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Nasa Prepares to Hack Mars Opportunity Rover to fix 'amnesia' fault

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posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 08:08 AM
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Opportunity Rover rover is an old girl now , after more than 10 years on the surface of Mars she's getting a touch forgetful due to a fault that developed in her flash memory , now NASA plan to hack the rovers operating system to disregard the faulty part of the memory.

The problem with Opportunity is that its non-volatile memory is suffering from a fault, probably related to the hardware's age.
It means that when the rover tries to save telemetry data to the flash memory it fails, and so it then writes it to the volatile memory instead. When the rover powers down, the information is then wiped.
"So now we're having these events we call 'amnesia,'," explained Mr Callas in Discovery News.
"Which is the rover trying to use the flash memory, but it wasn't able to, so instead it uses the RAM... it stores telemetry data in that volatile memory, but when the rover goes to sleep and wakes up again, all [the data] is gone.
"So that's why we call it amnesia - it forgets what it has done."
www.bbc.co.uk...


Poor old girl , hopefully they will succeed and give her a few more years of happy rovering , if only they could of saved Spirit , we had some good times together me and Spirit.


edit on 31-12-2014 by gortex because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 08:23 AM
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It is amazing to think that Spirit and Opportunity was only meant to be active for 90 sol or Martian days (one sol is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 Seconds). What a great success these Mars rover missions have been!

I also thought you would appreciate this - even though it is sad.... Kudos to little Spirit.

xkcd.com...






edit on 31-12-2014 by th2356 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 08:26 AM
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a reply to: th2356




I also thought you would appreciate this


But it did put a little tear in my eye.
Spirit , gone but never forgotten.



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 08:41 AM
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originally posted by: th2356
It is amazing to think that Spirit and Opportunity was only meant to be active for 90 sol or Martian days (one sol is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 Seconds). What a great success these Mars rover missions have been!


After reading the OP I was about to post something similar. I think for all the NASA critics, Which I've been one, this has proven to be one of the better missions considering the initial investment. I hope we see an equal or much more substantial return on their latest and upcoming space probes.

HINT: Ice Moon!

NASA, DO IT TO IT!



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 08:46 AM
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Fasssscinating…




posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 09:44 AM
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originally posted by: SLAYER69

originally posted by: th2356
It is amazing to think that Spirit and Opportunity was only meant to be active for 90 sol or Martian days (one sol is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 Seconds). What a great success these Mars rover missions have been!


After reading the OP I was about to post something similar. I think for all the NASA critics, Which I've been one, this has proven to be one of the better missions considering the initial investment. I hope we see an equal or much more substantial return on their latest and upcoming space probes.

HINT: Ice Moon!

NASA, DO IT TO IT!


If you mean Europa, then I think maybe we need to take a step back and really consider if Europa is actually our best bet for finding life. While I think Europa should certainly be at or near the top of the short list of moons to visit, I think they also need to take a close look at Enceladus and Titan.

Europa may get a lot of "press" and attention because it was among the first moons in the solar system that seemed to be an interesting place to look for life, but since the discovery that Europa probably had a liquid ocean under its surface, we have also learned of a salt-water ocean under the surface of Enceladus, and actually "tasted" that water (due to Ensecladus' geysers) and found that water contain organic molecules.


I'm not saying that Enceladus is a better choice than Europa; all I'm saying is that we should choose very carefully, because Europa may not necessarily be the bast place to look for life. Plus, Enceladus may be a better bet than Europa for actually detecting any life that may exist there because while life on Europa may be under many km of ice (and difficult to access), life on Enceladus may be easier for a space probe to access due to the geysers.

But it's not just ease of access that puts Enceladus on that short list, it also has many encouraging signs that life may exist there (maybe even more encouraging than Europa). The presence of complex organic molecules in the water of Europa has been confirmed by testing samples of that water shot into space by the geysers. No such analysis has been done with the water of Europa, and thus we have no such confirmation of complex organic molecules on Europa.


The $3bn probe has shown that the little moon [Ecleadus] not only has an atmosphere, but that geysers of water are erupting from its surface into space. Even more astonishing has been its most recent discovery, which has shown that these geysers contain complex organic compounds, including propane, ethane, and acetylene.

"It just about ticks every box you have when it comes to looking for life on another world," says Nasa astrobiologist Chris McKay. "It has got liquid water, organic material and a source of heat. It is hard to think of anything more enticing short of receiving a radio signal from aliens on Enceladus telling us to come and get them."


Enceladus: home of alien lifeforms?



And then there is Titan, which is rich in organic molecules, and is very similar to the conditions of the early Earth when life first appeared. Scientific data shows chemical imbalances on Titan that could indicate that life processes are consuming hydrogen and acetylene.

What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?

However, the problem with trying to look for "life as we don't know it" is a lot more difficult than searching for "life as we know it". We know how to create tests to look for "Life as we know it", but testing for "life as we don't know it", such as the possible life that may be on Titan that consumes hydrocarbons, is much more difficult to test for, because we wouldn't be sure what we should be testing.


So, Yeah -- Europa is certainly an enticing place to look for like, but we need to carefully consider the possibility that Enceladus or Titan may even be more enticing.


edit on 12/31/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Not to say anything you posted is wrong or anything...Awesome info you posted, Thanks for that!! But why do we only have to choose 1? Why can't we just put a bunch of missions together to go to all of the planets/moons that have a chance to find something...Why only pick one and "choose carefully"? Can't we go to more than just 1 of them at a time? Sorry, I am not an astronomer or anything having to do with this subject, just asking if this is better suited if we are truly trying to find life!?
edit on 12/31/2014 by Chrisfishenstein because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/31/2014 by Chrisfishenstein because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 10:33 AM
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If one small portion of the aging flash memory is faulty, it's only a matter of time before the next block goes, then the next, etc.

That's the only problem with flash memory, it's only good for so many writes. Luckily it's been improved greatly since then, and continues to get better. That's why SSDs became affordable and popular for computers in more recent years.

Really though, it's not amnesia as much as it is Alzheimer's; it's going to get progressively worse in a relatively short period of time, so I'm sorry to say it, but Opportunity's days are numbered.



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: gortexWe're so worried about what's going out in space, we've forgotten about our beautiful planet.



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

Here's why we can only one big thing at a time or a few smaller missions:



NASA budget history (pdf)



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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originally posted by: McChillin
a reply to: gortexWe're so worried about what's going out in space, we've forgotten about our beautiful planet.

I would argue that we only know just how beautiful our planet is because of space exploration.


edit on 31-12-2014 by gortex because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Imagine if all the money spent on wars were spent on space exploration instead?

costsofwar.org...





posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: gortex

She's still there....

I was going to say in spirit....

but she's really still there.... ha ha, and will be for some time.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 04:35 PM
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a reply to: th2356



Imagine if all the money spent on wars were spent on space exploration instead?


Space exploration or anything peaceful.







 
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