Questions tagged [spirit]

Questions regarding the 2004 Spirit rover.

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4 votes
2 answers
349 views

Why was a nuclear battery system not used for the Mars Spirit and Opportunity rovers?

The Mars Spirit and Opportunity rovers exceeded expectations by working for many years past the planned 90 day mission. Why was a Nuclear Battery System not used for power generation, instead of ...
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Spirit (MER-A) lose a wheel?

I was watching a documentary called Expedition Mars: Spirit and Opportunity (It's really good, I recommend it, you can find it on Disney+) and it said Spirit lost control of its frontmost right side ...
4 votes
1 answer
34 views

How to obtain 3d data from MER Spirit "Planetary Data System" products/files?

TL;DR Given products available in this page, how can I get a 3d model, or at least a point cloud, or as a last chance just a suitable depth map for depth map viewer, for this image? What I tried I ...
5 votes
1 answer
55 views

How to retrieve MER2 Spirit rover orientation along the traverse map?

I would like to retrieve data about position of Spirit along its travel on Mars surface using webgeocalc; I found a document which lists all "needed" kernels... but they are not enough, ...
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why did NASA's Soujourner Mars rover die at the same time as Pathfinder?

The Soujourner rover operated with the Pathfinder lander, but when pathfinder's mission was declared to be completed, the rover's was too. Why?
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why wasn't robotic arm used to free Spirit rover from sand trap? (and other things...)

On Sol 1892 of its mission (01/May/2009) Spirit rover stopped its travel on Mars surface due to a "sand trap", initially (optimistically) defined as "difficult terrain". I have ...
28 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
73 views

Sources for Mars rover sensor data

Is it possible to get sensor data from past or present martian rovers sent by NASA? Specifically, I'm looking for accelerometer and wheel torque data from the rovers. I've searched their "...
8 votes
1 answer
252 views

How did Spirit and Opportunity identify ferric sulfate and jarosite on Mars?

In the short BBC video Spain's otherworldly red river, Ricardo Amils, a researcher in Spain's Astrobiology Center says the following (amateur transcription): Río Tinto is a peculiar place in our ...
5 votes
1 answer
279 views

What were Spirit and Opportunities wheels made out of?

I'm doing a report on the mars rovers and am wondering what material did NASA use to construct spirit and opportunity's wheels. Was it aluminium? Rubber? Titanium? Magnesium? I don't know. Can't find ...
45 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why A=2 and B=1 in the call signs for Spirit and Opportunity?

The Martian rover Spirit held the call signs MER-A and MER-2. Opportunity was called MER-B and MER-1. The assignment A=2 seems backwards; logic would suggest A=1. Why is this so? Based on comments ...
2 votes
1 answer
297 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
96 views

Camera costings for Opportunity/Spirit/Curiosity rovers

I'm currently working on a project investigating the practicalities of a Mars Sample Retrieval rover, as part of my qualification. My area of concern is command/control, and I am struggling to find a ...
4 votes
1 answer
265 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. ...
1 vote
2 answers
216 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 ...
18 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why does Curiosity use an RTG rather than solar (as Spirit and Opportunity do) for power?

Why did Curiosity choose to go with nuclear power? While solar panels have issues with Martian dust, this was a known factor before the 2004 Spirit and Opportunity mission. Why then did the 2004 ...
5 votes
1 answer
138 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 ...
15 votes
1 answer
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?
5 votes
1 answer
138 views

Acid fog on Mars?

Recently a study on the data from the Spirit rover in Gusev crater suggested that there may be acid fog changing the rocks. What exactly is this acid fog? How is it formed on Mars and where? Is it ...
19 votes
1 answer
4k views

What software language was used to program the martian rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity?

What software language was used to program the martian rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity? Also, how many engineers were involved in writing the software for the rovers?