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Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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6
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1answer
165 views

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.) ...
12
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1answer
647 views

Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured?

@ahiijny added a direct link to the Sol 5110-5114 MER B Downlink Report. These are the final days that signals were received from Opportunity. The message "Tau Value is NOT a Typographical Error" ...
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1answer
146 views

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 ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Pictures from Mars

How is it that NASA receives broadcasts from 300 million miles away but Sprint needs to install transmitters every 500ft for 5G wireless?
77
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8answers
14k views

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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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 ...
4
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2answers
136 views

What will happen to space machines if Earth is destroyed?

What will happen to rovers, satellites, and probes if Earth is destroyed? What will their behaviour be like? How long will they keep functioning? Do they have any programmed actions to take in case of ...
3
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0answers
73 views

Fate of human-made objects on mars

Now that Opportunity is dead, and since there are ideas for future human missions to Mars, I wonder if there is a project to collect all our rovers and landers or at least label as historical sites ...
8
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2answers
340 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
100 views

What launch vehicle will be used for Exomars rover Rosalind Franklin?

I know that for TGO/Schiaparelli, Proton was used, but I don't know what will be for Rosalind Franklin.
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0answers
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Why is Curiosity's rocker-bogie mounted in it's current configuration

In this question, it is stated that by driving Curiosity backwards they could get more mileage out of it's wheels, as the rocker bogie puts less pressure on them that way. Now, the obvious question ...
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 ...
14
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

How did Lunokhod 1 become “lost” in 1971; in what ways did astronomers “look for it” after that?

The Smithsonian Magazine article Lost Soviet Reflector Found on the Moon says: There are actually five retroreflectors on the Moon: three placed by Apollo astronauts and two that sit atop Soviet ...
3
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1answer
115 views

What can cause grooves (stairs like) features on Mars's ground that is opposite to water flow direction?

Looking at an image taken by Mars Odyssey THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) camera of an unnamed crater in Aonia Terra region I noticed what looks like grooves or ridges that resemble a stair ...
4
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1answer
181 views

How exactly does Curiosity's floating bus work, and how does it continue to operate when voltage drops from 11 to only 4 volts?

@Hobbes's answer calls attention to Emily Lakdawalla's book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity : How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job which led me to reading excerpts in several Planetary Society ...
5
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1answer
273 views

What is a secondary thwack arm, and what gets thwacked?

@Hobbes's answer calls attention to Emily Lakdawalla's book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity : How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job which led me to reading excerpts in several Planetary Society ...
3
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2answers
122 views

Do moon rovers on near side need a relay communication satellite?

Wikipedia says direct communication is not possible from the far side of the moon. So I'm guessing it should be possible for the satellite to communicate directly without relay satellite from the near ...
21
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2answers
6k views

Why did China land a rover on the moon?

Why did China land the Chang’e-4 rover on the moon? What was it supposed to accomplish or explore?
2
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3answers
239 views

Why are the rovers finding the long Lunar night difficult to overcome?

Compared to Martian nights, Lunar nights are long and cold. This has posed a lot of challenges in the past. What specific challenges does long duration night pose? What are the methods to over come? ...
5
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2answers
421 views

Are rovers useful on low gravity, low atmosphere bodies?

Are rovers useful for exploring low atmosphere, low gravity objects? Are there more appropriate exploratory vehicles being proposed? If I am interested in taking geological samples from a region ...
7
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1answer
330 views

How do the Mars rovers sleep through the night on Mars?

With reference to Mark Adler's response regarding to Curiosity rover (MSL) on this great & interesting question, this statement strongly caught my attention: The rovers are designed to be ...
6
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3answers
698 views

Is it possible for Curiosity to broadcast live HD television from Mars to Earth?

Current Mars rovers collect large amounts of data and image sequences on Mars and store them in memory, and usually they then transfer the data to a spacecraft in Mars orbit for rebroadcast to Earth ...
2
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1answer
89 views

What are the advantages to sending a person vs robotics to Mars?

