there. However, it seems there are also benefits to exploring places a little closer to home, ...
27
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3answers
2k views

What happens to defunct lunar and Mars rovers? What technological barriers prevent humanity from creating a perpetual rover?

What happens to defunct lunar and Mars rovers? What technological barriers prevent humanity from creating a perpetual rover with sun batteries or nuclear portable reactors for use on Mars, the Moon, ...
12
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1answer
922 views

Does NASA have any plans for future Mars rovers after Curiosity?

Curiosity should last a very long time - up to around 14 years. My question is whether NASA has any plans for a Mars rovers after Curiosity. If so, are any specifics known?
14
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1answer
620 views

Are data we get from surface rovers accurate?

NASA have already sent several surface rover vehicles to the surface of planets, mostly to Mars. Just think about Curiosity. Compared to the fact that these rovers are remotely controlled and have ...
36
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8answers
5k views

Wheels vs. tracks for rovers

On Earth, there are plenty of examples of vehicles that roam difficult terrain having tracks instead of wheels, while all (at least those I am aware of) extraterrestrial rovers have wheels. Is there ...
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
703 views

The upcoming landing of Chang'e 3 on the Moon - Is there detailed information about it anywhere?

China is supposed to land a rover on the Moon soon (2013). This will be the first landing on the Moon from any nation in quiet a few decades - if none of the Google-Lunar-X-Price teams is faster, of ...
17
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1answer
975 views

What problems led to the use of the Sky Crane system used by Curiosity?

We all know about the fancy 'sky crane' system used on NASA's Curiosity rover. The rockets slow the descent to 1 ½ mph and power a sideways parry to avoid the faster falling chute. As Sky Crane ...
32
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3answers
11k views

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?
13
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1answer
676 views

How does NASA keep radiation from frying rovers?

I know that on Mars, radiation levels are quite high (turns out lack of an atmosphere does that). On the rovers that are sent to Mars, etc. How is radiation kept from playing havoc with the rover's ...