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Questions tagged [rovers]

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

11
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1answer
343 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
514 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 ...
28
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4answers
7k 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
votes
1answer
183 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 ...
3
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2answers
141 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
votes
1answer
121 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
540 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?
14
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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 ...
16
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3answers
8k 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
879 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 ...
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
869 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
votes
1answer
758 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
votes
1answer
303 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
votes
2answers
357 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
702 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
votes
2answers
268 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
votes
1answer
237 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
897 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
votes
1answer
318 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
votes
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?
14
votes
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 ...
178
votes
6answers
15k 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
votes
0answers
397 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
votes
1answer
405 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
214 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
937 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
votes
1answer
641 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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
votes
1answer
711 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
votes
1answer
985 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
votes
3answers
12k 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?
14
votes
1answer
687 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 ...