Questions tagged [rovers]

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

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5
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1answer
847 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 ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
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2answers
141 views

Shock absorbing alternator possible for a rover?

Could replacing a Rovers struts (maybe a faster one that uses shock dampers in the future) with magnets similar to a shack flashlight but more heavier duty work well for recouping energy from movement ...
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1answer
439 views

How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time?

The Curiosity rover has a compact X-band high-gain antenna (HGA) that allows for low data rate communication directly with Earth, but is used mostly for higher data rates to spacecraft orbiting Mars, ...
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1answer
202 views

Is Opportunity still in shape to explore the landing site of the Schiaparelli lander?

According to one of the answers to a question concerning Opportunity, the rover has a top speed of 180 meters per hour (no reference). Based on daily performances however a reasonable speed estimate ...
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1answer
119 views

What are the geological features for a save place to land in the chaos terrains on Mars? [closed]

Chaos terrains on Mars generally consist of irregular groups of large blocks, some tens of kilometers across and a hundred meters high. The tilted and flat topped blocks form depressions hundreds ...
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1answer
259 views

Radioisotope thermoelectric generator vs Solar? [duplicate]

What circumstance would a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is better to use than solar cells in space probes and rovers?
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2answers
136 views

Why is it so important to visit Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater again?

One of the proposed landing sites for the rover mission Mars 2020 are the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater, where the Spirit rover landed and has been active there from 2004 to 2010. This was a very ...
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3answers
396 views

What are the drawbacks using an intelligent bulldozer on Mars for the assistance of a rover?

Already in 2011 NASA Ames Research Center proposed a Mars mission called Red Dragon that would use a Falcon Heavy. A SpaceX 2015 estimation was 2,000-4,000 kg to the surface of Mars with a soft ...
4
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1answer
231 views

Does the Mars2020 lander need a new parachute design?

The EarthSky.org article Supersonic parachute test off Virginia coast March 27 and the linked YouTube video NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute: Test Flight #1 describes a recent test launched by a ...
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1answer
112 views

Is there any way to tell which NASA rover this “rover” might be modeled after?

In the OK Go! YouTube video linked below, there is a generic model of a planetary rover with a NASA logo on it. It has six wheels, (four on one articulated carriage) a vertical mast with a T-shape on ...
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1answer
165 views

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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1answer
276 views

Why doesn't the perchlorate on Mars' surface oxidize metallic meteorites?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet Report website: Curiosity:...
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1answer
422 views

Who discovered “Egg Rock”? The Curiosity rover or people?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on Curiosity's Sol 1505, or 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet ...
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1answer
2k views

What inspired the circular panels on the Phoenix Lander and InSight rover?

The solar panels on the Phoenix Lander and InSight rover seem to take on an iconic new look of circular solar panels. As far as I could see solar panels on landers and rover took up the maximum ...
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1answer
254 views

Segways on the Moon?

Looking through NASA Johnson's Flickr I saw this photo. The complete caption is shown below. What are these? How do they work? Are those tractor wheels at the bottom? Why are they orange and so ...
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2answers
795 views

Reasons why the Lunar Rover DID NOT become “a jumble of loosely assembled broken parts on Launch”?

A number of comments and some answers at the question Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla in 100 Years? suggets the Tesla Roadster "would not survive launch... it would be a jumble of loosely assembled ...
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1answer
781 views

Are these experimental stoichiometric NiTi wire mesh wheels made from “memory alloy”? Need to run at certain temperature?

I just looked at this NASA "specials" page; https://www.nasa.gov/specials/wheels/ and watched the two videos linked below. These experimental wheels use a special stoichiometric Nickel Titanium alloy ...
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0answers
126 views

Would the lunar rovers work (again) today? What would be needed? [duplicate]

3 Apollo missions brought their lunar rovers (Lunar Roving Vehicle) LRV with them, and they remained on the moon. Some of them have broken parts, and their batteries seem to be emtpy, according to ...
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2answers
374 views

Which rover didn't have wheels?

The question Wheels vs. tracks for rovers and Does new technology make it advantageous to have walking rovers? ask about the possible use of treads or legs instead of wheels on rovers from a ...
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1answer
356 views

Is there any chance Mars-3's Prop-M rover deployed automatically and “roved”?