Why is it needed to send a person to Mars one day when we have Rovers? What not obvious advantages do humans have in space exploration over Robotics and vise versa?
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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 ...
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1answer
133 views

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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3answers
517 views

Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?

In the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? I show an image of the hexagonal, articulated high gain antenna on the curiosity rover, as well as ...
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 ...
3
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1answer
280 views

How much wax is on the Moon? (Lunar Roving Vehicles)

I found the Cody's Lab videos from Scott Manley's video as described in this answer. Browsing through I learned from the first 30 seconds of Hot Wax Bottle? that the phase change of wax was used on ...
3
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1answer
169 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
436 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 ...
8
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1answer
3k 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 ...
4
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1answer
152 views

Have any systems on any Mars rovers failed (even partially) as a result of a dust storm? (besides loss of solar power)

Have any systems on any Mars rovers failed (even partially) as a result of a dust storm? There is the obvious problem of loss of solar power, but the failures there are the result of loss of power. ...
3
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2answers
128 views

Has a lander/rover ever examined or photographed another mission?

Occasionally a lander or rover (manned or unmanned) will land close enough to a previous mission to enable examination or photographs of the previous mission to be taken by the new mission. What are ...
5
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1answer
157 views

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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0answers
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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’...
10
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2answers
575 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?
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3answers
295 views

Would a circular saw on one arm and a trowel on another on the Mars 2020 rover add scientific value? [closed]

Edit: I changed the question from one arm with a shovel to two arms, with one with a circular saw and the other with a trowel, some time after the first answer of @Hobbes. I did this because in his ...
5
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1answer
176 views

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 ...
10
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3answers
659 views

How many memory banks does Opportunity have?

Sparked by the comments to this answer, how many memory banks does Opportunity have? I'm specially interested in the flash memory but any other info is also welcome. According to this JPL press ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Is it practical for HF skywave propagation to be utilized for space exploration robot telecommand when outside of microwave/mm wave range?

Is it practical for HF skywave propagation to be utilized for space exploration robot telecommand when outside of microwave/mm wave range? Currently it appears that only the C band and UHF is used in ...
2
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1answer
251 views

Why not a landing platform with solar cells on the Mars 2020 rover for the helicopter scout?

In May 2018 the Mars Helicopter Scout (MHS) was approved to fly on the Mars 2020 mission. Author: NASA/JPL-Caltec. It's a solar powered helicopter drone with a mass of 1.8 kg and a coaxial rotor ...
1
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1answer
105 views

How does the contest for naming ExoMars work?

ESA is holding a contest to collect suggestions for a proper name for what is currently referred to as the ExoMars rover mission to Mars (mission page). Apparently, Rovy McRoverface and Marsy ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What is the fastest rover that has ever traveled on the surface of an extra-terrestrial body?

What is the fastest rover currently moving on the surface of another celestial body? At what speed with our technology currently does physics restrict our speed limits on the surfaces of solar system ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Differences in the design of a commercial Moon rover and a commercial Mars rover?

News in May, 2018: Spaceflight Now NASA cancels lunar rover, shifts focus to commercial moon landers Washington Post Stunning scientists, NASA’s only moon rover just got canceled Space.com NASA Kills ...
5
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2answers
152 views

Are there any planned non-lunar, non-Mars rovers?

I've recently noticed that all the robotic missions to other planets except for Mars were either short-lived landers, orbiters or fly-by missions. Are there any planned rovers which would actively ...
14
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1answer
572 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 ...
40
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1answer
8k views

What was NASA's “Hack” to improve Opportunity's memory in 2015? Did it help?

The transcript of the 2015 NPR podcast NASA Hopes A Hack Will Overcome Mars Rover's Memory Gap says: You know how it goes - you're getting a little older, your memory starts to go, you forget where ...
5
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1answer
807 views

What would happen if the Curiosity rover “flipped over”?

Just wondering if they have contingency plans for "flipping" or if the thought process was "nobody will jeopardize the mission by climbing a steep cliff". Given the massive size of the rover, I doubt ...
20
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3answers
4k 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 ...