Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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How often have dust devils saved a Martian lander or rover?

This answer to How are the Mars Rovers maintained? reminds us that ...much to the surprise of the early Mars scientists and rover teams, Mars takes care of the dust problem for us! Mars' typical ...
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How are the Mars Rovers maintained?

I am really curious in finding out how the Mars Rovers are maintained. The communications with the software could be done as long as there are no connection malfunctions, and I suppose they have a ...
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ROV-E compact configuration

Assuming that ROV-E could be employed in a real space mission, which would be the best configuration to store it in a larger spacecraft or linked to a larger spacecraft? Is it possible to modify the ...
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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 ...
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How bright is twilight on Mars compared to Earth?

The surprising answer to How much more quickly does night come on Mars compared to Earth? Will it be easier to see Mercury there? is "up to two hours(!)" "...indicating that Martian dust extends very ...
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Are there methods of lightning detection on Mars?

Teslarati's NASA’s next Mars rover will pave the way for humans includes the graphic below which is an artists conception of a dust storm on mars. It shows what looks like lightning or some kind of ...
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Why can't the VIPER lunar rover recharge its 100-day power source using its solar panels?

update: NASA wants ideas for keeping Moon missions powered in the dark Source NASA TechCrunch's NASA’s VIPER lunar rover will hunt water on the Moon in 2022 says: VIPER is a limited-time mission; ...
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How quickly might a Titan rover or drone 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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Is there any footage from Mars where you can see Deimos or Phobos getting bigger and smaller as it goes through the sky?

This answer mentions that on Mars, you can see its satellite get bigger and smaller as it rises and sets, because the satellite orbits much closer than our own Moon does from Earth. I'm pretty sure ...
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What criteria was used to select potential landing sites for Hayabusa-2's rovers on Ryugu?

The NYTimes' article Hayabusa2 Prepares to Drop Rovers on Asteroid Ryugu says Sept. 19 Rock Hoppers Hayabusa2 is preparing to deploy two small rovers this week, each about 7 inches wide. Ryugu’s ...
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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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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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How long could the Mars helicopter Ingenuity keep up with the Perseverance rover if it wanted to?

Wikipedia's Mars Helicopter Ingenuity says: It could potentially cover a distance of up to 300 metres (980 ft) per flight. Perseverance is somewhat similar to Curiosity which drove about 22970 ...
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Is it allowed to interact with research satelites / rovers using the radio?

Let's say I have a SDR (software defined radio) like the HackRF One at home, access to a huge amplifier circuit and a giant antenna (at my university). Is there a law that prohibits receiving / ...
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Perseverance Rover to drive carefully for months while helicopter hangs from underside?

The image below is cropped from the high resolution version of NASA's Mars Helicopter and Perseverance Rover PIA23824 and shows the helicopter in it's stowed position on the underside of the rover ...
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Is Perseverance still in Safe Mode?

Messages in The Pod Bay and Space.com's NASA: Mars rover Perseverance in 'safe mode' after launch, but should recover both said that Perseverance was in "Safe Mode". Is it still?
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Could Ingenuity stay warmer at night by landing on (or near) Perseverance's RTG?

One concern in How long could the Mars helicopter Ingenuity keep up with the Perseverance rover if it wanted to? is that the helicopter must cycle its battery every night to stay warm, and that could ...
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Will Perseverance's landing be live streamed?

I know that the launch will be live streamed, but I am interested in the landing. Is there a plan to make it possible for the general public to get access to landing video as soon as mission control? ...
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Is there a specific reason why NASA put MOXIE on a rover?

MOXIE or The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment is to be sent to Mars as a part of Perseverance's scientific payload. Sure the experiment is much needed and very anticipated, and ...
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Is ESA's ExoMars TGA getting old and unable to support Rosalind Franklin rover for the full potential duration of its missions and extensions?

Wikipedia's ExoMars explains that the Trace Gas Orbiter or TGO part of the mission was launched in 2016 and the rover was originally scheduled to launch in 2018. This launch was delayed until 2020 and ...
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How will the Exomars rover communicate back to Earth?

I see here that the Exomars rover has only two UHF monopole antennas. Two UHF monopole antennas are used to communicate with Mars orbiters, including the Trace Gas Orbiter. Does it mean that it ...
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Will the Mars 2020 rover's sensitivity to methane be better than Curiosity's?

