Little Progress in Freeing a Rover on Mars

jetxvii

PostWed Nov 18, 2009 7:14 am » by jetxvii


Little Progress in Freeing a Rover on Mars

By KENNETH CHANG
Published: November 17, 2009

Image

The NASA rover Spirit, stuck in sand on Mars, tried to move Tuesday for the first time since May. In less than a second, it stopped.

Cautious mission managers had put tight constraints on the Spirit’s movement to ensure that it did not drive itself into a deeper predicament. Because the uncertainty in its tilt was more than one degree, the rover called it a day. Spirit awaits new instructions.

The engineers are “still analyzing that result before they decide what to do with the next drive,” said Guy Webster, a spokesman at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which operates the Spirit and another rover, Opportunity.

The commands to the rover were for it to make two forward motions, rotating its wheels three revolutions each time. If the rover were on solid ground, that would have carried it about five yards.

Officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have said they will give the rover managers until at least February to try to pull the Spirit out of the sand trap.

At least the rover has been stuck in an interesting place.

One side sits on basaltic sand mixed with iron oxide dust, typical for most of Mars. The other side is sunk in sands rich in minerals known as sulfates, which tell of an era long ago when acidic waters flowed in this region.

“This turns out to be a geologic treasure trove,” said Raymond E. Arvidson, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University at St. Louis and the mission’s deputy principal investigator.

The sands are richer in sulfates than anywhere else measured so far by the Spirit or the Opportunity, which is on the other side of the planet.

“What’s really interesting,” Dr. Arvidson said, “is the material is layered.”

The layers vary in appearance and composition, perhaps a result of climatic changes in the geologically recent past.

Mars’s axis periodically tips over, leading to colder temperatures and snowfall near the equator. Sunlight shining through the ice and snow could have heated the ground and melted ice, and the water then dissolved and washed away some of the sulfates, producing the layers. The grains in the top few sulfate layers were cemented together.

The Spirit drilled two small holes into the surface. In one hole, the drill broke through to sulfate sands. In the other hole, about four inches away, there were no signs of sulfates at all.

“We are sitting astride a geologic boundary,” Dr. Arvidson said. “It goes right down the middle of the rover.”

A rock may be touching the bottom of the rover, which could further complicate the possibility of escape. Also, the rover is tilted toward the side, toward the interior of the crater, and one of the six wheels malfunctioned several years ago and no longer turns.

In six months of testing, said John Callas, the project manager, “we have not been able to demonstrate a path to extrication.”

Dr. Callas remains hopeful, though, because Mars is considerably different from Earth, with about one-third the gravity and almost no moisture in the atmosphere.

Yet even if the rover never gets out, its scientific value could continue as a weather and seismic monitoring station. The rover has outlived its original three-month mission by more than five and a half years.

The Opportunity, meanwhile, continues to make steady progress toward a giant crater where scientists hope to explore geologic layers farther into Mars’s past. That destination is still about six miles away, or at least another year of traveling.


"Lets hope it get free hey?"

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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 10:21 am » by Sceptilief


Here's to getting a crew on the planet... :cheers:

jetxvii wrote:Little Progress in Freeing a Rover on Mars

By KENNETH CHANG
Published: November 17, 2009

Image


I'm a little confused with this image. Is this a Satellite pic?

If so, NASA may have just blown their excuses for not providing this resolution of photos for the Mars Anomolies...
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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 10:51 am » by Taymour


This is a satellite image! :o

And this is the smoking gun about the huge ability of NASA to take images of the Martian surface with highest resolution.

They know already what is found on MARS and spend our money in order TO HIDE IT! :yell:

Please give the original link of this image. Thanks.
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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 11:04 am » by Sceptilief


Like most images found here, I've got a copy saved.
23:59;01

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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 12:01 pm » by Taymour


concrete wrote:Sorry, kids. The image is from 2005.

Opportunity's Sol 446 Position

This mosaic of navigation-camera frames from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, presented in a vertical projection, shows the rover's position after it dug itself to wheel-hub depth in a small dune during its 446th martian day, or sol (April 26, 2005). The elongated dune, or ripple, is about one-third of a meter (one foot) tall and 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide.

Opportunity had completed nearly 40 meters (131 feet) of a planned 90-meter (295-foot) drive that sol when its wheels began slipping. The rover was driving backwards at the time. The rover team frequently alternates between backwards and forwards driving to keep wheel lubrication well distributed. The wheels kept rotating enough times to have covered the rest of the distance if they hadn't been slipping, but the rover eventually barely inched forward. After a turn at the end of the planned drive, Opportunity sensed that it had not turned properly and stopped moving.

The rover team spent more than a week designing and conducting tests under simulated Mars conditions on Earth before choosing the best way for Opportunity to drive out of the dune.


http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/ ... 0506b.html

Makes sense. notice how the centre of the rover, is not pictured. That would probably be where the camera was. A satellite would image the whole rover.


WOW! :o
THEN IT IS A REAL SATELLITE IMAGE!! :o

Thanks Concrete! :flop:

NASA can see also the smallest speck of sand on Mars.
Now this is not more a speculation or a theory of conspiracy.

We must PUSH NASA TO SAY the TRUTH on what already it knows on Mars!

It is a our right!
They spend our money!
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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 12:12 pm » by Sceptilief


I just came across the crazy Mars Door images:

Image

Zoom...

Image

Zoom...

Image

The site I found these on, http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... -reve.html

By the looks of it, this was discovered in 2007, so it's probably been beaten to death on the forum already.
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jetxvii

PostWed Nov 18, 2009 9:45 pm » by jetxvii


wow good stuff guys, but yes the picture was taken from the elongated head of the rover, it snapped pictures of itself when it was stuck like concrete said..... or at least that is what NASA tells us...

that door picture is sweet sceptilef. it sure looks like a cave entrance to me.

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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 9:59 pm » by Terrac1de512


Now if any of you haven't seen this, u must see, plz explain to me what the hell is going on in this pic, and also check the beautiful HI RES imagery. Supposedly those dark marks everywhere are Martian dust devils.. But what are those ??????'s down there emitting blue glows?? is there a natural explanation???

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/ ... ro_big.jpg

and btw.. sceptilief, that is most defnitely an anomaly! good find :clapper:
Last edited by Terrac1de512 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jetxvii

PostWed Nov 18, 2009 10:02 pm » by jetxvii


terrac1de512 wrote:Now if any of you haven't seen this, u must see, plz explain to me what the hell is going on in this pic, and also the beautiful hi res imagery.

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/ ... ro_big.jpg

im going to have to get back to you on that one while I research it a bit and analyze the photo... it might be Iron deposits that's sat through a rough wind storm.... but I am not guaranteeing that.

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PostWed Nov 18, 2009 11:08 pm » by -Marduk-


sceptilief wrote:I just came across the crazy Mars Door images:

Image

Zoom...

Image

Zoom...

Image

The site I found these on, http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... -reve.html

By the looks of it, this was discovered in 2007, so it's probably been beaten to death on the forum already.


Beautiful pics, Sceptil :flop:
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