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14 votes

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

Answering the question in the title, because the arm could not reach anywhere but the front wheels. The description here indicates the left/right swing of the shoulder joint was 160 degrees, so the ...
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1 vote

How does the Curiosity rover survive dust storms on Mars?

Simple answer: Curiosity doesn't need to do much of anything special to survive a storm, because it does not rely on the Sun for power. Long answer: Curiosity is largely unaffected by storms, because ...
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7 votes

Is lunar exploration going to need a whole heck of a lot of RTGs? If so, have they started firing up the RTG-making reactors yet?

We Won't Use RTGs A 100-500 watt RTG would be wholly inadequate to power a lunar rover with people in it. This paper describes the energy consumption of the Lunar Roving Vehicle used by Apollo: ...
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1 vote

How are the Mars Rovers maintained?

The simple answer is, Mars rovers AREN'T maintained. Any damage sustained is beyond our repair. Although, Mars Phoenix lander once fixed itself by hitting itself with its shovel. And recently, InSight ...
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7 votes

Is the Beagle fixable?

Maybe possible, but profoundly pointless. All landing missions on Mars are planned away from each other. This is done in order to get information from diverse places and to avoid skewing the ...
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