Questions tagged [spirit]

Questions regarding the 2004 Spirit rover.

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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 ...
  • 6,017
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 ...
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 ...
  • 46.7k
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?
  • 153
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. ...
  • 148k
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 ...
  • 148k
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?
  • 293
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 ...
  • 148k