The New York Times article NASA Rover on Mars Detects Puff of Gas That Hints at Possibility of Life describes the newest detection of a "whiff" of methane on Mars. The article states that ...
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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 are Curiosity's batteries doing after all these years? Have they degraded significantly?

Curiosity has spent 2820 sols on Mars and this answer to About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power? points out that its batteries may wear out faster than its RTG. Question: How are ...
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At what incline would curiosity require twice the electrical power to drive compared to a flat grade?

Motors have losses and friction, and compaction of soil by a rovers wheels are lossy as well. Driving over bumps/topography requires extra work going up that isn't recovered when going back down. The ...
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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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How much altitude will curiosity gain by its climb now from the clay-bearing unit to the sulfate-bearing unit?

According to Space.com's NASA's Curiosity rover starts Red Planet road trip up Martian mountain: Curiosity's last stop from 2019 to this year was the "clay-bearing unit", another ...
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What “flickering goggles” do JPL scientists rely on to explore the Martian surface “in genuine 3D”?

Gizmodo's NASA Is Using Red and Blue 3D Glasses to Safely Drive the Mars Rover While Working From Home says: To safely navigate the Curiosity rover across the surface of Mars, over 120 million miles ...
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What is the preferred orbital trajectory for a rover/lander to land on a body?

With the new perseverance rover about to launch to mars, I have a question about landers and rover orbital trajectories. Do the landers/rovers circularize their orbit before landing on the body or do ...
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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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Why are Perseverance's wheels flatter?

As visible in the image above (and as most of you would have noticed!) the wheels on the upcoming NASA/JPL rover Perseverance seems to be largely different from Curiosity's wheels. A notable ...
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Are Mars rovers in continuous contact with Earth when in line of sight?

The NASA Perseverance rover Communications page describes the Ultra-High Frequency Antenna, the X-band High-Gain Antenna, and the X-band Low-Gain Antenna but does not mention how often it will be in ...
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DIY Lunar regolith simulant

I'm looking to make a physical lunar regolith stimulant at home. I don't care about chemical composition, color, or anything like that, but I'd like it to behave similarly to actual lunar regolith in ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that didn't need heating?

In the discussion of this question it is assumed that we would need to heat the rover so that (most of) it's components were operating at temperatures much hotter than ambient (about 90K). Current ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Could Mars Rovers be lighter or faster if they didn't have to be tested on Earth?

Watching this video of Perserverance being tested on Earth, it occurred to me that requiring it to stand, drive, climb, etc. under 1g is, in some sense, overkill. Could this (or other) rovers be made ...
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Balancing Perseverance Mars Rover; couldn't they just “move stuff around a little” rather than add 6+ kg of dead weight?

The NASA News item NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Gets Balanced says: Just as an auto mechanic places small weights on a car tire's rim to bring it into balance, the Perseverance team analyzed the ...
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On what kind of martian soil or rock will the Perseverance rover drop its helicopter?

The image below is cropped from the high resolution version of NASA's Mars Helicopter and Perseverance Rover PIA23824 and shows the helicopter in it's stowed position on the underside of the rover ...
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what C/C++ image processing libraries are used on-board satellites/rovers?

Given that a full blown linux is rarely used in spacecrafts, can popular image processing libraries like opencv be use in space applications? Since radiation hardened processors are much less capable ...
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Why does the Perseverance rover have such complicated shaped spokes in its wheels?

Phys.org's NASA's Perseverance Mars rover gets its wheels and air brakes has some interesting photos includes some nice photos and below I've included a cropped section of a photo of one of ...
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How will Mars 2020 rover Perseverance's selfie skills compare to Curiosity's? Will it have any additional selfie-related capabilities?

The design of the Mars 2020 rover Perseverance benefits from years of operational experience with Curiosity. While 2020's instrument suite differs in several ways it looks remarkably similar to ...
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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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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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Do Mars rovers protect optical windows during dust storms? Do they “avert their eyes” or do they just “grin and bear it”?

The question Did any lander or rover photograph the sun rising or setting during a Martian dust storm? makes me think of the images below showing the stuff blown around and on to martian rovers. I'm ...
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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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Microscopes in space?

There are a lot of telescopes in space (optical, radio, X-ray and Gamma-ray), but how about microscopes? Does the ISS have a general-purpose microscope? It could come in handy for failure analysis or ...

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