Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Curiosity's drive wheel motors' manufacturer?

Although there are answers listed elsewhere on this site about the power requirements for the Curiosity Rover drive wheels, does anyone know what company provided those drive motors?
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Are the lines on the wheels of the Mars 2020 rover wavy? If so, why?

CNET's NASA narrows down Mars 2020 rover names: Hello, Fido? includes the image below. I'm not sure if the rover is moving and a rolling shutter was in use, or if the lines on the wheels are really ...
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What is the calculation for the distance VIPER can travel without recharging its batteries?

VIPER, the lunar rover NASA has developed to search for water in the permanently shadowed regions near the south pole of our Moon, will be equipped with (rechargeable) batteries to be able to drive, ...
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Why only 100 days for VIPER to look for water in the lunar south pole region?

VIPER is a lunar rover by NASA that will be tasked with prospecting for lunar resources, especially water ice, in permanently shadowed areas in the lunar south pole region. It is meant to support the ...
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How fast could the Tesla Cybertruck drive on Mars?

Elon Musk said "Tesla Cybertruck (pressurized edition) will be official truck of Mars". Lets estimate its driving on flat sands to achieve some sort of maximum performance at 0.38 g, 0.07 bar and −70°...
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Why can't the VIPER lunar rover recharge its 100-day power source using its solar panels?

Source NASA TechCrunch's NASA’s VIPER lunar rover will hunt water on the Moon in 2022 says: VIPER is a limited-time mission; operating at the poles means there’s no sunlight to harvest with solar ...
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Where are the rocks on a moon rover stored?

Where are the rocks on a moon rover stored? Some people say it's turned into powder. And how do they collect the rocks from Mars?
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Have lunar (or martian) rovers exploited shadows, perhaps for terrain comprehension or obstacle avoidance?

This answer proposes that light bars would be better than a single headlight for night time navigation on the Moon because a single headlight will generate hard shadows. Considering this is exactly ...
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Do the Mars rovers have to be stationary to turn?

I saw a video of the mars rover curiosity turning in place. It seemed really stable by turning its wheels it was able to easily reorient itself even on a slope while not moving forward. This made me ...
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Could the bright spot on the image captured by Curiosity have been caused by a data transmit or storage failure?

The image above, one of a total of 21 images shot over a 4 minutes span, was captured by Curiosity on June 16,2019 or sol 2438 on Mars. Only in this image a bright spot shows up, while the next and ...
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What was the driving record of each rover on Mars in one sol, and when?

Both Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit had a top speed of 180 meters/hour on flat hard ground, but their hazard avoidance software caused them to stop every 10 seconds for 20 seconds to observe and ...
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Rover vs pathfinder vs lander?

I am confused in difference between rover and pathfinder and lander I have often read/heard all these three terms when searching/studying about Mars Although all 3 of these are parts of space craft ...
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Why does Curiosity have two images of itself on itself, or is one a QR-code?

The first image in CNN"s New images show Mars as you've never seen it before shows a partial "selfie" by the Curiosity rover which includes what looks like two images on the rover itself. The one on ...
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Why a rover bumps after landing on Mars?

Sometime ago I was watching a video which showed that when a rover lands on mars surface it will keep bumping on mars surface like a ball until it gets rid of stored energy and then it becomes static. ...
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Is there any way to land a rover on the Moon without using any thrusters?

Is there any way to land a rover on the moon without using any thruster, with the help of Thermocol, Cotton, Bubble wrap or any other packaging material, like we can receive from online shop?
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OTS rechargeable battery for a lunar rover

I've been playing around with ideas for an open source lunar rover. It's based on the Stanford Doggo (video) robot. Are there commercial off-the-shelf rechargeable batteries that might work for such ...
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Will the Rosalind Franklin (ExoMars) rover solar panels be able to clear themselves of dust by tilting?

The BBC News item 'Rosalind Franklin' Mars rover assembly completed contains a short video, and I show some screen shots below. It looks like the panels unfold twice, from two stacks of three, to six ...
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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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How did astronauts using rovers tell direction without compasses on the Moon? [duplicate]

I read that the astronauts who used Lunar rovers used heading indicators, which typically use compasses, for direction. How, on the Moon, did their equipment tell the direction of travel, presuming a ...
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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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Why do we not have ten small rovers on the Moon already? [closed]

We already did the develop and testing of Opportunity and Curiosity for 15 years. Why not crank out ten more, and put them on a Falcon heavy for the Moon's south pole?
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Have any lunar probes used a cold shield?

I was reading this question and wondered if there has ever been a design idea which could shield a rover from the 14 day heat and cold cycle when on the surface of the moon. I was imagining some sort ...
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How can electronics on board JWST survive the low operating temperature while it's difficult to survive lunar nights?

Compared to the temperatures encountered in lunar nights, the desired operating temperature of the James Webb Space Telescope is very low. Lunar nights are typically -170°C while the operating ...
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How would wheel attrition of MSL Curiosity play out to end of mobile mission?

Let's assume a scenario where wheel damages is what ends Curiosity's mobility on Mars. What kind of damages to the wheels would cause immobilization? For example, would a wheel collapse (i.e. become ...
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Why isn't there research to build a standard lunar, or Martian mobility platform?

While many terrestrial mobility platforms have been very successful, why are we spending millions to every rover device making it unique? Sure enough, different worlds offer different conditions, but ...
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Where exactly on Mars was Curiosity when this image was taken?

The BGR article NASA’s Curiosity rover saw something flash on Mars, and people are freaking out is one of many nearly identical clickbait articles about a recent image that contains a bright spot. ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...