Mars-3 landed on the surface of Mars and began transmitting. It carried a Prop-M rover. The lander started transmitting from the surface but went silent about 14 seconds later. Did rover deployment ...
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1answer
160 views

Since the Prob-M Mars Rovers had a motor for locomotion, why not use wheels?

This answer mentions that the Prop-M rovers that were carried to the surface of Mars by the Mars-2 and Mars-3 missions used "skis" for propulsion, rather than wheels. Looking at the GIF below frame ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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8answers
6k 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
5k views

Planetary rovers - six wheels vs four?

Just wondering, why are unmanned rovers almost always using six wheels (adding more weight) as opposed to four wheels? Is it for added traction, redundancy, balance, or a combination of these factors?
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1answer
344 views

With the correct antenna and transmitter, could the Sojourner rover be reactivated?

The Sojourner rover was deployed as part of the Mars Pathfinder mission. At the end of the mission, the Sojourner rover was still operable. But the base station that the Mars Pathfinder carried failed....
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3answers
3k views

a “speedy” lunar rover?

Moon's synodic day is 2551443 seconds. Its circumference is 10921 km. At sustained 15.4km/hour a rover traveling along its equator would retain full sunlight at all times; at higher latitudes that ...
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3answers
490 views

Why don't signals from rovers on Mars get lost on the long trip to Earth? [duplicate]

I read that there is a satellite orbiting Mars that the rovers send data to but I still find it amazing how that satellite can send signals tens of millions of miles to earth without any ...
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0answers
100 views

Which robotic spacecrafts have autonomous operation capabilities?

I am searching for an overview of autonomous space robots integrating motion planning capabilities, such as a list of robots (past and present). So far, I have found these robots: Mars exploration ...
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1answer
125 views

Will the ExoMars rover offer some unique science capability?

The BBC article Europe's science ministers to decide on ExoMars rover describes a substantial amount of discussion and soul-searching about the level of funding and capabilities for the rover part of ...
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7answers
1k views

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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5answers
6k views

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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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 ...
5
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1answer
131 views

Which images were used primarily for navigation algorithms on the Spirit rover?

I've noticed a lot of variations on the MER image data: we have RDR, EDR, and a whole lot of images that haven't been corrected yet (which appear mostly black in colour). On top of this, in the PDS ...
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2answers
682 views

Does new technology make it advantageous to have walking rovers?

Watching Boston Dynamics progress with their walking robots makes it seem like maybe a version adapted to function off-world could compete with wheeled rovers now: ...
5
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2answers
410 views

What happens to spare rovers?

I found a picture on Wikipedia that seems suggest that NASA is keeping rovers from previous missions for testing and flight spares. Do they have full set of science instruments or are they stripped ...
30
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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 ...
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3answers
17k 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 ...
14
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1answer
2k views

How did the spirit rover land right way up after bouncing

After watching an animation of how the Spirit rover landed on Mars, I was wondering how the rover managed to end up the right way up after bouncing around?
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1answer
244 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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1answer
123 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?
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1answer
391 views

Can a lander on an airless body BE a rover?

Rovers normally roll off a lander, or are otherwise deployed by one. When I look at the design of ATHLETE, it isn't hard to imagine a rocket engine bolted underneath it, and ATHLETE's legs doing the ...
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1answer
1k 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?
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2answers
143 views

How can a hedgehog rover be used to explore an asteroid, wouldnt it just fly away?

I was reading about a rover concept ' Hedgehog ' which operates by spinning flywheels very fast and then braking quickly which transfers the momentum thereby causing the rover to move by tumbling. My ...
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1answer
4k views

The types of motors used on the Martian rovers?

I have a question regarding the types of motors that were used on the Martian rovers, specifically the Mars Exploration Rovers and Curiosity. I am wondering about the main 6 motors that turn the ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Are there currently any plans for a Venus lander?

I am interested in what the surface of Venus looks like in true color, but have discovered that true color images of Venusian surface are rare, and am hoping that a lander mission is planned to take ...
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2answers
569 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 ...
6
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3answers
244 views

Disc mounted on lunar rover?

My father told me of a story that while he was young working at an electronics company, they all signed a disc that was shrunk down and mounted to one of the lunar rovers. Does anyone know anything ...
10
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1answer
815 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 ...